Aces concede late to share spoils

Some slack defending in the dying seconds of the match saw Lerato Mazini cancel out Mabhuti Khenyeza’s opening goal as MP Black Aces and Bloemfontein Celtic shared the spoils, 1-1, in an Absa Premiership match at the Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday night.

Aces certainly started the better of the two teams and played some beautiful passing football early on.

In the ninth minute the home side were able to fashion their first chance on goal as Thabo Qalinge drove down the left flank, cut inside and made his way into the box, beating one defender, before shooting inches wide of the right-hand post.

Celtic, started to find their footing in the game as the half wore on, but they only really managed to create once chance on goal in the 15th minute. In a rare foray forward, some swift interchanges on the edge of the box resulted in Lerato Lamola firing a powerful shot straight at the keeper from 16-yards out.

Aces continued to press forward and came close to taking the lead in the 30th minute as Omar Hendricks fired a 35-yard free-kick just over the crossbar.

In the 38th minute Aces made their pressure tell as Mabhuti Khenyeza fired them in front after finding the back of the net with a 20-yard volley, 1-0.

The half ended with the home side firmly in charge of the match.

The second 45 saw Celtic with more of the ball possession as they tried to find their way back into the match, but still they weren’t able to fashion any decent goal scoring chances.

Instead, it was at the other end of the park that Aces substitute Tshidiso Tukane was afforded a golden scoring opportunity to double his side’s lead in the 66th minute from 16-yards out, but he fired his shot woefully over the target under no pressure from any defender.

That attempt awoke the Celtic attack and they nearly found the equaliser three minutes later when substitute Lerato Mazini met a left-wing cross with a powerful header, but he saw his effort strike the woodwork and bounce away from danger.

As the half wore on Aces managed to kill off the game by controlling the midfield battle and stopped Celtic from creating any serious chances on goal until the dying seconds of the match.

With virtually the last kick of the match Manzini was able to equalise for Celtic after tucking home a low left-sided cross from Rodrick Mutuma form only a couple yards out, 1-1.

MP Black Aces (1) 1 (Khenyeza 38’)

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 1 (Manzini 94’)


Mpumalanga Black Aces: Nhlapo; Mabaso (Kobola 49’), Ferreira, Mwanjale, Hendericks, Zwane, Ngobeni (Tukane 65’), Ngalo, Qalinge, Khenyeza, Nale (Mtsweni 77’)

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb; Mzava, Daniels, Nthethe, Mogapi, Mogorosi, Aruwuaj, Nyatama, Lamola (Mahoa 71’), Koapeng (Mutuma 58’), Ntanga (Manzini 57’)