Cape Town All Stars withstood some intense second half pressure to beat Thanda Royal Zulu 1-0 at Athlone, moving to within a point of NFD log leaders Baroka FC.
Despite only one goal it was a thriller of a match, full of action and drama including a sending off, a disallowed goal, and a host of scoring chances, on what was windy afternoon.
The hosts started the game with a bang, on-form marksman Ranga Chivaviro drawing a first minute save out of Thanda keeper Siyabonga Mbatha.
But there was no stopping the red-hot Chivaviro, who made it three goals in two matches when he rifled in a powerful drive from 25-yards out in to the bottom corner.
But Igugu Lekapa were to have their numbers reduced to 10 men on 21 minutes Sizwe Mdlinzo was given a straight red card for what appeared to have been retaliation.
Thanda then almost equalized a few minutes later when Michael Gumede’s header brushed the crossbar.
Mbatha was soon called into action again for the KZN side when he had to react quickly to keep out defender Christoph Komane’s attempted clearance, which looked more like a shot at his own goal.
Thanda dominated most of the second half against the 10 man Stars, and should have leveled matters on 50 minutes when Menzi Hlope missed from right in front of goal.
And when the team from Richards Bay did have the ball in the back of their opponents’ net, Gumede’s effort was ruled off-sides.
With the visiting team pushing for an equaliser, gaps opened up at the back for the Stars attack to exploit, but Paseka Mako, Ganief Stellenboom and Chivaviro all missed great chances to add another goal.
In the end though Ian Taylor’s side held out for their second consecutive win of the new year.
The NFD action continues on Saturday and Sunday afternoon’s.