City made a few key changes, notably in goal with Shuaib Walters stepping aside for Sage Stephens and handing a starting debut to former Inter Milan and West Ham United striker Victor Obinna Nsofor.
Rise and Shine weren’t left behind, they replaced George Chigova with Harold Ndlovu in goal while Walter Musona was tasked to lead the attack with Rodney Ramagalela ahead of Puleng Tlolane.
Both sides came off successive losses and desperately needed maximum points to avoid slumping further down the table, especially the visitors.
The Citizens wasted no time getting out of the blocks, utilizing the expertise of Ayanda Patosi who got on the end of two clear chances, but failed to make them count in the opening 20 minutes.
Polokwane looked threatening on the counter, with the pace of Ramagalela particularly, but they too failed to turn any of it into something telling, let alone a goal or an attempt at goal for that matter.
They had a legitimate penalty waved away by referee Cedric Muvhali after Tshepo Gumede clearly handled the ball inside the box minutes before the half-hour mark.
The Citizens got the game's best chance after 38 minutes when Lehlohonolo Majoro's shot from range came off the upright, beating Ndlovu hands down.
They continued where they left off in the second half after Lyle Lakay went behind Polokwane's defence only to be let down by a poor first touch that saw his chance go astray.
They kept probing for the opener, but wayward finishing at this stage proved to be their undoing from Majoro, Thabo Nodada and none other than Lakay.
In the 66th minute, they had the game's best chance when Majoro's shot was cleared off the line by Klaas Galane.
With time running out, City looked to have taken the lead only for Muvhali to incorrectly disallow Majoro's goal two minutes from time much to the dismay of coach Benni McCarthy.
They were handed a lifeline in added time when Thapelo Tshilo was adjudged to have handled inside the box, prompting Muvhali to award a penalty which Majoro converted with ease.
The win takes the home side back into the top eight, while Polokwane's losing run stretched to four games in a row.