The Premier Soccer League team from the Free State, Bloemfontein Celtic, will settle for nothing less than a win this weekend when they play in the return leg of their CAF Confederations Cup preliminary round tie against Maniema Union in Bloemfontein.
Over the week, Phunya Sele Sele made their debut in continental football when they played against the team from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A second-string side from Bloemfontein made the trip to the DRC, and they performed quite admirably by claiming a 2-0 victory in Kinshasa.
As this was their first-ever outing in a major cup competition outside of South Africa, Celtic can hold their heads high as they take the 2-0 aggregate into Saturday’s match in the City of Roses.
Celtic coach, John Maduka, who did not travel with the team in order to help another Celtic side to their first league win of the season when they beat Black Leopards 1-0 last week, told Bloemfontein Courant they cannot afford to let their guard down this weekend.
“We were about to win our first-ever Confederations Cup games against one of the teams from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so we are very happy about that.
“At the same time, we cannot relax because we know that the second leg is going to be very difficult.
“We are looking forward to it and we just need to make sure that we plan well and go out there and win the game.”
Celtic and Maniema go head-to-head at 15:30 on Saturday at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium.
Meanwhile, next week Saturday Celtic and Orlando Pirates will battle it out in the MTN8 final, which will be contested at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Kick-off for this cup final is at 18:30 on 12 December. – MORGAN PIEK