JOHANNESBURG – Bloemfontein Celtic secured a hard-fought 2-1 win over Golden Arrows in their Absa Premiership match at the Dr Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
With this win, Celtic moved up two spots to sixth on the league table with 23 points from 15 matches.
Arrows, in contrast, remained in 10th place on 18 points from 16 games.
With not too much on offer in the way of chances, it was the hosts who drew first blood.
Celtic scored the opener in the 29th minute as Mbhazima Rikhotso made a bustling run down the right, and by the time he squared for Victor Letsoalo, the Arrows defenders were playing catch-up, leaving a tap-in for a 1-0 lead.
The goal seemed to be a catalyst for Celtic, and they produced another flowing move at pace in the 36th minute as Rikhotso whipped in a ball for Sepana Letsoalo, who fired just wide.
Moments later, the Arrows defence were stretched again, with a chance falling to the feet of Lucky Baloyi, but his attempt was drilled way up into the stands.
As the Celtic wave kept producing chances, Deon Hotto had a free header in the box from close-range, but the ball was deflected narrowly wide of the target.
Celtic did finally double their lead on the stroke of halftime. Great combination play cut the Arrows defence to pieces as Hotto’s zigzagging run into the box meant he was able to pick his spot to put his side into a 2-0 lead.
Debutant Neo Maema spurned a great chance for Celtic right after the resumption of play, but as he found himself with time and space in the box, he scuffed his shot off-target.
Letsoalo was involved yet again as he was on the end of a perfect cross in the 50th minute, but his well-timed header was wayward.
Arrows finally had a decent opportunity to pull a goal back, as first a Celtic defender deflected a cross into the post, before the rebound was well-saved by keeper Patrick Tignyemb.
Arrows eventually found their goal in the 69th minute as Thomas Chideu pounced on a loose ball in the Celtic box before finding the back of the net to set up an intriguing climax to the game.
Though they tried admirably, Arrows could not find a second as Celtic held out for the victory.
African News Agency (ANA)