AmaZulu were edged 3-2 by Platinum Stars in the teams’ Nedbank Cup last 32 tie at Moruleng Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Usuthu held a 1-0 lead at half time, but Dikwena put in a powerful second-half performance to claim a narrow victory, with Henrico Botes netting the decisive goal late on.
Stars had the first chance of the match, with Kobamelo Kodisang enjoying a powerful run to open up the space for a shot in the fifth minute, but he sent his effort over the crossbar.
Just before the 20 minute mark Dikwena had another opportunity when Gerald Phiri sent a shot on goal direct from a free kick, but AmaZulu goalkeeper Neil Boshoff made a comfortable save.
Usuthu gradually settled into the game and on 35 minutes they claimed the lead, with Samuel Darpoh’s low effort passing through a crowd of players to beat Mbongeni Mzimela in Stars’ goalposts.
Stars had efforts early in the second half through Enocent Mkhabela and Kodisang, but neither was able to test Boshoff between the sticks.
Dikwena levelled the game at 1-1 in the 57th minute, with ‘keeper Mzimela beating his opposite number from a penalty. The spot kick was awarded after Vuyo Mere was brought down inside the box.
Just a couple of minutes later the Rustenburg side went ahead for the first time, with Kodisang setting up Robert Ng’ambi to provide a fine finish and make it 2-1 to Stars.
But if the top flight side thought they would run away with the game, they were sadly mistaken. On 63 minutes AmaZulu scored through Boysen Mbatha to make it 2-2 and once again leave the match in the balance.
With extra time looking likely, Stars stuck their third goal just before the end of the regulation 90 minutes. Ryan de Jongh provided a perfect cross for substitute Henrico Botes to head home and win the game 3-2 for his side.
Platinum Stars (0) 3 (Mzimela 57’ pen, Ng’ambi 59’, Botes 88’)
AmaZulu (1) 2 (Darpoh 35’, Mbatha 63’)
Stars: Mzimela, Mlilo, Mwedihanga (Botes 73’), De Jongh, Zulu, Mkhabela, Mere, Nga’mbi, Kodisang (Mathe 90+2’), Phiri (Mabena 77’), Ntuli
AmaZulu: Boshoff, Mngqibisa, Hlongwa, Letuka, Mukatuka, Darpoh, Mbatha, Williams, Lumkwana, Karuru, NyunduShare