Celtic reign off to winning start

Tebogo Potsane and Tshegofatso Mabaso © Backpagepix

Steve Komphela got his Bloemfontein Celtic reign off to a winning start as his team defeated Chippa United 2-0 on Sunday afternoon in their opening Absa Premiership match of the new season.

The game at Dr Molemela Stadium saw Phunya Sele Sele score through Tebogo Potsane and Tshegofatso Mabaso either side of halftime to take the full three points off the Chilli Boys.

The teams traded early chances through Lantshene Phalane (for Celtic) and Kurt Lentjies (Chippa), though neither troubled the respective goalkeepers Patrick Tignyemb and Daniel Akpeyi.

The Chilli Boys enjoyed most of the possession through the first half, though they did suffer a blow in midfield when they were forced to replace Boikanyo Komane with Thamsanqa Sangweni 10 minutes before the interval.

Against the run of play, Phunya Sele Sele opened the scoring in the 41st minute. Tebogo Potsane scored a superb goal on debut for the Bloemfontein side and ensured they held a 1-0 lead heading into the halftime break.

Chippa looked to hit back early in the second stanza as Jabulani Shongwe lined-up a long-range shot but failed to hit the target, while Celtic’s Ronald Pfumbidzai was guilty of the same thing in the 50th minute.

But six minutes later Celtic’s Tshegofatso Mabaso had his shooting boots on as he converted a penalty to make it 2-0 to the hosts. The spot kick had been won by Mabaso himself, drawing a clumsy foul from Thabo Nthethe.

Chippa responded by sending on the likes of Daine Klate and Xolani Maholo, but it was Celtic who looked the likelier scorers for a spell and Ndumiso Mabena sent a shot wide of the mark in the 74th minute as they looked to end the game as a contest.

Both Celtic and Chippa will be in league action again on Wednesday: the former is away to Golden Arrows in Durban, while the latter welcome Orlando Pirates to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 2 (Potsane 41’, Mabaso 56’ pen)

Chippa United (0) 0

Celtic: Tignyemb, Rikhotso (Sam 73’), Ndengane, Gordino, Pfumbidzai, Potsane (Masuku 68’), Phalane, Mashikinya, Dlamini, Mabena, Mabaso (Letsoalo 60’)

Chippa: Akpeyi, Tlolane, Nthethe, Nsabiyumva, Makobela, Mbokoma (Klate 60’), Komane (Sangweni 36’), Mbenyane, Shongwe (Maholo 61’), Mayambela, Lentjies