Celtic "turn the corner"
Posted: 21 December 2008 Time: 17:52
Bloemfontein Celtic managed their second win of the season on Sunday, beating Free State Stars 1-0 in the Free State derby.
Celtic went ahead through an own goal from Jonathan Mensah in the first half at a sweltering Seisa Ramabodu Stadium.
The three points were desperately needed by Celtic and it showed as they fought for everything and demonstrated good commitment in defence in keeping an on-form Ea Lla Koto off the score-sheet.
The celebrations after the game also proved just how important the result was to the struggling Bloemfontein side. Their under-fire coach Mich d’Avray said after the game that his side, “have turned the corner, watch us go in the second half of the season.”
Overall, it was a solid, if unspectacular performance from Celtic, who found themselves up against a Stars side who looked flat in attack.
Stars started brightly and had a first minute chance which saw Tebelo Mofokeng pulling the ball wide of goal from just 10-yards out.
It was Celtic, however, who took the lead, rather fortunately it must be said, when Stars defender Mensah misjudged a back-pass and headed the ball into his own net.
With the way Phunya Sele Sele have been struggling this season, it was just the sort of luck they needed and the remainder of the half saw them playing with a degree of confidence, keeping a fair share of the ball.
However, following the goal, the only time the home side really threatened the Stars defence was when Patrick Malokase hit a low dangerous ball across the box which narrowly failed to pick out a team-mate.
Stars were quickly onto the attack in the second half and Celtic had veteran John Maduka to thank as he managed to clear the danger from a goal-mouth scramble which looked set to end in a goal.
Celtic soon created a few chances of their own as Shaun Bartlett headed just over and Maduka went close with a 30-yard pile-driver.
Phunya Sele Sele did, however, suffer a set back when Petrus Mahlatsi, who had looked dangerous in attack, was forced off the field by an injury.
Mark Mayambela came close to adding a second for Celtic in the 83rd minute, but his shot was tipped over the bar by a diving Mweene.
In the end Celtic were able to hold on comfortably, despite the five minutes of injury time, as Stars just couldn’t get any dangerous combinations going up front.