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Football | Absa Premiership

Jacky Motshegwa and Musa Bilankulu © Backpagepix

Nthethe strike sinks Arrows



Lamontville Golden Arrows suffered their third straight loss in the Absa Premiership when they went down 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday night.

Thabo Nthethe scored the only goal of the match in added time after the home side had wasted numerous chances to grab the lead.

The visitors had the first sight of goal in the opening minute of the game when a defensive slip saw Ruzaigh Gamildien through on the right, but his low shot was well-held by Pavels Steinbors.

Then Lerato Manzini had an even better chance in the 12th minute when he sprung an offside trap to collect a lobbed pass inside the box, but his shot was cleared by a desperate slide from Joseph Musonda.

The hosts had their first effort on target two minutes later when Musa Bilankulu met a cross from Sibusiso Hadebe, but his header lacked the direction and pace to trouble Patrick Tignyemb.

Both sides continued to probe for openings and it was the away side who managed to get behind the defence in the 19th minute when Gamildien was put through on the right, but Steinbors was able to palm the ball away for a corner.

Ten minutes later Siyanda Zwane went on a rampaging run on the right flank before delivering a cross towards Ntuli at the near post, but his sidefooted volley crashed against the sidenetting.

The home side had yet another opportunity to break the deadlock when Ntuli managed to get ahead of Tignyemb on the right before cutting the ball back for Bilankulu who was arriving on the edge of the box, but he fired his shot wide of the upright.

Then in the 37th minute Thamsanqa Gabuza, who had seen little of the ball in threatening positions, collected a pass on the edge of the area on the left before firing a low shot towards goal, but his attempt was saved by Tignyemb, who needed two attempts to gain full control of the ball.

The last chance of the half for the away side occurred when they were awarded a freekick on the right, but Jacky Motshegwa’s attempt curled just wide of the upright, although Steinbors seemed to have had it covered.

Abafana Bes’thende got off the blocks quickly after the break and came close to grabbing the lead two minutes into the second half when Bilankulu found himself with space inside the penalty area, but he sent his shot wide of the post.

Then in the 50th minute Tignyemb pulled off a superb double-save to keep his side in the game, blocking an effort from Bilankulu, before denying Gabuza, who had pounced on the rebound.

Manqoba Mngqithi’s side continued to dominate possession and in the 70th minute substitute Nkanyiso Mlotshwa should have done better when he was picked out by Ntuli in the centre of the box, but he blasted his effort over the crossbar.

The visitors had their only chance of the match in the 86th minute from a counter-attack with saw Manzini surging through the middle, but his low shot drifted wide of the post.

Gabuza should have put his side ahead a minute later when he collected a low cross just inside the penalty area, but he fired his low shot straight at Tignyemb.

Arrows were punished for the missed chances in added time when Nthethe netted the winner from a goalmouth scramble after Steinbors had failed to deal with a corner from Lyle Lakay.

Lamontville Golden Arrows (0)

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 1 (Nthethe 90’)

Lamontville Golden Arrows: Arrows: Steinbors, Tom, Zwane, Krjauklis, Shange, Bilankulu, Ntuli (Sekgobela 81’), Hadebe (Mlotshwa 63’), Nene, Gabuza, Musonda

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Nthethe, Motlhaping, Isaacs (Lawler 56’), Leonard, Motshegwa (Duiker 78’), Mogorosi (Nontshinga 68’), Gamildien, Lakay, Arwuah, Manzini

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