Frank Mhango's first half strike was enough for Bloemfontein Celtic to defeat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash played at Free State Stadium on Monday afternoon
Hosts Celtic were looking to return to winning ways after failing to win their last three competitive matches, while their visitors Pirates were out to avenge their 3-2 defeat to Siwelele in the first round.
The match started at a blistering pace as Pirates pressurized the Celtic defence in the fifth minute, but Siwelele counter-attacked immediately with Celtic forward Frank Mhango's strike been blocked inside the Bucs final third.
Bucs wingback Thabo Matlaba whipped in a dangerous cross into the Celtic box. However, the Siwelele defence did well to clear the ball away before it could reach Bucs midfielder Mpho Makola in the 20th minute.
Just a minute later, Bucs winger Daine Klate played a beautiful through-ball to his teammate Thamsanqa Gabuza, who struck the ball wide of Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb's goal posts.
The home side broke the deadlock in the 26th minute after hitting Bucs on the counter. Forward Mhango cut inside from the right, before firing a left-footed strike which hit the back of the net, much to the delight of the Celtic faithful.
It was the 20-year old's ninth Absa Premiership goal of the season, just one goal behind the league's top goalscorer Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs.
Mamelodi Sundowns loanee Musa Nyatama's well-taken cross into the Bucs box, was headed wide by Celtic captain Clayton Daniels two minutes before the referee blew the whistle for half-time.
Just five minutes into the second half, Bucs wingback Matlaba squared a low pass to his teammate Gabuza inside the Celtic box, but the former Bafana Bafana striker missed the target.
Then Celtic midfielder Nyatama took a shot at Bucs keeper Senzo Meyiwa, who could not hold it, but he eventually grabbed it before Mhango could pounce on the ball.
There was a goalline clearence in the 70th minute, when Bucs defender Ayanda Gcaba's powerful header was blocked by Celtic's goalscorer Mhango before it could cross the goal line.
The away side were piling pressure onto the Celtic defence, but the Siwelele backline was able to deal well with the long balls and through balls played by Pirates.
Matlaba again, who was Bucs' best player on the pitch on the day, beat his marker in the 78th minute, but his attempt at goal had no power and Celtic keeper Tignyemb easily gathered it.
It ended 1-0 to Celtic, and they moved to position six in the Absa Premiership standings.