Free State Stars fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of title chasing Cape Town City at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday night.
City started brightly and had early chances, but Lebogang Manyama sent a shot from range just wide of the far post before Letsie Koapeng’s effort from 18-yards out was well dealt with by Stars keeper Thela Ngobeni.
Ea Lla Koto had their first opportunity in the 20th minute when a slick move opened up the home defence, but Makhehlene Makhaula’s shot was comfortably saved by Shu-aib Walters.
Thabo Maphakisa had even better opportunity for the visiting team two minutes later, but fired wide from inside the box.
Aubrey Ngoma was denied at the near post by Ngobeni’s foot shortly afterwards in what proved to be the final chance of the opening half.
Both teams pushed and probed for openings after the restart, but couldn’t find a way through as proceedings grew increasingly edgy.
But the complexion of the game was changed just after the hour mark when Judas Moseamedi rose majestically to guide a header into the far corner of the net following Vicent Kobola’s accurate delivery from the right flank.
Ngoma nearly added a second a couple of minutes later, but was denied from close range by a brilliant diving save by Ngobeni.
Stars were not going down without a fight as they pressed for an equaliser, although it was only in the 83rd minute when Walters was given work to do, having to tip Sinethemba Jantjie’s 83rd minute free-kick over his crossbar.
Ea Lla Koto were unable to find a late equaliser as the home side’s defence held firm.