Bloem Celtic through to the Nedbank Cup Lat 16
Bloemfontein Celtic were second best for most of their Nedbank Cup last 32 tie with Buya Msuthu at the Moruleng Stadium on Saturday afternoon, yet managed to come away with victory.
After Celtic scored very early on, Buya Msuthu played themselves back into the game and had the better of first-half chances, although they were unable to get on the scoresheet.
The third-tier club continued to enjoy the better of the play in the second half and seemed a good bet to at least take the match to extra time, only for Phunya Sele Sele to snatch a late goal against the run of play.
The rookies got off to the worst possible start when with the first move of the cup-tie, Celtic attacked down the right flank through Khetokwakhe Masuku, who put in an excellent cross to the back post which was emphatically met with a downward header into the net by Deon Hotto, the goal coming after just 25 seconds.
However, the Second Division side from the North West were to play themselves back into the game with some neat interplay, keeping things nice and simple and passing the ball around with increasing confidence.
As a result, chances materialised for Buya Msuthu, but they failed to capitalise as Ofense Masoko fired in a well-struck 14th-minute effort from range which went close before Sibusiso Sibanyoni lost his composure in front of goal and missed the target after an incisive move had cut the Celtic defence wide open.
Phunya Sele Sele were gifted an opportunity on 20 minutes through some poor defending by Ignatius Thainyane, but he recovered superbly to clear Atusaye Nyondo’s shot off the line before Sibanyoni had a header saved by home keeper Ayanda Mtshali at the other end.
With new Celtic coach Luc Eymael watching from the stands, the amateur team continued to get the better of the top-flight club after the restart, but for all their efforts, struggled to create clear-cut openings.
Buya Msuthu substitute Atisang Batsi made a big impact off the bench and had a great chance 13 minutes from time when he turned on the edge of the box, but his shot went just over the crossbar.
Instead the hosts were to suffer a sucker-punch four minutes from time when some sloppy defending allowed Vuyisile Wana to squeeze the ball in from a tight angle into an empty net.