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Football | Absa Premiership

Celtic add more pressure on Zeca



Goals from Lerato Manzini and Letladi Madubanya saw Bloemfontein Celtic come from a goal behind to beat Moroka Swallows 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match at the Free State Rugby Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

It was a cautious start from both teams as neither wanted to concede a goal early on, especially considering their run of form of late.

Swallows had not picked up three points since the beginning of October which saw them come into the game unable to win their last seven matches, that run now extended to eight with their fifth loss in a row.

Celtic, on the other hand, had not picked up maximum points in their last four league matches.

With that in mind it made for a nervy start and chances on goal were few and far between until the game sprung into life in the 22nd minute.

A well-worked corner-kick from Swallows saw Lefa Tsutsulupa flick the ball on at the near post, but his effort was cleared off the goal line by a Celtic defender.

Ten minutes later, though, and there was nothing the Phunya Sele Sele defence could do to stop Swallows going in front as Katlego Mashego produced a clinical finish from the edge of the box, almost passing the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, 1-0.

Celtic tried to hit back immediately and came within inches of finding the equaliser in the 36th minute.

Another well-worked corner-kick saw the ball flicked on at the front post, which then found Lerato Manzini who tried to flick the ball in with a quick reflex heel, but his effort bounced off the crossbar from only a couple of yards out.

Two minutes later and it was the chance of Swallows to rattle the woodwork as a 22-yard free-kick from the left side of the box saw Lerato Chabangu beat the keeper, but to no avail as his shot struck the crossbar as well.

The half ended 1-0 in favour of the visitors.

The second half saw the home side come out with a renewed vigour and they quickly drew level just two minutes after the restart.

A great through ball to Manzini saw the Swallows defence split open and left the Celtic attacker with just the keeper to beat. Manzini showed real composure and coolly passed the ball under the onrushing Aubrey Mathibe to level matters, 1-1.

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In the 65th minute Mashego nearly restored Swallows lead when he was on the end of a corner-kick, but his header went narrowly wide.

11 minutes later, though, and the home side did take the lead as an over-hit corner-kick was worked back into the danger area for Letladi Madubanya to rise to ahead of the goalkeeper and head his side in front, 2-1.

It would prove to be the winning goal as Celtic moved up to seventh on the league table.

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 2 (Manzini 47’, Madubanya 76’)

Moroka Swallows (1) 1 (Mashego 32’)

Teams:

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb; Leonard, Nthethe, D. Isaacs, Mahoa, Mogorosi, Madubanya (Duiker 81’), Aruwuah, Lakay (Nyanda 88’), Manzini (Lentjies 92’), Bacela

Moroka Swallows: Mathibe; Mapemba, R. Isaacs, Mungomeni (A. Hendricks 85’), Lekgothoane, Obada, Nergadze (Mabalane 89’), Tsutsulupa (Mathebula 68’), Chenene, Mashego, Chabangu

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