Two late goals through Rooi Mahamutsa and Mohamed Anas ensured Free State Stars beat Super Eagles 2-1 in the Nedbank Cup last 32 at Goble Park Stadium in Bethlehem on Wednesday evening.
Although the Eagles scored first courtesy of Bongani Mbuli, the goal was not enough for the team to cause an upset and reach the next stage.
The National First Division side had a bright start in the encounter and Motlatsi Perekisi missed a golden opportunity when Thela Ngobeni denied him from close range in the 15th minute.
With the Bethlehem derby living up to its expectations, Ea Lla Koto responded in the 28th minute, but Siphelele Mthembu failed to put his side ahead after seeing his header going wide.
Stars upped the ante in the 40th minute and were awarded a penalty, but Tshepo Ramalele was equal to the task to produce a fine save.
However on the stroke of halftime, Mbuli netted for the NFD outfit with a superb strike as they headed to the tunnel leading 1-0.
The second half failed to provide the pace witnessed in the first half and there were few opportunities in front of goal.
Coach Luc Eymael introduced changes upon their return, but they failed to create chances to immediately level matters.
The NFD side pushed for a second goal as they fought to double their lead, but the Premier Soccer League team found the back of the net against the run of play.
Defender Mahamutsa would score for Stars to level the scores to ensure the Ke Yona encounter went to extra time.
Right at the beginning of the opening half, substitute Anas doubled the lead for Stars as he finished from close range to bag a goal in the 97th minute.
The two goals were enough for Stars to reach the last 16 of the competition and dump out the NFD outfit.
Super Eagles (1) (1) 1 (Mbuli 45’)
Free State Stars (0) (1) 2 (Mahamutsa 90’, Anas 97’) – After extra time
Super Eagles: Ramalele, Hlela, T. Mokoena, Perekisi (Nkosi 100’), Versuur, Mbuli, Maduna, M. Mokoena, Selepe, Ngwenya (Setsumi 66’), Moloi
Free State Stars: Ngobeni, Phungwayo (Mokhuone 86’), Mahamutsa, Keita, Mashego, Masehe, Vilakazi, Jantjie (Anas 68’), Dlamini (Cosse 57’), Tchilimbou, Mthembu