Free State Stars battled hard but fell to a 2-1 defeat against Golden Arrows in an Absa Premiership clash at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday.
Knox Mutizwa put the home side ahead in the 19th minute from the penalty spot and the striker doubled his and the team’s tally just seven minutes later, slotting home a free-kick.
Sibusiso Hlubi struck his own sublime free-kick in the 33rd minute as Ea Lla Koto fought back strongly towards the end of the first half.
The visitors piled on the pressure after the interval but a combination of stubborn defence and a failure to convert chances made sure the scoreline never changed.
Stars took their time to get into the game and Arrows pounced as Samkelo Mbambo fouled Mutizwa in the box.
The forward picked himself up to bury the spot kick as the Stars keeper went the wrong way.
Mutizwa then curled in a beautiful free-kick as Arrows doubled their advantage before the half-hour mark.
Hlubi though cut the deficit, converting a set-piece of his own, as the home shot-stopper got no chance to make the save.