Orlando Pirates fight back to beat Bloemfontein Celtic
Posted: 12 May 2012 Time: 16:44
Orlando Pirates are just 90 minutes away from a second successive League title after beating Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
The Buccaneers retained their two-point advantage at the top of the standings over Soweto rivals Moroka Swallows, but they had to dig deep to do so, scoring two late goals to recover from an early deficit that threatened to spoil their hopes.
Celtic opened the scoring early on through Letladi Madubanya and held the lead for almost 70 minutes until Thulasizwe Mbuyane levelled. Five minutes later, Siyabonga Sangweni scored the winner.
Pirates started promisingly, but it was Celtic who scored an early goal. With virtually their first attack, the visitors got a free-kick on the right flank which saw Madubanya head his side into a fourth-minute lead from Clifford Mulenga’s delivery.
The goal stunned the home crowd and set the tone for the rest of the first half, with Pirates dominating possession but often looking vulnerable at the back whenever Phunya Sele Sele pushed numbers forward on a counter-attack.
Bucs bossed the midfield and moved the ball swiftly out to the flanks, but too often their final pass, cross or shot was simply lacking in the quality needed to prise open a determined Celtic defence.
Pirates failed to create a single clear scoring opportunity in the first 45 minutes, with their only notable efforts being long-range shots from the likes of Isaac Chansa and Andile Jali that failed to trouble goalkeeper Thabani Stemmer.
The match continued in much the same way in the second half until the 73rd minute when substitutes Ndumiso Mabena and Mbuyane combined – the former crossed from the left flank for the latter, who headed back across goal to beat Stemmer’s right hand and make it 1-1.
Five minutes later the hosts surged into the lead with a second goal that was remarkably similar to the first: this time Klate crossed from the left and Siyabonga Sangweni squeezed his header past Stemmer to make it 2-1.