Celtic stun Pirates as Komphela's dream start continues

Bloemfontein Celtic's Bongani Sam celebrates his goal against Orlando Pirates Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

Bongani Sam scored his first goal for Bloemfontein Celtic as the Free State side stunned Orlando Pirates with a 1-0 victory at the Dr. Petrus Molemela Stadium on Sunday to continue their perfect start to the new Absa Premiership season.

New Celtic coach Steve Komphela never managed to defeat Pirates outright during almost three seasons with Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs, but his dream start in the Celtic dug-out got even better as the club moved to the joint top of the league alongside Bidvest Wits, who has played one match fewer.

For Orlando Pirates, it was another demoralising loss, as their winless run stretched to three matches and after a promising start to the season, the pressure is suddenly on coach Micho Sredojevic, who has been tasked with reviving for the fortunes of the team.

The only goal of the game came early on when Sam capitalized on a loose ball in the box, as the Pirates defenders stood static, acrobatically volleying the ball into the back of the net from close range.

Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza had a good opportunity at the back post but could not convert, and in the second period he missed two good headed chances.

The Buccaneers dominated large parts of the second period and applied plenty of pressure, with defender Happy Jele having a late bullet header deflected wide.

In the other Absa Premiership match played on Sunday, AmaZulu came from behind to beat Free State Stars 2-1 in Durban.

Their Argentine striker Emiliano Tade scored his first goal for the side with an equalizer from range, before Mhlengi Cele scored the winner with a minute left of regulation time.

Stars had gone ahead on five minutes as Usuthu defender Mbongeni Gumede put the ball into his own net.

Meanwhile in the National First Division, Ajax Cape Town claimed a first away win since May 2017 when they claimed a late victory at Jomo Cosmos.

Ajax, competing in the South African second-tier for the first time following a controversial relegation from the top flight, took the lead through Samuel Julies just past the half-hour mark.

Cosmos, who made the promotion play-offs last season, equalised from the penalty-spot via Inky Masuku on 82 minutes, but shortly afterwards Bafana Bafana striker Prince Nxumalo put Ajax in front again.