South-Africa

Celtic eliminate champions SuperSport

2018-02-11 19:17
Patrick Tignyemb (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bloemfontein Celtic booked their place in the Nedbank Cup last 16 on Sunday after edging out defending champions SuperSport United 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Thakasani Mbanjwa kept Matsatsantsa in the game with a penalty save in the first half, but Ndumiso Mabena outsmarted the young goalkeeper by slotting Celtic's second penalty.

Sipho Mbule levelled matters for Eric Tinkler's side with a strong header, but Siwelele claimed victory after Patrick Tignyemb saved Denwin Farmer's spot-kick in the shootout.

The first real chance of the match arrived in the 12th minute when Mabena cut the ball back from the right-hand byline to find Jacky Motshegwa at the far post. However, the midfielder failed to hit the target.

Five minutes later, Celtic were on the attack again with Menzi Masuku driving into the box. Onismor Bhasera attempted to make the tackle but couldn't time his challenge and gave away a penalty instead. Mbhazima Rikhotso stepped up to take the spot-kick, but Mbanjwa made a brilliant save to keep the scores level.

The hosts continued their dominance as the first half wore on. Energetic winger Innocent Nemukondeni made his way to the byline and crossed towards Mabena, but his volley went just wide of the far post.

Celtic finally broke the deadlock in the 36th minute. Bhasera gave away another penalty as he tripped Masuku right on the edge of the box. Mabena took the spot-kick quickly, only taking a single step backwards before striking the ball into the back of the net. His quick thinking completely flummoxed Mbanjwa, who expected Mabena to take a run-up.

Matsatsantsa looked better after the half-time interval and were rewarded in the 58th minute. Kingston Nkhatha swung in a great cross from the right flank and Mbule was there to power home a header from close range.

Mabena came close to restoring Phunya Sele Sele's lead, hitting the woodwork with a header before getting through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, only to send his toe-poke just wide of the far post.

In stoppage time, Celtic appeared to win their third penalty of the game when Siyabonga Nhlapo pulled down Mabena in the box, but the referee was unconvinced and waved away the appeals, sending the game into extra-time.

Celtic forced Mbanjwa into an important save in the second half of extra time when substitute Sepana Letsoalo struck a strong shot from the angle on the left.

Neither team could find the breakthrough and the game went to penalties. Tignyemb was the hero for the hosts as he saved Farmer's spot-kick to clinch a 5-4 win on penalties.

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