An early goal settled our Telkom Knockout Challenge last 16 clash with Bidvest Wits in what was an evenly contested match at Goble Park on Saturday.
Stars hit the woodwork in thrilling fashion on two occasions but were ultimately undone by a strike from Scottish striker Simon Murray who finished well on the turn after controlling inside the box.
Badra Ali Sangare ensured that it remained at just one goal as he denied Cole Alexander before forcing Murray wide in what was a challenging first half.
There was one further chance for Deon Hotto that he was unable to convert before Sthembiso Dlamini forced Wits stopper Darren Keet to be alert to his header late in the half.
It was all Stars after the break as Dlamini saw his drilled strike on 54 minutes hit the left upright and then the back of Keet before being collected by the keeper.
It followed a good passage of play and cross from Sinethemba Jantjie, who was proving dangerous down the right flank.
A ball in from the other side from Patrick Phungwayo then found Dlamini but he got just under his header.
Judas Moseamedi was introduced for Linda Bhengu and so nearly forced the tie to extra-time, but was unable to finish after some excellent skill to beat Robyn Johannes inside the box.
Sibusiso Masina had earlier come on for Harris Tchilimbou and broke free on 78 minutes following a quick free-kick but saw his thunderbolt come back off the crossbar.