Celtic hold Pirates to draw

Orlando Pirates twice came from a goal down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Bloemfontein Celtic in an Absa Premiership match played at the Free State Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Phunya Sele Sele twice went ahead through goals from Joel Mogorosi and Alfred Ndengane, but a brace from Oupa Manyisa ensured that the Buccaneers left the Free State with a share of the points and avoided a second successive defeat, following their 2-1 loss to Moroka Swallows on Saturday.

After a quiet opening quarter hour, Celtic broke the deadlock in the 16th minute through Joel Mogorosi. The Botswana international got on the end of Keegan Ritchie’s corner kick and found the back of the net with a glancing header that appeared to take touches off Bevan Fransman and Rooi Mahamutsa on its way in.

Less than a minute after taking the lead, the hosts nearly doubled their advantage through Frank Mhango, who cut onto his right foot and send a powerful low shot just wide of Senzo Meyiwa’s left-hand upright.

Pirates eventually got going in an attacking sense, but their first couple of efforts were long range efforts from midfielders Oupa Manyisa and Issa Sarr – neither troubled goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb in Phunya Sele Sele’s goal.

The ‘keeper was finally called into significant action in the 39th minute, smothering a low shot from Thabo Matlaba, and a few moments later he made a superb save to tip away a long-range effort from Happy Jele.

With halftime approaching, Celtic’s Musa Bilankulu was guilty of a lazy challenge on the lively Mpho Makola, handing Pirates a penalty kick. Oupa Manyisa duly converted from the spot for the second match in a row to make it 1-1 heading into the interval.

Celtic reclaimed the lead in the first minute of the second half. Ritchie was the provider again, this time finding Alfred Ndengane with a curling free kick and the midfielder duly powered home his header to make it 2-1.

Yet the hosts’ lead was short-lived. The Buccaneers came up with an equaliser in the 52nd minute, as Kermit Erasmus provided a low cross from the right that was steered home first-time by Manyisa to make it 2-2.

Pirates created a couple of decent chances in the remainder of the match, with Makola toe-poking over the crossbar and Thabo Matlaba seeing a low goal-bound effort saved by the legs of Tignyemb.

Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 2 (Mogorosi 16’, Ndengane 46’)

Orlando Pirates (1) 2 (Manyisa 43’ pen 52’)


Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Mzava, Fransman, Bilankulu (Gabonamong 60’), Cloete, Ndengane, Letlabika, Ritchie, Mogorosi (Isaacks 79’), Zuma (Lamola 61’), Mhango

Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Jele, Mahamutsa, Sangweni, Matlaba, Makola, Sarr (Nyauza 82’), Manyisa, Ntshumayelo, Klate (Qalinge 65’), Erasmus (Majoro 86’)