|Thokozani Sekotlong © Backpagepix
A solitary goal from Thokozani Sekotlong handed Free State Stars the full three points when they beat Cape Town City 1-0 in their Absa Premiership match at Goble Park Stadium in Bethlehem on Wednesday night.
The victory means the Bethlehem-based outfit now moves to the 14th spot with as many points from 14 rounds of league matches thus far.
The match had a slow start, but in the fourth minute the visitors showed their intentions when Bongolethu Jayiya tried a shot at goal only to be denied by goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni as he saved to concede a corner.
Despite both sides failing to use their chances, it was Makhehleni Makhaula's shot that came in the 24th minute which nearly troubled keeper Shu-Aib Walters, but he parried the ball away from goal.
The dying minutes of the opening half were dominated by fouls and set pieces with no clear-cut chances to break the deadlock. It was 0-0 at the interval.
Upon their return, the hosts tried to find the back of the net, but Makhaula saw his shot misjudged by Walters, who collected on his second attempt in the 52nd minute.
However, Ea Lla Koto's efforts were rewarded with 12 minutes to go when Danny Venter was fouled in the box by Robyn Johannes.
The referee pointed to the spot and the in-form Sekotlong converted as he beat Walters, handing the hosts a 1-0 lead.
With nine minutes to go, Mpho Matsi was shown his second yellow card following a foul on Sekotlong, reducing City to 10 men.
In the end, Eric Tinkler's men could not penetrate the hosts as they managed to hang on to their lead to grab the full three points on offer.
The loss for the Telkom Knockout champions sees them placed at number two behind Bidvest Wits with 25 points from 15 matches.
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Sekotlong 78' pen)
Cape Town City 0
Stars: Ngobeni, Makhaula, Venter (Mashego 84'), Tlhone, Vilakazi, Mbhele, Mahamutsa, Sekola, Teyise, Dlamini, Sekotlong
City: Walters, Seedat, Johannes, Gumede, Mkhize, Mokeke, Matsi, Jayiya (Nomandela 59'), Ngoma, Masina, Moseamedi (Motloung 72')