Bucs fall, as Stars roll on

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Clive "The Dog" Barker and company gave their supporters the best Christmas present when they beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in a game of two halves played at a wind-swept Princess Magogo stadium in KwaMashu.

The first half belonged to Usuthu, while the second half was dominated by Pirates. As early as the sixth minute, AmaZulu striker Dumisani "Makhokhoba" Ngwenya nearly caught Pirates' goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa off-guard when he fancied a long-range shot that went narrowly wide.

Two minutes later, Pirates, who were facing the wind, came close to an opener, when captain Lucky Lekgwathi combined well with Joseph Makhanya before playing a beautiful cross from the right flank, which Mbongeni Mzimela failed to handle.

Paulos Masehe's follow-up shot was blocked by Belux Kasonga for a corner.

Usuthu's Bafo Biyela was cautioned by referee Peter Mabuza for fouling Teko Modise, whom he clearly had been given orders to shadow throughout.

Usuthu went ahead in the 19th minute when striker Ngwenya scored a wonderful goal when he connected well with a pass from Siyabonga Mkhwanazi, twisting Makita before firing a blistering shot that beat Meyiwa hands down.

Mkhwanazi had capitalised on sloppy defending by Innocent Mdledle who tried to dribble the striker but fell in the process. This was Mdledle's second similar blunder in two successive matches that resulted in goals for the opposition.

l Platinum Stars grabbed maximum points when they hammered Santos 3-0 in a Premiership match at Olympia Park in Rustenburg yesterday.

It was a well-deserved win for Stars, who seem to have turned the corner since the arrival of coach Miguel Gamondi and his assistant Cavann Johnson.

Yesterday's win was the second for the duo after starting their new job on a high note by beating their former employers, Mamelodi Sundowns, 2-1 last Wednesday.

After a goalless first half, the home side went 1-0 ahead through a 46th-minute goal by their hard-working Edward Williams. Four minutes later, defender George Mofokeng increased the lead. The evergreen Williams completed his brace in the 87th minute.

Thamaga Mokgophi, Stars' general manager, said: "We played as a unit and deserved to win."