Parker bags another two against Celtic
Posted: 14 September 2008 Time: 17:35
Bernard Parker made it four goals in two games, scoring a brace as Thanda Royal Zulu beat Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 on Sunday.
Godfrey Serunkuma pulled one back for the visitors in the 86th minute, but it was too little too late as Thanda earned their second win in a row.
Thanda started the game without Norman Smith, who was out with an ankle injury and replaced by Peter Ndlovu.
It was odd to see Celtic coach Mich D’Avray watching the game from the stands; reportedly he prefers a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the game.
Thanda, looking bright in orange, started the game to match their kit, and although Celtic seemed to dominate possession, the Durban side attacked with more purpose.
Thanda came close a few times in the opening minutes, but Thabiso Rammile had the first real chance in the 17th minute, and it was a good one – a powerful long-range shot that would have gone in the top corner were it not for Celtic keeper Shu-Aib Walters’ fingertip save.
Celtic came back with some ambitious movements of their own, with Moses Spandeel and Petrus Mahlatsi trying to construct an attack, but the two couldn’t combine to the effect they wanted.
Thanda had another clear-cut opportunity in the 35th minute, when Parker got a leg to a tight July Mahlangu cross from the left directly in front of goal, but Walters managed to get an arm to the ball and sent it out for a corner.
Mahlatsi closed the half with a good chance for Celtic, but he scuffed his shot from a crowded box straight into the arms of Thanda keeper Aubrey Mathibe.
The pace of the game, and flood of goal-opportunities, which dominated the first half came to nought, however, and the game went into half-time 0-0.
The second half opened at a slower pace, unsurprising considering the sweltering Mpumalanga weather, with half-chances from either side.
Celtic’s Kleinbooi Taaibos beat the keeper to a long ball in the 56th minute, but sent his shot into the side netting.
Thanda’s Jonas Oketola came close in the 58th minute after a clever run down the right and cross in from July Mahlangu, but his shot went just wide of goal.
And Spandeel had a shot two minutes later, but was kept out by a good save from Mathibe.
After all the fruitless play it was a relief, to the impartial spectator, when Thanda captain Parker finally made it 1-0 in the 64th minute. ‘Captain Fantastic’ made a lovely turn off a pass from Mahlangu and let loose with a shot that slammed into the bottom right of goal, beating Walters hands down.
Parker got his brace ten minutes later with a confident penalty, and followed it up with a triple backflip – a justifiable celebration after four goals in two games.
Celtic continued to probe the Thanda defence, but seemed to run out of ideas, until new Celtic signing Geoffrey Serunkuma pulled one back in the 86th minute – a header from a Spandeel corner. He celebrated by revealing a t -shirt that said ‘Thank Jesus now football is my life’ – and was promptly booked for doing so.
Thanda will be certain of continuing their run of form into their match against AmaZulu on the 28th, while Celtic will hope they can gain some points against Maritzburg United.