Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Bloemfontein: Bloemfontein Celtic and SuperSport United played out a 1-1 draw in their Absa Premiership match at Dr Molemela Stadium on Wednesday night.

It was a classic ‘game of two halves’, as Matsatsantsa dominated the first 45 minutes and claimed the lead through Aubrey Modiba, while Phunya Sele Sele were the better team in the second stanza and levelled through Motebang Sera. The result sees United move up two places to fifth on the log table, while Celtic are up to 11th.

SuperSport looked the stronger team from the early minutes, putting together some fine passing moves and putting the hosts very much on the back foot. The Tshwane side was duly rewarded with the opening goal on 19 minutes, as Aubrey Modiba scored from a superb strike direct from a free kick.

The same player tried his luck again from a very similar position a few minutes later, but this time goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane read the situation well and made a fine save to keep his side just one goal behind.

The Celtic shot-stopper made several good stops through the first 45 minutes, though he was lucky to see Bradley Grobler shoot wide from close range after the striker latched onto a poor parry from the ‘keeper in the danger zone.

Celtic were being overrun in midfield and made a tactical switch before the half-hour mark, with Lantshene Phalane brought off the bench to bring more structure and fight to the ‘engine room’. His introduction helped stem the tide somewhat, but Celtic remained 1-0 down to the interval.

Phunya Sele Sele made another change at the start of the second half, with Victor Letsoalo brought on in place of Lucky Baloyi, and they soon levelled the game. Motebang Sera drifted into space in the penalty area and provided an expert finish to a right-flank cross to make it 1-1 in the 49th minute.

Midway through the second half United nearly reclaimed the lead through a thunderbolt from Evans Rusike, but Mabokgwane again was on hand to make an excellent save. The visitors soon made three quick changes and freshened up their attack by introducing Thamsanqa Gabuza and Thabo Qalinge, while Grant Kekana reinforced the defence.

SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams saw little action through the game, but he came up trumps when his team needed him, making an excellent save from Mzwanele Mahashe’s goal-bound header in the 80th minute.

That proved to be the last notable chance at either end, with the teams settling for a share of the spoils. United will be in action this coming weekend when they face Golden Arrows in the Telkom Knockout, while Celtic will return to domestic action next midweek with a league match at home to Highlands Park.

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 1 (Sera 49’)

SuperSport United (1) 1 (Modiba 19’)

Celtic: Mabokgwane, Mashikinya, Pfumbidzai, Tania, Baloyi (Letsoalo 46’), Mahashe, Maema (Mogakwe 67’), Luthuli, Sera, Lingwati, Maloisane (Phalane 28’)

SuperSport: Williams, Nhlapo, Daniels, Fleurs, Modiba (Qalinge 75’), Mokoena, Webber, Mbule (Gabuza 72’), Rusike, Mahachi (Kekana 72’), Grobler. Psl.co.za