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27 Feb 2008 18:29
The loudest cheers in a goalless Premier Soccer League match between Platinum Stars and Jomo Cosmos came when Stars communication manager Putco Mafan danced during a water break at a stifling hot Olympia Stadium in Rustenburg on Wednesday.
The match was a tedious affair and the 500-strong crowd had little to cheer about.
Luis Rentera forced a fine save out of Cosmos goalie Avril Phali in the 23rd minute and five minutes later Phumudzo Manenzhe wasted a rare scoring chance when he blasted the ball high over Phali’s goal.
Cosmos rarely got forward in the first half, but were more determined in the second stanza.
An in-swinging corner kick from Cosmos midfielder Bamuza Sono found the head of Thapelo Tshilo, but his header bounced off the upright and Stars cleared the ball.
Stars’ midfield general Eddie Williams conducted play in the middle but was unable to find Rentera or Manenzhe up front. Captain Sailor Tshabalala urged his team forward as the half wore on but neither he nor Williams could find a way through the resilient Cosmos defence, superbly marshalled by Valery Nhayo.
Cosmos attacked fluidly in the dying minutes through right-winger Dikgang Mabalane, but despite his speed and nimble touches, he was unable to find his teammates in the box.
So, with the match ending 0-0, both sides remain where they were on the log—Stars are still ninth, but with 25 points, and Cosmos remain fixed in the relegation zone with 16 points in 15th place.—Sapa
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