The result sees Bakgaga placed 10th on 22 points, four points off the top half of the log, while Phunya Sele Sele are 12th on 20 points. The match featured foals from Victor Letsoalo and Richard Mbulu, as well as a red cards for Elvis Chipezeze and Justice Chabalala.
The teams traded early chances in the opening minutes, with Baroka’s Gerald Phiri Jr shooting just wide, before Celtic attacker Siphelele Luthuli had an effort straight at the home side’s goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze.
Celtic gradually began to build momentum and claimed the lead in the 19th minute, with striker Victor Letsoalo finding space in between defenders before finishing off Neo Maema’s assist with an impressive finish.
Alongside the blow of conceding the first goal, Baroka were also forced into an injury substitution eight minutes before the interval, as key midfielder Kgodiso Monama made way for Nhlanhla Mgaga.
Celtic were able to consolidate their advantage and lead 1-0 at the half-time break. The Bloemfontein side made a change upfront at the start of the second stanza, with Motebang Sera replacing goal-scorer Letsoalo.
Bakgaga also looked for attacking changes, as they introduced the likes of Richard Mbulu, Tshediso Patjie and Joslin Kamatuka through the course of the second half, but they found Phunya Sele Sele’s defence a tough nut to crack.
Baroka suffered a major blow with just over 20 minutes to play when goalkeeper Chipezeze was shown a straight red card for a professional foul – seemingly sealing the points for Celtic, as Phiri Jr took on the gloves due to the home side having used all of their substitutions.
However, the Limpopo hosts dug deep and claimed an equalising goal on 82 minutes, with Mbulu converting Goodman Mosele’s assist to make it 1-1.
The clubs ultimately finished 1-1 on the score sheet and with 10 men apiece, as Celtic defender Justice Chabalala was sent off deep into injury time.
The teams will return to DStv Premiership action in early April, with Baroka away to Cape Town City and Celtic at home to TS Galaxy.
Baroka FC (0) 1 (Mbulu 82’)
Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 1 (Letsoalo 19’)
Baroka: Chipezeze, Mphahlele (Patjie 66’), Farmer, Sibiya, Makume, Masiya (Mbulu 66’), Mosele, Monama (Mgaga 37’), Gebhardt (Kamatuka 57’), Phiri Jr, Makgopa
Celtic: Mabokgwane, Baloyi, Chabalala, Mahashe, Ngobeni (Njoti 86’), Kobedi (Ndwandwe 85’), Masuku (Potsane 86’), Maema (De Jongh 62’), Luthuli, Matjila, Letsoalo (Sera 46’). Psl.co.za