Classic (0) 1

Abedayo 66

Free State Stars (1) 2

Van Wyk 13, Mwansa 78

Mehlareng - Classic's new coach Walter Rautmann got his nickname - the "Messiah" - for the uncanny knack he has of getting clubs out of relegation.

But after watching his new charges in Tembisa on Sunday, the friendly Austrian was the first to admit he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

"We were dead after 20 minutes. I could not believe my eyes. In 25 years as a coach I've never seen a side so unfit. We simply ran out of steam," said a worried-looking Rautmann after the club's ninth defeat which leaves the club still propping up the league without a win in 15 league games.

"Classic do not have any players of great skill so in order to compete in the PSL and make up for the skill deficiency, this team needs to be 1 000 percent fit. But this is far from the case.

"Look, it's not over. Relegation will only be decided on the last day of the season, so there's still a long way to go but I can see that I will have my work cut out."

Classic lack any player of vision in midfield and this is a point that is further worrying the new coach.

"I need a general in midfield, who can dictate the game. Our midfield was a mess and never gave the strikers any support. I know money is tight but we are going to have to find a midfield playmaker otherwise my job will be almost impossible."

To make matters worse, Classic had substitute Martin Matsitela sent off after 80 minutes for a second bookable offence. "What also annoyed me was the two schoolboy goals we conceded," Rautmann said.

The small band of Classic supporters were stung on a sweltering afternoon when Ruben van Wyk put Stars into the lead after 13 minutes from a through ball by Joe Mwansa.

Classic gave their fans something to cheer about when substitute Abayomi Adebayo collected Tumelo Mofokeng's through ball and beat goalkeeper Michael Babale with a sweetly struck goal after 66 minutes.

But Mwansa stabbed home the winner in the 78th minute from a goal mouth scramble. Babale then denied Adebayo an equaliser with a great save seven minutes from time.