Stars, Celtic in goalless draw

Platinum Stars dominated the chances, but were held to a 0-0 draw by Bloemfontein Celtic in their Absa Premiership clash at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Wednesday.

The point means Stars remain in fifth place, while Celtic leapfrog Moroka Swallows on goals scored to move into the top eight.

Dikwena coach Allan Freese restored Botswana international Mogakolodi Ngele to the starting line-up after he scored a late winner against Free State Stars on Sunday. He replaced Sibusiso Msomi.

There were two other changes as well, Siphelele Mthembu replaced Henrico Botes as the lone striker, while Lindokuhle Mbatha came in for Mduduzi Nyanda.

Celtic coach Ernst Middendorp made just the one chance, Lerato Lamola coming in for Malawi international Gabadinho Mhango, who was suspended.

Luvolwethu Mpeta and Vuyo Mere had early efforts for Stars that drifted wide as Dikwena made the better start, but came up against a Celtic defence that held firm.

There was not much in the way of goalmouth action in the first half and what there was came from Stars’ attacking intent with Celtic offering little going forwards.

The teams went into the break at 0-0 and Middendorp immediately set to change things up front, Lamola replaced by Vuyani Ntanga at halftime.

The change did appear to spur Celtic into life, Wandisile Letlabika and Musa Nyatama had rare efforts on goal for them.

Freese switched his forward too just before the hour-mark when Henrico Botes replaced Mthembu.

Issa Sarr headed over at a corner for the home side, while Robert Ng’ambi and Tshepo Gumede then saw efforts go wide of either post in quick succession as the home side turned up the tempo.

But try as they might they could not find a winner in the closing stages and Stars had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Next up for Dikwena is a trip to University of Pretoria on Sunday, while Celtic are back in action in a week’s time when they travel to Kaizer Chiefs next Wednesday.

Stars: Mpontshane, Mere, Gumede, Mhlongo, Mpeta, Sarr, Ng'ambi, Tshabalala (T Mthembu 81’), Mbatha, Ngele, S Mthembu (Botes 56’)

Celtic: Tignyemb, Mahoa, Bilankulu (Ndengane 89’), Nkausu, Daniels, Mogorosi, Letlabika, Buchanan, Nyatama, Lamola (Ntanga 46’), Gabonamong