CAPE TOWN – Golden Arrows coach Steve Komphela’s return to former club Bloemfontein Celtic proved a miserable one after his team was hammered 5-0 in a league encounter at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Celtic had been somewhat unlucky to suffer a 3-1 loss to Orlando Pirates in their opening match of the season, but were to make amends with a scintillating performance against a shell-shocked Arrows in the Free State capital.
It took the host club just 35 seconds to take the lead: after Arrows had carelessly given away possession in the opposition half, Celtic broke with purpose, working the ball to Ndumiso Mabena, who was given time and space to run towards goal before unleashing a 20-yard shot into the bottom corner.
Abafana bes’Thende continued to look disjointed and they conceded again in the 12th minute when some poor marking afforded Menzi Masuku the chance to cut back inside from the left hand side of the box before squeezing in a shot at the near post.
Just after the half hour mark the Durban team began to ask questions of the Celtic defence and home keeper Jackson Mabokgwane did well to tip a deflected shot from Danny Venter over the bar.
— Bloemfontein Celtic (@Bloem_Celtic) August 11, 2019
Mabokgwane was at it again 10 minutes later as he snuffed out Lionel Mutizwa’s chipped effort, before bravely diving at the feet of the same player to make another save a few minutes after that.
However, a potential comeback was to be quashed deep inside first half added time when Mabena slipped in Harris Tchilimbou, who finished with a low angled shot from close range to make it 3-0 at the break.
There was little respite for Arrows after the restart as Mabena drew a reflex save from Edmore Sibanda before having another goal-bound effort blocked by defender Divine Lunga.
The home crowd were in full voice as they were being entertained by some breathtaking football from their team, and they didn’t have to wait long for the next goal to arrive, as Mzwanele Mahashe sent a 55th minute header into the top corner following a corner kick.
The visitors thought they had pulled one back when Lerato Lamola netted in the 65th minute, only for the off-side flag to go up – summing up their miserable afternoon.
Phunya Sele Sele meanwhile continued to run rampant, turning on the style and seemingly creating chances at will, and Sibanda had to come to Arrows’ rescue as he kept out efforts from Ronald Pfumbidzai and Andile Fikizolo.
It was, however, to be Fikizolo who was to inflict more pain on the KZN side when he ran clean in on goal before coolly side-footing past Sibanda to make it 5-0 in the 79th minute.
Mahashe could even have added a sixth, but pulled a shot wide in the 90th minute after Sibanda had once more been left exposed by his ragged defence.
African News Agency (ANA)