The loss sent the hosts even closer to the relegation zone.
It took the Limpopo side just 40 seconds to open their account, when midfielder Vusimuzi Mngomezulu right-footed home past Stars goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni, to score his second goal in as many matches.
Stars, who went into the match on 23 points in third last spot on the league table and just one point ahead of Baroka FC and bottom-of-the-log Highlands Park, produced a courageous display as they attempted to get back into the match.
Defenders Bokang Thlone and Sinethemba Jantjie got in on the goal search action in forcing quality stops from City’s No 1 George Chigova. The home team’s persistence paid off in the 36th minute when striker Goodman Dlamini headed home to level, with Chigova off his goal-line.
However, Stars had little chance to celebrate, because the Polokwane-based team took the lead again in the 42nd minute, when striker Rodney Ramagalela’s right-footed shot found the back of the home team’s net, to give the marksman’s his ninth goal of the league campaign.
City’s Jabulani Maluleke was a constant thorn in the flesh of the home team and it’s hard to believe that City went through a winless ten-match league spell, before bouncing back with a win over Platinum Stars and Golden Arrows in the past fortnight to move well inside the top eight standings on the log.
Stars so nearly got a share of the spoils in the final minute of the game, when a cross floated in by second half substitute Danny Venter was poorly cleared by the home team’s defence, which allowed the ball to head goal wards only for Chigova to parry the ball away under immense pressure.
City, now on 37 points from 26 matches, face a trickier encounter in the next match, when they host title-chasing Supersport United next Saturday, while Stars will be having nightmares over their potential stay in the top flight or lack of it, when they travel to face another title winning prospect in Cape Town City, in the Mother City on Friday night.
Apart from the tough trip to Cape Town followed by a home fixture against another title contender in Bidvest Wits, the Free Stater team’s fate may be decided in their final two match of the league season, when they play fellow strugglers Bloemfontein Celtic away and Chippa United at home.
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