PLATINUM Stars claimed a second cup title this season when they came from a goal down to defeat Orlando Pirates 2-1 in the Telkom Knockout final at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday night.
The Buccaneers looked set to claim revenge on Dikwena for their defeat in the final of the MTN8 earlier this season after Lucky Lekgwathi’s first half goal, but a late brace from substitute Mogakolodi Ngele saw the Rustenburg team claim an unlikely victory.
Pirates settled the quicker of the two teams, but it was Stars who had the first shot in anger, with the always dangerous Robert Ng’ambi putting an effort just over the crossbar in the seventh minute.
On the quarter hour mark Dikwena created a great chance, with Luvolwethu Mpeta providing a perfect low cross from the left for Solomon Mathe, but the midfielder fluffed his shot with a clear sight of goal.
On the half hour mark it was Pirates who broke the deadlock. Daine Klate provided a perfect cross into the penalty area from a free kick and captain Lucky Lekgwathi arrived to glance home a header.
There were question marks as to whether Lekgwathi was offside, but television replays showed his run came from deep and was perfectly timed.
The first half came to an end with Klate firing wide of goal direct from a free kick just outside the penalty area, leaving Bucs 1-0 up at the break.
The Soweto giants almost doubled their lead early in the second half, as Klate’s low cross was turned toward his own goal by Mpeta, but Siyabonga Mpontshane made a great reaction save.
Stars coach Allan Freese made two attacking changes by sending on Mogakolodi Ngele and Mduduzi Nyanda past the hour mark, while Bucs substitute Collins Mbesuma almost scored from a tight angle in the 73rd minute but was denied by another fine Mpontshane save.
On 78 minutes Stars pulled level at 1-1, with Ngele powering through a gap in the Bucs backline before coolly chipping the ball over the advancing Meyiwa – despite a gallant attempt at a tackle from Mahamutsa – to find the back of the net.
And the Botswana international cemented his status as a Dikwena hero 10 minutes later when he crashed home the winning goal. Lindokuhle Mbatha cut inside from the left and teed up the number 11, who struck a first-time left-footed shot into the top corner from 20 metres out, 2-1.
Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Ngele 78’)
Orlando Pirates (1) 1 (Lekgwathi 30’)
Platinum Stars: Mpontshane, Mere (Semenya 81’), Gumede, Mhlongo, Mpeta, Mbatha, Sarr (Ngele 66’), Mathe, Tshabalala (Nyanda 67’), Ng’ambi, Botes
Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Jele, Lekgwathi, Mahamutsa, Matlaba, Segolela (Masuku 62’), Manyisa, Jali, Klate, Myeni (Erasmus 89’), Bacela (Mbesuma 70’)-Backpage TXT