It wasn’t a result he had hoped for, but Bloemfontein Celtic coach John Maduka believes his charges did their best to try and win their MTN8 final tie against Orlando Pirates at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
Phunya Sele-Sele lost 2-1 to the Buccaneers as the Free State outfit played with 10 players on the pitch after Ronald Pfumidzai got a red card for fouling Thembinkosi Lorch inside the box.
But it was Celtic who had the upper hand in the game as they got an early lead in the fourth minute of play through Sphelele Luthuli.
Unfortunately, his goal was later cancelled out by Deon Hotto.
Lorch put the final nail in the coffin when he stood up to take the penalty after he fouled.
Maduka, however, believes his charges played much better after losing Pfumidzai because his players started playing long balls when they scored allowing Pirates to come to them.
“We played much better when we were 10 men because you can see that most of the time we had possession on the ball. But there were those couple of times when we could used our goal scoring chances, but it’s football, one of those things (that happen in the game). I think the boys did their best, it was not an easy game,” the Celtic coach told SuperSport TV.
The loss to Pirates was the second one for Celtic after the clubs met in a DStv Premiership clash a few weeks ago.
In that tie, the Buccaneers emerged victorious after edging Celtic 1-0 courtesy of Siphesihle Ndlovu late goal.
But, that could easily be forgotten looking at the marathon that is the league with less than 10 games played so far.
Losing the Wafa Wafa final must be very painful for everyone at Celtic, who find themselves having lost two back to back finals.
It was not long ago when the Free State outfit lost out on the Nedbank Cup to Mamelodi Sundowns last season.