Menzi Masuku of Bloemfontein Celtic and Evans Rusike of SuperSport United during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and SuperSport United at Dr Molemela Stadium in BLoemfontein on 28 November 2018 © Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix
Wednesday Nov 28, 2018. 21:24
SuperSport United held Bloemfontein Celtic 0-0 at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Wednesday, preventing the hosts from going top of the Absa Premiership.
Phunya Sele Sele do rise one place to second on the log, with 21 points from 11 matches (two points behind leaders Orlando Pirates, who have played two extra games), while Matsatsantsa are up to fourth with 19 points from their 11 outings this season.
The teams traded half chances through the first quarter hour, but Celtic created the first clear openings in the 18th and 19th minutes – both required fine saves from Ronwen Williams, who first came quickly off his line to close down Menzi Masuku, before tipping away a goal-bound drive from the same player less than 60 seconds later.
The team in green and white continued to look dangerous in attack, while SuperSport struggled to bring forwards James Keene and Evans Rusike into the game. Yet the half-time break saw the score still locked at 0-0, something Phunya Sele Sele would have been frustrated with given their dominance.
The hosts picked up in the second half where they had left off in the first, and 10 minutes after the restart they should have claimed the lead when a fine passing move ended with Tshegofatso Mabaso having a clear sight of goal, but he fired his effort high and wide.
United goalkeeper Williams continued to be a major obstacle for Celtic to get past, as he made two saves in quick succession to keep Kabelo Dlamini at bay a few minutes before the hour mark – much as he did against Masuku earlier in the game.
Matsatsantsa rarely troubled Celtic’s defence, but they could have gone ahead very much against the run of play in the 65th minute, with Bongani Khumalo missing from a free header after he had been well picked out from a set piece.
The chance seemed to spark some life into the visitors, with Rusike soon cutting inside from the left and firing a shot just wide of Patrick Tignyemb’s left-hand post, while substitute Reneilwe Letsholonyane and fellow midfielder Phumlani Ntshangase both tested out the Celtic goalkeeper with powerful shots in the 76th and 79th minutes respectively.
Yet the score line remained blank up to the full-time whistle, with the spoils shared. Both teams will be back in Absa Premiership action on Sunday, December 2, with Celtic at home to Polokwane City and SuperSport United hosting Tshwane derby rivals Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Bloemfontein Celtic 0
SuperSport United 0
Celtic: Tignyemb, Letlabika, Gordinho, Rikhotso, Sam (Pfumbidzai 65’), Masuku (Mangweni 76’), Phalane, Mashikinya, Dlamini (Potsane 71’), Mabena, Mabaso
SuperSport: Williams, Kekana, Khumalo, Fleurs, Boateng, Lakay (Mahlatsi 74’), Mokoena (Letsholonyane 60’), Ntshangase, Modiba, Rusike, Keene