at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Bloemfontein – Bloemfontein Celtic hammered lacklustre First Division side Milano United with a crushing 4-1 win on Sunday in their Nedbank Cup last 32 clash at Free State Stadium.
Celtic scored twice in both halves. Augustine Leonard cancelled Milano's early lead when he levelled matters and Thabo Nthethe grabbed the second goal, while Lyle Lekay and Lennox Bacela netted in the second stanza.
Milano's consolation strike came as early as the fifth minute via Alcardo van Graan, who capitalised after Celtic keeper Patrick Tignyemb failed to handle the ball in a one-on-one race.
Celtic nearly equalised 10 minutes later through Ruzaigh Gamildien but his shot was parried for a corner by Milano goalminder Efraim Tjihonge.
In the 24th minute, referee Phillip Tinyani allowed players to have a water break in rising temperatures.
Play progress with Celtic firing on all cylinders, and Milano defender Richard Webber made a crucial clearance to deny Lerato Manzini.
The hosts were duly rewarded in the 35th minute when Leonard fired a powerful shot past the keeper after receving a neat pass from Joel Mogorosi.
The goal inspired the hosts and captain Nthethe headed home to make it 2-1, two minutes ahead of the break, after receiving a cross from Mogorosi.
Both teams made three substitutions in the second half, but Clinton Larsen's men were firmly in the driving seat.
Celtic extended the lead in the 73rd minute when Lakay beat the keeper with a grass-cutter, and experienced striker Bacela came off the bench to kill off the match when he headed home after connecting with a clinical cross from Lakay. – Sapa