Wednesday, February 21, 2007
OORB - will post a weekly post on Bloemfontein Celtic from now on- all the news flashes and info will be posted under the heading RonnebalRoundup for the bennifit of the Punja Selesele fans!
Gaan Sundowns hul ‘Moses’ teëkom?
Feb 21 2007 12:05:24:783AM - (SA)
Johann de Jager
’n SPEELVELD waarvan besoekende spanne niks hou nie. Hordes getroue ondersteuners wat hulle bankvas agter die tuisspan skaar en die feit dat twee van die land se sokkerreuse reeds hul moses hier teëgekom het.
Dit alles staar Mamelodi Sundowns, die kampioen en voorloper, vandag van 15:45 af in die gesig in die Seisa Ramabodu-stadion in Bloemfontein waar hy teen ’n begeesterde Bloemfontein Celtic in die Premiersokkerliga te staan kom.
Ofskoon die kampioen, soos Celtic, nog net twee keer die seisoen in wegwedstryde kon seëvier, is hy skitterend op dreef. Hy het al vyf sy wedstryde tot dusver die kalenderjaar gewen, waarin hy 12 doele aangeteken en net twee afgestaan het. Onder sy slagoffers het Kaizer Chiefs en Orlando Pirates agtereenvolgens getel.
“Sundowns reken op die oomblik links en regs met almal af en ons sal op ons beste moet wees as ons hulle wil klop,” sê Tony de Nobrega, die Celtic-afrigter.
Hy sê hulle het groot agting vir Sundows.
“Maar ons is nie bang vir hulle nie. Ons het die seisoen ook al met groot spanne afgereken.”
Die groot spanne waarna die afrigter verwys, is Chiefs en Pirates, wat albei teen Celtic in Bloemfontein vasgeval het.
Reagan Noble kan weens die ooreenkoms met Sundowns nie vandag teen hulle ingespan word nie, sê De Nobrega.
Hy sal deur Thapelo Liau op die plaasvervangerbank vervang word. Celtic sal ook vandag besin of hy Lebajoa Mphongoa weer gaan inspan.
Die doelskieter is vroeg in die vorige wedstryd teen Golden Arrows beseer. Hy het glo las van ’n tussenribspier.
Petrus Mahlatsi en Moses Spandeel, die twee doelskieters teen Arrows, sal waarskynlik weer in die voorste linie ingespan word.
Mahlatsi spog met vyf doele sedert die begin van die jaar, terwyl Spandeel se visier ook weer ingestel is nadat hy verlede seisoen ook Celtic se voorste doelskieter was.
Celtic beat Arrows
A workmanlike display by Bloemfontein Celtic was good enough to end a resurgent Golden Arrows' three-match unbeaten streak when they humbled the Kwazulu-Natal-based team 2-1 in a Castle Premiership match at Chartsworth Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Hosts Arrows immediately went on the attack from virtually the first movement of the game when Papi Zothwane found Philani Shange on the right flank with a defence-splitting pass. Celtic, however, quickly recovered to clear Shange's low cross.
Celtic were forced to make an early substitution in the 13th minute, with Peter Mphongoa forced off because of an injury and Petros Mahlatsi replacing him. That disruption, however, did not seem to bother the visitors who went ahead against the run of play when Mahlatsi tapped in Patrick Malokase's low drive to beat Davies Phiri in the Arrows goals.
The visitors then went one better and doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when substitute Mahlatsi's shot hit the upright and Moses Spandeel reacted quickly to make it 2-0 for the start of second half.
The self-same Spandeel was unlucky not to score in the 52nd minute when his shot hit the upright with Arrows 'keeper Phiri well beaten. A 3-0 scoreline would have ended the match right there and then.
Arrows very nearly responded to Spandeel's effort in the 54th minute when Zothwane produced another defence-splitting pass that found Mabhuti Khanyeza - but composure deserted the striker as he rushed his shot that went well wide.
The hosts became even more determined afterwards, piling the pressure on Celtic, only for their poor finishing to let them down, much to Celtic goalkeeper Shub-Aib Walters's delight.
The home team did, however, eventually pull one back - but a 90th-minute score by super-sub Norman Smith was never going to be enough for the boys from Kwazulu-Natal and Celtic won the match 2-1.
Arrows (3-5-2): Davies Phiri, Siyabonga Sangweni, Billy Mwanza, Kapamba Chintu (Norman Smith 75), Kagiso Dikgacoi, Joseph Henyekane, Papi Zothwane (Bonakele Thwala 82), Sehloho Nale (Alton Meiring 70), Thanduyise Khuboni, Philani Shange, Mabhuti Khanyeza.
Coach: Mangoba Mngqithi
Celtic (4-4-1-1): Shuaib Walters, James Madidilani, Thatho Nthethe, Gary Goldstone, Timothy Batabaire, Patrick Malokase (Aaron Lepele 80), John Maduka, Lebajoa Mphongoa Petros Mahlatsi 17), Moses Spandeel, Soul Mmethi (Jonathan Solomons 83).
