Mamelodi Sundowns have taken their winless run to eight matches after a 1-0 loss at the hands of Platinum Sgtars in their Absa Premiershipship clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night.
It was another dour performance from the expensively assembled Brazilians squad, who were punished for their mistakes by a spirited, but ultimately limited Stars side.
The only goal of the game came on 14 minutes as Henrico Botes netted for Stars, capitalizing on a Sundowns error and lifting his side into the top half of the table.
Botes had an opportunity for Platinum Stars in the opening minute when a ball over the top sent him free on goal, but a poor first touch allowed Sundowns goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands to narrow the angle and Botes shot wide.
Eleazar Rodgers should have put Sundowns ahead when he had a free header at the near post, but with the goal gaping he could not direct it on target.
The visitors took the lead 14 minutes in when Esrom Nyandoro’s disastrous first touch was latched onto by Botes and he netted with an excellent shot past Sandilands.
Rodgers crashed an excellent 35-yard shot on goal that looked as though it was dipping in before Platinum Stras goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane produced an excellent save.
Stars might have had a penalty when Thuso Phala was felled by Sandilands, but with the referee having already blown for offside, the goalkeeper’s blushed were spared.
However, replays suggested that the ball to Phala had actually been played by Sundowns defender Clayton Daniels and therefore the forward was onside.
It took until the 70th minute in the second period for the first real attempt on goal, Punch Masenamela using his right foot for the shot that was easily saved by Mpontshane.
Anthony Laffor should have done better at the back post when he latched on to Rodgers’ flick, but his volleyed attempt went wide.
Nyandoro fired wide with a free-kick, while Nyasha Mushekwi could not get any power behind his shot.
The final chance of the game fell to Rodgers, whose goal-bound header was cleared off the line by Enocent Mkhabela, a sign that this was not to be Sundowns night.
Both of these sides will now wait until Monday night’s Telkom Knockout first round draw to see who their next fixtures will be against after the international break, but Sundowns’ next League assignment is away at Ajax Cape Town on October 27 and Stars host Free State Stars on the same day.