MARITZBURG, October 28 – Platinum Stars defeated Maritzburg United 3-1 on penalties in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout Cup at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night. The score was 0-0 at full-time and it stayed that way after 30 minutes of extra-time as well.
Stars goalkeeper Dino Visser made two saves during the shoot-out to ensure his team qualified for the quarterfinals of the competition.
Stars had the first opportunity through Katlego Otladisa in the ninth minute, but, despite a fantastic, acrobatic effort, he wasn’t able to score. At the other end, Maritzburg also came close, but Visser pulled off the save to foil Evans Rusike. Devon Saal also had a chance for Maritzburg, but his shot was deflected wide of the target.
Stars continued to take the game to Maritzburg, with Otladisa particularly impressive with his energy down the right flank.
It was, however, by no means a one-sided contest as Maritzburg gave as good as they got. Both teams, though, were very organised defensively and, as such, there weren’t that many clear-cut scoring chances in the opening 45 minutes. Rusike had the best opportunity of the half two minutes before the break, but stabbed his attempt wide.
Maritzburg had another chance early in the second half, but Visser again came to the rescue with a good block to deny Lebohang Maboe. Stars needed some inspiration and coach Roger de Sa went to his bench for a spark, bringing on Robert Ng’ambi in place of Thabang Sesinyi in the 54th minute. Ten minutes later, Ng’ambi had an opportunity to break the deadlock, but fired his shot wide of goal.
Both teams tried to win it inside the 90 minutes in the closing stages, but neither could find a way through – and it was on to 30 minutes of extra-time. It remained goalless during this period, though, and it needed a penalty shoot-out to find a winner.