Stunning Comeback Sinks Pirates
04 November 2012
Result: Celtic 3-3 (5-4) Pirates
Date: 4 November 2012
Venue: Free State Stadium
Bloemfontein Celtic made a dramatic late comeback to secure a 3-3 draw in regulation time in their Telkom Knockout quarter-final at home to Orlando Pirates before holding their nerve for a 5-4 shootout win to move to the semi-finals.
The Sea Robbers enjoyed the better possession and chances in the opening 45 minutes, and went into the break with the lead thanks to a superb free-kick from Daine Klate.
Pirates gave Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb something to think about just two minutes in when Rooi Mahamutsa saw his effort loop just over the crossbar from distance.
Chances were hard to come by in the opening stages but the rough challenges claimed its first victim with Mahamutsa having to come off early on for Lucky Lekgwathi.
The Buccaneers would then hit the front in spectacular fashion with Klate curling a sublime free-kick into the top corner, giving the goalkeeper absolutely no chance.
Collins Mbesuma was then slipped in on goal but saw the ball snatched from his toes by Limbikani Mzava while the defender also made a vital challenge after Oupa Manyisa had nipped through in the 29th minute.
Patrick Phungwayo made a poor decision a minute later when he was sent scuttling down the flank and went for the bottom corner instead of picking out the on-rushing Jali.
Jali then went close with five minutes to go after a neat one-two at the edge of the area before he rifled a low shot just wide of the target.
Celtic almost snatched a late equaliser in the half but Thabo Nthethe didn't get his foot onto a cross to the far post as Pirates went into the break with a lead.
The game exploded into life four minutes after the break with Manyisa slotting a superb volley after controlling a lofted pass over the defence.
Celtic responded with Bacela going down just inside the area under a challenge from Siyabonga Sangweni. The forward dusted himself off and fired past Moeneeb Josephs to make it 2-1.
The frantic action continued and 11 minutes later Thabo Matlaba would restore the two-goal cushion for the visitors when his long-range thunderbolt caught Tignyemb by surprise as it flew into the back of the net.
Jali would hit the woodwork moments later when he latched onto the rebound after Sifiso Myeni's low drive was parried by the goalkeeper.
Celtic had lost their cool as they were chasing the game and wasted possession with pointless strikes at goal from distance.
Ruzaigh Gamildien had a good chance in the 76th minute when the ball came to him at the edge of the area but he rifled it way over the crossbar.
Substitute Tlou Segolela broke the offside trap in the 80th minute but he produced a poor first touch which saw him closed down and the ball blocked.
Gamildien was lively and saw his 83rd minute free-kick saved well by Josephs before substitute Lerato Manzini flicked an attempt just wide two minutes later.
Ndumiso Mabena could have killed the spirits of Celtic in the 86th minute when he burst past Dominic Isaacs but he stuttered when he went one-on-one with the goalkeeper who gratefully dropped onto the ball.
That miss was punished in the 89th minute when Gamildien got in front of his defender to nod his finish into the bottom corner.
Joel Mogorosi headed just wide in the 94th minute as Celtic had their tails up and moments later a dramatic equaliser arrived through the same player. Josephs came off his line to punch but his clearance fell to a Celtic player and the resulting scramble saw Mogorosi net a brilliant overhead kick to send the game to extra-time.
The tiredness was evident in extra-time from both sides as they had given their all over the regulation 90 minutes, with chances not flowing as freely. Possibly the pick of the efforts came from Lehlogonolo Maselesa who saw his curling effort from the edge of the area tipped away by the goalkeeper as the game went to penalties.
Manyisa was the only player not to net from the spot in the shootout with Tignyemb saving his strike with his feet as Celtic completed a sensational comeback.
Celtic: Patrick Tignyemb, Thabo Nthethe, Tsietsi Mahoa, Dominic Isaacs, Letladi Madubanya, Limbikani Mzava, Ruzaigh Gamildien, Lyle Lakay, Mduduzi Nyanda, John Aruwah, Luyanda Bacela.
Pirates: Moeneeb Josephs, Rooi Mahamutsa, Siyabonga Sangweni, Thabo Matlaba, Patrick Phungwayo, Oupa Manyisa, Andile Jali, Sifiso Myeni, Daine Klate, Lehlogonolo Maselesa, Collins Mbesuma.