|Thabo Nthethe (L) with Katlego Mphela © Gallo Images
Bloemfontein Celtic and Mamelodi Sundowns played to a 0-0 draw in an Absa Premiership match at the Botshabelo Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Tshwane side, who were overwhelming favourites to win the match, started well and did all the attacking, but they fluffed numerous opportunities created.
Their free-flowing style of play certainly asked a few questions of the home teams’ defence early on, especially down the right flank where Anthony Laffor and Siyabonga Ngubane combined to orchestrate a few probing raids.
Mphela had the first chance for Sundowns as early as the fourth minute, but volleyed over the bar from only ten-yards out.
Six minutes later the Bafafa Bafana trusted striker had a great chance to open the scoring after leaving Thabo Nthethe for the dead, but his tame shot was easily gathered by Celtic keeper Thabani Stemmer.
Celtic managed to fashion a few half chances, but Lennox Bacela and Phenyo Mongala both failed to provide any real problems for ‘Downs keeper Calvin Marlin in the first half.
The former connected with a great cross by Cecil Oerson in the 36th minute, but he could not keep his header down, while the Botswana international’s shot in the 43rd minute was saved by Marlin.
The score remained goalless at halftime.
The Clinton Larsen’s boys started the second stanza on the attack, and they were unlucky to see Jacky Motshegwa’s well-taken shot going inches off target in the 51st minute.
Two minutes later, Nyasha Mushekwi’s shot from across the goal struck the woodwork and then went back into play.
Immediately after that, Sundowns almost broke the deadlock when their effort was cleared off the line by Tsietsi Mahoa.
From there onwards, it was end-to-end stuff as both sides tried hard to get the goal that would settle the match.
Mphela found himself with some space in the area, however, he shot over the bar. He could have done better!
Celtic put good effort into the final 15 minutes of the game, but time and time again they lacked the spark up front needed to convert what were on occasion good build-ups into goals.
Motshegwa and substitute Ruzaigh Gameldien could not believe their eyes when their efforts went slightly wide of goal.
In the end, the match ended in a stalemate as neither side managed to take their chances.
Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 0
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 0
Celtic: Thabani Stemmer – Auguston Leonard, Erick Mathoho, Thabo Nthethe, Tsietsi Mahoa – Phenyo Mongala, Cecil Oerson, Angelo Kerspuy, Jacky Motshegwa (Kgotso Moleko 85’)– Lennox Bacela (Ruzaigh Gamildien 72’), Ransford Osei (Lerato Manzini 63’)
Sundowns: Calvin Marlin – Siyabonga Ngubane, Siyanda Xulu, Clayton Daniels, Punch Masenamela – Hlompho Kekana, Surprise Moriri, Teko Modise – Anthony Laffor (Lebohang Mokoena 68’), Katlego Mphela (Elias Pelembe 84’), Nyasha Mushekwi