Bloemfontein Celtic bounced back from a goal down to defeat Witbank Spurs 2-1 and proceed into the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup on Sunday afternoon at the Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium.
Rhulani Manzini stunned the hosts with a goal in the 22nd minute, but strikes from Musa Nyatama and the Botswana international Mogogi Gabonamong saw the comeback completed.
The visitors were the first to test their opposition’s ‘keeper when Sici Shelembe curled in a powerful free-kick towards the top right hand corner of the goal. Patrick Tignyemb couldn’t hold onto his two-handed save but reacted quickly to catch the rebound away from two of Spurs’ players.
Musa Nyatama scored three goals against the University of Stellenbosch in their 8-0 and he looked to increase his tally in the tournament with his shot in the 14th minute, only to see Lindokuhle Nkambule make the save.
But in the 22nd minute it was Celtic who found themselves trailing by a goal after Rhulani Manzini handed Spurs the lead. He received a cross into the box, where he won the physical battle and beat his marker before slicing a ball past Tignyemb in goal.
The home side restored parity just five minutes later when Nyatama ran past Nkambule, who came off his line, to lob a great finish into the back of the net.
Witbank Spurs nearly made it 2-1 moments later, when Celtic were guilty of some suicidal defending, but a last ditch clearance by Musa Bilankulu prevented the ball from rolling into the back of the net.
Both coaches opted to make a sub early in the second-half with Lerato Manzini (Celtic) and Doctor Skhosana (Spurs) coming on for their respective teams, indicating that both outfits were going on the offensive.
Spurs were struggling to attack Celtic with the same vigour they showed in the first half, as Henry Tau was brought on for the traveling side.
Celtic deservingly took the lead with just a quarter of an hour left in the match after the visitors were found guilty of failing to clear their lines. A ball fell to Mogogi Gabonamong and he sliced in an effort from a corner kick.
Skhosana then tried an audacious effort on the half-volley from range but it was skied straight over Celtic’s goal frame as Ernst Middendorp’s men claimed the victory.
Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 2 (Nyatama 27’, Gabonamong 75’)
Witbank Spurs (1) 1 (Manzini 22’)
Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Gabonamong, Bilankulu, Nkausu, Mogapi, Mzava (Manzini 46’), Letlabika, Buchanan, Nyatama, Lamola (Lakay 66’), Mhango (Phungulwa 93’)
Witbank Spurs: Nkambule, Mpuqa, Ngunyule, Mubayiwa Patrick, Mubayiwa Peter, Nzimande, Manzini (Mkhatshwa 80’), Matema (Skhosana 46’), Shelembe, Ngobe (Tau 61’) – Backpage Media