Celtic ease past Maritzburg
Prince Olomu (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein - A first half goal by Prince Olomu and a second half one from Moses Spandeel saw Bloemfontein Celtic run out comfortable 2-0 winners over Maritzburg United in an Absa Premiership match on Wednesday night.
The match got off to a blistering start and the home fans packed inside the Seisa Ramabodu stadium only had to wait two minutes before they saw the Phunya Sele Selse go in front.
It came the way of a well worked set-piece when Cecil Oerson whipped in an inviting corner-kick that found Prince Olomu unmarked inside the box. The Celtic veteran made no mistake firing the ball home from about 12-yards out, 1-0.
Following the goal the home side continued to pass the ball around nicely and seemed to have the midfield firmly under control. Still, despite Maritzburg’s slow start to the game they were able to create a few decent chances in the half, even though they were few and far between.
United’s best opportunity came in the tenth minute when Diyo Sibisi found himself in some space on the edge of the 18-yard area. Sibisi proceeded to let fly with a powerful shot that saw Celtic’s keeper, Patrick Tignyemb, at his best parrying the effort away from danger.
Thereafter, the Phunya Sele Sele came within inches of grabbing the game’s second goal in the 30th minute. Again the chance came from a set-piece when Oerson curled in a free-kick from the left hand side of the field. Prince Hlela rose highest out-jumping the United defence to get his head on the ball, but his effort went narrowly over the crossbar.
Four minutes later and Maritzburg’s goalie, Shu-Aib Walters, had to be at his best as well diving full stretch to his right when he turned a Nathan Paulse 16-yard shot around the post.
The rest of the opening 45 minutes saw Celtic control the possession stakes, but they were unable to create any more clear-cut chances in front of goal.
That was not the case when the second half kicked off as the home side were on the attack from the word go and were only denied their second goal in the 47th minute by the brilliance of Walters.
Initially Walters made a great save pushing a Spandeel 20-yard shot around the post for a corner-kick. From the resulting corner Celtic were able to fashion another chance on goal when the ball found its way to Oerson who tested Walters again, but again the keeper was fantastic parrying the 12-yard effort away from goal.
Celtic, however, didn’t have to wait much longer to find that crucial second goal when Moses Spandeel, with virtually his last touch of the game, scored in the 53rd minute.
Bennett Chenene created the goal as he drove down the left flank before providing a pin-point cross to find Spandeel unmarked inside the box. The Phunya Sele Sele midfielder made no mistake firing past the stubborn Walters, 2-0.
That goal virtually killed the game off as Maritzburg tried to get back into the game but were unable to do so due to some confident play by Celtic who controlled possession well and defended like Trojan horses.
The game ended 2-0 and Celtic fully deserved the win.
Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 1 (Olomu 2’, Spandeel 53’) Maritzburg United (0) 0
Celtic: Tignyemb; Hlela, Matoho, Olomu (Mulenga 69’), Moleko, Spandeel (Mthembu 54’), Kekana, Nthethe, Oerson, Chenene, Paulse (Kalala 75’)
United: Walters; Ngwepe, Petersen (Lawrence 46’), Diouf, Fransch, Booysen, Lentjies, Nyatama, Arwuah, Bester (Obada 78’), Sibisi (Donnelly 74’)