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
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
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
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.