Stars claim thrilling 3-3 draw in Eastern Cape

Stars claim thrilling 3-3 draw in Eastern Cape
Mark Mayambela

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Feb 04, 2018. 17:43

Platinum Stars came from behind three times to force a 3-3 draw in their Absa Premiership match against Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday.

Dikwena remain bottom of the log despite the fighting performance, with 16 points from 20 matches, while the Chilli Boys are seventh on 26 points.

Chippa dominated the play from the opening minutes, though they had to wait until just past the midway point of the first half to claim the ascendancy.

A sustained attack ended with left-back Fares Hachi providing a great cross to pick out the unmarked Mark Mayambela, who easily steered home a header to put the Chilli Boys 1-0 up.

Stars offered little in attack, but out of nowhere they equalised on 39 minutes. A throw-in move saw Robert Ng’ambi tee up debutant Riyaad Norodien, whose snap shot from the edge of the box beat Daniel Akpeyi to make it 1-1.

Chippa reclaimed the lead thanks to some cunning play from Mayambela on the hour mark. With Stars’ Mbongeni Mzimela standing next to his post to line-up his wall for a free kick, Mayambela took the set piece quickly and scored, knowing full well that he didn’t need to wait for the referee’s whistle.

Dikwena protested vociferously, but they had simply been caught napping by a sharper opponent.

On 69 minutes the visitors nearly drew level for the second time: Norodien fired an effort direct on goal from a free kick and Akpeyi made a superb one-handed save diving to his left.

Yet the on-loan Orlando Pirates winger was not to be denied a second goal. On 75 minutes he latched onto a shot pass in the ‘D’ of Stars’ box and cracked home a blistering right-footed shot to make it 2-2.

The Chilli Boys once again put themselves back in the lead, with substitute Andile Mbenyane stabbing a shot home with three defenders surrounding him in the 84th minute.

But once again Stars fought back to level the game at 3-3. In the 88th minute substitute Gerald Phiri netted with a brilliant left-footed strike direct from a free kick, sparking wild celebrations from the relegation battlers.

Chippa United (1) 3 (Mayambela 25’ 60’, Mbenyane 84’)
Platinum Stars (1) 3 (Norodien 39’ 75’, Phiri 88’)

Chippa: Akpeyi, Macheke, Okwuosa, Konqobe, Hachi, Mayambela (Mzwakali 67’), Mabaso, Mdlinzo, Mako, Lentjies (Sali 54’), Machupu (Mbenyane 82’)

Stars: Mzimela, Mere, Sithole, Mthethwa, Gcaba, Norodien, Masalesa, Mekoa, Rambuwane (Phiri 66’), Ng’ambi (Ntuli 58’), Koapeng (Mkhabela 90+2’)

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