Celtic edge past 10-man Aces
Bloemfontein Celtic moved to the top-half of the table after beating Mpumalanga Black Aces 2-0 in the Absa Premiership match at the Kaizer Sobothelo Stadium in Botshabelo on Sunday afternoon.
Siwelele had plenty of chances to score in opening half, but they only broke the deadlock early in the second-half with a brace from Lerato Lamola. The win sends Bloemfontein Celtic 8th on the log with 26 points from 19 matches. While Amazayoni, who failed trouble the home goalkeeper throughout the match, remain 12th on the standings with 23 points from 18 matches.
Bloemfontein Celtic coach Ernst Middendorp was forced to male change from a team that won in the first round of the Nedbank Cup with goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb suspended and Thembalethu Moses came in the space of the Cameroonian between the sticks.
The visiting coach Clive Barker also had to make a change in the defensive midfield position bringing on Zamuxolo Ngalo in the space of suspended Sandile Zuke.
The match was dominated by the home side in the opening stages, and they almost opened the scoring when on-loan from Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Musa Nyatama found himself with ball on the left side of the area, and unleashed on target but Bafana Nhlapon was well positions to block the shot with five minutes gone.
Musa Bilannkula had another chance to open the scoring for Siwelele but he could not direct his diving header unmarked following a by corner-kick by Keagan Buchanan after 16 minutes as the host pilled early pressure on the visitors. Then Juel Mogorosi saw his swinging shot just go wide of the mark three minutes later.
The Botswana international’s assist ten minutes later almost led to a goal when his cross found Lerato Lamola inside the area, but the striker’s shot was well blocked by defender Method Mwanjale. The visitors also had their chance to score in the hour-mark and it was their first clear-cut chance.
Onyekachi Okonkwo found Thendai Ndoro inside the area, and the Zimbabwean showed a great skill when he laid the ball perfect for Thabo Qalinge, who blasted his effort over the bar from 13-yards out.
Five minutes later Amazayoni were lucky not to go a goal down when a defensive blunder allowed Lerato Lamola to steal the ball and make a run on the left flank before finding Musa Nyatama with a low cross, whose shot was well saved by Bafana Nhlopo, it was a great save by the dreadlocked goalkeeper as Nyatama was in a point-blank range.
The visiting side had the best chance to score in the optional time of the first-half when Nigerian striker Onyekachi Okonkwo crossed well from the left for Thendai Ndoro but Celtic defender Tsietsi Mohao beat the striker to the ball and make a fine clearance to make sure his side does not go the break trailing.
The home side took the lead in the 50th minute capitalising from defensive error by the visitors. Ofentse Nato’s back pass to Bafana Nhlapo was picked by Lerato Lamola as the keeper went off guard and the striker easy side stepped the custodian before slotting the ball in the unguarded net, 1-0.
Five minutes later the striker completed his brace when he met a long cross from Clinton Daniels on the far post before making some great footwork before firing past helpless Bafana Nhlapo from tight angle to double the lead for the host, 2-0.
Just after the hour-mark, Bloemfontein Celtic had a chance to put the game to bed when Joel Mogorosi was clear on goal but the Botswana International took time to pull and a trigger and when he finally did onrushing Bafana Nhlapo made a fine block and Keagan Buchanan saw his shot clip the crossbar on its way over from the follow-up.
The leading side setback in the midway through of the second-half, while Mpumalanga Black Aces making their final change of the match bringing on Zambian born attacking midfielder Clifford Mulenga looking for fresh legs in their attack to try and fight back with less than 20 minutes to play.
The visitors were reduced to ten-man when Mbulelo Mabizela clipped Gabadinho Mhango from behind just outside the area to leave Daniel Bennett with no choice but to show him a second a yellow card and sent him off five minutes from time.
Bloemfontein Celtic: Moses, Nkausu, Bilankula, Daniels ©, Letlabika, Gabonamong, Mahoa, Buchanan (Ndemane 77’), Nyatama (Mhango 82’), Mogorosi (Mhango 68’), Lamola
Mpumalanga Black Aces: Nhlapo, Mabaso, Mabizela ©, Mwanjale, Nato, Zwane, Ngobeni (Timm 56’), Ngalo, Qalinge, Okonkwo (Nale 60’), Ndoro ( Mulenga 74’).