Johannesburg - Vasco da Gama moved closer to mid-table safety as they beat Mpumalanga Black Aces 1-0 at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Sunday.
The first half didn't see too much in the way of excitement as the teams struggled to play constructive football in windy conditions.
Aces were on the back-foot for the first 15 minutes during which time Omar Hendricks tested Francis Chansa with a free kick and then Francois Adams was off with a header.
The visitors had a rare chance as Thokozani Khanyile fired an effort over the bar.
It was the Cape side, however, who had the better of play and numerous opportunities in the opening 45 as further efforts came in from Hendricks, who headed wide from close range, and captain Keenin Lesch, who fired wide of target from the edge of the box.
The second half was more entertaining with action going from end to end.
Mpho Maleka was nearly put through on goal by Buti Sithole, but home keeper Jason Barnard was alert while Dirang Moloi was denied by Chansa after 60 minutes.
Denis Masina then hit the post for Aces before Vasco took a 73rd minute lead.
Lesch was the scorer, converting a half volley at the back post after Rudi Isaacs' cross.
Aces managed to exert some pressure as they looked for an equaliser, but Vasco remained solid at the back while Zeka Karkee fired just over at the other end.
And then Carlos das Neves sides squandered an 87th minute penalty as Sibusiso Zuma's spot kick hit the bar after Bienvenu Tipa had given away a hand-ball.
Fortunately it didn't cost the hosts as they held on for the final minutes to score the win they needed to bounce back from last week's 6-0 hiding against Wits.