Salulani Phiri of Polokwane City and Menzi Masuku of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Polokwane City at Dr Molemela Stadium, Mangaung on 07 March 2018 © Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix
Wednesday Mar 07, 2018. 21:32
Bloemfontein Celtic were beaten 2-0 by a 10-man Polokwane City in an Absa Premiership clash at Dr Molemela Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Despite playing the last third of the match with a numerical disadvantage, Rise and Shine claimed the victory and moved up three places to 11th on the log – just two positions and two points behind Phunya Sele Sele.
Celtic made most of the early play, though they had little show for their efforts, with arguably their best attacking moment an 11th-minute long-range shot from Lucky Baloyi which went high and wide of the target.
Against the run of play, Polokwane claimed the lead in the 30th minute: overlapping right-back Thabiso Semenya picked up a fine pass from Salulani Phiri, managed to find some space in the penalty area and stabbed a shot beyond the reach of Patrick Tignyemb to make it 1-0.
The hosts should have levelled the game five minutes later when a poor attempt at a clearance from Thapelo Tshilo gave Ronald Pfumbidzai a sight of goal from close range, but his tame effort was saved by George Chigova.
City doubled their advantage on 38 minutes through a controversial goal, as Sibusiso Sikhosana flicked the ball goalward from close range, Tignyemb collected the effort but appeared to roll over the line as he did so. The assistant referee awarded the goal, though television replays suggest it was a debatable decision.
Celtic made a double change early in the second half, with Jacky Motshegwa and Victor Letsoalo coming off the bench to boost their attack, while Rise and Shine were reduced to 10 men just past the hour mark when Sikhosana picked up a needless second yellow card and was sent off.
The hosts naturally dominated play after their opponents were numerically reduced, but City continued to pose a threat on the counter attack and Celtic needed Tignyemb to make a sharp save on 74 minutes to keep out a powerful drive from Rodney Ramagalela.
Celtic will be in action again on Sunday when they face Richards Bay in the Nedbank Cup, while City will have the weekend off after exiting the competition at the hands of Ubuntu Cape Town last month.
Bloemfontein Celtic 0
Polokwane City (2) 2 (Semenya 30’, Sikhosana 38’)
Celtic: Tignyemb, Molekwane (Jembula 74’), Rikhotso, Gordinho, Pfumbidzai, Masuku (Letsoalo 51’), Phalane, Baloyi, Hotto, Mabena, Mabaso (Motshegwa 50’)
Polokwane: Chigova, Semenya, Sikhosana, Tshilo, Hlongwane, Chungwa (Ndou 46’), Phiri, J. Maluleke (Manaka 85’), Seabi, Ramagalela, Tlolane (Mbonani 65’)