Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 Kaizer Chiefs: Phunya Sele Sele add to Amakhosi's woes
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Ndumiso Mabena's first half goal was enough to hand Free State giants their second successive win in Limpopo

Bloemfontein Celtic moved back into the Premier Soccer League (PSL) top eight after defeating Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in a match which was played in Polokwane on Saturday night.

Phunya Sele Sele were brimming with confidence having snapped their seven-match winless run in the league when they edged out Polokwane City 2-1 away in midweek.

Ndumiso Mabena, who netted against Polokwane City, started in attack and Wandisile Letlabika made his first start since he sustained a concussion in Celtic's clash with Mamelodi Sundowns last month.

Amakhosi were desperate for a victory as they were enduring a four-match winless run in the league having played to a 1-1 draw with Lamontville Golden Arrows at home in midweek.

Ernst Middendorp made six changes to the team that faced Arrows with Kabelo Mahlasela filling the void left by Hendrick Ekstein, who surprisingly parted ways with Chiefs on Thursday after rejecting the club's new contract offer.

Celtic began the match brightly with Bongani Sam playing some lovely crosses into the Chiefs box in search of Mabena and Menzi Masuku, who were making runs into the area.

The first real chance of the game fell kindly for Masuku, but the former Orlando Pirates playmaker placed his header over the crossbar despite being unmarked in the Amakhosi box.

Celtic decided to host Amakhosi in Polokwane as their usual home ground, Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium was not in a condition to host a match as parts of the arena were damaged by Celtic fans during the team's PSL clash with Cape Town.

Nevertheless, Lehlohonolo Seema's charges felt at home in Limpopo as they broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute when Mabena beat Chiefs goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma with a well-taken free-kick.

Chiefs were struggling to create chances with the hosts' defence looking solid and organised, and the first half ended with Celtic leading 1-0.

Amakhosi pushed for their first goal of the match after the restart, but the Celtic defence continued to frustrate strikers Bernard Parker and Dumisani Zuma, who had no supply from midfield.

Siphelele Ntshangase, who is a creative midfielder by trade, was introduced by Middendorp and he was expected to bring some creativity to the visitors' midfield.

However, Celtic defended too deep and launched quick counter-attacks with Seema having introduced pacey attacker Tebogo Potsane.

Amakhosi had a rare chance in the closing stages of the game, but Parker placed his effort wide from 12-yards out with the Celtic defence caught ball watching.

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Celtic came into the match having scored the majority of their goals (35,5%) in the final 15 minutes of their league games and they had two great goalscoring opportunities in the dying minutes of the game.

Neo Maema was sent through on goal twice - first, he was denied by Bvuma from close range, before missing the target from a one-on-one situation and ultimately, Celtic emerged 1-0 winners over Chiefs on the night.

The victory took Celtic to eighth spot on the league standings - a point behind seventh-placed Amakhosi with two matches left.

 

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