Tshwane: Bloemfontein Celtic came back to hold AmaZulu FC to a 2-2 draw in an Absa Premiership match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Monday afternoon.
The draw saw Phunya Sele Sele move up to the 10th spot on the league standings, while Usuthu also climbed up to the 15th spot which is the relegation play-off spot.
Usuthu got off to the perfect start as they broke the deadlock just six minutes into the encounter after their two strikers combined.
Bonginkosi Ntuli played a low cross for Lehlohonolo Majoro, who hit the back of the net to make it 1-0 to AmaZulu – making it two goals in as many league matches.
Ayanda Dlamini’s men were hungry for more goals and Sipho Chaine was a very busy man in Phunya Sele Sele’s goal-posts.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper produced a fine save to deny Sandile Khumalo in the 18th minute, before denying Majoro with another decent save two minutes later.
However, Celtic grew in confidence following a cooling break and they started creating goalscoring opportunities.
The visitors managed to level matters in the 41st minute with Motebang Sera beating AmaZulu keeper Siyabonga Mbatha with a decent finish to make it 1-1.
The score was 1-1 at the interval following a lively first-half which saw AmaZulu create many chances, but they converted only one.
An entertaining second-half followed as the two teams attacked each other in search of more goals.
The hosts’ lead was restored three minutes after the hour-mark when Celtic’s experienced defender Wandisile Letlabika netted an own goal to make it 2-1 to AmaZulu.
However, the KwaZulu-Natal giants went to sleep at the back and they were punished by former Orlando Pirates marksman Ndumiso Mabena.
The Celtic captain netted his eighth league goal of the season when he fired past Mbatha to make it 2-2 with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Coach Dlamini introduced Charlie Hlalele, who tried to make an immediate impact in the 85th minute, but the 25-year-old attacker’s effort was brilliantly saved by Chaine.
Celtic then stood firm at the back in the closing stages of the match and ultimately, the match ended in a 2-2 stalemate on the day.
AmaZulu (1) 2 (Majoro 6′, Letlabika 63′)
Celtic (1) 2 (Sera 41′, Mabena 70′)
AmaZulu: Mbatha, Gumede, Sikhakhane, Mabiliso, Khumalo, Sithebe (Hlalele 84′), Ncube, Ncobeni (Chawapiwa 57′), Magubane (Maduna 84′), Majoro, Ntuli (De Jong 69′).
Celtic: Chaine, Letlabika, Mahashe, Letsoalo (Maema 61′), Mabena, Chabalala, Sera (Potsane 61′), Fikizolo, Phalane (Luthuli 73′), Baloyi, Ngobeni (Masuku 85′).