Celtic edge Pirates

2014-04-21 17:47

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Bloemfontein Celtic moved into the top half of the Premiership table with a 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates at the Free State Stadium.

Frank Mhango scored the winner for Celtic in the 26th minute with a brilliant shot that gave goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa no chance.

It was Celtic who got the match’s first real chance in the fourth minute when Musa Nyatama playing an accurate throughball with the outside of his foot for Mhango, who spurned the opportunity as he tried to return the pass inside the box instead of going for glory.

Pirates’ Thabo Matlaba skinned his marker and his cross was intended for Hélder Pelembe but defender Clayton Daniels got to the ball first to clear the danger for Celtic in the 19th minute.

In the 24th minute, Celtic’s Lerato Lamola sent over a beautiful cross from the corner but Daniels headed wide of Meyiwa’s goal.

The goal came in fine style. Mhango glided onto a long ball from Davis Nkausa and turned Siyabonga Sangweni inside out before unleashing a piledriver to give Celtic the lead in the 26th minute.

In the 43rd minute, Nyatama did well to beat his marker and found Daniels with his cross, but the Siwelele defender missed the target.

Nine minutes after the interval, Meyiwa pulled off a great save to rescue Pirates from a Nyatama thunderbolt.

Shortly after, Lamola was wrongly flagged offside with Celtic in a great position – the decision left manager Ernst Middendorp seething.

Pirates had a chance to level matters in the 67th minute when Daine Klate crossed into the box, but the Celtic defenders managed to put the ball behind.

The resultant corner was played high up into the box. Ayanda Gcaba got his header on target, only for Mhango to clear off the line.

Matlaba came close in the 78th minute as he turned his marker and unleashed a promising effort. In the 92nd minute, Pirates forward Kermit Erasmus was given space for a snapshot which flew over the bar.

On the stroke of fulltime, Celtic had the ball in the back of the net through the boot of Wandisile Letlabika but it was ruled offside.

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