Sekola gives Stars derby win v Celtic

Free State Stars racked up a fifth successive Absa Premiership victory when they defeated provincial rivals Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 at the Free State Stadium on Wednesday night.

With Ea Lla Koto having already secured their top flight status after being relegation candidates just a few weeks ago, this victory – secured by a first-half goal from top scorer Moeketsi Sekola – sees them claim the bragging rights over derby rivals Phunya Sele Sele.

Celtic had the first two shots in anger, with Frank Mhango and Musa Nyatama both driving efforts on target inside the opening 10 minutes, only to see Stars goalkeeper Daouda Diakite safely hang onto the ball on each occasion.

The team in green and white continued to control the game after those early shots at goal, but it was Stars who opened the scoring 10 minutes before the end of regulation time in the first half.

Thabo Moloi provided an assist and Moeketsi Sekola got on the end of the ball to beat goalkeeper Bongani Mpandle with a right-footed finish, continuing his excellent form in front of goal this season.

Celtic responded well to going behind and almost claimed an equaliser in the 40th minute. Mhango shot directly for goal from a free kick and put his effort just wide of the right-hand post to leave the score 1-0 in favour of the visitors at the break.

The home side continued to threaten an equaliser in the early minutes of the second half, while Sekola almost claimed a second goal for Ea Lla Koto in the 57th minute when he headed over the target from another Moloi cross.

Phunya Sele Sele went on to create further chances to equalise in what remained of the match, but the visitors held them at bay to claim a fifth successive league win and move to 37 points with one fixture remaining. Celtic remain on 40 points. Stars host Black Aces and Celtic travel to Moroka Swallows for their final matches of the season on Saturday.

Bloemfontein Celtic 0

Free State Stars (1) 1 (Sekola 36’)

Celtic: Mpandle, Mogapi (Mabaso 79’), Fransman, Bilankulu, Letlabika, Ndengane, Nyatama, Buchanan (Mulenga 59’), Morena (Zuma 88’), Mhango, Lamola

Stars: Diakite, Moloi (Dacosta 86’), Cardoso, Shabalala, Sankara, Mashego, Somaeb (Mzizi 90+5’), Kerspuy, Makhaula, Venter, Sekola