Tshegofatso Mabaso helped Bloemfontein Celtic to a 2-1 quarterfinal win in the Telkom Knockout against Platinum Starts. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

RUSTENBURG – Bloemfontein Celtic came storming back in the second half at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday afternoon to beat Platinum Stars 2-1 in a Telkom Knockout (TKO) quarterfinal encounter.
 
Bongi Ntuli gave the home side a first half lead, but second half goals from Lantshene Phalane and Tshegofatso Mabaso sealed a semifinal berth for a Celtic side on the up.
 
Both sides battled to find any cohesion in the first 25 minutes, and apart from a fairly tame shot by Stars wunger Katlego Otladisa and a Jackie Motshegwa effort which deflected onto the roof of the net at the other end, there were no real chances on goal.
 
It was from a goal kick by Stars keeper Dino Visser that the deadlock was broken on 30 minutes - some sloppy defence by the Celtic defence allowing Ntuli to nip in and lob the ball over Patrick Tingyemb.
 
That was the final goal-box action of the first half as once more the two sides failed to penetrate the opposition defence.
 
Ntuli had an excellent chance to add a second goal five minutes after half time when some more poor defending from Celtic saw him clean in on goal, but he lacked conviction in the shot and Tingyemb made a very good save.
 
The miss was to prove costly as Phunya Sele Sele equalised in the 58th minute via a scorching free kick into the bottom corner from Phalane.
 
There were saves for both keepers to make before Brian Mwila missed a great chance for Dikwena when he headed wide with 10 minutes of regulation time to play.
 
A scintillating move in the 82nd minute from the visitors proved worthy of providing the winner as  Mahlasela combined superbly with Tshegofatso Mabaso before slotting in from close range. The result means Celtic seem to be going from strength to strength to strength under Serbian coach Veselin Jelusic. 

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