Lamola brace dispatches Aces
Posted: 2 March 2014 Time: 15:04
Bloemfontein Celtic beat Mpumalanga Black Aces 2-0 on Sunday, with Man of the Match Lerato Lamola scoring both goals after the break at Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium.
Aces ended the Premiership tie with ten men, as former Bafana Bafana skipper Mbulelo Mabizela received his second booking in the 85th minute.
AmaZayoni goalkeeper Bafana Nhlapo was forced into making an early save in the fifth minute to keep out a solid effort from Musa Nyatama, who had found some space on the left.
The hosts then threatened from two Keagan Buchanan corners, with Joel Mogorosi heading over the crossbar at the far post in the 14th minute, while Musa Bilankulu also missed the target two minutes later.
Aces almost scored against the run of play from a great build-up in the 31st minute, but Thabo Qalinge shot over the crossbar after he was set up by Tendai Ndoro close to the penalty spot.
Ernst Middendorp’s side then had two good chances at the other end with Clayton Daniels's effort being cleared just before the line in the 33rd minute, while Nyatama forced a good save from Nhlapo two minutes later.
Tsietsi Mahoa made a brilliant block on the stroke of half time to stop Ndoro from tapping the ball in following a good run and cross from Onyekachi Okonkwo on the left.
AmaZayoni threatened first in the second half with Qalinge drilling his low shot just wide of the near post after cutting in from the left to evade his marker.
However, it was Celtic who eventually made their dominance count in the 50th minute as Lamola capitalised on a defensive error to fire home from close range.
The Celtic forward completed his brace five minutes later, bringing a cross under control on the right before firing a low shot into the back of the net, beating Nhlapo at the near post.
Middendorp’s outfit could have added a third in the 62nd minute but Mogorosi was denied by the onrushing Nhlapo, while Buchanan struck the crossbar off the rebound.
Aces had a rare opportunity soon after as Themba Zwane fired a dipping volley over the crossbar, while Nyatama failed to hit the target at the other end two minutes later.
Both sides tried to push forward but Celtic were able to see out the rest of the match comfortably to move up to eighth spot on the table with 26 points, three points ahead of 12th-placed Aces.