Andrea Fileccia bagged a brace to hand Free State Stars a 2-0 win over Polokwane City in their Absa Premiership tie.
Fileccia had an opening after just five minutes, but the Stars forward fired an effort wide up the left post.
George Chigova was called into action in the opening exchanges, pulling off a couple saves to keep out two efforts from Danny Venter.
The home side had the first meaningful opening in the 24th minute, as Cole Alexander’s strike forced Daouda Diakite into a finger-tip save.
Venter proved to be Stars’ liveliest threat on the park, as he forced Diakite into another save in the 39th minute, as they looked for the opening goal.
The sides went into the halftime break with the score locked at 0-0.
Diakite came to Ea Lla Koto rescue five minutes into the second half, as he pulled off a save to keep out an effort from Linda Shiba.
Both sides exchanged efforts in the 57th minute, as Mfundo Phungwayo was denied by Diakite, before Chigova was on had to keep out Venter yet again.
Polokwane continued to push for an opener and went close after 70 minutes when Shiba forced Diakite into another save, before the midfielder fired wide two minutes later.
However, Stars broke the deadlock 82nd minute when Fileccia fired a left-footed effort past Chigova, after being teed up Makhehlene Makhaula.
Fileccia then sealed the win in the 89th minute, as the Belgian forward fired from home close range, with Reabetswe Rakoti picking up the assist.
Here’s how they lined up:
Polokwane City: Chigova, Phungwayo, Punch, Mbonani, Tema, Nene, Shiba, Jabu, Cole, Esau, Puleng
Free State Stars: Diakite, Sankara, Thlone, Rakoti, Ngassa, Venter, Kerspuy, Mashego, Mohomi, Masehe, Fileccia
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