Platinum Stars took a giant step towards securing a spot in the final of the MTN 8 with a 4-2 win over Bidvest at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Sunday
The visitors should have been 1-0 up in the 10th minute after Ryan Chapman whipped in a decent cross to Papy Faty, but the Wits attacking midfielder headed his effort wide of Siyabonga Mpontshane’s goal.
Moeneeb Josephs had to stretch to his left to deny Siphelele Mthembu in the 14th minute after Mogakolodi Ngele’s volley hit the crossbar back to play with the former Pirates shot-stopper well beaten.
Platinum Stars threatened the Wits goal towards the 20th minute, but they had too many touches in the penalty area, and Sibusiso Msomi came from deep to unleash from outside the box, only for his shot to miss the target.
It was a cagey affair until the 40th minute when Lindokuhle Mbatha broke down the right hand side into the Wits box before picking Ngele on the penalty spot, but Sipho Mngomezulu reacted swiftly to make a vital block.
Faty should have done better on the stroke of halftime after a well played cross from Katlego Pule on the left, but the Burundian international missed the target with his header, as the scoreline remained 0-0 at the end of the first 45 minutes.
Bidvest Wits broke the deadlock in the 48th minute following Faty’s skilful play in the near side before releasing the ball to Ryan Chapman who was allowed space into the box and beat Mpontshane with a low shot.
Dikwena were level in the 56th minute through Siphelele Mthembu who outpaced the Wits defence, and the former Pirates forward made no mistake from inside the Wits box.
The home side took the lead thorough a 63rd minute strike from Magokolodi Ngele who beat the offside trap to meet Msomi’s overhead chip before slotting it past Josephs.
Allan Freese’s side looked to finish off their Johannesburg opponents, but Josephs had to make an acrobatic save from Tshepo Gumede’s powerful header.
A few minutes later, Mthembu tried a bicycle kick inside the small box, but his shot went wide of goal with Josephs clearly beaten.
Siphelele Mthembu took full advantage of Tinashe Nengomasha’s error at the back and slammed the ball passed Josephs to make it 3-1 in the 71st minute.
The situation went from bad to worse for Gavin Hunt’s side, as Henrico Botes made it 4-1 in the 73rd minute after he was played through by Vuyo Mere.
Wits pulled one back in the 83rd minute through Getaneh Kebede superbly taken goal from Matthew Booth’s cross to make it 4-2.
Matthew Pattison had his rocket saved by Mpontshane deep in stoppage time, as Dikwena held on to their two-goal advantage going into the second leg.