In The News South Africa Sport

Bloem Celtic claim top spot with victory over Pirates

BLOEMFONTEIN, August 19  – Bloemfontein Celtic are the new log leaders in the Premiership after beating Orlando Pirates 1-0 at the Free State Stadium on Sunday.

Steve Komphela’s side showed great character in outclassing a Pirates team without any real bite upfront.

The match started with the visitors dictating play, but without really creating any goalscoring opportunities. Pirates passed the ball well from the back, but could not get any satisfaction in the last third of the pitch.

Celtic goalkeeper and captain Patrick Tignyemb was not really tested much, but when he was called upon he stood his ground quite well. Tignyemb has now gone three matches in the league without conceding a goal.

Pirates had the first real chance to open the scoring, but some wayward finishing from Mpho Makola left his team disappointed. Thamsanqua Gabuza also created a few chances for the visitors, but struggled with his finishing.

Celtic took the lead in the 17th minute after a corner kick. Alfred Ndengami hit the post with a header and Bongani Sam followed up to beat Pirates’ goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane with an acrobatic kick.

Gabuza again came close after a Vincent Pule freekick. The national team striker could, however, not react fast enough and another chance went wasted. Celtic had several players who stood out in the first half, with the young Teboho Potsane one of the stars.

In the second half Pirates once again piled on the pressure. Too many wasted passes, wrong options and good defending by Celtic, though, kept the Soweto giants scoreless.

Buccaneers coach Milutin Sredojevic was left dumbstruck with his charges not being able to put together meaningful combinations. Gabuza came close in the 67th minute when he latched onto a freekick and beat the keeper to the ball, but his header was off target.

Captain Happy Jele came close to scoring in the 92nd minute for Pirates, but his header was cleared off the line.

Celtic have nine points form three matches and are above second-placed Wits, who also have nine, by virtue of a better goal difference. (ANA)

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