Result: AmaZulu 4-3 Bloemfontein Celtic
Date: 02 February 2021
Venue: Jonsson Kings Park Stadium
Tapelo Xoki netted a stunning injury time free-kick to hand AmaZulu a 4-3 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic on Tuesday afternoon.
Tsepo Masilela, Limbikani Mzava, Butholezwe Ncube, Augustine Mulenga and Siphelele Mthembu were given recalls by Usuthu head coach Benni McCarthy following their win over Stellenbosch FC last Friday.
Mulenga made his presence felt 12 minutes in with a close-range finish to give Usuthu the lead from inside the six-yard area after Celtic struggled to clear.
The lead came under threat six minutes later from a cross on the right-side by Andile Fikizolo and looping attempt from close metres by Motebang Sera, but AmaZulu goalkeeper Veli Mothwa was on hand to make the save.
Celtic inevitably bagged the equaliser on the half-hour mark after a ball through the centre of defence from Siphelele Luthuli freed an unmarked Harris Tchilimbou to fire in off the right-hand post.
The home side’s lead was restored five minutes in the second half after Siyethemba Sithebe started a move towards the right of the area before going on to finish a ball from the near side by Mthembu.
Usuthu extended their advantage on 56 minutes when Tapelo Xoki fired into the bottom-corner from the spot as Mulenga drew a foul on the far side of the area.
After Sithebe's afternoon was ended by injury, Celtic set-up a nervy finish with 13 minutes to go after Victor Letsoalo rose ahead of a number of bodies in the area to head home a free-kick from Lantshene Phalane.
The equaliser came two minutes from time after Tchilimbou volleyed in a loose ball from a scramble in the area.
Usuthu however had the final say when Xoki curled sublim free-kick in added time into the top-corner to see his side to victory.
Here's how they started:
AmaZulu: 44. Mothwa, 5. Sikhakane, 24. Masilela, 25. Mzava, 27. Xoki, 8. Makhaula, 10. Sithebe, 6. Ncube, 34. Maduna, 30. Mulenga, 9. Mthembu.
Subs: 28. Mbatha, 17. Gumede, 29. Mabiliso, 22. Khumalo, 20. Majoro, 19. Chawapihwa, 43. Boshoff, 11. Magubane, 7. Ntuli.
Celtic: 31. Chaine, 35. Baloyi, 33. Chabalala, 24. Lingwati, 22. Rikhotso, 26. Ngobeni, 8. Phalane, 27. Tchilimbou, 9. Sera, 34. Fikizolo, 13. Luthuli.
Subs: 32. Mpoto, 20. De Jongh, 50. Masuku, 19. Matjila, 21. Letsoalo, 18. Mashikinya, 29. Ndwandwe, 3. Mahashe, 11. Potsane.