Celtic are Macufe kings
BLOEMFONTEIN Celtic lifted this year's Mangaung African Cultural Festival (Macufe) trophy after beating arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at the Free State Stadium yesterday.
Five of the goals were scored in the second stanza. Celtic's scorers were Jackie Motsegwa, Brent Lawler, Danny Venter and Auguston Leonard, while Chiefs' goals came from Kaizer Motaung Jnr, Tumi Moshoabane and Matthew Rusike.
The two rivals lived up to expectations, offering the 43000 spectators value for their money.
Chiefs were the first to draw blood in the 22nd minute, courtesy of Motaung Jnr, whose shot came off Celtic's defender and skipper for the day Johannes Motlhaping.
The goal followed a neat move by midfielder Siyabonga Nkosi, who was the notable figure in the tournament having made his first appearance in the colours of Phunya Selesele.
Celtic rallied back strongly, and Motsegwa duly grabbed the equaliser in the 37th minute after a powerful shot past Chiefs debutant keeper Brilliant Khuzwayo.
The teams, who were level at half-time, returned from the break searching for the killer goal.
The home side took the lead in the 50th minute when former Chiefs defender Lawler beat the keeper with a fine header, capitalising on Chiefs defence's inability to clear a well-taken corner. Phunya Selesele raised the tempo and Venter duly made it 3-1 in the 56th minute after converting a neat pass from Lyle Lekay.
However, Celtic's lead was short-lived as Amakhosi gallantly fought back to score twice, putting the game in the balance.
Moshoabane reduced the deficit when he converted from the corner in the 61st minute, and another debutant Rusike grabbed the equalizer two minutes later, firing past Celtic's debutant keeper Dino Visser.
Play continued with both teams searching for the winning goal. The hosts were awarded a penalty by referee Harry Lekitlane in the 77th minute. Leonard made no mistake and converted the spot-kick with ease to make it 4-3.
Chiefs have won the cup five times, while Celtic yesterday made it three since 2004.