PLATINUM Stars midfielder Mogakolodi Ngele had every right to blame his defenders for ruining one of the greatest nights of his life.
The Botswana international, who spent the better part of this season warming the bench under previous coach Allan Freese, scored the third hat-trick of the season, after Sibusiso Vilakazi and Eleazar Rodgers, as Dikwena drew 3-3 against Orlando Pirates here last night.
Ngele, the man who scored a brilliant brace to sink the Buccaneers in the 2013 Telkom Knockout final, netted all his goals from outside the box.
However, his incredible performance was overshadowed by clumsy defending from his teammates.
The playmaker’s first goal was struck after the half hour mark, Ngele beating Bucs goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo with a sweet left-footed long range strike.
Mpho Makola pulled one back on the stroke of half time for the hosts. Stars keeper Kabelo Dambe had come off his line to try and clear the ball to safety, but he did not get to it and Makola pounced, slotting the ball into an empty net.
But it was Dikwena who went into the break with the lead from a Ngele set piece. The player curled it brilliantly into the net, giving Mhlongo no chance.
Again Stars were let down by defending early in the second period, allowing Pirates captain Oupa Manyisa to get into the box and score at the near post. Ngele completed his hattrick with a magnificent strike after the hour mark, running with the ball for a few metres before unleashing a powerful shot, which gave substitute Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane no chance. He was given too much room by the hosts.
Ngele had not scored a league goal before last night.
He must have thought he had done enough to help his side secure a second straight win after the victory against Ajax Cape Town at weekend, but the Dikwena defence let the star performer down again.
Dambe came off his line after a corner kick was taken and Pirates midfielder Issa Sarr got in front of him and headed the ball into the net.
?Meanwhile, they desperately needed a win last night, but Mamelodi Sundowns, anxiously trying to hold on to their Absa Premiership title despite trailing log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, absolutely blew it.
Or was it referee Thabo Nkosi who spoilt it after allowing Bongani Zungu’s last-gasp goal to stand, even though there was an infringement on goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane and then – to the amusement of everyone watching – changing his mind?
The Brazilians could only manage a 1-1 draw against Mpumalanga Black Aces.
Apart from Teko Modise coolly slotting home the penalty in the 43rd minute to give Downs the lead at the time, nothing fell into place for the defending champions.
Chiefs would have been breathing a sigh of relief following the final whistle, particularly with Sundowns celebrating the three points only for the match official to say it is not so.
– Tshepang Mailwane and Mazola Molefe