Johannesburg - Mandla Masango's late winner was enough as Kaizer Chiefs continued
their dominance of the early season with a 1-0 win over Bloemfontein
Celtic in their PSL encounter at FNB Stadium on Tuesday
As it happened: Kaizer Chiefs v Bloem Celtic
The Glamour Boys were made to fight it our for maximum
points but got there in the end, courtesy of Masango's 80th minute
The win sent Chiefs to the top of the league standings
with nine points and a 100 percent record from their opening three
The tricky Masango slotted home his fourth goal in five
matches so far this season, continuing his meteoric rise to the top of
the goal-scorers' list. The winger scored a brace in the opening round
of the MTN8, before netting Chiefs' opener against Mpumalanga Black Aces
in their 2-1 win last week.
Amakhosi's victory was a 12th
successive encounter without defeat against Celtic, who last managed a
win against Chiefs in September 2009.
A quiet opening quarter saw a solitary attempt on goal from Gabadinho Mhango, who forced Itumeleng Khune into action.
Bafana Bafana first choice goalkeeper dealt with the rising effort and
palmed over for a corner, providing a brief moment of excitement in an
otherwise uneventful opening half-hour.
The pair seemed content to play the game in the middle of the park and failed to inspire much at either end.
Chiefs eventually managed to penetrate the Celtic defence, courtesy of a
superb ball through the middle, Kingston Nkhatha preferred to fall
clumsily to the ground inside the area and pleaded for a penalty.
performance was feeble at best and Nkhatha failed to persuade referee
Thabo Nkosi of an infringement, prompting coach Stuart Baxter to launch a
scathing attack from the sideline on his striker, who looked through on
goal and little but the goalkeeper to beat.
Chiefs looked better after the break and paid regular visits into the opposing half.
Lebese had undoubtedly the game's best chance on 54 minutes, rattling
the crossbar from a fine curled free-kick well outside the area.
tie opened up and soon Celtic came bursting down the left as former
Amakhosi defender Keegan Ritchie surged ahead, but Lerato Lamola chose
to go it alone and got a shot away, but was well blocked by the cover
Action swung from end-to-end after the hour mark but
neither were able to find the decisive pass in the final third as
chances came and went.
But the hosts' dogged determination
eventually paid off as Masango netted for the Soweto outfit, sending out
a unified sigh of relief for the home supporters on a chilly evening in
George Maluleka sprayed the ball out wide the Lebese on
the right, before the winger centred brilliantly for an on-coming
Masango, who made no mistake, side-footing with authority past
goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb, who was stranded.
With little time
to recover, Celtic failed to keep up with the leaders, allowing Chiefs
to sit back and defend their lead for a nervy 13 minutes, but not before
Eric Mathoho crashed a volley into the crossbar seconds after the goal,
as Chiefs came close to doubling their lead.