Maritzburg hand Celtic first defeat

Bloemfontein Celtic suffered their first defeat in the Absa Premiership this season when they were beaten 1-0 at the Dr Molemela Stadium by Maritzburg United on Sunday.

The result saw Phunya Sele Sele miss out on the chance to go top of the log (in fact, they dropped once place to fourth), while the Team of Choice picked up their first win and moved from last place to 13th.

The match kicked off seven minutes late after Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb was twice asked by the match officials to change his socks.

The delay seemed to put the Cameroonian off his game and in the second minute he made a poor decision in sprinting off his line to try and intercept a long ball, allowing Bandile Shandu an easy finish to put Maritzburg ahead.

The KwaZulu-Natal side almost doubled their lead in the sixth minute, with a corner kick handing Brian Onyango a great chance from close range, but Lorenzo Gordinho put his body on the line to make a heroic block virtually on the goal line.

Celtic gradually worked their way into the game and nearly levelled the scores on the half-hour mark, as a slick passing move ended with Tshegofatso Mabaso firing off a volley which brushed the top of the crossbar.

Maritzburg led the game 1-0 at the break, but Celtic’s threat in attack continued to grow in the second half, and Ndumiso Mabena opened space for a snap shot in the 55th minute, only to send his effort over the target.

The visitors were content to sit back and try hit Phunya Sele Sele on the break. Their tactics almost paid dividends in the 75th minute when a counter attack ended with Andrea Fileccia sending a shot just wide of Tignyemb’s left-hand post.

Maritzburg were able to see out the remainder of the game in relative comfort and claim their first three-pointer of the 2018-19 campaign.

The teams will return to league action early next month, with Maritzburg away to AmaZulu on 2 October, while Celtic will host Mamelodi Sundowns the following day.

Bloemfontein Celtic 0
Maritzburg United (1) 1 (Shandu 2’)

Celtic: Tignyemb, Rikhotso, Gordinho, Ndengane, Sam, Masuku (Potsane 51’), Phalane, Mashikinya, Dlamini (Letsoalo 68’), Mabena, Mabaso (Pfumbidzai 77’)

Maritzburg: Ofori, De Reuck, Xulu, Onyango, Sanoka, Makgalwa (Mokate 63’), Makaringe, Shandu, Kunene, Zakri (Mekoa 46’), Fileccia (Figueredo 89’)