Bloemfontein Celtic beat Black Leopards 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at the Thohoyandou Stadium in Limpopo on Sunday afternoon.
Tshegofatso Mabasa scored the only goal of the game as the visitors extended their unbeaten start to the season to five games. A fourth win in five moves the Free State club level on 13 points with log leaders Bidvest Wits.
Siwelele hit the front as early as the 10th minute following a frantic start to the clash on Leopards’ return to their hallowed turf.
Ndumiso Mabena pounced on a hopeful ball forward before teeing up Mabasa, who finished with aplomb to silence the home crowd.
Leopards, cheered on by thousands gathered at the refurbished venue, went in immediate search of the equaliser and were almost gifted a goal in the 17th minute.
Patrick Tignyemb’s scuffed clearance opened a path at goal for Mwape Musonda, but the goalkeeper got down well to keep out the Zambian forward to duly spare his own blushes.
The Siwelele shot-stopper was on hand once more to deny Lidoda Duvha two minutes later. This time to tip Marks Munyai’s shot onto the crossbar and out of danger.
At the other end of the park, King Ndlovu showcased his class in goal to keep Leopards within touching distance. The burly gloves man with two great saves to deny Mbhazima Rikhotso and Kabelo Dlamini before the half-hour mark.
The game continued to ebb and flow for the remainder of the half, with Leopards enjoying a slight upper-hand, but it would be Celtic to take a narrow lead into the break.
Phunya Sele Sele should’ve doubled their lead in the 73rd minute after a floating cross found an unmarked Tebogo Potsane, but the attacker failed to hit the target with the goal at his mercy.
Leopards threw everything and the kitchen sink forward at goal in the closing stages, but the Celtic defence held firm as Steve Komphela’s troops picked up another impressive win.
Bloemfontein Celtic 1
Black Leopards: Ndlovu; Munyai, Zulu, Munganga (Ndou 31′), Sibanda, Nange, Mokoena, Nene, Musonda (Ndlovu 63′), Tshepe (Mhlongo 55′), Khutlang.
Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb; Sam, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Mabena, Mashikinya, Masuku (Potsane 66′), Gordinho, Dlamini (Letsoalo 72′), Phalane, Mabasa (Pfumbidzai 54′).