Platinum Stars clinch dramatic MTN8 final

2013-09-28 23:52

A drama-filled penalty shoot-out handed Platinum Stars the MTN8 Cup, the club's second since it had gained promotion in 2003.

A miss from the spot kick by Pirates striker Lennox Bacela meant Stars would not get to kick their remaining penalties despite Takesure Chinyama's miss, as Vuyo Mere and Henrico Botes had successfully converted their kicks.

Ndumiso Mabena also missed while Rooi Mahamutsa's effort came off the upright.

It was a tactically charged match, which even saw the miraculous return to action of Andile Jali, who was initially ruled out for a longer period because of a shoulder injury.

But it was Stars coach Allan Freese who was favoured by the occasion to steer his unfancied side to the R8 million glory and his first major achievement as head coach.

Robert Ng'ambi gave the inaugural Telkom Knockout champions a lead two minutes after the break but the Buccaneers clawed their way back into the tie with a long-range effort from substitute Thabo Matlaba seven minutes from regulation time to force the game into extra-time.

Drama ensued during the penalty kicks when Bucs failed to convert three crucial kicks to answer to Stars' two successful conversions.

As the firecrackers lit up over the skyline of the Moses Mabhida Stadium precinct and Stars players embracing their latest triumph, Roger de Sa and his team rued yet another missed opportunity to become a force that clinched two trebles three seasons ago.

» Read the full report in City Press. 

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