Mabena help Stars move up

Platinum Stars moved out of the bottom two with a deserved 1-0 victory over 10-man Moroka Swallows in their Absa Premiership clash at the Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday night.

The only goal of the game was scored by Ndumiso Mabena with a superb strike worthy of the three points. The Birds were felt a further blow when Tsietsi Mahoa received a deserved red card on 11 minutes.

Stars were comfortable after that, restricting Swallows to efforts from range that offered little in the way of menace.

The match kick-off 15 minutes late after dangerous lightning conditions around the ground kept the players in the changerooms.

Mabena lit up a quiet start with a superb strike to give his side the lead. He picked up the ball on the edge of the area and unleashed a stunning strive into the top corner.

It was a big blow for a Swallows side with the worst defence in the league, but a strike of superb quality and a sixth goal of the season for Mabena following his move from Orlando Pirates ahead of the campaign.

The Birds’ misery was compounded just a minute later and was all of their own doing.

Mahoa’s two-footed lunge on Vuyo Mere was fully deserving of the red card he received.

It also meant the end of the game for the Stars skipper, who was stretchered off and replaced by Vincent Khumalo.

Eleazar Rodgers should have made it 2-0 when he found himself one-on-one with Greg Etafia in the home goal, but provided a limp finish that was easily saved by the Nigerian stopper.

Swallows’ best attempt of the first half was a free-kick from Lerato Chabangu that flashed over the bar.

Chabangu then forced a fine save out of Stars goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe with a snap-shot from the edge of the area that was beaten away by the Botswana international.

Siyabonga Nomvethe came close to steering his header into the far corner of the net from a Chabangu corner, about as close as Swallows came in the remainder of the game.

Next up for Swallows is an away trip to Bloemfontein Celtic on December 14, while Stars have two games nest week – an away trip to Kaizer Chiefs in Polokwane on Tuesday, followed by a home game with Bidvest Wits next Sunday.

Moroko Swallows 0

Platinum Stars (1) 1 (Mabena 10’)

Swallows: Etafia, Mungomeni, Isaacs, Cohen, Mahoa, Sibande (Tsutsulupa 77’), Baloyi, Phalane; Mabalane (Wana 55’), Nomvethe (Obada 70’), Chabangu.

Stars: Dambe, Mere (Khumalo 15’), Gumede, Semenya, Tshikovhi, Mathe, Ng'ambi (Nyanda 74’), Ngele, Tshabalala, Mabena (Malokase 83’), Rodgers.