Cape Town - Golden Arrows moved up into the top eight of the Absa Premiership with a slightly fortuitous 1-0 win over SuperSport United at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
The result sees Matsatsantsa already slim hopes of challenging for the title all but vanish as they now sit 12 points behind Kaizer Chiefs having played two games than the pace-setters.
Arrows, on the other hand, can now target a top-half finish and a place in next season's MTN8 competition if they keep their form up.
A frenetic start to the match saw both sides blow great chances to take the lead within the opening 10 minutes.
Bradley Grobler played in Ghampani Lungu, only for the Zambian to sky his shot disappointingly over the bar moments before Knox Mutizwa missed at the other end.
The heat of the South African sun meant a water break was needed midway through both halves and SuperSport were almost caught napping after the first stoppage.
Lerato Lamola cut their defence in half with a beautiful through-ball for Mutizwa, who once again blew the chance by hooking a weak shot wide.
Siyangonga Nhlapo thought he had opened the scoring when he saw his 40th-minute strike heading toward the back of the net only for it to be blocked and headed off the line at the last moment.
Despite the first half ending goalless, it was a breathtaking and fascinating encounter.
Sifiso Mlungwana blocked a Grobler shot seconds after the restart as the action began anew in the second half.
The breakthrough came in heartbreaking fashion for SuperSport in the 56th minute as a Mutizwa shot hit the crossbar and bounced off of Luke Fleurs and into the net for an own-goal.
After that, Golden Arrows effectively retreated to protect their advantage and SuperSport had a lot of difficulty breaking them down.
Their increasing frustration resulted in a decidedly more physical second half with the referee having to get his yellow card out on seven occasions. There were 10 cautions and 30 fouls overall in what turned out to be quite a rough game.
SuperSport came within inches of pulling level right at the death but were denied by a sharp save by Mlungwana as the home side clung on for a vital win.