Free State Stars, who have lost just one League game since the start of the year, had the chance for a third-place finish – if Chiefs had lost they would have bettered them on goal-difference – but have to settle for fourth. Not bad for a team threatened with relegation before Christmas.
Celtic also went into the game on a run of good form, winning three and losing none of their past six League games.
Phunya Sele Sele’s safety was in their own hands; they just had to beat Stars. But they couldn’t manage a first away-win of the season, and were saved by the 0-0 draw between Maritzburg United and Thanda Royal Zulu.
Stars opened the scoring in the eight minute, when Mpho Makola shot into the top-right-hand corner of Shu-Aib Walters’ goal, after a nice run and assist from Matome Madimabe down the right wing.
Stars made it 2-0 in the 21st minute, when Tebelo Mofokeng headed in a Ruben Cloete free-kick.
Twenty minutes later Celtic added to the scoreline, but not to their own advantage, as Cyrille Mubiala scored a close-range own goal to make it 3-0.
Madimabe turned scorer just before half-time, and Stars took a daunting 4-0 lead into the break.
Sthembiso Ngcobo got a fifth for Stars to put the scoreline beyond reasonable doubt in the 74 minute.
Gert Schalkwyk got one back for Celtic on 82 minutes, but his goal didn’t add much respectability to the scoreline.