Former Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila player Monde Mpambaniso scored the winner for Polokwane City against Bloemfontein Celtic. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Bloemfontein Celtic blew a chance to go top of the Premiership table after losing 2-1 to Polokwane City at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday.

After Salulani Phiri had given the Limpopo team and early lead, Kabelo Dlamini’s equaliser 10 minutes from time appeared to have earned Celtic a point, only for Monde Mpambaniso to snatch a late winner as the visitors ended a three-match winless streak in the league.

After a quiet start on a very hot afternoon in the Free State capital, Polokwane claimed the lead with the first attempt on goal, when Phiri clinically converted a 13th-minute cross from Mohammed Anas after some good build-up play.

The setback was to spur Phunya Sele Sele into action, but the hosts battled to create clear openings as Polokwane defended resolutely to keep their lead intact up until the halftime break.

With Celtic continuing to probe for a way back into the match, and Rise and Shine looking for the cushion of a second goal, the contest remained delicately poised in the second half.

The Free State side have become a very hard team to beat under coach Steve Komphela, and with their supporters right behind them, their efforts were rewarded in the 80th minute when Dlamini fired in an equaliser.

Polokwane, however, wanted the three points even more, and that was indeed the case as Mpambaniso pounced with an 89th-minute winner for coach Jozef Vukusic’s team.

For Phunya Sele Sele, it was just their third defeat of the season, and they are just three points behind league leaders Orlando Pirates, as are Polokwane City.

African News Agency (ANA)