Stars ensured a vital Free State Derby victory through the effort of Luyolo Nomandela, giving Phunya Sele Sele a bitter taste of their own medicine.
The game got off to an attacking start when Free State Stars midfielder Anver Ersterhuizen tested Patrick Tignyemb with a long-range shot in the opening minute.
However, it took a long time before another clear attacking opportunity, and the keepers were reduced to mere spectators.
The game's first real scoring opportunity came in the 26th minute. After a few probes Celtic found themselves inside the Stars penalty box but Jacky Motshegwa ballooned his shot over the crossbar.
After Motshegwa's effort, the game was mostly concentrated in the midfield with referee Zolile Mthethwa having a tough time to control emotions as hard tackles flew around.
In the 41st minute, Stars had a set-piece when Dove Wome was brought down just outside the box, but the Togolese attacker was denied by the crossbar.
In the closing stages, the game was halted for a few minutes when Celtic captain Thabo Nthethe received attention from the medical team after a dangerous tackle from a Stars player.
Just before the hour mark, Ruzaigh Gamildien broke free on the left wing but his left footed effort was too weak to trouble Kennedy Mweene.
A few minutes later, Gamildien was once again in the thick of things as he connected with a loose ball outside the box but this time around his well-taken shot could not find the target.
10 minutes from time, Stars could have taken the lead as Paulus Masehe's volley was cleared off the line.
A few minutes later, Mweene had to react quickly to thwart Celtic substitute striker Lerato Manzini, who was racing to connect with a long range ball that beat the Stars defence.
Deep into injury time, the two teams kept on attacking each other, but could not find the target, until Nomandela struck in the final minute of the game to steal the three points for the home side.