Bloemfontein Celtic 4 (1) — AmaZulu 1 (1).
Bloemfontein Celtic has ensured that their name will be in the hat when the Nedbank Cup round of 16 draw takes place on Monday night.
Phunya Sele Sele booked their spot in the next round of the Ke Yona Cup after thumping AmaZulu 4-1 at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein yesterday.
Celtic might have been out of competitive action for three weeks before yesterday’s match, but it did not show, as Lehlohonolo Seema’s players were as sharp as ever.
Having reached the quarterfinals last season, Celtic displayed more hunger than rivals Usuthu, who were dumped in the first round last season.
The KwaZulu-Natal outfit were desperate to avoid the same fate this time. They were hoping to replicate the form that saw them reach the final of the competition back in 2010, where they lost 3-0 to Bidvest Wits.
So, when winger Talent Chawapiwa gave them the lead in the 34th minute, they dreamt of another fairytale run.
The 27-year-old Zimbabwean broke through on goal and stabbed the ball past an advancing Sipho Chaine in the Celtic goal for his first of the season in all competitions.
That ended up being as good as it got for Usuthu, as Celtic, backed by their vocal supporters, turned on the style to inspire a stunning turnaround.
A Michael Morton own goal on the stroke of half-time was all Celtic needed to turn the match on its head and go on to blow AmaZulu away.
Defender Wandisile Letlabika put Celtic ahead in the 66th minute when he ghosted into the area to punish a sleeping Usuthu defence.
And they were not done. Tumelo Njoti bagged the third point for Celtic in the 84th minute.
Neo Maema put the final nail in Usuthu’s coffin five minutes later through an expertly taken penalty kick after Ndumiso Mabena was brought down in the area.
Celtic managed to avenge the 2-1 defeat they suffered at the hands of AmaZulu in the Absa Premiership in December.
They are hoping to build on this performance when they resume their league campaign with a clash against Highlands Park at Tembisa’s Makhulong Stadium on Saturday at 3.30pm.