Johannesburg – Luyolo Nomandela scored in the seventh minute of second-half injury time to give Free State Stars a 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic in their Premiership derby in Phuthaditjhaba on Sunday.
Neither side managed to gain control in an evenly-matched encounter, but Nomandela struck in the dying stages to give the hosts all three points.
Stars surged forward from the first whistle and Anver Esterhuizen came close in the second minute when he forced a save from Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb, who crashed into the upright in his diving effort to keep the ball out.
Soon after, Moeketsi Mvula took a close-range shot that was smothered by Tignyemb to keep the scores level.
Celtic had their first real attempt midway through the opening stanza, with three strikers in the area, but Kenoshi Motshegwa blasted over from right in front.
Stars nearly took the lead shortly before the half-time break, but Wome hit the woodwork from a free-kick as the sides remained deadlocked at the interval.
Wome had another opportunity shortly after the restart, and Joel Mogorosi had a chance to put Celtic ahead, but both fired over the crossbar as both sides failed to find the edge.
Tsietsi Mkwanazi had an attempt for stars on the hour mark, but his tame strike across the mouth of the goal sailed wide to the right.
Paulos Masehe had perhaps the best opening in the second half when he fluffed a volley in the area as Celtic managed to recover from a goalmouth melee.
With two minutes left, Wome had a chance for the hosts, but his direct free-kick was tipped over the bar by Tignyemb, and while both outfits had last-ditch efforts, Nomandela snatched all three points at the death. – Sapa