Stars defeat Celtic in derby

Free State Stars claimed provincial bragging rights as they defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in the Absa Premiership’s early kick-off on Wednesday.

Tiyani Mabunda scored the only goal of the game at the Charles Mopeli Stadium as Ea Lla Koto ended a run of three successive losses with victory over their derby rivals Phunya Sele Sele.

After an uneventful first half, Celtic made two changes at the start of the second stanza, with Joel Mogorosi and Lyle Lakay coming on for Dumisani Zuma and Vuyani Ntanga respectively.

Stars soon made a change of their own, with Sydney Masana replacing Andrea Fileccia, and the substitute had a great chance in the 52nd minute, getting on the end of a cross from Danny Venter only to head over the crossbar.

Shortly thereafter Celtic defender Musa Bilankulu had a chance to put his side ahead, but his effort failed to trouble Ea Lla Koto goalkeeper Ayanda Mtshali.

On 64 minutes the Bloemfontein side had another opportunity, but Lakay’s shot was brilliantly parried away by Mtshali, while just a minute later Venter blasted wide for the hosts.

Phunya Sele Sele had their last roll of the dice in terms of substitutes when they sent on Malawian striker Frank Mhango with just over 10 minutes to play.

However, it was Stars who stole all three points with a goal in the 86th minute: Tiyani Mabunda got on the end of an assist from Moeketsi Sekola and had the beating of Patrick Tignyemb to score the match winner.

Free State Stars (0) 1 (Mabunda 86’)

Bloemfontein Celtic 0

Stars: Mtshali, Cardoso, Shabalala, Masehe, Thlone, Venter (Mkhwanazi 88’), Mabunda, Mashego, Fileccia (Masana 51’), Sekola, Henyekane

Celtic: Tignyemb, Morena, Bilankulu, Fransman, Cloete, Ndengane, Nyatama, Maasdorp, Zuma (Mogorosi 46’), Ntanga (Lakay 46’), Lamola (Mhango 78’)