Struggling new boys get dramatic late winner to end winning streak of high flying Platinum Stars
A flick on off the head of Andile Mbenyane handed struggling Chippa United only their second Premier Soccer League success and in the process ended Platinum Stars’ record breaking winning streak.
The dramatic 2-1 triumph on Tuesday night at a virtually empty Athlone Stadium means Chippa remain unbeaten under caretaker coach Farouk Abrahams, who has made wholesale changes to the line-up, and climb away from the relegation zone.
But Stars’ club record of five wins in a row came to an end after a disappointing night for them in which they enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession and set up the most chances.
But the visitors conceded first after a screaming 30 metre drive from Larry Cohen in the 29th minute gave the home side the lead against the run of play.
It was the first goal in professional soccer for the former Jomo Cosmos and Wits player in just his third game for Chippa and his first employed in the midfield rather than the back four.
Stars had looked sharper before that with the midfield acumen of Mogakolodi Ngele and pacey wing play of Thuso Phala ensuring their dominance.
Phala, fresh from his Bafana Bafana debut last Wednesday, hit a volleyed effort that required a strong save from Daouda Kassaly in the Chippa United goal.
Stars got their equaliser from a 41st minute own goal when Martin Moonsamy misjudged his back pass and it beat Kassaly, who was out of position. It was a gift for Stars who had not put the fullback under any pressure but watched in delight as it trickled over the line.
Enocent Mkhabela then hammered home from the edge of the box two minutes later but it was ruled out because of an infringement by teammate Sibusiso Msomi.
Chippa should have been 2-1 up midway through the second half when they got an indirect free kick inside Stars’ penalty box and Mbenyane slammed it onto the underside of the crossbar. It looked to have crossed the line but despite Chippa’s protests they were not given the goal by referee Lwandile Mfiki.
But there was a measure of justice when a dipping free kick from substitute Diego Brown was met by a superb touch of the head by Mbenyane to ensure a rare triumph for the top flight new boys.