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Sheppard (Thebekang 75th)
Murakami (Renteria 64th)
PLATINUM STARS 2
1 GOLDEN ARROWS
Competition: Absa Premiership
Date: Sunday, 28 November 2009
Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium
Platinum Stars came from a goal down to beat Golden Arrows 2-1 and register their sixth win of the season during their uninspiring Absa Premiership encounter that was played at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Saturday.
Arrows took the lead from head of Thamsanqa Gabuza in the 23rd minute while Stars ensured these precious three home points from a penalty kick by Japanese import Norikazu Murakami in the 35th minute and a goal from Kagiso Senamela in the 84th minute.
Stars move to 22 points on the log and a few places up on the log as they continue with their revival after a dismal start to the season while remain on Arrows the same number of points.
On the evidence of this poor performance that was dished in front of a similarly disappointing crowd, Steve Komphela and his Arrows counterpart Manqoba Mngqithi are definitely going to demand improved performances from their players in their next outings.
In their next matches, Stars hit the road for a date with Maritzburg United on 2 December while Arrows will be at home for their tricky clash against Mpumalanga Black Aces on the same day.
Mgqithi started the game without his reliable but unsettled defender Siyabonga Sangweni, who is reported to be distracted by persistent rumours of a possible big money move to one of the big Johannesburg clubs or overseas.
In his place at central defence, he deployed Musa Bilankulu, who partnered captain Joseph Musonda and they had a busy afternoon against the likes of Henrico Botes and Murakami who led the attack for Stars.
The hosts created the first notable chance of the game in the ninth minute when midfielder Kagiso Senamela forced a stunning save out of Arrows goalkeeper Thulasizwe Khuzwayo with a thunderous shot.
A few minutes later, the upright came to the rescue for Stars with their goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini nowhere to be seen as they failed to clear a dangerous ball that was somehow left unattended in the penalty box.
In the 20th minute, Stars managed to break the Arrows defence with a quick attacking move where the final ball landed on the path of Murakami but he blasted his effort over the crossbar with Khuzwayo to beat.
As the first half progressed, the Stars supporters nearly lost their patience with Murakami who committed a few school boy errors from good attacking positions.
With those missed chances still fresh on their minds, Arrows opened the scoring from the header of Gabuza who finished off a cross from his team-mate to beat Kapini and silence the home.
However, the goal sparked some more energy in the work of Stars as they continued to press forward and they were duly rewarded in the 35th minute when Dillon Sheppard was brought down in the box leaving referee Robert Smith with no choice to point to the spot.
Murakami showed nerves of steel as he stood up to take the penalty but he nearly made a huge mess from the spot as he only managed to kiss the back of the net on the rebound after Khuzwayo stopped his initial attempt.
After restart, Stars did not waste time to attack as captain Stanley Kgatla tested Khuzwayo, who had a busy afternoon between the poles for Arrows, with a thunderous 35-metre piledriver in the 49th minute.
Both teams had few notable chances in the closing stages but it was Senamela who had the final say as he lobbed Khuzwayo with an aerial ball to ensure the three points. Platinum Stars (1) 2 (Murakami 35th pen, Senamela 84th)
Golden Arrows (1) 1 (Gabuza 23rd)
Platinum Stars (4-4-2): Kapini; Masenya, Mabizela, Mofokeng, Lobo; Msomi, Senamela, Kgatla, Sheppard (Thebekang 75th); Murakami (Renteria 64th), Botes
Golden Arrows (4-4-2): Khuzwayo; Zwane, Musonda, Bilankulu, Tom; Manqana, Zothwane, Biyela (Mabuya 76th), Khuboni; Gabuza, R Henyekane (Mashego 65th)
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Biyela (Mabuya 76′)
R Henyekane (Mashego 65′)