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Seisa Ramabodu
24/02/2008 15:45

Celtic triumph over AmaZulu

Posted: 24 February 2008 Time: 18:27

Bloemfontein Celtic won their first match in 2008 with a 3-2 win over AmaZulu at the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Mangaung, just outside Bloemfontein, on Sunday afternoon.

Celtic took an early lead through Darren Smith in the 5th minute as he turned Lebohang Kukame's cross home from close range. The home team went two goals up just prior to half time courtesy of an own goal, and went further ahead in the 66th minute after some good work from John Maduka saw him start off a move and finish it off.

Celtic then took their foot off the pedal and a number of their players, lead by Kleinbooi Taaiboos and Lebohang Kukame began showboating, which angered their coach Khabo Zondo who substituted the pair.

Celtic's lax attitude in the final few minutes of the match lead to Dumisani Ngwenya scoring two late goals, which drew Khabo Zondo to lash out at his team for not scoring more goals and trying to improve their current negative goal deficit.

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Smith got Celtic off to the best possible start just five minutes into the game. He got his name onto the scoreboard when he drilled home Lebohang Kukame's cross from the right. Kukame had initially done well to block down an AmaZulu clearance and, once he blocked the ball, he raced to it and quickly looked up before sending the ball towards Smith who from just a few yards out was never going to miss.

AmaZulu seemed all at sea in coping with Bloemfontein Celtic early on, and took time to find their feet.

But they managed to come close to an equalizer in the ninth minute, when Maleka played Ngwenya into space on the right wing. He picked the ball up and swung it back towards Maleka who was bearing down on the goal. Omony in the Celtic goal came out and got a touch to the ball but it still managed to reach Maleka, but he could not direct his header and knocked the ball wide.

AmaZulu were two goals down just before halftime against the run of play; they were controlling possession and beginning to get back into the game. But then it was heartbreak for Clive Barkers’ team in the 43rd minute. Taaiboos from the right knocked the ball goalwards trying to pick out Smith, but instead AmaZulu keeper Kalililo Kakonje got a hand to the ball and tried push it out, only for it to hit the shins of his own defender Pere Ariweriayi, who was being put under pressure by Smith at the time, and cross the line. Celtic lead two nil at the break.

Just over an hour had lapsed when the Malawian John Maduka gave Celtic a comfortable three goal lead, after playing a one two just outside the AmaZulu penalty area with Kukame.

Maduka brought through the opposition defence and from just inside the AmaZulu 18 yard area shot for goal, Kakonje stuck a hand out and got to the ball but the sheer power of the shot saw it go beyond the keeper and spin over the line to put what Celtic would have thought was daylight between them and AmaZulu.

Celtic spurned a number of chances and the signs were beginning to show that AmaZulu were going to finish the match strongly, first John Moshoeu forced Omony into making a save off his volley in the 77th minute.

Then just as injury time started Dumisani Ngwenya was put through on goal and side footed the ball under Omony to score his eight goal of the season.

Deeper into injury time and he completed his brace after Moshoeu had headed Issah's cross towards him, from all of eight yards out he drilled the ball into the roof of the net to set up a nervous ending to the match for Celtic.

In the end the home team managed to hang on to the win but their defensive lapses do not make for good reading and Khabo Zondo still has a lot of work to do to ensure that his team can secure a top eight finish.

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