High-flying Cape Town City struggled to get out of first gear on Tuesday night and found themselves on the receiving end of a 4-0 league defeat to a fired-up Platinum Stars at Athlone Stadium.

Stars had gone into the game third from bottom on the standings after four consecutive defeats, while City were top of the log and had been crowned Telkom Knockout champions on the weekend.

But there was only one team in the game in windy Athlone as the men from Rustenburg over-ran and outplayed a flat looking City side who were unable to muster much energy or focus after Saturday’s victory against SuperSport, up in Polokwane just three days ago.

Dikwena looked bright and energetic in the opening minutes and was in front after only three minutes when Vuyo Mere curled in a free-kick from the left which was met by the head of a diving Isaac Nhlapo and steered into a goal.

City barely had time to catch their breath before finding themselves 2-0 down, just seven minutes later. It was a similarly worked move, but this time the goal came from open play as Ndumiso Mabena played in a delightful ball with the outside of his boot which located Tintswalo Tshabalala for a diving header into goal.

The shell-shocked Cape side gradually began to play themselves back into the game, but for all their possession, they did not really threaten the Stars goal. Their best efforts saw Stars keeper Mbongeni Mzimela diving to catch out a 30-yard effort by Roland Putsche on 17 minutes before he kept out Adjei’s 28th-minute header.

But they were unable to capitalise as Luvolwethu Mpeta miscued his parting shot after a storming run into the box before Benson Shilongo missed an even better opportunity when he side-footed wide from 12-yards out with only Shu-aib Walters to beat.

But an increasingly weary-looking City side were unable to take advantage of Stars’ misses and instead the North West side added to their tally in the 76th minute when Bonginkosi Ntuli powered past Gumede, before rounding Walters and tapping into an empty net.

The game was put well and truly beyond doubt in the 81st minute when a slick move saw Mabena played through the middle of the City box, the former Orlando Pirates striker seeing his shot bouncing off the upright and into net as Cavin Johnson saw his side moving from 14th to 11th on the standings.

– African News Agency

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