Absa Premiership

Papic not getting carried away

2015-03-15 12:08
Kosta Papic (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Polokwane City coach Kosta Papic has remained cautious about his team's chances of finishing in the top eight after they bounced back to beat Bloemfontein Celtic 3-0 at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

Polokwane, who went down 5-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns in a crushing midweek defeat, picked up their first win in four Premiership matches.

"I told my players only big teams can come back and win a match after they lose like that," Papic said.

"Today was a little bit better than before. We finally started scoring goals, which means something to us.

"I hope we'll continue like this. Maybe one victory more and we are definitely safe from relegation, and we'll look forward after that as to where we'll end up."

City, who narrowly escaped relegation last season, grabbed the lead in first-half injury time in their weekend clash when Jabu Maluleke took advantage of a sleeping Celtic defence to score from nearly 30 metres out.

After the visitors wasted multiple chances in the first half, Polokwane took complete control in the second period.

With 20 minutes remaining, Puleng Tlolane hit the left post after receiving a neat through-ball, and he scored his ninth goal of the campaign off the rebound with no response from the Celtic defence.

Cole Alexander banged in their third in the 86th minute, with a thunderous strike after a clever interception just outside the box.

The visitors, whose four-match winning streak was brought to an abrupt halt, continued to cling to the top half of the league table.

"We knew they were going to come at us, wave after wave on attack," said Celtic coach Clinton Larsen.

"We had a few very good chances throughout the game and didn't take any of them, and that was the difference today.

"I just thought we were second best. They were top class, especially in the midfield where Jabu Maluleke and Cole Alexander ran the show.

"We couldn't really get to them. Their movement was good and their usage of the ball was exceptional.

"We must give credit where it's due. Polokwane were the better team."


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