Celtic still with a fighting chance for the play-offs

Menzi Magubane

Bloemfontein Celtic believe they can overturn the 2-0 home defeat by Rivers United and qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup play-offs. 

Celtic were meant to face the Nigerians in the second leg last Wednesday, but Nigerian Covid-19 restrictions caused the game to be postponed. Authorities in Nigeria wanted Celtic to be quarantined for 14 days before their game and the Isiwelele management were not keen on that, and Celtic didn’t leave the country.

Celtic took the matter to the confederation and the match will now be played on the weekend of 23 January at an unconfirmed country neighbouring Nigeria.

Celtic’s spokesperson Sello Nduna said they are happy that they will finally play the match.

“CAF will inform us once the neutral country with less strict restrictions is found,” he said.

Celtic lost the first leg 2-0 at home and they will need to win by at least 3-0 if they want to progress. The winner of Celtic and Rivers United will face Enyimba of Nigeria in the Confederation Cup play-off in early March.

“Rivers scored two goals away, so what can stop us from doing that when we are away? We are going to this match to win. I know the boys are keen to go far in this tournament. So we can score three or four goals and go through to the next round,” Nduna said. 

This is Celtic’s maiden CAF competition and Nduna said they want to make their mark. In the domestic league, Celtic are not doing well but Nduna is adamant that things will change.

“We must instill a winning mentality in our players’ minds. Any match that comes our way we are ready to play and the CAF competition presents us with that opportunity. Our domestic situation will soon change. The more we play and win the better.”

Picture source: @Bloemfonteinceltic