Johannesburg - Polokwane City have stunned their opponents, according to head coach Kosta Papic, who lauded his players for their consistent performances after lifting themselves into the top half of the Premiership standings.
Having narrowly escaped relegation in their maiden Premiership campaign last season, Polokwane rose to sixth place with a 2-1 win over Maritzburg United at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.
Maritzburg settled in seventh place on the log, though Chippa United had an opportunity to leapfrog both teams with a win over SuperSport United on Sunday, ahead of the seven-week mid-season break.
"We're comfortable now on the log, which nobody expected from us at the beginning of the season," Papic said.
"Everybody saw us in the relegation zone and we've surprised everybody, maybe not with our performance today (on Saturday), but we've really done our job."
The hosts took the lead seven minutes before the half-time interval when Cole Alexander did well to control the ball just inside the area and bury a thunderous strike that left Maritzburg keeper Shu-Aib Walters stranded.
With 18 minutes left in the second period, Mohammed Anas found the equaliser when he turned in the centre of the box to hit the back of the net.
In the dying stages, however, Puleng Tlolane ran onto a through ball and, facing Walters in a one-on-one situation, he kept his strike low to bang in the winner.
Maritzburg coach Steve Komphela believed his side deserved at least a point from the match after putting up a solid fight in the second stanza.
"It's frustrating, but I don't know whether there's a rule in football that if a match is not meant to be won it shall never be won. That's what happened here today (on Saturday)," Komphela said.
"There was a stage in the first half, before they even scored their goal, when we had five clear-cut chances, but we committed schoolboy errors.
"We stayed compact in the second half and we looked much better and had better chances, but as they always say, if you don't take your chances you'll never win football matches."