Wits, Celtic in goalless draw

Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic played to a goalless draw in their Absa Premiership encounter at Bidvest Wits Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday night.

The draw means the Clever Boys drop from the top of the league standings to second spot, with Mamelodi Sundowns occupying the pole position on goal difference.

Following the draw, Phunya Sele Sele are placed in fifth place with 15 points from nine matches.

Gavin Hunt’s men showed some rustiness in the beginning of the match as Siwelele moved forward probing for an early goal, with Moeneeb Josephs having to produce a great save to deny a goal-bound header in the opening 10 minutes by Lerato Lamola.

However, Wits displayed great touches in Siwelele’s half and a good delivery by Daine Klate from a cross was dealt with by Clinton Larsen’s defence.

Three minutes later, Lamola tried a spectacular overhead kick, however his effort went wide, failing to trouble Josephs once again.

As Wits were beginning to find their feet, Phakamani Mahlambi was fouled and Klate struck the set piece well, but Patrick Tignyemb was awake between the posts and saved for a corner.

After 30 minutes of action, Mahlambi unleashed a powerful cracker from range and gave the Cameroonian keeper worries as the ball went inches over the bar.

The remaining 15 minutes of the first stanza couldn’t produce scoring opportunities with both outfits heading to the tunnel level pegged at 0-0.

In the second stanza, Mahlambi made a great move inside from the right in the 68th minute, however he fired a low shot which failed to trouble Tignyemb.

Hunt substituted Klate and introduced Sibusiso Vilakazi and he immediately showed his skill in the middle of the park, moving past a number of challenges but his final pass failed to find the intended target in the 76th minute.

In the dying minutes, it was clear that both teams would not find goals as they wasted a number of chances.

Henrico Botes received a wonderful pass in the penalty area, he turned and fired over the bar not giving Tignyemb a chance to produce a fine save.

However, in their follow-up attempt with four minutes to go, Phumlani Ntshangase hit a powerful shot but failed to hit the target and the teams had to settle for one point apiece.

Wits: Josephs, Allie, Klate (Vilakazi 71’), Pelembe (Ntshangase 45’), Mkhwanazi, Faty, Botes, Nhlapo, Shongwe, Bhasera, Mahlambi (Pule 81’)

Celtic: Tignyemb, Fransman, Ndengane, Letlabika, Bilankulu, Mogapi, Ntanga, Lakay (Pelembe 62’), Maasdorp (Jooste 76’), Lamola (Massa 71’), Nyatama