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Bloemfontein Celtic 3-2 Maritzburg United

Bloemfontein Celtic booked their place in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals after clinching a 3-2 victory over a stubborn Maritzburg United at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Saturday night.

Maritzburg drew first blood through Thabiso Kutumela's 17th-minute penalty, before Tumelo Njoti put the hosts back on level terms seven minutes later. Maloisane Ramasimong put Celtic back in front just after the hour mark, only for Kwanda Mngonyama to level matters with two minutes remaining in regulation time.

However, it was Celtic who had the last laugh, reclaiming the lead with virtually the last kick of the game, Harris Tchilimbou netting the all-important goal.

There was no separating the two teams in the opening five minutes of play, with both sides easing their way into the contest.

The first real chance of note arrived in the eighth minute, Maritzburg's Thabiso Kutumela going close as he lashed a volley over the bar from outside the box after being teed up by Jeremy Brockie.

And it was Maritzburg who got the early breakthrough on 17 minutes as the referee pointed straight to the spot after a handball in the box. Kutumela stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake, firing straight down the middle of goal to put the visitors in front.

However, Maritzburg's lead didn't last long as Celtic clawed their way back on level terms seven minutes later, Tumelo Njoti heading home into the bottom-left corner following a well-weighted cross into the box.

The Team of Choice had a great chance to reclaim the lead in the 32nd minute but the chance came to nothing as Brockie saw his volley deflected behind for a corner.

The first-half scoreline would remain unchanged, though, with neither side able to fashion a second goal in the remaining minutes.

Maritzburg fashioned the first chance of the second half, just ten minutes in, but Celtic escaped unscathed as Siyanda Xulu somehow failed to find the target with a headed effort from inside the six-yard box.

And the Team of Choice were made to rue that missed chance as Celtic stormed back to claim the lead in the 64th minute, Maloisane Ramasimong tapping home from close range after pouncing on a mistake in the box.

Maritzburg gave the hosts a big fright just a few minutes later, however, as Justice Chabalala made a last-ditch clearance to deny Bongokuhle Hlongwane what looked to be a certain goal.

But with time running out, the visitors kept pressing for an equaliser and got the breakthrough they were looking for two minutes from time, Kwanda Mngonyama firing into the roof of the net at the far post following an inventive back heel by Pogiso Sanoka.

Celtic were having none of it, though, and they mustered a response deep in injury time as Harris Tchilimbou prodded the ball home at the back post to seal a dramatic victory.