Sundowns edge Celtic

Mamelodi Sundowns registered a second straight win in the Absa Premiership when they defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 at Free State Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Elias Pelembe scored the only goal of the match deep into the second half in a match that Celtic had to finish with ten men following the dismissal of midfielder Alfred Ndengane.

The visitors settled early on the ball and created the first clear opportunity of the match in the 15th minute when Teko Modise found Cuthbert Malajila on the edge of the box, but his low effort went straight to Patrick Tignyemb.

Kennedy Mweene had an easier save to make at the other end three minutes later, diving low to stop an effort from Lerato Lamola, who failed to get enough power on the shot to trouble the goalkeeper.

Surprise Moriri played the ball through to Cuthbert Malajila inside the box in the 24th minute and the Zimbabwe international managed to get a snapshot away on the turn, but Tignyemb was positioned and well and was able to hold on to the ball.

The Celtic goalkeeper made a more impressive save four minutes later, showing good reflexes to parry a solid strike from Malajila, who had been set up by a neat backheel from Elias Pelembe inside the box.

The Brazilians appealed for a penalty in the 43rd minute when Ramahlwe Mphahlele went down inside the box under a challenge from Keegan Ritchie, but the referee ruled that the tackle was legal as the first half ended 0-0.

Celtic made a change at the break with Joel Mogorosi replacing Frank Mhango but it was Sundowns who threatened first in the 55th minute when Malajila teed the ball up for Modise, who directed his low shot wide from outside the box.

The hosts were dealt a blow in the 66th minute when they were reduced to ten men with Alfred Ndengane being shown his second yellow card following a foul on Malajila.

Pitso Mosimane’s men came close to breaking the deadlock a minute later as Modise picked out Mario Booysen at the near post, but the central defender rushed his shot over the crossbar from close range.

The deadlock was eventually broken in the 73rd minute when a defensive mix-up between Wandisile Letlabika and Tignyemb allowed Malajila to set the ball up for Pelembe to finish from the edge of the six yard box.

The visitors almost doubled their lead five minutes later when Modise’s shot picked up an awkward deflection, but Tignyemb was able to recover to palm the ball wide for a corner.

The Celtic goalkeeper pulled off a great save in the 88th minute to keep his side in the game in the closing stages of the game, diving to his right to parry a long range effort from substitute Ejike Uzoenyi.

Uzoenyi fired another effort at goal from a tight angle in the third minute of added time but again Tignyemb was able to make the block at the near post as the match ended 1-0.

Bloemfontein Celtic 0

Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 1 (Pelembe 73’)

Teams:

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Fransman, Ndengane, Mogapi, Mzava (Shelembe 60’), Letlabika, Bilankulu, Lamola, Nyatama, Ritchie (Ntanga 85’), Mhango (Mogorosi 46’)

Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene, Langerman, Nthethe, Mphahlele, Booysens, Modise, Kekana, Malajila, Pelembe (Uzoenyi 77’), Zwane T (Zungu 81’), Moriri (Mahachi 61’)