Sivutsa Stars maintained their 100 percent start to the 2011 Vodacom League Play-Offs with a 1-0 win over Baroka FC at the Philippi Stadium on Thursday. Velile Zitha’s 35th minute strike was enough to secure the three valuable points, sending the Mpumalanga representatives to the top of the Inland Group.
In the other Inland Group, Highlands Park and Garankuwa United drew 1-1 at the University of the Western Cape Stadium. Lebogang Moilewa equalised from the penalty spot for Garankua after Professor Ramorwasi had put the Gauteng-based team ahead in the first half, as both sides had to settle for a point each.
In the Coastal Group, Roses United moved into first place following a 1-0 over Real Madrid, courtesy of Alex Ngomane goal, while FC Buffalo registered a 3-1 over Durban Stars to keep their promotion hopes alive. Stars took the lead in the 28th minute when Khulakani Magubane headed home a corner, but they were unable to reach half time with their lead intact, conceding an equaliser two minutes before the break through Matseothata November. The former Bloemfontein Celtic and Cosmos forward’s effort looped over Stars’ stranded goalkeeper Ntobeko Zuma, who had charged wildly off his line in a vain attempt to reach the ball first.
Another misjudgement by Zuma saw Buffalo take the lead 15 minutes from time, as Lesly Baloyi coolly chipped the ball into an unguarded goal, after the exuberant goalkeeper had injudiciously abandoned his line once again. Zuma completed a hat-trick of aberrations on the stroke of full time, allowing Pikolomzi Noqazo to add his name to the scoresheet with a deft chip into an empty net after Zuma had lost his bearings once again.
On Friday, the final Inland Group standings will be decided as Sivutsa Stars meet Highlands Park in the UWC Stadium at 15h00, and Garankua United face Baroka FC in the Phillipi Stadium at 15h00. In the Coastal Group, Roses play Chippa FC in the midday fixture at Phillipi Stadium, with Durban Stars taking on Real Madrid at UWC at 12h00.