There may have been a shortage of goals in the early stages of the Absa Premiership, but Maritzburg United and Bloemfontein Celtic did their bit to address the imbalance as Phunya Sele Sele won 4-2 at the Woodburn Stadium on Wednesday night. It was a thrilling game, particularly in the first half as Celtic took a two goal lead before United fought back to go in to the break with the game all square.
Both sides had chances early on as Tlou Segolela fired over the bar in the first minute, Fadlu Davids headed over in the fourth minute and Noah Chivuta shot wide two minutes later.
The visiting side took the lead in as early as the eighth minute when Prince Olomu received the ball from Sandile Ndlovu and fired in an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area.
Maritzburg looked to stage a fight back, but after Davids and Chivuta again both missed chances, the Team of Choice found themselves 2-0 down after 14 minutes as Johannes Motlhaping stuck a header in the bottom corner of the net after a free kick from Moses Spandeel.
However, the home side got themselves back into the game in the 20th minute when Nigerian winger Felix Obada scored with a fantastic shot from distance, putting the ball past Patrick Tignyemb and into the top left hand corner of the net.
And it was all level 13 minutes later when Davids pounced from close range to score after Tignyemb had been unable to hold onto Chivuta's 20-yard effort.
Celtic ended the half the stronger side as Ditheko Mototo, Wellington Sambu and Tlou Segolela all had shots on goal, although their efforts were all from outside the box.
Maritrzburg also had a couple of chances, but Elias Ngwepe and Obada could not find a way past Tignyemb.
The complexion of the game changed in the 51st minute when Maritzburg keeper Brendan Wardle was red-carded for handling the ball outside his area.
Shots were then exchanged from both sides as Obada and Mototo both missed from range before Olomu put Phunya Sele Sele back in front in the 62nd minute with a superb shot from 25-yards out.
And just three minutes later the Free State side increased their lead to two goals when Sandile Ndlovu netted from close range.
The Team of Choice rallied strongly late in the game, but this time there was to be no way back as the likes of Obada, Chivuta and Brice Aka could not keep their efforts on target.