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13/03/2010 20:15

Pirates down Celtic in Cup

Posted: 13 March 2010 Time: 22:17

Orlando Pirates beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in a Telkom Knockout Cup match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

The goal was scored by Ndumiso Mabena in the 16th minute.

The Buccaneers were certainly deserved winners and they were on the front foot from early on, making good use of wingers Bennett Chenene and Dikgang Mabalane to dominate the opening exchanges.

However it was Celtic, very much against the run of play, who created the first genuine scoring chance of the match in the 12th minute. Right-back Billy Ratsoana provided a superb cross from a deep position on the right flank that picked out Bongani Ndulula unmarked in the penalty area, but the young striker couldn’t find the target with his effort.

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Ndumiso Mabena, who had scored against Celtic in the side’s League meeting last weekend, notched up his second goal against the Bloemfontein side in as many games, breaking the deadlock in the 16th minute.

Phunya Sele Sele were unable to clear a Chenene corner kick from the right and Mabena latched onto a loose ball in the box, slamming home an unstoppable volley to put the Buccaneers 1-0 up.

Yet Celtic should have drawn level just two minutes later, with Moses Spandeel spooning a shot over the bar after a defence-splitting pass from Thembile Kanono had given the visitors’ no.11 a clear sight of goal.

Pirates stayed in the driving seat in the early stages of the second half, yet their inability to find a second goal that would put the game to bed must have been worrying for coach Ruud Krol.

Just before the hour mark Mabalane sped away down the right flank on a counter attack and provided a great cross that would have found Mabena were it not for a great clearance by Mokete Tsotetsi.

Mabalane’s pace was really troubling the Celtic backline and on 69 minutes he almost fooled Patrick Tignyemb with a shot from a tight angle when the keeper would have been expecting a cross – the goal minder did well in the end to put the ball behind for a corner kick.

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