Absa Premiership

Aces join Dikwena in final

2015-07-11 14:37
Mpumalanga Black Aces (logo)

Cape Town - Lehlohonolo Nonyane, Thabo Nododa and Collins Mbesuma handed Mpumalanga Black Aces a 3-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic to book a place in the final of the Maize Challenge to be played later on Saturday.

Both teams played attacking football within the first ten minutes of the match and it did not come as a surprise when Aces grabbed the lead as early as the 11th minute of the game.

Nonyane made a good run down the left flank before combining with Aubrey Ngoma, who played the ball back to the left back to coolly slot home past Tingyemb and put Aces ahead.

Celtic got back into the game immediately after conceding and were unlucky to not get the equalizer just a minute later.

A defending misunderstanding between Jackson Mabokgwane and Siyabonga Ngubane nearly handed Vusi Shikweni the equalizing goal, only for the ball to hit the post before it was cleared by the Aces defence.

Recently signed midfielder, Lantshene Phalane, had a good shot from range, but Mabokgwane was able to deal it.

The Bafana Bafana goalkeeper was called into action on numerous occasions as Celtic looked to get back to the game, but without a success as the match went to the break with Aces enjoying a 1-0 lead.

The second half saw Aces introducing experienced defender, Vincent Kobola for Ngubane to tighten up in defence.

Bethuel Tukane was also taken off for James Bell while for Celtic Geoffrey Massa made way for new acquisition, Helder Pelembe in search of the equalizing goal.

Celtic's top goal scorer last season, Lerato Lamola, also made his way into the game for Thapelo Morena, with Celtic mounting pressure on Aces, hoping to get back into the match.

But it would be Aces that would come close to increasing the score through Collins Mbesuma though his efforts were cleared away.

Lamola managed to get the ball in the back of the net in the 65th minute, but he was in an off-side position while Pelembe squandered a good chance to win the hearts of Celtic’s supporters three minutes later with his close-range effort going over the bar.

Lyle Lakay and Wade Jooste were also thrown in to boost Celtic in attack, but could not break the Aces defence.

Aces' substitute Thabo Nododa scored in the 84th minute before Mbesuma finished it off in the 90th minute to wrap-up the win for Aces, who will now meet Platinum Stars in the final, set to get underway at 5pm this evening.

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