Celtic edge past 10-man Vasco
Luyanda Bacela (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - A ten man Vasco da Gama side put up an heroic fight, but in the end Bloemfontein Celtic had too much fire power as the Phunya Sele Sele ran out 1-0 winners in the Absa Premiership match played at Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night.
The first 45 minutes started a little slowly as both teams tried to feel each other out. Neither side, though, could assert their dominance on the game which made for a scrappy affair.
The midfield in particular was where the brunt of the action took place as tackles came in thick and fast from both teams.
Vasco’s Jonathan Armogam was the first player to suffer the consequences of the rough tackling game when he was booked as early as the sixth minute, something he would come to regret before the half time break.
In terms of goal mouth action there was not many opportunities in the first half.
Patrick Tignyemb, though, was largely responsible for Celtic’s steely defence as he showed real confidence between the sticks and commanded his defence. He often nullified Vasco attacks with his collection of crosses and reading of the game.
The first chance on goal, however, did go the way of the home side in the 22nd minute. Sibusio Zuma came close to scoring when his 30-yard free-kick sailed inches over the crossbar.
Two minutes later and Celtic had their first shot in anger as Luyanda Bacela fired narrowly over from 18-yards out.
Bacela came close to breaking the deadlock again in the 29th minute, but the brilliance of the Vasco keeper denied him the joy. Bacela let loose with a powerful 25-yard shot and only the feet of Posnett Omony kept the scores level.
After that the game slipped back into its scrappy pattern and not before long the tackles were fast and furious again.
Two minutes before the break Vasco paid the ultimate price when Armogam was booked for the second time after a foul on Tignyemb and consequently sent from the field.
Surprisingly the second half did not see Vasco completely played out of the game. Instead the home side held their own and played some nice football. Still, though, they struggled to create chances in front of goal.
Then in the 65th minute, as expected, Bacela found the opening goal for Celtic after a swift passing movement. Nathan Paulse supplied the perfect pass to find Bacela in space 12-yards out from goal and he produced a clinical finish to give the Phunya Sele Sele the lead, 1-0.
After that it was all Celtic and eight minutes after going in front substitute Clifford Mulenga should really have doubled Celtic’s lead, but his 16-yard shot struck the post after the Vasco keeper was left stranded.
Mulenga was in the thick of the action again in the 76th minute. This time his shot from the edge of the 18-yard area was brilliantly saved by Omony diving to his left to parry the effort away.
In the end the game finished 1-0 as Celtic got back to winning ways and Vasco with the loss could now find themselves in a real relegation scrap.Vasco Da Gama
(0) 0Bloemfontein Celtic
(0) 1, (Bacela 65’)Teams:Vasco:
Omony; Isaacs, Julius, Tsotetsi, Mototo (Walaza 83’); Armogam, Alexander, Karkee, Kamwendo (Hendricks 67’); Lesch (Santo 82’), ZumaCeltic:
Tignyemb; Moleko, Mathotho, Nthethe, Hlela; Mshengu (Mulenga 63’), Kekana, Kerspuy (Oerson 90’), Venter (Olomu 75’), Bacela, Paulse