Bloemfontein Celtic have joined Bidvest Wits at the top of the Absa Premiership log after they claimed a 2-0 win over Golden Arrows at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Wednesday.
Goals from Tshegofatso Mabaso and Kabelo Dlamini saw Phunya Sele Sele rack up a second successive win, while Abafana Bes’thende suffered a first defeat and lost the momentum gained in their impressive weekend win at Maritzburg United.
Celtic were the first threaten, as a sixth minute corner kick saw them line-up a shot for Given Mashikinya on the edge of the penalty area, but his effort was directed straight at goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede.
The visitors rattled the woodwork on the 18-minute mark as they continued to build pressure, with a half-cleared corner seeing Tebogo Potsane send a shot mere inches away from opening the scoring.
It seemed only a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ Phunya Sele Sele would claim the lead, and they duly seized the advantage midway through the first half when a swift counter attack ended with Tshegofatso Mabaso coolly finishing past the ‘keeper for 1-0.
Arrows looked for a quick response and almost equalised in the 25th minute, but striker Lerato Lamola saw his goal-bound strike palmed away to safety by Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb.
Late in the half the Free State side threatened to claim a second goal, with Lantshene Phalane getting a well-struck shot away – his effort had Gumede worried, but travelled just wide of the target.
Celtic needed only five minutes of the second stanza to extend their lead to 2-0, as another fine counter attack give Kabelo Dlamini a one-one-one chance and he duly beat the hosts’ goalkeeper to put clear daylight between the teams.
Abafana Bes’thende dominated the rest of the game, but were unable to find a way past Celtic’s resilient defence.
Arrows will return to Absa Premiership action next week Saturday when they travel to Cape Town City, while Celtic’s next league game sees them at home to Orlando Pirates the following day.
Golden Arrows 0
Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 2 (Mabaso 23’, Dlamini 50’)
Arrows: Gumede, Zwane, Mngwengwe, Mzava, Lunga, N. Cele (Moreira 68’), D. Phiri, Venter, Mutizwa, Sabelo (Conco 46’), Lamola (Magubane 75’)
Celtic: Tignyemb, Sam, Rikhotso, Gordinho, Ndengane, Dlamini, Mashikinya, Phalane, Potsane (Masuku 74’), Mabena (Ndou 63’), Mabaso (Baloyi 72’)