Sinethemba Jantjie’s goal earned Free State Stars a 1-0 win over Maritzburg United in an Absa Premiership match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.

The victory takes Ea Lla Koto to ninth spot on the league standings, while the Team of Choice remain sixth on the table.

Ea Lla Koto dominated possession in the opening exchanges, but they did not seriously test Maritzburg goalkeeper Richard Ofori.

But the Ghana international was called into action in the 24th minute after Ea Lla Koto were awarded a free-kick in a promising area.

Sinethemba Jantjie stepped up and forced Ofori into a save as the hosts searched for the opening goal on the night.

As the game progressed, the Team of Choice began to keep possession very well in the Ea Lla Koto half.

Evans Rusike, the Maritzburg striker, unleashed a good shot in the 29th minute, but Stars keeper Badra Ali Sangare denied him.

Stars were able to contain Maritzburg until the match referee blew the halftime whistle and the score was 0-0 at the interval.

Ex-Maritzburg striker Mohammed Anas had a chance to score against his former employers seven minutes after the restart.

The Ghanaian striker turned well, but he fired wide of the target with the Team of Choice defence beaten.

Luc Eymael, the Stars coach, made a substitution in the 69th minute – pulling out ineffective striker Edward Manqele for Goodman Dlamini.

The visitors then took the lead four minutes later through Jantjie, who beat Ofori with a lovely finish to make it 1-0 to Stars.

The Team of Choice had to find a way to grab a late equalising goal, but Ea Lla Koto continued to attack in search of another goal.

Anas was put through on goal with ten minutes left on the clock and Ofori made a good save to deny his countryman.

Despite late attacks from Maritzburg in the closing of the game, they could not find the equalising goal and Stars ran out 1-0 winners

Maritzburg (0) 0

FS Stars (0) 1 (Jantjie 73′)

Maritzburg: Ofori, Xulu, Fransman, Weidlich, Makaringe (Kunene 46′), Maboe, Mekoa, Shandu, Atouba (Mokate 70′), Rusike, Fileccia (Saal 58′).

FS Stars: Sangare, Mokhuoane (Hlubi 92′), Mobbie, Keita, Phungwayo, Mbhele, Vilakazi, Manqele (Dlamini 69′), Potsane, Anas, Jantjie (Mashego 78′).