Bloemfontein: Bloemfontein Celtic claimed an emphatic 3-0 win over Black Leopards in an Absa Premiership match at Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The result – secured by goals from Ronald Pfumbidzai and Victor Letsoalo (two) – takes Phunya Sele Sele up to fifth place on the log, while Lidoda Duvha suffered their first loss under coach Dylan Kerr and remain in 12th place.

Celtic went ahead as early as the seventh minute, putting together a slick passing move which ended with Ronald Pfumbidzai squeezing a shot under the body of goalkeeper King Ndlovu. The ball appeared to cross the goal line before Jean Munganga’s attempted clearance, which hit the inside of the post and ended up in the net anyway.

Leopards almost equalised in the 15th minute, putting together a defence-splitting move which saw Patrick Tignyemb forced into an exceptional save to deny Joseph Mhlongo, while the rebound fell kindly for Mwape Musonda, but he was quickly closed down by some desperate defending.

Ten minutes later the visitors put together another great passing move which gave Musonda a sight of goal from the right of the penalty area, but Tignyemb was on hand to make a good low save, before recovering to keep out another effort from the loose ball.

With the Limpopo team dominating possession, Celtic were happy to try and hit them on the counter attack, with the likes of Tshegofatso Mabaso and Kabelo Dlamini looking dangerous when given a sniff of running in behind the defence. However, the first half ended with the score still 1-0 in favour of Phunya Sele Sele.

The pattern of play continued in the second half, with Leopards dominating possession but Celtic looking capable of adding to their advantage on the counter, but the game turned with just under 20 minutes to play when the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

Lidoda Duvha right-back Khuliso Mudau picked up two unnecessary yellow cards in quick succession for roughing up Tebogo Potsane and was sent off, handing the hosts a numerical advantage for the final period of the game.

And Celtic took full advantage, with substitute Victor Letsoalo twice capitalising: his first was in the 82nd and saw him spring the offside trap before easily beating Ndlovu, while his second a minute later was a beautiful chip over the ‘keeper which a defender on the line was unable to clear successfully.

Leopards will be back in Premiership action as soon as Wednesday evening, as they face Mamelodi Sundowns away, while Celtic will be away to Baroka next Sunday afternoon.

Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 3 (Pfumbidzai 7’, Letsoalo 82’ 83’)

Black Leopards 0

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Tani, Letlabika, Rikhotso, Pfumbidzai, Maema (Potsane 59’), Phalane, Mashikinya, Baloyi, Dlamini (Masuku 65’), Mabaso (Letsoalo 74’)

Black Leopards: K. Ndlovu, Mudau, Munganga, Masia, Zulu, Hlongwane, Nene, Bereng (Kapinga 76’), Tshepe (Sekotlong 57’), Mhlongo (Mahangwahaya 61’), Musonda.