Johannesburg – Free State Stars booked their place in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup with a 1-0 win over First Division outfit Witbank Spurs in Phuthaditjhaba on Sunday.
Coldrin Coetzee fired in a long-range deflected strike in the 32nd minute, sending Spurs goalkeeper Briace Msiza the wrong way, to give the hosts the lead, which they maintained till the final whistle.
Msiza was kept on his toes throughout the first half, with his Stars counterpart, Kennedy Mweene, hardly troubled at the other end of the pitch.
The home side were aggressive in the opening stanza, with Msiza forced to tip over a thunderous blast in the 27th minute to keep the scores level.
Five minutes later, Coetzee got a lucky strike to glance in off a Spurs defender, and once Stars had taken the lead, they seemed to sit back, settling for their narrow advantage and holding off tame bursts from the visitors.
Spurs came closest in the 57th minute, but Mweene was comfortably up to the task as he collected the attempt.
Dove Wome nearly stretched the lead with nine minutes left, from a controversial free kick on the edge of the area, after an infringement just inside the box, but he blasted his direct attempt narrowly high and wide to the left. – Sapa