Downs get off to a flyer
Posted: 4 August 2013 Time: 17:09
Mamelodi Sundowns gave Bloemfontein Celtc a 3-1 hiding in their opening 2013/14 Premiership fixture.
Referee Daniel Volgraaf was the focus of a drama-filled clash. Celtic had John Arwuah controversially sent off on the stroke of half-time, while Anthony Laffor was sent off for Sundowns late in the match.
The goals came from Hlompho Kekana, Cuthbert Malajila, Teko Modise (penalty) and Joel Mogorosi (penalty).
Malajila got into the action early in his debut match for Sundowns, dragging a shot wide of the far upright.
The visitors were first to draw blood when ex-Celtic man Kekana netted from a direct free-kick.
Kekana let rip with a curling shot that beat the wall, but the ball took a wicked bounce to beat Patrick Tignyemb, who will be disappointed to have conceded in that way.
Another Sundowns debutant, Bongani Zungu, came really close to scoring when he drove a shot towards the far post, but the ball cannoned off the upright.
Just before the interval there was a moment of controversy when Arwuah was shown a straight red in the final seconds of the half.
The Ghanaian midfielder lunged into a challenge and his trailing leg went straight into his opponent’s body.
The sending off was challenged strongly by Celtic coach Clinton Larsen at the interval and is likely to be a big talking point over the next few days.
Celtic had a few chances early in the second half. Kennedy Mweene, who beat Wayne Sandilands to the number one jersey, tipped over an effort from Ruzaigh Gamildien and then he did really well to block Lyle Lakay’s powerful shot, after some great footwork by Lakay.
No sooner had Sundowns soaked up the Celtic attacks then Malajila got into space at the other end, but he could not keep his volley down.
Malajila finally did score, on the hour mark, controlling a pin-point pass from Modise, and in one motion drilling a volley into top corner.
Substitute Surprise Moriri came close in the final 10 minutes, but had his shot on target blocked.
Then it was an early shower for Laffor, who was sent off for a second yellow card, after he was adjudged to have handled the ball on route to goal.
In the dying seconds, Celtic were awarded a soft penalty and Mogorosi made no mistake from the spot.