Bloem Celtic book final spot
Bloemfontein - Bloemfontein Celtic defeated provincial rivals Free State Stars 3-2 after extra time on Sunday to book a place in the Telkom Knockout final against Mamelodi Sundowns.
A dramatic match at Charles Mopeli Stadium saw Phunya Sele Sele twice surge ahead in regulation time before being pegged back by Ea Lla Koto’s Dove Wome. Joel Mogorosi then scored the visitors’ winner early in extra time.
The goalless first half saw Celtic spurn two great chances for Thabo Nthethe
and Lyle Lakay, while Stars, playing with a strong breeze at their backs, hit the woodwork through Sadate Ouro-Akoriko and tested goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb with several long range shots.
The second half saw Celtic take advantage of having the wind behind them, as Letladi Madubanya
broke the deadlock on 52 minutes. The midfielder picked up a loose ball in the middle of the park and surged forward almost unchallenged before stabbing a shot beyond Mweene.
It took Stars just under 20 minutes to fight back and level the game at 1-1. Wome’s long-range grass-cutter was fumbled by Tignyemb, the keeper did just enough to deny Mvula from the loose ball, but he was then powerless to stop Wome tucking it home at the second attempt.
Celtic reclaimed the lead with just under 10 minutes of regulation time to play. Substitutes Joel Mogorosi and Lerato Manzini combined, with the former providing a great pull-back from the by-line that was swept home, with the aid of a deflection, by the latter.
Yet the visitors’ lead lasted just three minutes, as Wome fired home from a free kick in the 84th minute to make it 2-2. Tignyemb was once again at fault, positioning himself poorly which allowed Wome to float the ball inside the far post despite the set piece being from a prohibitive angle.
The match went to extra time, and just four minutes into the first half Celtic went ahead for the third time. Mogorosi met a cross from the left flank and powered a header toward goal from the edge of the box. Mweene made a rare mistake and allowed the ball to pass through his hands, making it 3-2 to the visitors.Scorers:
Free State Stars (0) (2) 2 (Wome 71’ 84’)
Bloemfontein Celtic (0) (2) 3 (Madubanya 52’, Manzini 81’, Mogorosi 94’)
After extra time
Stars: Mweene, Esterhuizen (Mkhatshwa 70’ [Dondo 97’]), Cardoso, Ouro-Akoriko, Thabakang, Mashego (Sambu 90+3’), Kerspuy, Masehe, Nomandela, Wome, Mvula
Celtic: Tignyemb, Mzava (Leonard 77’), Isaacs, Nthethe, Mahoa, Nyanda (Mogorosi 67’), Madubanya, Arwuah, Lakay, Gamildien, Bacela (Manzini 73’)