Maritzburg down Bloem Celtic
Pietermaritzburg - Bloemfontein Celtic are still looking for their first away win this season after going down 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match against Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday.
After the high of knocking Orlando Pirates out of the Telkom Knockout this past weekend, Phunya Sele Sele picked up where they left off with an early goal from Lennox Bacela, but a brace from Cuthbert Malajila handed the Bloem side their fourth defeat from five away matches.
Celtic got off to a flying start and opened the scoring in the third minute. Striker Lennox Bacela picked up on a pass from Mduduzi Nyanda before sending a curling right-footed shot beyond the reach of Shuaib Walters in the United goal.
Two minutes later the visitors almost doubled their advantage as Botswana international Joel Mogorosi had the beating of Walters with a 20 metre effort, but the ball rebounded to safety off the crossbar.
The Team of Choice recovered from Celtic’s early blitz and got themselves on level terms in the 17th minute. Orlando Smeekes teed-up Cuthbert Malajila and the Zimbabwean striker beat Patrick Tignyemb with a low shot into the bottom corner from about 12 metres out.
The goal inspired Maritzburg to move up a couple of gears and they duly took the lead for the first time on 25 minutes when Malajila netted his second, latching onto a pass from strike partner Terrence Mandaza before beating the ‘keeper with another well-struck shot.
The teams traded half-chances for the remainder of the half, though neither goalkeeper was called upon to make any significant saves. The score remained 2-1 in favour of the hosts at the sounding of the half-time whistle.
Maritzburg shuffled their midfield at half time, introducing Ryan De Jong in place of on-loan Kaizer Chiefs player Mthokozisi Yende. De Jong almost extended his side’s advantage on 63 minutes with a lob that hit the woodwork.
Celtic used Letladi Madubanya
, Siyabonga Nontshinga and Lyle Lakay off their substitutes’ bench, though they were unable to create any clear scoring chances with which to get back on level terms.