Celtic ready for Downs in Knockout final
BLOEMFONTEIN Celtic have a chance to end their seven-year trophy drought next month by advancing to the final of the Telkom Knockout after beating rivals Free State Stars 3-2 yesterday.
As he had done coming off the bench against Orlando Pirates in the quarterfinal, Joel Mogorosi made good of his introduction late in the match to score the winning goal for Celtic in extra time.
Celtic overcame their poor form on the road to pull off this victory against Stars, who are almost impossible to beat at Charles Mopeli stadium.
Letladi Madubanya scored the opening goal in the 52nd minute after a solo run past three Stars defenders.
But Dove Wome then grabbed the equaliser in the 71st minute. Celtic keeper Patrick Tignyemb should have handled the first shot better, spilling the ball for Wome to score the rebound.
The celebrations were short-lived as substitute Lerato Manzini gave Celtic the lead for the second time by cleverly chipping the ball over goalie Kennedy Mweene. It took a phenomenal set piece from Wome to level matters in the 84th minute.
But Mogorosi again stole the show with his towering header, beating Mweene at the near post in the 95th minute to book Celtic's ticket to the final. A goal-bound shot by Wome, which would have given him a hat-trick and forced the match into a penalty shoot-out, was well blocked by Celtic skipper Thabo Nthete minutes before the final whistle.
Sundowns were winners in the Pretoria derby on Saturday night against Supersport United.
Celtic's major achievement in top flight football remains the 2005 Top8 title.
It's been dry at the club since then, but Clinton Larsen and his men will look to change that when they take on the Brazilians on December 1.
While Celtic now have the chance of finally adding to their silverware, Stars return to Absa Premiership football with their 18-year cup drought still intact.