Free State Stars saw their three-match unbeaten streak come to a disappointing end on Sunday as Mxolisi Macuphu’s late goal secured a 1-0 victory for Supersport United at the Lucas “Masterpieces” Moripe Stadium.
The hosts started the match on the front foot, striking the post through Evans Rusike’s fifth-minute effort, before Macuphu and Teboho Mokoena wnet close to breaking the deadlock.
At the opposite end of the pitch, meanwhile, Paulus Masehe forced the keeper into making a diving save to his left in the 17th minute, but the chances were few and far between for the visiting Stars.
Stars keeper Samkelo Mbambo was called into action a few minutes later to deny a Bradley Grobler free-kick, while Simisani Mathumo headed high and wide of the SuperSport goal as the first half petered out and ended goalless.
SuperSport duo Macuphu and Rusike threatened early in the second half, while Grant Kekana struck the crossbar as the hosts put the Stars defence under pressure.
And, with 15 minutes remaining, Stars created two great chances in quick succession but SuperSport keeper Ronwen Williams was equal to the task, pulling off two impressive saves.
That proved to be a pivotal moment in the game, as SuperSport went on to break the deadlock in the 89th minute, Macuphu finally finding a way past Mbambo as he netted the match-winner.