Celtic earn bragging rights
Bloemfontein - Goals from Frank Mhango and Lerato Lamola guided Bloemfontein Celtic to a comfortable 2-0 win over rivals Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership encounter at Goble Park on Saturday afternoon.
Themba Sithole included Ayanda Mtshali in the starting XI in place of the injured Daniel Agyei while loanee Richard Henyekane was also handed his first start for Ea Lla Koto.
Meanwhile, Ernst Middendorp included now fewer than three debutants in his starting XI. Davies Nkausu, Mogogi Gabonamong and Musa Bilankulu were all included in the starting eleven.
Henyekane had a clear-cut opportunity to start of his career at Ea Lla Koto with a goal in the 14th minute.
The former Golden Arrows striker was put clean through on goal but he was unable to direct his resulting shot past Patrick Tignyemb.
Stars continued to look the more threatening but it was Siwelele who opened the scoring through Frank Mhango in the 34th minute.
The home-side failed to clear Musa Nytama’s free-kick from the edge of the area, Mhango pounced before directing a low effort past Mtshali.
Siwelele’s confidence increased as the half grew to an end, forcing the home side deep into their own half.
Free State Stars 0-1 Bloemfontein Celtic at the break.
Musa Nyatama and Mhango went close for the visitors soon after the interval while Henyekane squandered two opportunities to pull Stars level.
The on-loan Mamelodi Sundowns striker was first denied by Tignyemb in the 51st minute before miss-timing his effort from close range with an open goal lurking.
Lerato Lamola who came on as a second half substitute secured the points for Phunya Sele Sele in the 85th minute.
The striker outwitted two opposition defenders before coolly slotting the ball past Mtshali to bag his first goal of the season.
The win moves Celtic into ninth place on the log, level on points with Ajax Cape Town, while the loss means Stars remain in the relegation play-off places. Free State Stars (0) 0Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 2 (Mhango 34’ Lamola 85’) Free State Stars:
Mtshali, Basie, Shabalala, Aouro-Akoriko, Thlone, Kerspuy (Nomandela 79’), Abraw (Mokoena 74’), Masehe, Esterhuizen (Sijoko 64’) , Henyekane, VenterBloemfontein Celtic:
Tignyemb; Nkausu, Bilankulu, Daniels, Letlabika, Gabonamong, Ntanga (Buchanan 57’), Mahoa, Nyatama (Ndengane 87’), Mogorosi , Mhango (Lamola 67’)