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Celtic 3-3 Pirates (5-3 on pens)

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Larsen: Will celebrate an unlikely win

Larsen: Will celebrate an unlikely win

Bloemfontein Celtic scored two goals in the last six minutes to take their Telkom Knockout tie with Orlando Pirates into extra time and then penalties, which they won 5-3.

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The 90 minutes ended 3-3 after Bucs had lead 3-1 going into the final minute.

Pirates made most of the running in the first half, in a game played at a packed Free State Stadium.

There was, however, a ninth-minute setback for the Soweto giants when defender Rooi Mahumutsa was forced off with injury, being replaced by Lucky Lekgwathi.

Chances remained few and far between with the visitors appearing somewhat fortunate to be given a 23rd-minute free-kick for a handball 35 yards out.

But Daine Klate did not worry over the legitimacy of the set-piece, sticking the ball in the back of the net with a delightfully crafted curling free-kick.

The game remained tight until the final five minutes of the half when a flowing move saw the ball worked to Andile Jali, but his parting shot went just wide of the upright.

At the other end, Celtic were nearly on the score-sheet in the 45th minute when a cross was floated into the back post, but Thabo Nthethe was just too late to get a touch on the ball, with the goal at his mercy.

If the first half had ended promisingly, the second stanza got even better.

After Phunya Sele Sele had what appeared to be a legitimate call for a handball by Thabo Matlaba turned down, it was Pirates who were to get their second goal.

it came in the 51st minute, in the form of a piece of excellent chest control, turn and volley into the net by Oupa Manyisa.

Three minutes later and the hosts had pulled a goal back when Siyabonga Sangweni was ruled to have brought down Lennox Bacela just inside the box.

Bacela stepped up to easily send Moeneeb Josephs the wrong way and the ball into the back of the net.

However, the Sea Robbers were to restore a two-goal cushion just a couple of minutes later when Matlaba let fly with a 30-yard shot which took a strange flight through the air which left goalkeeper Patrick Tigynemb routed to the spot.

But this time the atmosphere in the stadium had reached fever pitch and Bucs continued to thrill the fans with some scintillating football.

Jali nearly complied with a fourth goal, but struck the upright after a goalmouth scramble.

Ruzaigh Gamildien came close with a couple of chances for the home side, while Dumisa Mabena should have done better when one on one with Tigynemb as the game kept up its frenetic tempo.

With the game in the final minute of regulation time, Gamildien got on the end of a cross to score with a beauty of a header.

Buoyed by the goal, Celtic poured forward in attack and in the fifth minute of what was supposed to be four added minutes, Josephs failed to get distance on a punch, the ball falling to Joel Mogorosi, who scored with a spectacular overhead kick.

Mogorosi then had the ball in the net in extra time, but was correctly ruled off-side.

The game remained on a knife edge throughout the extended period and though there were not too many chances on goal, Mabena coming closest when he found the side-netting with a header.

There was another late chance for Bucs, but Tigynemb made a breathtaking save to tip Lehlohonolo Maselesa's 25-yard shot over the bar.

It went to penalties with Bacela and Lerato Manzini scoring for the home side, while Jali netted for Pirates before Tigynemb blocked Manyisa's weak effort. This proved to be decisive as the remainder of the kicks were converted, allowing Dominic Isaacs to win the game for Celtic.

Posted: 04/11/12 16:12

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