Coach: Tony de Nobrega
Referee: Ace Ncobo
February 21 2007 at 09:08AM
Backed by a vocal, capacity crowd in almost every one of their home games, Bloemfontein Celtic are hardly desperate for support, but they will get additional backing on Wednesday afternoon.
That support will come from all the Castle Premiership championship contenders and neutrals who want to see the title race go down to the wire, as had been so promising until recent weeks, when Mamelodi Sundowns surged up the standings and threatened to turn it into a one-team parade.
Sundowns travel to Seisa Ramabodu Stadium on Wednesday to take on Celtic (3.45pm), hoping to widen the gap at the top of the standings to six points and effectively make it difficult for the chasing pack to unseat them.
The Brazilians will still have two matches in hand on the rest after today - and that's why Celtic will get an unprecedented number of well-wishers who would plead: just ensure that they don't win again.
'Just ensure that they don't win again'
The trouble is, stopping Sundowns is not an easy task. They've won all their past five league matches, the last three of which were all thought to be "difficult".
Celtic host Gordon Igesund's side under another "difficult" fixture banner, given that visitors to Seisa Ramabodu have not had it any easier there. But sensible Phunya Sele Sele coach Tony De Nobrega is having none of it. "Yes, it will be difficult, but for both teams," he said.
"For Sundowns to beat Chiefs, Pirates and Swallows in a space of a week shows that they have confidence and quality. But we'll try our best."
Celtic, too, have beaten Chiefs and Pirates at home - that's why most neutrals are hoping that they complete a hat-trick against the big guns today. "All our players love these big games, but this one is even more important because a win will give us an opportunity to move up the standings," De Nobrega said.
Celtic could jump to second spot if they win, and it's not impossible. They beat Sundowns in the corresponding fixture last year, coming from behind to score a 2-1 victory.
Even as this is a midweek afternoon fixture, De Nobrega still expects a full crowd. "I don't know what the result will be," he said. "What I do know is that the stadium will be full."
At Ellis Park, Orlando Pirates host Maritzburg United tonight (8pm). United have dropped deeper into relegation trouble and a win tonight will still not be enough to move them off 15th place.
o This article was originally published on page 15 of The Star on February 21, 2007
Careful planning, big match temperament and a burning desire to defend their title at the end of the season are the reasons why champions-elect Mamelodi Sundowns are favourites to see off Bloemfontein Celtic, whom they visit in a crunch Castle Premiership match at Seisa Ramabodu Stadium on Wednesday afternoon (kick-off 3.45pm).
With the league campaign reaching its summit, Sundowns coach Gordon Igesund seems to have shaped a side that is capable of winning the coveted Premiership trophy.
But in playing a team of Celtic's caliber, backed by their passionate fan base, a stern test awaits the high-earners.
Sundowns are perched at the top of the standings on 38 points after 19 matches, one game less than Celtic, who are six points behind their opponents in eighth place.
Sundowns' cultured midfielder, Esrom Nyandoro, admitted that they face a gargantuan task against Celtic.
"Celtic's supporters are the most intimidating you can find," said Nyandoro. “Whether their team is going through a lean spell or winning, they always rally behind their team and that is a good omen for players."
"We have been playing catch up matches but, as professionals, we cannot complain. We are in a strong position to defend our title but the road is still long."
"We have collected nine points at home and it is time to do just that away from home. Despite some players nursing ailments or injuries, the title is ours to lose."
After recording their second away victory of the season against Golden Arrows, peerless finisher Moses Spandeel said Celtic is hoping for a miraculous upset and a major scalp.
"They must ask teams like Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates who always return home pondering what went wrong," Spandeel said. "We don't take any prisoners at home and the Sundowns game will not be different."
"We are in a spirited mood after winning away from home and it promises to be an-all action game. To our fans, continue to rally behind us and we will continue making you proud."
"Beating Sundowns will inspire the team to greater heights and I can't wait for this titanic clash."
Bloemfontein Celtic - Moses Spandeel
After helping Celtic to a win over Golden Arrows on the weekend, Spandeel will hope his good form continues against Sundowns on Wednesday.
Mamelodi Sundowns - Esrom Nyandoro
Nyandoro, as one of the finest midfielders in the Castle Premiership, will play a key role when Sundowns turn up for this difficult away game in Bloemfontein.
Bloemfontein Celtic - Tony De Nobrega
Mamelodi Sundowns - Gordon Igesund
By Patrick Baloyi/Backpagepix
Sundowns overpower Celtic
Mamelodi Sundowns beat Bloemfontein Celtic 3-1 in a Castle Premiership match played at Seisa Ramabodu Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Full match report to follow...
Ag no man!
I notice that Ajax CT beat your team in the Absa Cup on Sunday. LOL
Sorry about that but we take our football seriously here in CT.
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