Result: Celtic 0-1 SS United
Date: 2 February 2013
Venue: Free State Stadium
The Free State Reconciliation Challenge ended 1-0 in favour of SuperSport United as they downed Bloemfontein Celtic at the Free State Stadium on Saturday.
SuperSport were full value for their win with the only goal of the game came from the penalty spot courtesy of Clifford Mulenga.
The Absa Premiership teams were meeting for the second time in the challenge with the first edition having been held at the end of 2011.
Bradley Grobler made the impact he was looking for having recently moved to United on loan from Ajax Cape Town, earning an early penalty for his new club.
The forward went down under a challenge from Johannes Motlhaping and the referee pointed to the spot although the initial contact appeared to be made outside the area.
Zambian Mulenga was unerring from 12 yard as he powered home his spot-kick to give Gavin Hunt’s men a slight edge.
Grobler was in the thick of things again only minutes later but his snap shot on the turn was straight down the goalkeeper’s throat.
The former Goztepe man was clearly trying his best to impress in his unofficial debut as he turned his shot against the underside of the crossbar although the flag was up for offside in any case.
Matsatsantsa had taken the opportunity to blood a number of new players and Grobler’s strike-partner Simba Sithole, a new signing from Zimbabwe league champions Dynamos, was eager not to be outdone.
The 22-year-old found space in the box 35 minutes in after a defensive blunder by Celtic but could not gather his composure as he lashed wide.
Mulenga had a chance to double his tally minutes into the second period but could not steer his shot either side of the goalkeeper.
Grobler then crept in at the back post but could not direct his header on target, sending the ball just past the upright.
Celtic did threaten occasionally and a mistake at the back almost let them in only for SuperSport’s Mor Diouf to preserve their lead with a last ditch tackle.
With time running out Lerato Manzini had a dip for the losing side but the ball was well kept out by the opposing keeper
With the game set for a penalty shoot-out in the event of a draw Celtic pushed hard but could not draw level with their opponents.