Maritzburg Scrape Past Celtic In League Opener
Result: Bloemfontein Celtic 0-1 Maritzburg United
Date: 24 August 2016
Venue: Dr. Molemela Stadium
Maritzburg United began their Absa Premiership campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic at the Dr. Molemela Stadium.
Both sides fielded new signings but it was Bevan Fransman who nearly made the perfect start for the visitors, as his header was palmed away by Patrick Tignyemb after five minutes.
Maritzburg shaded the possession statistic, with Deolin Mekoa and Kurt Lentjies pulling the strings in the middle of the park.
Celtic looked deadly on the break with the pace and skill of Lyle Lakay and Deon Hotto down the flanks, although their final ball was not up to par.
Despite Maritzburg's early domination, the best chance of the half fell to Celtic in the 43rd minute when the ball dropped to Lakay six-yards from goal, however the winger fired straight at Virgil Vries.
Ernst Middendorp opted for a double change at the start of the second half, as he introduced Sheldon Van Wyk and Pogiso Sanoka for Andrea Fileccia and Bryce Moon.
The visitors broke the deadlock after 50 minutes when Lentjies slotted home from close range, after Tignyemb failed to hold onto Blessing Moyo's stinging effort.
Serame Letsoaka responded by introducing Khethokwakhe Masuku shortly after the goal, before bringing on Dumasani Zuma and Atusaye Nyondo after 70 minutes.
Celtic pushed numbers forward with the hope of bagging an equaliser, but they could not carve out any chance in the closing stages.
Here's how they lined up:
Bloemfontein Celtic: 30. Tignyemb, 18. Sankara, 5. Letlabika, 27. Ndengane, 11. Hotto (Masuku 56'), 3. Dube, 12. Mahlasela (Zuma 72'), 19. Mxoyana (Nyondo 75'), 7. Lakay, 23. Shikweni, 24. Masana
Maritzburg United: 30. Vries, 7. Moon (Sanoka 45'), 16. Fransman, 2. Onyango, 5. Weidlich, 6. Moyo, 29. Lentjies (Mokate 90'), 19. Rusike, 28. Mekoa, 10. Zulu, 9. Fileccia (Van Wyk 45')