Fileccia brace sinks Platinum Stars

Andrea Fileccia of Maritzburg United fails t ostop a free kick during the Absa Premiership match between Maritzburg United and Platinum Stars at Harry Gwala Stadium on February 23, 2018 in Pietermaritzburg.
Andrea Fileccia of Maritzburg United fails t ostop a free kick during the Absa Premiership match between Maritzburg United and Platinum Stars at Harry Gwala Stadium on February 23, 2018 in Pietermaritzburg.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

A controversial stoppage time penalty from Andrea Fileccia handed Maritzburg United a dramatic 2-1 win over Platinum Stars and second place in the Absa Premiership on Friday night in another night of high drama involving referee Victor Gomes.

He awarded a penalty for a tackle by Charles Baloyi on Mohau Mokate four minutes into stoppage time at the end in a massive call that might have a massive impact on Stars’ chances of staying up in the top flight.

They led until the 89th minute but a goalkeeping error by Dino Visser allowed Maritzburg a chance to equalise through the Belgian striker before they got the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

A livid Stars coach Roger de Sa was sent off afterwards for his furious reaction at Gomes.
“It’s the same show when it’s the same man in the middle every week,” said De Sa on television afterwards.

“He (Gomes) does it week in and week out and nobody does anything about it.”

Stars had taken a 13th minute lead after a wonder free kick from Riyad Norodien but in the second half they were on the back foot, desperately holding out right until the last minute.

Dikwena keeper Visser dropped a cross to allow Fileccia to equalise in a poor error at the back after a stout defensive showing, eventually playing the cost for sitting far too back.
Stars remain winless in 2018 and four points adrift at the foot of the table.

Maritzbrug will enjoy at least 24 hours in second place, as they lead Kaizer Chiefs on goal difference on 34 points.

Chiefs take on Bloemfontein Celtic on home on Saturday night.

There were no real chances in the first half, beside the brilliant free kick, as both sides turned possession over and the home midfield failed to get forward quick enough.

Newly crowned Premier Soccer League midfielder of the month Siphesihle Ndlovu saw plenty of the ball but had far too many touches to be effective.

But it was a changed side in the second half that saw Maritzburg take charge and roared on by their fans eventually take a full three points.

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