Lakay grabs late winner for Celtic


POLOKWANE – Despite being on the back foot against Polokwane City for most of the game, Bloemfontein Celtic somehow managed to come away with a 1-0 Premiership win at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

At the end of a week in which Celtic founder Dr Petrus Molemela passed away, the three points earned in the Limpopo via a solitary Lyle Lakay strike allowed the Free State side to move out of the relegation zone and up to 12th position.

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Bloemfontein Celtic striker Lyle Lakay scored the decisive goal against Polokwane City. Photo: Frikkie Kapp, BackpagePixSibusiso Mxoyana of Bloemfontein Celtic (right) clears under pressure from Vusimuzi Mngomezulu of Polokwane City on Sunday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePixWandisile Letlabika of Bloemfontein Celtic (right) gets stuck in against Polokwane’s Vusimuzi Mngomezulu. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Rise and Shine had the better of the first-half chances and were very unlucky not to go into the break in front after hitting the woodwork on three occasions.

The home side also had the first chance of the game, Sibusiso Mbonani powering a header inches wide of the net after five minutes.

An unmarked Thapelo Tshilo then looked set to give Polokwane a 14th-minute lead, but his looping header struck the crossbar.

The woodwork again came to Celtic’s rescue in the 21st minute when Vusimusi Mngomezulu’s flick at the near-post crashed into the bar.

Puleng Tlolane was also denied by the bar just moments later when his shot curled into the base of the upright.

The Bloemfontein outfit were to suffer the same fate later when Tshepo Rikhotso’s header from a Lakay corner deep in first-half added time hit the frame of the goal.

There was drama outside the dressing room during the interval when several of the Celtic players became involved in skirmishes with the security personnel, who had earlier prevented Phunya Sele Sele coach Luc Eymael from joining his team in the change room.

Eymael, who left Polokwane City to join Celtic just last month, has not yet been registered by the Premier Soccer League as his former club are claiming he still has a valid contract with them.

Back on the field of play, Rise and Shine regained the initiative after the restart, but were unable to create any decent openings on goal.

Instead it was the visiting side who took the lead in the 74th minute with a rare chance, Lakay lashing a shot from 25 yards out into the bottom corner, the bounce taking the ball beyond the outstretched hands of goalkeeper George Chigova.

Polokwane pushed for an equaliser, but Celtic shot-stopper Patrick Tignyemb did well to deny Jabulani Maluleke and Sipho Jembula.

There was more misfortune for the home side in the final seconds when once again the woodwork got in their way, Rodney Ramagalela the man denied a late equaliser.

African News Agency (ANA)
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