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FS Stars 2-3 Bloem Celtic

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Mogorosi: Match winner

Mogorosi: Match winner

Bloemfontein Celtic booked their place in the Telkom Knockout final after overcoming Free State Stars with a thrilling 3-2 extra-time victory on Sunday.

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After a goalless first-half, Phunya Sele Sele opened the scoring through Letladi Madubanya, although Dove Womb put home the equaliser after 71 minutes.

Lerato Manzini then put Celtic back in front with nine minutes remaining, but Wome grabbed his second just moments later, taking the tie into an extra 30 minutes.

It would be Siwelele, though, who would have the final say, Joel Mogorosi sealing the victory to set up a final against Mamelodi Sundowns.

The first half was dominated by Ea Lla Koto, with Celtic having to rely heavily on the brilliance of goalkeeper Patrick Tingyemb to keep them in the game as the Cameroon player made a series of fantastic reflex saves.

The opening stanza could, however, have taken on a whole different complexion had the visiting side converted a second minute chance. But captain Thabo Nthethe managed to steer his header wide of the far upright, with Stars keeper Kennedy Mweene caught in no-man's land.

Stars' first chance arrived three minutes later and fell to Moekestsi Mvula, but his snap shot at the near post was palmed away by Tingyemb.

The hosts were then desperately unlucky not to go in front when Wome's free-kick picked out Luyolo Nomandela, whose header hit the inside of the upright and bounced back into play.

In the 16th minute Steve Komphela's men were on the attack again as a quick counter led to a chance for Anver Esterhuizen, but his first time shot was again blocked by Tingyemb, who also recovered to save on the rebound.

Phunya Sele Sele did, however, have one more good chance during the opening 45 minutes as Lyle Lackay found himself in front of goal out on the left, but his side-footed effort did not curl enough to trouble Mweene's goal.

Stars' failure to take their chances would have been a worry to Komphela and they were made to pay for their wastefulness six minutes after the break when Letladi Madubanya put Celtic in front.

It was a well taken goal as the former SuperSport hard-man as he powered through the middle of the park from the half-way line, dropped his shoulder, rode a challenge and toe poked a chip over Mweene.

Ea Lla Koto, however, continued to take the game to their opponents and in the 71st minute it was 1-1 when Tingyemb failed to hold a fairly simple shot from 25 yards by Wome, who followed up to sweep home the rebound with a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.

Celtic were to regain the lead just seven minutes later when an intricate move down the left saw Lackay playing in Mogorosi, who pulled the ball back for fellow substitute Manzini to sweep the ball past Mweene from eight yards out.

But the lead was only to last two minutes as Wome caught out Tingyemb with a clever free kick from out near the corner flag.

The game then went into extra time and it was Phunya Sele Sele who were to take the lead for the third time in the game, with a goal almost from nothing in the 94th minute.

A seemingly harmless cross came in from Lackay, which Mogorosi connected with a header from 18-yards out, the ball flying towards the top corner, through the hands of Mweene and into the net.

The game remained there for the taking as it went through extra time and with just a minute to go Wome seemed all set for his third goal, but Nthethe had other ideas as he made an heroic block to prevent the shot curling inside the far post.

Posted: 18/11/12 15:38

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