Celtic pip Stars in Cup thriller
Joel Mogorosi made good on his introduction late in the match to score the winning goal for Celtic in extra time
BLOEMFONTEIN Celtic have a chance to end their seven-year trophy drought early next month after beating rivals Free State Stars 3-2 to progress to the final of the Telkom Knockout.
Following up on his crucial goal coming off the bench against Orlando Pirates in the quarterfinals, Joel Mogorosi made good on his introduction late in the match yesterday to score the winning goal for Celtic in extra time.
Celtic overcame their poor form on the road to pull off a victory over Stars, who are almost impossible to beat at Charles Mopeli Stadium.
Letladi Madubanya scored the opening goal of the game in the 52nd minute following his solo run past three Stars defenders.
Dove Wome then grabbed the equaliser in the 71st minute, after Celtic keeper Patrick Tignyemb spilled a shot he should have handled better and the loose ball fell for Wome.
The celebrations were short-lived as substitute Lerato Manzini gave Celtic the lead for the second time in the match by cleverly chipping the ball over goalie Kennedy Mweene. Stars were not going to give up easily and it took a phenomenal set-piece from Wome to bring them back into the match in the 84th minute.
But Mogorosi again stole the show with his towering header beating Mweene at near post in the 95th minute to book the ticket to the final, where Celtic will take on Mamelodi Sundowns.
Sundowns were winners in another derby, the Tshwane battle, on Saturday night against SuperSport United.
Celtic's major achievement in top-flight football remains the 2005 Top 8 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.
It was a case of derby madness yesterday, with four goals being scored in the second half and forcing the match into extra time.
Had the finishing been better in the opening stages of the match, things could have been wrapped up a lot quicker.
Celtic skipper Thabo Nthete saw his header early in the game go just wide, while in the seventh minute, Wome was already threatening.
His header came off the woodwork and, at the time, the score remained goalless.
While Celtic can finally add to their silverware in a few weeks' time, Stars return to Absa Premiership football with their 18-year cup drought likely to keep going.