Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns finished the Premiership season in fourth position after a late Samuel Julies strike gave them a 1-0 win over 10-man Free State Stars in Atteridgeville on Saturday.
Both sides sat back in a sedate first half, with Punch Masenamela taking the only real opportunity for Sundowns, but his left-footed shot was saved by Stars goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.
Downs showed more intent after the break, and Mweene was again called to action when he kept out an effort from Lebohang Mokoena on the hour mark.
Stars were reduced to 10 men in the 79th minute when Nigerian Gege Soriola was sent off for a foul on Clayton Daniels, putting the visitors on the back foot.
And with a draw seemingly on the cards in the dull encounter, the hosts eventually broke through with four minutes left as Julies connected with a cross from Mokoena on the right wing to find the back of the net.
Sundowns ended the campaign six points behind champions Orlando Pirates, who retained their title, while Stars ended in sixth position.
Downs can still lift a trophy this season, however, when they face SuperSport United in the Nedbank Cup final in Soweto next week.