POLOKWANE City continued their fine recent form with a 2-1 Absa Premiership win over Platinum Stars at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday night.
The victory moves Kosta Papic’s side to the brink of the top eight and came after goals from Maxwell Molala and Cole Alexander.
Stars’ poor league season continued as a strike from Rhulani Manzini was not enough for a point.
Dikwena coach Allan Freese made five changes to the side that lost to SuperSport United in the final of the Telkom Knockout on Saturday.
In came Mogakolodi Ngele, Rofhiwa Tshikovhi, Andile Khumalo, Mahlatse Makudubela and Rhulani Manzini, with Luvo Mpeta, Letladi Madubanya, Solomon Mathe, Robert Ng’ambi and Ndumiso Mabena dropping out.
By contrast, the home side kept the same starting line-up that gained a 0-0 draw against Kaizer Chiefs last time out.
The match started at a fierce pace, with chances at either end in the opening few minutes.
Manzini had a shot well saved inside the opening minute, while hole goalkeeper Modiri Marumo was forced to punch clear from a Makudubela free-kick shortly afterwards.
The home team looked equally dangerous as Esau Kanyenda tested Siyabonga Mpontshane with a good effort.
It was some surprise that it took until the 28th minutes for the opening goal as Molala netted with a fine finish to score his first PSL goal and give City the lead after being set up by Jabu Maluleke.
There were no further goals in the first half, but the home side did make a double-change at the break, bring in Sipho Jembula and Rendani Ndou for Roger Majafa and top-scorer Puleng Tlolane respectively.
City started the second half the brighter but it was Stars who scored next as Manzini also broke his PSL duck eight minutes after the break.
Tintswalo Tshabalala swung in a corner and Manzini was on hand to head home after the ball eluded Marumo.
The game looked to be headed for a draw until Alexander popped up with the winner after profiting from a fine ball from Ndou with nine minutes remaining.
Next up for City is a home game against high-flying Chippa United on Saturday, a meeting between coach Kosta Papic and the side he left earlier in the campaign.
Stars have another away day, this time at unpredictable Moroka Swallows.
Polokwane City (1) 2 (Molala 28’, Alexander 81’)
Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Manzini 53’)
Polokwane City: Marumo, Molala, Musonda, Tema, Motumi, Maluleke, Alexander, Langa, Tlolane (Ndou 46’), Majafa (Jembula 46’), Kanyenda
Platinum Stars: Mpontshane, Mere, Gumede, Tshikovhi, Semenya, Khumalo (Ng’ambi 76’), Ngele, Makudubela (Malokase 86’), Tshabalala, Rodgers (Mabena 63’), Manzini.
Elsewhere Kaizer Chiefs strengthened their league title race with an epic 3-0 victory over BidVest Wits at the BidVest Stadium while Mamelodi Sundowns moved to the fifth position after a deserving 3-1 over rivals SuperSport United during the match played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Down in Port Elizabeth Chippa United maintained their third position on the log after forcing a 2-2 draw against the visiting Mpumalanga Black Aces during the match played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
The rest of the results are: Moroka Swallows 1 v Ajax Cape Town 1 and Free State Stars 1 v Bloemfontein Celtic 0.
Yesterday’s league results are: Orlando Pirates 1 v Maritzburg United 2 and AmaZulu 2 v Pretoria University 1.