Ndumiso Mabena stunner sinks lacklustre Chiefs as Celtic triumph in Polokwane

Ndumiso Mabena of Bloemfontein Celtic celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on the April 27 2019.
Ndumiso Mabena of Bloemfontein Celtic celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on the April 27 2019.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs continued their indifferent run towards the season’s finish line as they lost 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday night to extend their winless streak in the league to five matches.

Ndumiso Mabena buried a 22nd minute freekick for hosts Celtic, forced to move the match from the Free State because of the rioting that caused the abandonment of their last game in Bloemfontein.

They have been in Polokwane since midweek when they upset Polokwane City 2-1 and the sojourn in the Limpopo looked to have been just the tonic as they moved back in the top eight.

They are only one point behind Chiefs, who remain seventh and still not sure that they will qualify for next season’s MTN8.

Chiefs were awful in the first half with over-elaborate movements, short, pointless passes while Celtic showed them how to do it with quick transition and good use of the flanks, especially the left where Bongani Sam again impressed.

Celtic had several long range efforts just off target from Kabelo Dlamini and Lucky Baloyi before Mabena bent his freekick in off the upfront for a deserved lead at the break.

Ernst Middendorp made two changes at half-time to try and inject some life into his limp team but it was only in the 70th minute that Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb had to make his first save of the game – from a soft effort from Dumisani Zuma.  

Bernard Parker went wide with a good chance some eight minutes from time but two later breakaways offered Celtic the chance to make it 2-0 but, on both occasions, Neo Maema fluffed his lines

Usually on the road, and in centres where they are infrequently seen, Chiefs attract a decent crowd, far more than at home at Soccer City, but such is fading lustre of their brand that the World Cup venue was largely empty as fickle fans continue to vote with their feet with Chiefs’ remote title hopes ended some while ago, even though they are in the Nedbank Cup final.

Middendorp will still undecided on his cup final line-up with few players putting their hand up in yet another poor showing by Chiefs.

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