Free State Stars began their preparations for the Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup tournament with a morale-boosting 1-0 win over new National First Division side Maccabi FC in a preseason match on Tuesday.
The goal came in the first stanza through Goodman Dlamini at the University of Pretoria grounds.
The Bethlehem side impressed against the NFD newcomers, with Harris Tchilimbou, Sinethemba Jantjie and company keeping the Maccabi keeper busy throughout the game.
Maccabi also had a few chances of their own in the closing stages, but Stars keeper Samkelo Mbambo pulled off two brilliant saves to deny former Ea Lla Koto striker Madoda Motha.
The Maize Cup will be played at James Motlatsi Stadium on Saturday. Ea Lla Koto take on Chippa United, while Kaizer Chiefs will lock horns with ABC Motsepe League side Buya Musuthu.