Johannesburg – Mbumelo Mabizela struck in the second half to hand a dominant Mpumalanga Black Aces outfit a 1-0 victory over league strugglers Free State Stars in their Premiership encounter at Kanyamazane Stadium, outside Nelspruit, on Monday.
Aces took control in a tame first period, with Onyekachi Okonkwo blasting a thunderous effort over the crossbar on the half-hour mark and Zamuxolo Ngalo firing wide to the left shortly before the break.
The hosts strengthened their grip on proceedings in the second period, with Themba Zwane, Ngalo and Clifford Mulenga all coming close within a few minutes of the interval as they piled on the pressure.
Mabizela eventually put the home side in front with a little more than 20 minutes remaining when he climbed high to meet a Mulenga corner, netting a towering header.
Zwane nearly stretched their lead eight minutes later but his attempt hit Stars goalkeeper Daniel Agyei in the chest and deflected against the post.
Aces, however, had done enough to secure a crucial three points, bagging their fourth win of the league campaign. – Sapa