Solomons praises Bloemfontein Celtic players for sticking to game-plan

Fierce Free State Derby ends with Phunya Sele Sele win in extra-time
Bloemfontein Celtic assistant coach Boebie Solomons says his side stuck to their game-plan in the face of a fierce Free State Stars onslaught in the Telkom Knockout semifinal played at the Charles Mopeli Stadium on Sunday.

Phunya Sele Sele won 3-2 thanks to goals from Letladi Madubanya, Lerato Manzine and Joel Mogorosi, but at times were over-run by a rampant Stars. Dove Wome netted a brace for the home side in vain.

Solomons, who was on the bench for suspended head coach Clinton Larsen, says that his players showed character to keep their shape and not panic in the face of the home side’s attacking threat.

“We played well, we stuck to our game-plan,” Solomons says. “It was a little difficult because decisions weren’t going our way, the bounce of the ball too.

“The first half they [Stars] played very well, but in the second half we came back and we scored when it mattered. We kept our shape, we were very determined to win the game and we did very well.”

Stars coach Steve Komphela cut a disconsolate figure, knowing his side had dominated for large parts of the fixture, and admitting the goals they conceded were soft.

“We were OK in the first half, we should have scored at least a couple of goals,” Komphela says. “The three goals we conceded were giveaways. If we had made the most of our chances in the first half, it would have been a different game. I said to my players at halftime that we had to up our game, but unfortunately we were not able to.”

Celtic will now play Mamelodi Sundowns in the final of the 2012 Telkom Knockout to be played on December 1.