YOU could almost hear the combined sighs of relief from the VIP suite and the touchline when Musa Nyatama’s strike from the spot kick against Bidvest Wits on Sunday (31/01) ended a winless streak for Bloemfontein Celtic that has lasted longer than ten matches.
Celtic would go on to win the match 2-1 and, for the first time this year, their multitude of fans had something to celebrate. You would forgive them for celebrating that rare win as if Celtic had won the Absa Premiership title. The club last tasted victory when they defeated the University of Pretoria by 2-0 in September last year.
Sunday’s victory was the first for coach Serame Letsoaka since he joined the club last December. It was also the first win for Celtic at the revamped Dr Rantlai Molemela Stadium since the venue had been reopened last October.
Before this match, Letsoaka had lost two matches against Chippa United and Free State Stars, while they had drawn the same number of outings against Ajax Cape Town and Kaizer Chiefs.
“It was a tactical match. I thought we had periods where we were on top of the situation in the first half, especially in the beginning of the game. But after 20 minutes, Wits took the game and they were able to score a goal,” said Letsoaka, who has eased the pressure on his shoulders.
“In the second half I thought there were also periods where we looked better than Wits.
“They defended deeply and were cautious to go forward. That allowed us to attack them relentlessly. I am happy we won the match, that’s what we wanted,” he said.
Letsoaka said he was delighted to get a monkey off his back – the gorilla, bear, whatever animal you call it.
“I think the win is a turning point for us. Our levels of confidence will be sky high going into the next match. I think we will play much better. It is time we picked up the three points at home,” said the coach.
Celtic next face Supersport United at the Dr Rantlai Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein on Wednesday (03/12). The match starts at 19:30.
“It is going to be a difficult match. We will do everything in our power to try and get another set of three points against Supersport,” said Letsoaka.
“I think if we win the next two matches, our fans will definitely come back to the stadium in their numbers. We want to thank them for being patient when the club was going through a rough patch,” concluded Letsoaka.
Meanwhile, some Celtic fans on Sunday camped outside the Dr Rantlai Molemela Stadium to voice their displeasure at chairman Max Tshabalala.
They want him to step down as the chairman of the club.