Giyani’s fierce central defender has played 20 games in all competitions for the Sea Robbers over the years
Bloemfontein Celtic center-back Justice Chabalala was one of the standout players on the pitch in Phunya Sele Sele’s 1-0 loss to the Orlando Pirates on Tuesday night.
After former Bucs striker Ndumiso Mabena was sent off shortly before half-time for a reckless foul on Linda Mntambo, Celtic’s task became all the more difficult.
But with Chabalala in good shape, the Pirates rarely threatened the guests’ goal.
In the end, it wasn’t a mistake by Celtic, but a moment of individual brilliance from Fortune Makaringe that led to the only goal of the game in the 62nd minute.
Phunya Sele Sele trainer John Maduka certainly couldn’t fault Chabalala’s impressive performance.
“On another level. On another level, he was working very hard and they couldn’t beat him in one-on-one situations. He used the ball so well, ”said Maduka SuperSport TV after the game.
“So it’s good to have a player of his caliber on his defense and he did so well. We defended the entire defense well, except for the goal. “
Chabalala, 29, signed with the Free State Stars Pirates in 2016. He remains a Bucs player but has largely loaned out the past five years – first with Chippa United and then with Celtic.
He has made 13 appearances in all competitions for Celtic this season before his contract with Bucs expires in June.
While disappointed not having taken anything out of the game, Maduka was pleased with the way his 10-man squad struggled in the second half.
“It was difficult to play a quality team like the Orlando Pirates with just one man. Second half with our plan, it worked because we managed to get into the last third. We had a few chances in front of the goal, one of which was one on one with the goalkeeper. Get that and it’s a different game.
“But it didn’t happen and a lack of focus and we were punished. We have to score goals. You can only win games if you score goals, ”he added.