Free State Stars’ Multichoice Diski team picked up their sixth win of the campaign on Sunday after recording a 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United at Goble Park Stadium.
Mpho Khabane opened the scoring for Ea Lla Koto early in the first half, only for a goalkeeping error to allow Maritzburg back into the contest on 51 minutes. However, it was Thabo Maphakisa who had the last say, popping p two minutes later to net what would turn out to be the winning goal.
The visitors created the first noteworthy chance of the game following a well worked move, but the resulting shot by Thobeka Zondi flew over the crossbar.
Stars hit back with a chance of their own ten minutes later but United keeper Jethren Barr was equal to the task, keeping out Thabo Maphakisa’s powerful shot.
The opening goal arrived just one minute later, though, as new first-team prospect Mpho Khabane lifted the ball over the advancing keeper and into the back of the net.
Halfway through the first stanza, the Team of Choice nearly found an equaliser through Njabulo Hlela, but his shot narrowly missed the target.
And, with three minutes remaining in the half, Barr was again called into action to deny Booysen Sambok’s goal-bound shot.
A goalkeeping error by Kleinhans Randall led to United claiming an equaliser six minutes into the second stanza, as a toe-poked shot from Bongokuhle Hlongwane went past the diving keeper’s body.
Stars posted a response almost immediately, Maphakisa finishing off a wonderful team move that started with Sambok at the back.
The visitors threw everything they had at Stars in search of an equaliser but the rock solid defense, marshaled by Bongani Mbuli, stood firm to take all three points from the Team of Choice.
Ea Lla Koto now find themselves in position four, three points behind leaders Cape Town City in the Diski Challenge table.