Bloemfontein: Bloemfontein Celtic have moved into the top five of the Absa Premiership after a comprehensive 4-2 win over Black Leopards at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Phunya Sele Sele, inspired by a brace from striker Victor Letsoalo, are up to fifth place on 24 points, while Lidoda Duvha remain in 15th place, level on 16 points with bottom-of-the-log Polokwane City.
Celtic got off to an absolute flyer and were two goals up inside the opening 10 minutes. The first arrived less than 180 seconds after the kick-off, with Siphelele Luthuli firing home from Sifiso Ngobeni’s assist to put the hosts in charge.
It was 2-0 in the 10th minute when great work from Tebogo Potsane set up Victor Letsoalo, who beat Leopards goalkeeper Jonas Mendes with a fine effort to ensure the Limpopo side had a mountain to climb in the remaining 80 minutes.
Celtic suffered an injury blow midway through the first half when Potsane limped off to be replaced by Menzi Masuku, while their lead was halved in the 27th minute when Chris Katjiukua turned home Lesedi Kapinga’s cross to give Lidoda Duvha a lifeline.
However, Phunya Sele Sele restored their two-goal lead in the 41st minute and ensured they went to the interval with a 3-1 score line. This time Luthuli turned from scorer to provider, teeing up substitute Masuku to fire home and put Celtic back in completed control.
Leopards opened the second half with a double change which saw Joseph Mhlongo and Tshwarelo Bereng introduced off the bench, but Celtic added to their lead just nine minutes after the restart, with Letsoalo netting his second to make it 4-1.
Celtic gradually eased up as the game progressed and Leopards were able to claw back a second goal in the 78th minute, with Bereng netting to add a little respectability to the score line (and ensure his side didn’t drop to the bottom of the standings on goal difference).
Celtic will be back in Premiership action in midweek with a match away to Bidvest Wits, before hosting Chippa United next Sunday, while Leopards will be home to league leaders Kaizer Chiefs next Saturday.
Bloemfontein Celtic (3) 4 (Luthuli 3, Letsoalo 10’ 54’, Masuku 41’)
Black Leopards (1) 2 (Katjiukua 27’, Bereng 78’)
Celtic: Mabokgwane, Khasipe, Mahashe, Rikhotso, Ngobeni, Luthuli, Mashikinya, Phalane, Potsane (Masuku 24’), Mabena (Motebang 71’), Letsoalo (Fikizolo 62’)
Leopards: Mendes, Mudau, Katjiukua, Gyimah, Zulu, Abubakar, Malama (Bereng 46’), X. Ndlovu (Mhlongo 46’), T. Ndlovu (Mncwango 71’), Ngele, Kapinga. Psl.co.za