The Premier Soccer League (PSL) resumed on Wednesday evening with several thrilling encounters on offer.
In the pick of the night’s remaining action, Cape Town City claimed a vital three points over Free State Stars bringing to an end their winless run. City coach Benni McCarthy was looking for some much-needed respite following the Citizens’ recent slump.
McCarthy was once again without the services of forward Lehlohonolo Majoro who did not make the match day squad, meaning that Nigerian Victor Obinna deputised in his absence. But Obinna’s City woes would further worsen as he was forced off with a knock just before the half time interval.
The first half did not have much to offer the fans at the Athlone Stadium as Luc Eymael’s side were organised making for a frustrating half of football. But the second half saw City come close on several occasions to finding the elusive goal, but a combination of good goalkeeping and a lack of composure in front of goal saw the chances go begging.
Nonetheless, with time running out and with both sides looking destined to share the spoils, City defender Taariq Fielies came up with the decisive goal as he struck late on, giving City a valuable three points as they moved up the PSL log.
Meanwhile, in Rustenburg Roger De Sa got one up on his former club when Ajax Cape Town faced off against Platinum Stars. Dikwena were desperate for three points as they looked to propel themselves up the league standings, but Stars did little to trouble the score line in the first half as it was a tightly fought encounter with both clubs cancelling each other out in the middle of the park.
The second half was a less tense affair and it was the home side who drew first blood. Vuyo Mere opened the scoring with a free kick in the 51st minute. The goal put Stanley Menzo’s men under the cosh and substitute Brian Mwila was unlucky not to have registered his name on the scoresheet as he came within a whisker of latching onto a pinpoint Robert Ng’ambi shot.
Mwila was proving to be a real thorn in Menzo’s plans and had it not been for Ajax’s Jody February who produced a wonderful save to deny the Zimbabwean, the Urban Warriors could have been put to the sword.
Ajax did have chances towards the end of the game as they bombarded Stars’ box with pressure, but thanks to goalkeeper Dino Visser, Stars held firm. In the dying ambers of the clash, Prince Nxumalo had one final opportunity to steal something from the game but it was not to be as he was denied by the post.
Lastly, Baroka and AmaZulu were forced to share the spoils in Durban. Bakgaga were looking to extend their lead at the summit of the PSL log as they travelled to KwaZulu-Natal to take on an unpredictable AmaZulu.
The first half saw Baroka show why they are so highly regarded this season, as they dominated the opening exchanges. Usuthu goalkeeper, Boalefa Pule had to be at his very best as he was called upon on several occasions, and in the 20th minute the former SuperSport United goalkeeper pulled off a stunning save to deny Baroka the opener.
However, Baroka’s pressure would eventually pay off as Gift Motupa continued his impressive goal scoring form as he broke the deadlock. Baroka were awarded a penalty just before the half hour mark when Motupa was brought down in the area, and the on-loan Orlando Pirates attacker duly obliged as he slotted the resultant penalty home. Baroka’s lead though, was short lived as Rhulani Manzini levelled matters minutes later with an audacious overhead kick.
Nevertheless, that would be the only goals of the game as the second half was a far cagier affair. But Baroka would be the happier of the two side’s as the solitary point kept them at the top of league for yet another matchday.