JOHANNESBURG – SuperSport United had to be content with a 0-0 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic in an Absa Premiership clash played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday night.
It’s a result that doesn’t really suit the Pretoria club as it’s another nail into their hopes of staying in the title race. As it is, they now remain in fifth position with 42 points, while Celtic are still not out of relegation danger, down in 12th position on 26 points.
In a tight, cagey opening 45 minutes, neither team was prepared to give anything away. Both defences kept shape and stayed compact, not allowing the opposition much in the way of scoring opportunities.
There were a few openings though, on both sides, with Teboho Mokoena steering an effort wide for SuperSport, while Celtic’s Alfred Ndengane had an inviting chance, but flashed his header wide of the target.
The best opportunity of the first half accrued to SuperSport, when Thabo Mnyamane was clean through on goal in the 26th minute, but Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb was equal to the task, pulling off a great save.
Celtic finished the half strongly, with a great move down the flank from Mthokozisi Dube, but the SuperSport defence was able to clear the danger.
SuperSport then upped the pressure in the second half in desperate search of a goal. Thuso Phala should have opened the score when he had a superb chance, but he drilled his attempt wide.
The home side then went to the bench to try to change things, with New Zealand striker Jeremie Brockie coming on for defender Keegan Ritchie. It was a clear indication that they wanted to go for the win – and they certainly created the opportunities. Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Mandla Masango and Mokoena had chances, but all three placed their attempts over the bar.
But, while SuperSport dominated the second half, Celtic were always threatening on the counter – and, on one such occasion, Ayanda Dlamini found himself with a great chance to give the Bloemfontein side the lead, but was denied by a fantastic save from the Pretoria team’s goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.
SuperSport threw the kitchen sink at the opposition in the final 10 minutes, with further chances to Letsholonyane and Mnyamane, but they weren’t able to find their way beyond goalkeeper Tignyemb and the resolute Celtic defence.