Mogorosi earns Celtic draw v Aces

Bloemfontein Celtic and Mpumalanga Black Aces began their 2014/15 Absa Premiership campaign with a 1-1 draw at the Free State Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Goals either side of half time from Tendai Ndoro and Joel Mogorosi ensured the match ended in a relatively tame draw which both teams will be satisfied with after being knocked out of the MTN8 last weekend.

Coaches Ernst Middendorp and Clive Barker will have much to think on after this opening league clash in which their teams showed flashes of promise, but were also guilty of some basic errors in both tactics and execution.

Celtic started brightly and threatened an early goal through Frank Mhango, who worked space for a shot but blasted his effort wide of the target in the third minute, though the game then settled into a pattern where both teams were content to sit back.

It took until the 33rd minute for another chance to arrive, but Lyle Lakay’s tame shot was easily saved by Aces goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro. Celtic’s Lakay then cleared an Aces effort off of his own goal line six minutes later as Eddie Ngalo threatened to put the visitors ahead.

The first half seemed destined to end goalless, but out of nowhere AmaZayoni broke the deadlock in the first minute of injury time before the break. Zimbabwean striker Tendai Ndoro somehow managed to beat Patrick Tignyemb from an almost impossible angle near the right by-line to send Aces into the interval 1-0 up.

The Mpumalanga club had a chance to double their lead early in the second half when Celtic failed to clear their lines from a corner kick, but Ngalo shot over the target amid a throng of bodies in the penalty area.

Celtic, who had boldly sent on both Lerato Lamola and Tumelo Mogapi at the start of the second half, restored parity in the 54th minute. Lamola was the architect of the goal, with his cross from the left forcing a mistake between Murambadoro and a defender. Joel Mogorosi was on hand to capitalise, steering home a calm finish to make it 1-1.

The teams traded half-chances, but Aces created a terrific opportunity to reclaim the lead in the 83rd minute, with Ndooro sneaking in between the centre-backs to latch onto a cross from the left flank, but his glancing header was comfortably saved by Tignyemb.

Aces had a couple of nervy moments of their own in the dying minutes where some desperate defending was required, but they were able to hold out for a deserved share of the spoils ahead of their midweek match against Kaizer Chiefs, while Celtic will host Orlando Pirates.

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 1 (Mogorosi 54’)
Black Aces (1) 1 (Ndoro 45+1’)

Celtic: Tignyemb, Mzava, Fransman, Bilankulu, Cloete (Lamola 46’), Ndengane, Gabonamong, Lakay (Mogapi 46’), Ritchie, Mogorosi, Mhango (Zuma 78’)

Aces: Murambadoro, Ngalo, Kobola, Da Costa, Tom, Nale (Tukane 58’), Zuke, Gyimah, Ngoma (Masina 82’), Mbesuma, Ndoro