Pretoria – Bloemfontein Celtic coach Clinton Larsen says he is happy with his side's performance in their 1-1 Premiership draw with SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Tuesday evening.
“Once again, my players showed character. We never stopped trying. We weren't at our best tonight, but we came up against a very good outfit,” Larsen said on Wednesday.
Celtic headed into the clash fresh from claiming the Telkom Knockout title where they beat Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 on Saturday.
“We had two days to rest after the final. It showed in the first half: the players were dead on their feet.”
United's Ashley Hartog scored his first league goal of the season, before skipper Thabo September put the ball into his own goal.
It was Matsatsantsa's 11th draw of the season, while Celtic recorded their second league stalemate.
With less than five minutes left to play, September dealt his side a cruel blow, heading a ball into his own net after Celtic's Joel Mogorosi put a pinpoint cross into the United area.
“The players fought gallantly and I thought it was a great ball in at the end and the defender had to put his head there and eventually something had to give,” Larsen said of the equaliser.
“Everybody was ready to shoot us down to see whether we were going to lose the next few games after winning the Telkom.”
While Matsatsantsa has won only one out of 13 matches this season, Larsen believes United will soon turn the draws into victories.
Meanwhile, United coach Gavin Hunt said the match should have been wrapped up by the Pretoria side, after putting up what he described as a dominant display.
“We should have won the game comfortably,” Hunt said.
“It was a no-contest. We were totally dominant. We had them in their half and pinned them in.”
Hunt said his side should have been much higher up the table than the 10th place they were in, with three matches remaining before reaching the midway stage of the Premiership campaign.
“Of the 11 draws, we should have won eight games at least,” he said.
“We were unlucky here and there, so where would those wins have taken us?”
Hunt said he could not fault the players for their efforts and was pleased with the amount of commitment shown by the players at the club's training base in Groenkloof, Pretoria.
“The players have done great, there's not much more I can ask for from them,” he said.
“If you come down to training and you watch these players work, they work their socks off every day.”
In Tuesday's other results, table-topping Kaizer Chiefs showed their class, with a 3-0 thrashing of Ajax Cape Town at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Golden Arrows beat Moroka Swallows 2-0 at the King Zwelithini Stadium, while Platinum Stars edged Maritzburg United 1-0 at the Harry Gwala Stadium. – Sapa