Bloemfontein: Bloemfontein Celtic thumped AmaZulu FC 4-1 in a 2019/20 Nedbank Cup Last 32 match at Dr Molemela Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The victory books Siwelele’s place in the Last 16, while their Absa Premiership rivals crash out of the tournament.
Usuthu were the better side in the early stages of the match with Talent Chawapiwa causing havoc for the Siwelele defence with his pace and clever movement.
However, Siwelele grew into the match and they came very close to scoring when Justice Chabalala’s goal-bound header was brilliantly saved by AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha.
Chawapiwa, who was looking lively, deservedly broke the deadlock to make it 1-0 to AmaZulu in the 34th minute after being sent through on goal by Nhlanhla Vilakazi’s delightful pass.
The hosts then pressed Usuthu with the halftime break fast approaching and they managed to level matters when Michael Morton netted an own goal from Tumelo Njoti’s low cross.
The two teams were locked at 1-1 at the halftime break.
Siwelele did most of the attacking after the restart and they deservedly took the lead for the first time on the day through their captain Wandisile Letlabika.
Victor Letsoalo flicked the ball to Letlabika, who fired home from close range to make it 2-1 to Celtic six minutes after the hour-mark.
The visitors had a chance to respond with a goal, but Milos Lacny watched on in disbelief as Celtic keeper Sipho Chaine produced a great save to deny the Slovakian striker.
Usuthu were left to rue that opportunity as Njoti scored with a well-taken shot from inside the box to make it 3-1 to Celtic with six minutes left.
The home side were then awarded a late penalty after Ndumiso Mabena was fouled in the box and Neo Maema converted from the spot to seal Celtic’s 4-1 win over AmaZulu.
Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 4 (Morton 45’+3, Letlabika 66′, Njoti 84′, Maema 89′)
AmaZulu (1) 1 (Chawapiwa 34′)
Bloemfontein Celtic: Chaine, Rikhotso, Nyamende (Matjila 75′), Maloisane, Letlabika, Chabalala, Phalane, De Jongh, Maema, Njoti (Masuku 86′), Letsoalo (Mabena 68′).
AmaZulu: Mbatha, Sikhakhane, Mabiliso, P.Gumede, Khumalo, Vilakazi, Morton (Ntuli 72′), Ncobeni (Lacny 46′), Magaqa (Maduna 46′), Chawapihwa, Majoro. Psl.co.za