Stars beat Swallows 1-0 to end their seven-game winless streak

2015-03-09 00:00

PLATINUM Stars broke a seven-game winless streak in the Absa Premiership when they defeated Moroka Swallows 1-0 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng near Rustenburg yesterday afternoon.

A first-half own goal from the Birds’ Rudi Isaacs decided the match, with Dikwena claiming a first win in the league since early December to leapfrog the Soweto side into 14th place on 21 points.

For Swallows, it was a fourth ­successive defeat in 2015. They drop to 15th on 18 points, just five ahead of ­basement club AmaZulu.

Stars very nearly opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Swallows goalkeeper Obren Cuckovic came flying off his line to try and claim a cross, but Eleazar Rodgers got to the ball first and sent a header towards goal, only to watch it skip agonisingly wide of the unguarded target.

The hosts came close again in the 33rd minute when a quick passing move put Vuyo Mere in space down the right of the penalty area, but his shot/cross flashed just wide of the far post.

Swallows’ attack generally had to feed off scraps throughout the first half, though a good movement in the 38th minute involving Dikganga Mabalane, Siyabonga Nomvethe and Lerato ­Chabangu ended with the latter firing a half-volley over the target.

Dikwena deservedly claimed the lead a couple of minutes before the end of regulation time in the first half. Tintswalo Tshabalala got free down the left flank and was able to play a dangerous ball into the goal-mouth, which forced a back-tracking Rudi Isaacs to score an own goal.

Swallows were much improved after the break and a slick move gave ­Nomvethe a sight of goal in the 52nd minute, only for the veteran striker to send a left-footed shot wide of the mark.

The Birds introduced attack-minded players such as Felix Obada, Lefa Tsutsulupa and Vuyisile Wana as the second half wore on, but Stars’ defence remained vigilant.

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