Bloemfontein Celtic, ‘Downs in goalless stalemate

Bloemfontein Celtic and Mamelodi Sundowns cancelled each other out in their Absa Premiership clash at Dr Molemela Stadium, with the teams drawing 0-0 on Wednesday night.

The Brazilians, who hit the woodwork and had a goal ruled out in controversial circumstances, will feel they should have taken more from the match, while Phunya Sele Sele put in a strong showing and also missed out on some good scoring chances of their own.

Sundowns were inches away from claiming the lead as early as the 10th minute, with a volleyed cross from Phakamani Mahlambi picking out Tony Silva, who saw his headed attempt strike the crossbar.

Midway through the first half Celtic forced ‘Downs goalkeeper Denis Onyango into two sharp saves – first he kept out a strike at his near post from Ndumiso Mabena, before catching a well-struck drive from outside the box by Lantshene Phalane.

The only other notable attacking moment in the remainder of the first half was a free kick attempt from Mahlambi which he put high and wide of the mark, leaving the game goalless at the interval.

Both sides looked to shuffled their pack in attack within the opening 20 minutes of the second half, as Celtic introduced Tebogo Potsane and Sundowns threw on Gaston Sirino.

Ironically it was a defender who then had the best chance of the match to that point, with Lorenzo Gordinho getting on the end of a free kick delivery in the 69th minute, but his header from point-blank range was palmed over the bar by Onyango.

Four minutes later Phunya Sele Sele carved Sundowns’ defence open on a swift counter attack and Potsane, running from the right wing, was put clean through to face Onyango, but from a tricky angle he stabbed his shot wide of the mark.

The Brazilians thought they had opened the scoring on 82 minutes when Motjeka Madisha turned the ball home close range after Patrick Tignyemb failed to hold onto a low cross, but the goal was controversially ruled out for an offside.

That proved to be the last major talking point of the game, with the fulltime whistle signalling a share of the spoils.

The teams will be in Absa Premiership action again this weekend, with Celtic away to Free State Stars on Saturday for a derby, while Sundowns host title rivals Bidvest Wits on Sundowns.

Bloemfontein Celtic 0

Mamelodi Sundowns 0

Celtic: Tignyemb, De Jongh, Sam, Gordinho, Pfumbidzai, Masuku, Phalane, Mashikinya, Dlamini (Letsoalo 71’), Mabaso (Potsane 58’), Mabena

Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Madisha, Nascimento, Langerman, Kekana, Jali (Zwane 82’), Maboe, Vilakazi, Silva (Ali Meza 78’), Mahlambi (Sirino 66’)