Pretoria (AFP) – Mid-table Bloemfontein Celtic stunned South African Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 Wednesday to score only their second victory in the past 25 matches against the Soweto giants.
Lesotho international Sera Motebang netted just before and after half-time to turn the tide at the University of Pretoria after Eric Mathoho had put Chiefs ahead against his former club.
Celtic added a third goal midway through the second half from Sepana Letsoalo to sink Chiefs and offer renewed hope to second-place Mamelodi Sundowns, who have been struggling.
Chiefs have 52 points from 25 matches, and Sundowns 46 from 24 ahead of a clash with sixth-place Maritzburg United Friday.
Celtic, who began the day just six points above the relegation zone, rose one place to 10th in the richest African league with a 15 million rand ($870,000/735,000 euro) first prize.
“No one gave us a chance and that proved a great help,” said recently appointed Celtic coach and former Malawi star John Maduka.
“There was no pressure on my boys and they were determined to prove the pundits wrong and shock Chiefs.
“I made three changes from the team that drew with SuperSport United three days ago and having fresh legs contributed to our great performance.
– ‘We defended brilliantly’ –
“Before the match I told the boys that if they defended well we could win and that is how it turned out. We defended brilliantly and took our chances.”
Celtic were forced to change coaches during the five-month shutdown of football in South Africa since mid March because of the coronavirus pandemic when Lehlohonolo Seema quit.
Former Lesotho star Seema moved to Chippa United and his assistant, Maduka, took charge of a club that has never come close to winning the Premiership.
Celtic will not finish first this season either, but they have reached the Nedbank (FA) Cup final against Sundowns, scheduled for September 8.
Meanwhile, SuperSport rose to third, eight points adrift of Chiefs, by defeating Polokwane City 2-0 at the University of the Witswatersrand in Johannesburg.
Defeat pushed Polokwane down one position to last, below Black Leopards on goals scored having played one match more.
Bradley Grobler set up Zambian Ghampani Lungu to score on eight minutes and sealed victory with a glancing header in the first minute of stoppage time.
Grobler has bagged 13 Premiership goals, one less than the Golden Boot frontrunner, Malawian Frank Mhango of Orlando Pirates.
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family