Win raises Celtic hopes
Posted: 15 March 2009 Time: 18:24
Bloemfontein Celtic continued their push to get out of the Premiership danger zone with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Golden Arrows in a disrupted match at the Griffons Rugby Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A goal from Darrel Smith sealed the game.
Phunya Sele Sele remain second from bottom after defeating their opponents from KwaZulu-Natal, but they are now just two points adrift of Thanda Royal Zulu and a further two from Maritzburg United with six rounds of the League remaining.
Celtic saw six changes from the side that lost 1-0 to SuperSport United in their last league outing. In came Mario Booysen, Ditheko Mototo, Kleinbooi Taaibos, Mark Mayambela, Darrel Smith and Geoffrey Serunkuma, replacing Cyrille Mubiala, Johannes Motlhaping, Solomon Mathe, Tumelo Nhlapo, Tlou Segolela and Gert Schalkwyk.
Arrows had five alterations to the team that lost to Kaizer Chiefs, with Thulasizwe Khuzwayo, Joseph Musonda, Beka Phakathi, Thanduyise Khuboni and Francis Kombe coming in for Brenden Wardle, Nhlanhla Ngubane, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Rodgers Kola and Richard Henyekane.
Crowd-control trouble at the venue saw the game stopped with just over 20 minutes of play having elapsed. No action of any real significance had happened on the pitch when match officials took the players from the field due to fears for their safety, as supporters tried to get into the overflowing terraces.
After nearly 50 minutes’ delay, the game resumed. Soon after the restart, in the 32nd minute of the match, a cross from Joseph Henyekane found Bheka Phakathi in the penalty area, but the midfielder failed to hit the target with his right -footed effort.
The first half ended 0-0, with the last chance before the half-time whistle falling to Darrel Smith, but the attacker blazed his shot wide of goal. However, Smith got his radar working just three minutes into the second stanza when he directed the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Phunya Sele Sele.
The hosts’ defence held out well against the pressure Arrows applied to them, but Phakathi did spurn a golden opportunity with just over ten minutes to play. Substitute Siyabonga Vezi also missed a chance, though his 20-yard drive was hardly a clear-cut opening.