Wits beat 10-man Celtic

Jabulani Shongwe (Gallo Images)
Jabulani Shongwe (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein - Wits have joined Maritzburg United, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup after a 2-1 win over 10-man Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday.
Phunya Sele Sele opened the scoring through Musa Nyatama, but goals from Clever Boys attackers Sibusiso Vilakazi and Jabulani Shongwe, as well as a red card for Alfred Ndengane, saw the visitors claim victory at the Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium.
After a quiet opening quarter, the game came to life in the 24th minute with Celtic opening the scoring. Wandisile Letlabika appeared to be hauled down in the penalty area, but he quickly got to his feet and set up Musa Nyatama to stroke home the first goal.
The home side’s lead was short lived, however, as Wits equalised within a minute. A Jabulani Shongwe shot was controlled in the penalty area by Sibusiso Vilakazi, who had a hint of offside about him but nonetheless showed great composure to steer home a shot and make it 1-1.
Five minutes before the break, Phunya Sele Sele were dealt a double blow. First, defender Alfred Ndengane was shown a straight red card for a professional foul on Vilakazi as the last defender. Then, from the resulting free kick, Shongwe picked out the top corner with a left-footed shot to make it 2-1 to Wits.
Celtic had also suffered the injury-enforced withdrawal of Keegan Buchanan. His replacement, Frank Mhango, arguably should have been sent off for a nasty tackle on Siyabonga Nhlapo that saw the Clever Boys midfielder replaced at half time. However, he received only a caution.
The second half saw the scoring opportunities and goal-mouth action dry up somewhat, though Celtic were left frustrated on a couple of occasions when they had strong appeals for penalties turned down.
Wits would have been disappointed at their inability to kill off the game with a man’s advantage, but ultimately an away win in Bloemfontein is always a good result and Gavin Hunt’s men will feel they are very much deserved semifinalists.

Bloemfontein Celtic: (1) 1 (Nyatama 24’)
Wits: (2) 2 (Vilakazi 25’, Shongwe 40’)

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Nkausu, Daniels, Ndengane, Mahoa (Mzava 46’), Mogorosi (Manzine 67’), Nyatama, Gabonamong, Buchanan (Mhango 32’), Mogapi, Letlabika
Wits: Josephs, Mngonyama, Gumede, Dankwae, Bhasera, Nhlapo (Isaacs 46’), Shongwe, Ntshangase, Faty, Vilakazi (Langwe 78’), Ngcobo (Kebede 66’)
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