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Macufe Cup: Bloemfontein Celtic 1 Kaizer Chiefs 0

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(Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
(Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Bloemfontein Celtic retained the Macufe Cup after beating Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in a thrilling encounter played at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Sunday afternoon.

Siwelele beat Kaizer Chiefs the second year running after Vuyane Ntanga opened the scoring in the 27th minute and it was enough to win for Celtic after beating the Johannesburg based side 3-2 in last year’s edition. They will be level on titles with Kaizer Chiefs after winning it for the fourth time after today’s encounter.

Since it is an international break, both sides used this cup friendly match to hand players who are not regular starters a chance to play and show their potential. Kaizer Chiefs included academy players in their travelling squad.

Bloemfontein Celtic assistant coach Bobby Solomons, who was in charge on the bench while recently hired Head Coach Ernst Middendorp watched from the stands, gave impressive goalkeeper Thembalethu Moses a start and the experienced shot-stopper didn’t disappoint.

Kaizer Chiefs started the match with a high tempo and should have opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Matthew Rusike found himself with the ball in the area after the Celtic defence made a blunder, but the winger took time to release a shot and allowed goalkeeper Moses to cover.

Despite Chiefs winning more possession in the opening stages, it was Bloemfontein Celtic that took the lead after Lucky Baloyi fouled Wayne Jooste in the penalty area. Vuyani Ntanga stepped up and put the ball from the set-piece in the bottom corner of the net with Brilliant Khuzwayo rooted to the ground.

The goal looked to have pumped up the home side when they almost doubled the lead three minute later after Musa Nyatama put Lerato Lomala through on goal but the striker, who beat the offside trap, saw his shot blocked by onrushing Khuzwayo.

Bloemfontein Celtic were all over the visitors midway through the first half, and they came close to scoring the second again five minutes before half-time when Auguston Leonard sent in a clever cross from the left hand side but his effort only flew across the face of goal after Roderick Mutuma failed to head in from close range.

No clear cut chances were created after then and Siwelele took their lead to the break.

Kaizer Chiefs Coach Stuart Baxter made a double change in the restart and brought on young Philani Cele in the space of Matthew Rusike while goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse came on for Khuzwayo.

The early substitution by the visitors looked to have brought a new mind to their set-up when Amakhosi almost scored the equaliser six minutes into the half through Mandla Masango who connected with a cross inside the area and forced Thembalethu Moses to make a great save before Siyabonga Nkosi directed his low shot wide of the mark from the rebound.

A minute later Masango saw his header go a whisker wide of the right hand post of Moses as the Kaizer Chiefs came threatening. The home side also made a few changes after the hour-mark to try and get an insurance goal. On loan from Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Musa Nyatama came close to sealing the victory for his side in the 68th minute but his shot from the edge of the area sailed over the bar.

Then Kaizer Chiefs came threatening again with only 12 minutes to play when Simphiwe Mtsweni curled in a great shot on goal from inside the area but  Moses was alert again as he turned the ball over the bar to make sure his side stay ahead.

The 31-year old goalkeeper was the difference for the Siwelele going into full time when he stood firm and never let any attempt from Kaizer Chiefs get past him as Bloemfontein Celtic held on for a crucial win after a poor start to the season.

Bloemfontein Celtic line-up: Moses, Motlhaping, Ndlovu, Mahoa, Ntanga( Ncubeni 75th), Duiker, Nyatama (Daniels 90th), Leonard (Mzava 57th), Jooste, Mutuma (Manzini 69th), Lomala ( Nkozo 87th).

Kaizer Chiefs line-up: Brilliant Khuzayo, Moleko, Mathoho ( Gordinho 70th), Bekenya, Mthsweni, Dladla (Matombo 87th), Baloyi(Mayhardt 78th), Nkosi, Rusike, Masango, Nkhathacufe