Cape Town - Free State Stars continued their rise up the Premiership table after surprising Maritzburg United with a 1-0 win at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.
Sinethemba Jantjie netted the only goal with a thumping 73rd minute finish after some sloppy defending from the hosts.
Maritzburg had looked lively throughout the opening half, but the
final touch appeared to elude them. Fortune Makaringe and Evans Rusike
both came close, but failed to find accuracy against Ali Sangare.
Maritzburg's best opening on the half hour saw Andrea Fileccia beat
the off-side trap, cut inside and watch his shot punched away by Ivory
At the other end, Jantjie dragged his shot into side netting and stung the palms of Richard Ofori with a strong free-kick.
After the break, former United striker Mohammed Anas came closest for
Ea Lla Koto when he spun his man just outside the D and thumped a low
shot wide when he should have at least found the target.
The response was two excellent long-range efforts by Mxolisi Kunene and Deolin Mekoa that shaved the paintwork of the crossbar.
The goal finally arrived with 17 minutes to play as Jantjie made the
most of Maritzburg easily sundering possession, drove into the box and
unleashed an unstoppable shot beyond Ofori.
Rusike had a golden chance to level, but powered Devon Saal's corner
Ea Lla Koto, who moved to ninth with the three points, should have
doubled the advantage in the closing stages but both Jantjie and Tebogo
Potsane struck the upright.
The full-time whistle ended a frustrating night for the hosts, who
were mainly poor and struggled to get a grip of the game as they stayed
sixth on the table.