Platinum Stars have been beaten 4-1 by Algeria in an international friendly match played at the Moruleng Stadium on Thursday night.
Dikwena coach Cavin Jonson started the match with mostly players that have been warming the bench so far this season. The likes of Roger Majafu, Sipho Jembula, Obed Moyo, James Mofokeng and Rofhiwa Tshikovhi and Kabelo Dambe where all given the chance to compete.
The Algerians opened the scoring inside the first 15 minutes, Rafik Halliche unleashing an unstoppable shot from long-range.
It was 2-0 just before halftime as Yacime Bezzaz netted a neat second, but despite the scoreline Stars has shown some positive signs in the middle of the park where Majufu and Jembula combined well.
The home side also had their moments in front of goal, Siphelele Mthembu was denied by Algerian goalkeeper Raïs M’Bolhi.
Johnson changed his team around in the second period, giving a run to young right-back Michael Mabule, a product of the Stars Academy who hails the North West village of Kanana. He showed positive signs of maturity and gelled well with the defense.
With the introduction of more the senior players, Stars started putting pressure on the Algerians. Thabani Mthembu was brought down in the penalty box and a spot-kick was awarded to Dikwena. The talented Joshua Sauls made no mistake to make the score 2-1.
But any chances of a heroic comeback were dashed when Foued Kadir made it 3-1 and Sofiane Feghouli then added a fourth.
Algeria have been using the Bafokeng Sports Campus to prepare for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, where they have been drawn in Group D alongside Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Togo. That group will be played at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace.