Celtic win Free State battle
Posted: 22 December 2010 Time: 22:32
Bloemfontein Celtic handed Free State Stars their first home defeat of the 2010/11 Absa Premiership season, winning their provincial Derby match 1-0 at the Botshabelo Stadium on Wednesday evening.
A 73rd minute goal from substitute Bennett Chenene was enough to separate the teams in a game in which the defences dominated and a goalless stalemate seemed the likeliest outcome.
Perhaps the best chance of the first stanza fell the way of Celtic defender Erick Mathoho, who got his head onto Moses Spandeel’s 24th minute free kick but Mweene was well placed to make the save.
Stars’ Mpho Makola also had a couple of decent chances but on neither occasion was he able to find the back of the net, once slicing the ball wide of goal and once blasting a drive straight into the arms of Tignyemb.
The main talking point of the first half came in the 38th minute when Celtic’s Thokozani Mshengu was blatantly cut down in the Stars 18-yard box, yet neither referee Zolile Mthetho nor his assistant signaled for a penalty.
Celtic created two great opportunities for Mshengu and skipper Thabo Nthethe in the first 20 minutes of the second half but on both occasions Mweene was on hand to make a save.
In the 71st minute Stars really should have broken the deadlock, with Mxolisi Gumede floating in a great cross from the left that handed substitute Kingston Nkhatha a clear header. The Zimbabwean striker’s effort bounced up off the hard ground and was tipped over by the bar by Tignyemb.
Celtic then made the hosts pay for their miss, scoring the only goal of the game in the 73rd minute. Prince Hlela fired in a dangerous low ball and Bennett Chenene got the slightest of touches to direct it beyond the reach of Mweene.