Ricardo Nascimento of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Ndumiso Mabena of Bloemfontein Celtic during the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville on 20 October 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Saturday Oct 20, 2018. 20:34
Mamelodi Sundowns beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in the 2018 Telkom Knockout round of 16 match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening.
As a result, the Brazilians advanced to the quarterfinals, while Siwelele are eliminated from the tournament.
The Brazilians were the better side in the opening stages of the game and they nearly broke the deadlock nine minutes into the game.
Tebogo Langerman did well to round Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb, but his effort was cleared away by Lorenzo Gordinho as the visitors survived a scare.
The hosts were playing enterprising football with Andile Jali and Hlompho Kekana pulling the strings in the middle of the park.
Jali came close to scoring when his effort from outside the box shaved the upright in the 16th minute, as Sundowns pushed for the opening goal.
The Celtic defence, which was marshalled by former Sundowns defender Wandisile Letlabika, was under-pressure.
Tignyemb was called into action in the 38th minute and he produced a good save to deny Sundowns attacking midfielder Themba Zwane.
The Cameroonian keeper then made another good save to deny Gaston Sirino to ensure that the first-half ended with Sundowns and Celtic locked at 0-0 at half-time.
The three-time Telkom Knockout champions Sundowns continued their dominance after the restart with Sirino causing havoc for the visitors.
The Uruguayan forward was denied by Tignyemb, who was alert 10 minutes after the restart as the experienced shot-stopper kept the hosts at bay.
However, the Tignyemb was finally beaten on the hour-mark after some great work by Sundowns captain Kekana.
The veteran midfielder played a beautiful through pass for Sirino, who finished with aplomb to make it 1-0 to Sundowns, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Celtic tried to respond with a goal, but the Sundowns defence, which was led by Brazilian defender Ricardo Nascimento, looked solid and organised.
Tshegofatso Mabaso, who is a striker by trade, was introduced with 10 minutes left on the clock as Siwelele looked to snatch a late equaliser.
However, Sundowns were able to contain Celtic in the closing stages of the game and they emerged 1-0 winners in Tshwane.
Sundowns (0) 1 (Sirino 60')
Sundowns: Onyango, Ngcongca, Lebusa, Nascimento, Langerman, Jali, Kekana, Maboe, Zwane, Sirino (Mabunda 93'), Silva (Mahlambi 73').
Celtic: Tignyemb, Letlabika, Pfumbidzai , Rikhotso (Maema 90'+4'), Mabena, Mashikinya (Mabasa 80'), Masuku (Sam 90'+4), Gordinho, Dlamini, Phalane, Letsoalo.