BLOEMFONTEIN – Bloemfontein Celtic came back from two goals down in a Telkom Knockout last 16 game against SuperSport United before recording a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Saturday.
Eric Tinkler’s side were two goals up, thanks to Aubrey Modiba and Jeremy Brockie strikes either side of halftime, but Tshepo Rikhotso and Jacky Motshegwa struck back late for Celtic to force the match into extra time and then penalties.
There was a good tempo to the contest early on, although neither side were able to create clear chances on goal.
The first opportunity was to fall to the home side, but with only the goalkeeper to beat, Sipho Jembula sent a close-range header well wide.
The breakthrough came after 25 minutes when Modiba narrowly managed to beat the offside trap, before steering home Siyabonga Nhlapo’s cross with an outstretched leg.
That proved to be the last major action of the first half as Matsatsantsa went into the change-rooms with their lead intact.
Celtic’s hopes of mounting a comeback suffered a blow 10 minutes after halftime when Dove Wome played in Brockie, who finished with a typically clinical volley.
To their credit, the Bloemfontein side fought back and visiting keeper Reyaad Pieterse had to be on top of his game to keep out a succession of shots, with his save on Victor Letsoala’s attempt particularly impressive.
And the deficit was halved on 77 minutes when Rikhotso slotted in from the penalty spot after SuperSport midfielder Tebogo Mokoena was rather harshly ruled to have handled the ball in the box.
Rikhotso then turned provider when he burst down the wing before squaring for Jacky Motshegwa to fire in four minutes later.
The home side had their numbers reduced to 10 in the first half of extra time after a second yellow card saw substitute Roggert Nyundu given his marching orders.
SuperSport came closest to scoring in added time through Modiba and Sipho Mbule, but it was to penalties the tie went after ending 2-2 after 120 minutes.
Celtic keeper Patrick Tingyemb came up trumps in the shoot-out as he saved Fagrie Lakay’s spot-kick, before slotting the winner past his opposite number Pieterse.
African News Agency (ANA)