Baxter’s SuperSport squander chances against Celtic


ATTERIDGEVILLE – If Bloemfontein Celtic are not careful, they might find themselves caught up in a relegation dogfight sooner than they think.

It is a situation which will prove very difficult to get out of in their remaining four matches following a 0-0 draw with SuperSport United on Wednesday night.

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Fiston Abdul Razak of Bloemfontein Celtic challenges SuperSport United goalkeeper Ronwen Williams in the air. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePixMpho Maruping of Bloemfontein Celtic holds Thabo Mnyamane of Supersport United at bay. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePixClayton Daniels attemps to beat Lyle Lakay to the ball in Atteridgeville on Wednesday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

In their upcoming Absa Premiership fixtures, Celtic will lock horns with sides like Orlando Pirates, Ajax Cape Town, Free State Stars and Maritzburg United, teams who are also desperate for points as this season draws to close.

After this draw, Celtic remain 12th on the PSL standings with 26 points, just three above relegation-threatened Baroka FC, while SuperSport United did not budge from their fifth position either with 42 points from 26 matches.

In this encounter, Stuart Baxter made two forced changes to the starting line-up.

Aubrey Modiba, who came in as substitute in the 2-2 draw against Kaizer Chiefs this past weekend, was paired with Reneilwe Letsholonyane in the heart of midfield, while Ronwen Williams made his return between the posts.

Both Dean Furman and Reyaad Pieterse were serving suspensions for this encounter.

Baxter’s side showed great defensive organisation compared to how they played against Chiefs last week.

Against the Glamour Boys, Matsatsantsa conceded two goals in the first period of the game, which forced them to play catch-up.

Baxter’s charges held their defensive line pretty well on Wednesday night, snuffing out any potential threat their opponents created. Both Musa Nyatama and Lyle Lakay couldn’t breathe upfront.

Mpho Maruping of Bloemfontein Celtic holds Thabo Mnyamane of Supersport United at bay. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

SuperSport defended and attacked as a unit. Thabo Mnyamane was the one who was presented with two golden chances to give his side the lead early on. However, the midfielder couldn’t as Patrick Tignyemb was just too solid for him to break down with two powerful shots.

In the first attempt, Mnyamane whipped in a curled effort which went over his opposition’s defensive wall, but wasn’t powerful enough to go past the Celtic shot-stopper.

Tignyemb was well positioned to make what turned out to be a routine save.

In the second incident, Mnyamane produced a darting run from the halfway line with the hope that he would beat the opposition goalkeeper this time. But again, Tignyemb denied him that chance with a superb save.

In the second period, Baxter brought in Jeremy Brockie for Keagan Ritchie so that the New Zealand striker could give them the needed presence upfront.

Brockie tried, but both Tshepo Rikhotso and Alfred Ndengane made it very difficult for him to infiltrate as they had him on lockdown.

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