Defending champions Platinum Stars are through to the semifinals of the MTN8 and are on course to defend the title they won a year ago, beating Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 at Loftus
Goals from Vuyo Mere and Ndumiso Mabena sealed Dikwena’s passage into the last four, making another excellent start to their top eight journey and pleased their travelling supporters in their search for even more silverware.
Despite Teko Modise's late free-kick, the hard work was done in the first half and allowed Stars to bag a morale-boosting win over the PSL champions.
Mabena had a dream debut for the Rustenburg outfit, scoring a goal in his first match, while at the other end, Sundowns were left with more questions than answers as they began a journey of their own in the pursuit of another PSL title.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane included Lindokuhle Mbatha, formerly of Dikwena, in his starting lineup, while a host of new signings, including Luyolo Nomandela and Bonginkosi Ntuli made it onto the bench.
Things went against the script for Mosimane and his Sundowns outfit as early as the sixth minute when a clumsy tackle inside the box from Tebogo Langerman forced referee Thando Ndzandzeka to point to the spot
Mere stepped up confidently and buried the penalty into the back of the net, past goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands, who was preferred to Kennedy Mweene.
But that was to be only the beginning of Mosimane’s headache as, seven minutes later, Mabena got his Stars career off to the perfect start when he slotted home to open his account for his new club, having arrived from Orlando Pirates, where he spent five seasons, during the off-season.
Stars continued to pile on the pressure but Sundowns performed marginally better as the interval approached. Anthony Laffor could have pulled one back, but failed to hit the target with his head when Teko Modise sent in an inviting cross at the near post.
A frustrated home crowd went into the half-time break hoping for a miracle and welcomed Ntuli onto the park, as Katlego Mashego was changed.
Mosimane continued to tinker his side and soon brought on Elias Pelembe, who replaced promising winger Percy Tau.
Pelembe looked lively across the middle and rallied the Brazilians, while Ntuli made a nuisance of himself inside the area.
The pair, however, did little to get the spirits up and goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane had a comfortable afternoon, scarcely being called into action and simply made to spectate as his teammates did the business at the other end.
Modise gave the Sundowns faithful something to shout about when he somehow snuck a free-kick past Mpontshane, but a nervy last five minutes was not enough to deter Stars, who saw out the last few seconds and walked away with the vital win.