Tebogo Potsane of Bloemfontein Celtic and Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates at Toyota Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on 19 August 2018 © Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix
Sunday Aug 19, 2018. 17:54
Bloemfontein Celtic moved to the top of the Absa Premiership table after beating Orlando Pirates 1-0 in a league match at Free State Stadium on Sunday.
Celtic sit at the top of the table with nine points with three wins out of three while Pirates suffered their second loss and have four points from four matches in ninth place.
It was a slow start to the game with both sides squandering possession in the final third which resulted in chances in front goal being at a minimum.
The first decent scoring opportunity came in the 15th minute when Innocent Maela made some space for himself on the edge of the box, but his shot sailed inches over the Celtic crossbar.
Three minutes later Celtic took the lead after a header from Alfred Ndengane at a corner-kick struck the woodwork. This resulted in a goalmouth scramble before Bongani Sam poked the ball home from close range, 1-0.
Pirates nearly drew level in the 22nd minute when a left-sided free-kick found Thamsanqa Gabuza unmarked at the back post, but his effort skimmed the wrong side of the post.
Gabuza turned provided five minutes before the break when he played Mpho Makola in behind the defence, but with just the keeper to beat the Pirates man fired over the crossbar.
The half ended 1-0 in favour of Celtic.
The Buccaneers dictated terms at the start of the second half, but they struggled to create any significant goal scoring chances.
On the hour mark Gabuza got onto the end of an accurate right-wing cross, but his ten-yard header went narrowly wide of the Celtic goal.
Celtic came close to finding a second in the 78th minute when a long-range shot from Ryan de Jongh went just wide of the target.
Pirates almost rescued a point at the death when Happy Jele met a corner-kick with a powerful header, but his effort was cleared off the goal line by a Celtic defender.
The match ended 1-0 in favour of Celtic.
Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 1 (Sam 18)
Orlando Pirates (0) 0
Celtic: Tignyemb, Sam, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Mabena (Letsoalo 76’), Mashikinya, Potsane, Gordinho, Dlamini (De Jongh 69’), Phalane, Mabasa (Baloyi 57’).
Pirates: Mpontshane, Jele, Munetsi, Maphanga (Shonga 58’), Maela, Matlaba, Mlambo (Maphangule 68’), Motshwari, Makola (Mahlonoko 79’), Pule, Gabuza.