Cape Town - A second half brace from Mohamed Anas handed Free State Stars a 2-1 win over Platinum Stars in their Absa Premiership match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday.
As it happened: Platinum Stars v Free State Stars
The victory elevates the Bethlehem-based side to third spot in the standings with 37 points from 23 league matches in their campaign.
The hosts netted in the opening half courtesy of centre-back Gift Sithole, but it was not enough for them to bag their first win in 2018.
Dikwena came close to scoring in the opening half when a Robert Ng’ambi header went inches wide of the target in the 19th minute.
The hosts probed for an opening goal and the big Malawian midfielder would come close in the 23rd minute again when his effort was saved by 'keeper Badra Sangare from close range.
With three minutes to go to the interval, Sithole scored for the Rustenburg-based outfit after a great cross from Gerald Phiri - the defender was unmarked in the box and unleashed a shot giving Sangare no chance.
The second half failed to produce sparks as Dikwena protected their slender lead, but Stars pushed for an equaliser.
Finally, in the 81st minute Luc Eymael’s men were awarded a set piece in a promising area and Anas converted with a powerful header in the box to beat Mzimela.
Anas completed his brace with two minutes to go against the run of play when he beat Mzimela with a low shot from a tight angle.
Despite their gutsy display, the defeat has kept Platinum Stars rooted to the bottom of the standings with 17 points from 23 matches.