Maritzburg United kept hope of survival alive in the Premiership with a comeback win over Bloemfontein Celtic on Friday evening.
United brought back Siphesihle Ndlovu, Brian Onyango, Miguel Timm and Mohau Mokate for their first match since the 2-1 defeat to Sundowns on 12 March.
Celtic made no fewer than five changes with Mzwanele Mahashe, Neo Maema, Ryan De Jongh, Menzi Masuku and Ndumiso Mabena coming in after their Nedbank Cup exit.
Maritzburg struggled early on and nearly conceded an early goal when on 10 minutes Celtic’s Mabena rattled the post from an unlikely angle.
Just before halftime Celtic had some defending to do but goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb swept Fortune Makaringe’s cross-cum shot into touch to deny the team of choice in front of the Harry Gwala Faithful.
The sides went into the break locked at 0-0 but that would change soon after the interval.
Celtic went in front five minutes into the second period through a close range goal from Menzi Masuku after a rapid counter-attack.
Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler responded by making his first change bringing on Alan Kateregga for an ineffective Ndlovu on 54 minutes in what proved to be an inspired move.
Celtic looked like they might double their advantage when Maema raced through on goal following a through ball on 58 minutes, but from the youngster failed to finish off the chance.
The Team of Choice were level 10 minutes to the end through Alan Kateregga’s first-time volley inside the area that wrong-footed Tignyemb and rewarding the relentless probing of the home side.
The Maritzburg side completed the comeback on 87 minutes, when Kateregga sent a superb strike into the top corner from 20-yards to complete his brace and gibe his team a vital three points in their fight for PSL life.
The win moves Tinkler’s troops to within just a point of Baroka FC and Chippa United, while Celtic remain in eighth spot.
PSL log standings