Leonardo Castro of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Lantshene Phalane of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville South Africa on 05 April 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Wednesday Apr 05, 2017. 21:27
Mamelodi Sundowns have gone five matches without a win in the Absa Premiership after being held to a goalless draw by Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday.
The defending PSL champions did all they could to end their drought in the match at Lucas Moripe Stadium, but Phunya Sele Sele put in a great defensive display to claim a share of the spoils.
Celtic threatened a goal on the half hour mark, with Lyle Lakay setting up Lantshene Phalane to strike on target, but the midfielder was denied by a fine save from Kennedy Mweene, who quickly recovered to keep out a follow-up effort from Kabelo Mahlasela.
Seven minutes later Sundowns had their best chance of the half when Khama Billiat slid in a teasing low ball for Leonardo Castro, who just managed to direct an effort on target, but Patrick Tignyemb had come quickly off his line to make a brave block.
Themba Zwane then had a shot from the loose ball which was steered out for a corner kick from his own goal line by Alfred Ndengane. However, television replays suggested the ball was probably heading wide anyway.
The Brazilians suffered an injury blow on the stroke of half time when Tiyani Mabunda had his ankle turned by a Phalane tackle, with Teko Modise coming off the bench to replace the midfielder.
‘Downs looked the stronger team in the second half and nearly claimed the lead in the 64th minute when a goal-mouth scramble ended with Ricardo Nascimento directing a shot on target, only for Ndengane to save the ball on the line by kneeing it up into the underside of the crossbar.
Replays showed the defender prevented the ball from crossing the line, despite appeals from the home side to the contrary.
A few minutes later Sundowns had two near misses from headed attempts - Billiat hit the crossbar with his looping effort, while Hlompho Kekana went narrowly wide of the target with Tignyemb completely beaten.
As the clock wound down, Sundowns continued to push for a goal and in the 88th minute they were almost rewarded when Modise sent a great shot toward the top corner direct from a free kick, but Tignyemb produced another good save.
‘Downs remain in fifth place on the log table with 35 points from 19 matches after a fifth successive winless outing in the league. Celtic move up one place to 11th on 23 points from 22 matches.
Mamelodi Sundowns 0
Bloemfontein Celtic 0
Sundowns: Mweene, Morena, Soumahoro, Nascimento, Langerman, Mabunda (Modise 45+2’), Kekana, Billiat, T. Zwane (Zakri 84’), Tau, Castro (Laffor 72’)
Celtic: Tignyemb, Letlabika, Rikhotso, Dube, Mxoyana, Mahlasela (Nyatama 46’), Ndengane, Phalane, Lakay (Zuma 83’), Hotto, Mabaso (Mvula 63’)