Bloemfontein Celtic claimed their first Absa Premiership win of 2017 as they defeated Chippa United 2-0 at a rainy Dr Molemela Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Phunya Sele Sele’s victory was secured by late goals from Musa Nyatama, while the Chilli Boys played more than two thirds of the match with a numerical disadvantage after Rhulani Manzini was dismissed for serious foul play.
Celtic created the first chance of the match, with Deon Hotto threatening down the left of the penalty area in the seventh minute, only to see his shot aimed at the near post comfortably dealt with by Chippa goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.
The gloves-man was in action again midway through the first half, making a fine save to keep out an effort which deflected off Diamond Thopola and threatened to find its way into the back of the net.
On 25 minutes Chippa were dealt a major blow when striker Rhulani Manzini was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball headbutt on Celtic’s Alfred Ndengane. The visitors, after being reduced to 10 men, battened down the hatches and made it through to the interval with the score still locked at 0-0.
Despite being a man down, the Chilli Boys seemed more than capable of competing on an equal footing with Celtic, and the visitors should have claimed the lead in the 52nd minute when Paseka Mako did well to beat Patrick Tignyemb with a dribble, but then sliced his effort off target.
However, Celtic’s numerical advantage became more and more pronounced as the game wore on, with Chippa needing the excellent Agyei to make several saves. The Ghanaian’s handling was impeccable in the wet, slippery conditions.
However, the breakthrough finally arrived in favour of Phunya Sele Sele in the 77th minute, with a fine passing move ending with Vusi Shikweni providing a cross from the right of the penalty area which was guided home by Musa Nyatama.
Celtic doubled their advantage deep in injury time when Nyatama scored from the penalty spot. Substitute Kabelo Mahlasela earned the spot kick by being clumsily brought down in the box.
The victory sees Celtic move up two place on the log to 12th, with 18 points from 17 matches, while Chippa remain in eighth place with 20 points from 17 matches.
Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 2 (Nyatama 77’ 90+5’ pen)
Chippa United 0
Celtic: Tignyemb, Dube (Molekwane 89’), Ndengane, Letlabika, Mxoyana, Zuma, Phalane, Maruping (Shikweni 32’), Hotto, Nyatama, Nyondo (Mahlasela 56’)
Chippa: Akpeyi, Bereng, Thopola, Bergman, Chabalala, Mako, Masuku (Mbenyane 82’), Zuke, Mdaki (Zulu 86’), Sali (Shiba 65’), R. Manzini