Celtic held at home by SuperSport

Celtic held at home by SuperSport
Kabelo Mahlasela of Bloemfontein Celtic and Dean Furman of SuperSport United during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and SuperSport United at Dr Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein on 20 December 2017 © Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Dec 20, 2017. 21:40

SuperSport United came from a goal down to hold hosts Bloemfontein Celtic 1-1 at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Wednesday night.

The final Absa Premiership match of 2017 saw Phunya Sele Sele claim a first-half lead through Victor Letsoalo, but Matsatsantsa hit back in the second half through debutant Darren Smith. The result sees the hosts move to sixth and the visitors remain in 11th place.

Celtic were the more enterprising team through the first half, and they nearly claimed the lead 11 minutes into the game when Ndumiso Mabena fired off a shot from the edge of the area, only to be denied by goalkeeper Riyaad Pieterse.
The subsequent corner kick produced another effort from the hosts, with Mpho Maruping getting on the end of the set piece delivery, though his glancing header flashed just wide of the far post.

In the 15th minute Celtic were rewarded for their positive play, with Mabena providing a perfectly weighted through ball to find the run of Victor Letsoalo, who easily rounded Pieterse before tucking the ball into an empty net to make it 1-0.

United created little in reply, with their only notable attacking effort in the first half seeing Thuso Phala controlling a ball in the penalty area, but any hopes of getting away a shot were quickly crushed by Celtic ‘keeper Patrick Tignyemb.

SuperSport were better after the break, but continued to be frustrated by a disciplined Celtic defence. Aubrey Modiba fored over the target just before the hour mark, while a short while after it Jeremy Brockie saw a goal-bound effort stymied by Tignyemb.

In the 73rd minute Modiba provided a fantastic cross from the left and the lively Brockie put his header just wide of the far post, but a couple of minutes later the left-back sent in another great ball and this time substitute Darren Smith converted with his head for a debut goal to make it 1-1.

Celtic had the best chance in what remained of the game, with Maruping meeting a second ball from a corner kick and heading over the crossbar in the 89th minute - he was under no pressure and should have at least hit the target.

Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 1 (Letsoalo 15’)

SuperSport United (0) 1 (Smith 75’)

Celtic: Tignyemb, Lubisi, Ndengane, Pfumbidzai, Mashikinya (Motshegwa 89’), Maruping, Baloyi, Hotto, Mahlasela (Shikwena 77’), Mabena, Letsoalo

SuperSport: Pieterse, Kekana, Daniels, Gould, Modiba, Furman, Letsholonyane (Nhlapo 57’), Phala, Mokoena (Smith 67’), Mbule (Mokeke 83’), Brockie

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