Free State Stars succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of high-flying Polokwane City in Saturday’s Premiership clash at Goble Park.
Stars started quickly and opened the scoring in the first minute when Vusimuzi Mngomezulu popped up to fire home the first for City.
It was managerless City who dominated the majority of the first half with striker Rodney Ramagalela causing problems, and attacking midfielder Walter Musona getting into good positions.
Stars’ midfielder Goodman Dlamini did threaten the Polokwane goal in the 11th minute but goalkeeper George Chigova was up to the test as he safely held on to the strike. Thamsanqa Teyise and Musona then had shots for their respective teams fly wide.
Largely against the run of play in the 38th minute, Dlamini would find the equaliser as he headed home with confidence past Chigova to make it 1-1 at the Goble Park Stadium.
However, Rise and Shine’s lead was soon restored when the impressive and busy Ramagalela made it 2-1 with his right foot just before the half time break in the 44th minute.
After the break, Ea Lla Koto’s keeper Thela Ngobeni would make a number of fine saves to keep his team in the contest as Polokwane looked to seal the three points.
There was controversy when Stars’ defenders cleared the ball off the line when it appeared to have already gone in.
Chigova also later did well for his side in the 69th minute as he blocked Mohammed Anas’ effort.
In the 75th minute Nhlanhla Vilakazi may have done better when he was on the end of a pull back on the edge of the area, but he curled his effort just over as City tried to get back into the match.
Anas also saw a volley deflected just wide deep into injury time but the visitors were just about able to hang on.
It would end 2-1 as Ea Lla Koto’s battle against survival continued near the bottom of the Premiership table, one point above the drop zone and in 14th spot – while City remain in seventh place with 37 points.