Celtic set up Telkom Knockout final with Wits after shoot-out success
Bloemfontein Celtic booked their place in the final of the Telkom Knockout competition with a penalty shoot-out victory over hosts Polokwane City at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.
Celtic triumphed 4-3 in the shoot-out after a 1-1 draw and will now meet Bidvest Wits in the decider at Durban's Princess Magogo Stadium on December 2.
The visitors just about deserved their win as they took the lead in extra time through Jacky Motshegwa, only to be pinned back by an equaliser from Rendani Ndou.
They held their nerve in the shoot-out though and sealed their final spot when Tshegofatso Mabasa netted their fifth kick to spark wild celebrations and give their Serbian coach Veselin Jelusic a chance for some instant success in South African football.
It was a game that never reached great heights as a spectacle with few clear-cut chances through the 120 minutes.
Roggert Nyundu went close for Celtic when he fluffed a chance from a yard out as he missed the ball having been put off by a home defender.
The only chance of note for the home side came when striker Rodney Ramagalela found the space for a free header from a corner, but put his effort wide.
Celtic had the better of the play in the second period with midfielder Kabelo Mahlasela pulling the strings.
He set up Lucky Baloyi for a chance, but the former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder's touch let him down when he would have been clear through.
Mahlasela should have done better himself when Nyundu's header played him through on goal but he pulled out of the challenge with goalkeeper George Chigova, when more bravery might have served him better. Nyundu subsequently flashed the loose ball just wide.
Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb then made a stunning save to deny City skipper Jabu Maluleke from a free kick as there were no goals in the 90 minutes.
Phunya Sele Sele made the breakthrough in the first half of extra-time when Mabasa touched on a low free kick into the area and Motshegwa turned to shoot the ball home.
They sat back in an attempt to hold onto their lead and were punished when Maluleke's corner was headed home by Ndou for his third goal of the tournament.
That sent the match to penalties, but when experienced stars Ramagalela and Maluleke missed in the shootout, Celtic were able to book their place in the final.