Durban – Bloemfontein Celtic were crowned Telkom Knockout champions for the first time after Joel Mogorosi’s controversial second-half goal helped them secure a 1-0 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in the final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
The goal came after 47 minutes when the midfielder headed in at the back post, although replays on whether the whole ball crossed the line were inconclusive.
Referee Phillip Tinyani nonetheless awarded the goal after linesman Thembisile Windvoel raised his flag, despite the efforts of defender Clayton Daniels to clear on the line.
The Brazilians failed to conjure up any meaningful threat thereafter and slipped to a second cup final loss in seven months, while Clinton Larsen’s men held on for the R4.25 million prize Äthe third major trophy in their history and first since 2005.
The men from Pretoria came out firing early on with Teko Modise orchestrating all the attacking movement for his side.
And the Bafana Bafana midfielder had the first opening when he forced Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb to dive to his right and turn the ball away for a corner after a testing effort from the edge of the box.
Celtic finally managed a decent attack after 17 minutes when Lennox Bacela burst down the left, beat his man and shot low, only to have his effort scrambled away by Wayne Sandilands.
Siwelele were then almost made to pay for losing the ball in attack as Modise led a swift break, which ended with Richard Henyekane shooting tamely at Tignyemb.
Themba Zwane and Richard Henyekane then played a superb one-two that allowed the former to speed into the box, but his shot was poked wide, while at the other end Ruzaigh Gamildien’s sharp turning saw him beat two men, before arrowing centimetres past the right upright.
The rapid pace and flow of the game continued past the half hour mark and Abel Mabaso’s rising attempt from the right was tipped over for a corner Tignyemb.
That proved the last chance of the first half as the two sides went level into the break.
But almost straight after the restart, the Free Staters went ahead.
A short corner from Lyle Lakay was then delivered to the back post by Limbikani Mzava where Mogorosi, who scored for the third time in the 2012 competition, was waiting to head his side ahead.
Gamildien almost doubled the advantage four minutes later when he got onto the end of another splendid counter-attack and shot agonisingly past the upright.
Sundowns finally responded when Modise controlled skilfully on the edge of the box, before shooting wide.
And with the clock winding down, Bacela twice missed a golden chance to seal the win when he struck the upright first, followed by Sandilands turning wide for a corner at the near post.
Nyasha Mushekwi missed Sundowns’ only other opening, as Johan Neeskens’ men fell to defeat. – Sapa