Rockets shoot down Celtic at Mbombela

Premiership

TS Galaxy overcame Bloemfontein Celtic to hold onto all three points in their DStv Premiership fixture in Nelspruit on Wednesday afternoon.

Galaxy and Celtic met for the first time in their history after the hosts' took over the status of Highlands Park at the start of the season.

A lone goal from Lindokuhle Mbatha in the first half was enough to seperate the two sides and ultimately ensure the Rockets mark their history with a first victory over their Free State rivals.

Proceedings at Mbombela Stadium got off to a relatively slow start as the two sides looked to find their footing and suss one another out.

The hosts were the first to draw blood with Mbatha registering the opening shot at goal inside the opening 15 minutes but Sipho Chaine was untroubled.

Phunya Sele Sele finally got into their groove as Reagan Van Der Ross asked questions of Marlon Heugh, who stood up to the task with a solid block to keep the scores level just after the half-hour mark.

Mbatha finally broke the deadlock a few minutes before half-time as he finished off a well-worked move by Khayelihle Shozi to give coach Owen Da Gama's side the advantage heading into the break.

Very little separated the two sides in the second half with minimal goal-mouth action, while the home team preferred to protect their lead with a more cautious approach.

The results sees Galaxy move up two spots into ninth position – level on points with 10th-placed Kaizer Chiefs but with one game in hand – while Celtic fell one place into 11th.

Full line-ups:

Galaxy XI: Heugh, Msimango, Fransman, Mahlagu, Mbunjana, Aubaas, Phohlongo (Matlala 67'), Mokoena (Mahlangu 67'), Mbatha, Shozi (Lekay 60'), Macuphu (Sanoka 85').

Unused Subs: Van der Linde, Modisane, Tshepe, Nyama, Bevan.

Celtic XI: Chaine, Baloyi, Ngobeni (Tchilimbou 74'), Lingwati, Mahashe, Mabena, Kobedi, Mashikinya (Maema 74'), Masuku (Potsane 74'), Fikizolo (Sera 54'), Van Der Ross (Letsoalo 41').

Unused Subs: Mabokgwane, Chabalala, Phalane, Mofokeng.

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