Nigerian Felix Obada scored as Moroka Swallows defeated Maritzburg United 1-0 Friday and moved off the bottom of the South African Premiership table.
The winger struck after six minutes at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto, punishing sluggish defending with a close-range header past goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters.
In a match that produced few clearcut scoring chances, Walters and opposite number Nigerian Greg Etafia were rarely tested.
Swallows striker Siyabonga Nomvethe, among the fittest Premiership footballers at the age of 37, was foiled by the outstretched leg of Walters in a one-on-one midway through the first half.
And recalled Etafia dived swiftly to push away a goal-bound Kurt Lentjies shot that flew through a crowded goalmouth.
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Mid-table Maritzburg had two ball-to-hand penalty appeals rejected by the referee before halftime.
Victory lifted Swallows to 27 points, three more than AmaZulu, who host SuperSport United in Durban Saturday.
Swallows and AmaZulu complete their league seasons with away and home fixtures next Wednesday and Saturday.
Port Elizabeth-based Chippa United are the other club in immediate danger, two points above Swallows with three difficult games ahead.
The bottom club are relegated and the second-last finishers enter a double round mini-league with two second division sides for one place in the 2016 Premiership.