A goal in each half from Free State Stars striker Khetha Shabalala ensured that Ea Lla Koto walked away with maximum points from their ABC Motsepe League clash with Qwaqwa-based Dikwena United.
Mojalefa Molefe opened the scoring in the first half, but Shabalala scored two goals after the break for a 2-1 win.
It was the visitors who started the stronger of the two sides at the Phuthaditjhaba Stadium on Saturday and came close to scoring an opener after just two minutes.
Stars though began to move the ball well and half way through the first half, Shabalala could have given Ea Lla Koto the lead. The forward beat the offside trap but was unable to direct his shot on target as he fired narrowly wide.
Dikwena were soon ahead though following a Stars corner-kick, as they cleared their lines and countered quickly, to catch the Stars keeper off-guard leaving Mojalefa Molefe to slot home into an empty net.
But parity was restored five minutes before the interval from a well-taken free-kick from Stars’ Athenkosi Bauti, who found Shabalala rising above the Dikwena defense to clinically header home.
And three minutes into the second stanza, Shabalala grabbed his brace to give Stars the lead for the first time in this game. Both teams had scoring opportunities as the match wore on but failed to hit the target.
Ea Lla Koto finished in confident fashion and on another day could have buried Dikwena by an avalanche of goals, but the score ended 2-1 to Stars.