Cape Town – Free State Stars stunned with their 1-0 victory over SuperSport United on Wednesday, despite going down to 10 men in the second half at at Goble Park.
Matsatsantsa started well and kept the hosts pressed into their own half for the majority of the opening 20 minutes.
Patrick Phungwayo played a smart one-two and burst in behind SuperSport's defence down the left, before sending in a superb cross which a composed Siphelele Mthembu slotted home at the far post in the 25th minute.
Moments later it was nearly 2-0 as Goodman Dlamini curled in a right-footed strike from the edge of the area which a diving Reyaad Pieterse clawed away to his left past the post.
It appeared the visitors were rattled and it was Sinethemba Jantjie who had a chance to make it 2-0 on the half-hour mark. After a good ball sprung him free down the right, he fired a shot just wide of the far post.
Matsatsantsa were feeling the pressure and goalkeeper coach Andre Arendse was sent to the dressing room for protestations against a decision.
The prolific Jeremy Brockie barely got a touch in the opening stanza as the supply to him in the final third was limited.
Just before the break, Stars had a great chance to make it 2-0 again when Sibusiso Hlubi curled in an excellent cross from the left and the lively Mthembu saw his diving header brilliantly parried away from close range by Pieterse.
After the interval, the game became tighter as both clubs offered very little in attack.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane's introduction as a substitute did help United as the veteran helped them maintain possession for longer periods in midfield.
Brockie missed United's best chance of the half in the 65th minute when Thuso Phala's pull-back from the right was sent in his direction, but he completely missed the ball when anything on target may have gone in.
Drama took place two minutes later as Phungwayo rightly saw red for a dangerous lunging foul on substitute Sifiso Myeni.
At the death, Bradley Grobler volleyed just wide from on the six-yard box from Brockie's flick, however, the three points went to Stars in Bethlehem.
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