In a dramatic final 10 minutes to the game, Lehlohonolo Majoro had a goal ruled out before slotting in a 98th-minute penalty.
After a quiet start to the game, the Citizens had the first clear chances of the night as Ayanda Patosi turned neatly before shooting just wide from the edge of the box on 11 minutes before the same player sent a 18th-minute free-kick inches wide.
The Cape team appeared fortunate not to concede a penalty on the half-hour mark when a mix-up in the defence saw the ball deflecting off Thamsanqa Mkhize and onto Tshepo Gumede’s arm.
Although Polokwane looked dangerous when they attacked, they failed to threaten the City goal and it was the home team who again came close to scoring when Majoro smashed a low drive into the upright eight minutes before the interval.
Benni McCarthy’s men remained on top after halftime and there were two chances for Lyle Lakay, but he wasted the first with a heavy touch before firing a 25-yard shot over the bar.
Majoro was again a whisker away from breaking the deadlock when his shot from only four yards out thumped into a defender on the line with 23 minutes to play.
Debutant Craig Martin then missed another great chance when he lifted a close-range volley over the line 10 minutes from time.
Then came the moment that the game will be remembered for. A miscued 88th minute shot from Mpho Matsi was latched onto by Majoro inside the box, before he rounded the keeper and fired the ball home, only to hear the whistle blow after the linesman’s off-side flag had gone up. The problem was, the match official on the touchline had failed to spot Polokwane City defender Thapelo Tshilo on the goal-line.
This was spotted by referee Cedric Muvhali, who overturned the off-side decision and awarded the goal. But after much deliberation, and huge protest by the visitors, the goal was over-ruled.
Ironically, however, the Citizens were to be awarded a penalty in the 97th minute after Tshilo was adjudged to have handled the ball in what appeared another questionable decision, or perhaps an attempt to balance out the earlier blunder.
This time Majoro made no mistake as City ended a run of two defeats with a late, late winner. Rise and Shine meanwhile saw their losing streak increased to four matches.