Highlands closer to relegation after losing to Stars

Highlands closer to relegation after losing to Stars
Robert Ngambi of Platinum Stars challenged by Thabo Rakhale of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership match between Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa on May 02, 2016 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday May 07, 2017. 17:05

Highlands Park have been pushed closer to relegation from the Absa Premiership after they were beaten 1-0 at Platinum Stars on Sunday.

The defeat sees the Lions of the North remain bottom of the log on 22 points, with just three rounds of league action remaining in the 2016/17 season.

Stars’ strikers were in action early on, with Bonginkosi Ntuli receiving medical treatment for an early knock (which he was able to run off), while Ndumiso Mabena had the first shot in anger on 15 minutes, but sent his effort over the crossbar.

A few minutes later it was Highlands’ turn to threaten - Peter Shalulile was brought down just outside the penalty area and from the subsequent free kick Khethukuthula Zwane send a shot into the side netting.

Just past the midway point of the first half, Gerald Phiri set up Mabena for another sight of goal, but the former Orlando Pirates man saw his shot bravely blocked by the Highlands defence.

As half time approached the Lions of the North so nearly claimed the lead, with Mothobi Mvala putting an effort on target which needed Dikwena’s Solomon Mathe to make a heroic goal-line clearance.

Stars almost broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half when Mabena had the beating of goalkeeper Marlon Heugh with an effort direct from a free kick, but the crossbar came to Highlands’ rescue.

Midway through the second stanza the visitors created a great chance for Lindokuhle Mbatha, but Stars goalkeeper Mbongeni Mzimela pulled off a fine save to keep the score level at 0-0.

On 83 minutes the hosts created another good chance for Mabena, as he met a cross from the right flank, only to put his header wide of the goal with only Heugh to beat. Yet six minutes later the goal finally arrived for Dikwena, with Robert Ng’ambi scoring with a brave header which saw him knocked out in the process of scoring.

Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Ng’ambi 89’)
Highlands Park 0

Stars: Mzimela, De Jongh (Botes 84’), Mwedihanga, Sithole, Mpeta, Mere, Msomi (Ng’ambi 69’), Mathe, Phiri (Links 67’), Mabena, Ntuli

Highlands: Heugh, Zwane (Ledwaba 54’), Nhlapo, Ngalo, Sibande, Mbatha, Khuboni, Oluwafemi, Mvala, Shalulile, Mbesuma

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