No relegation relief for Baroka, Celtic


POLOKWANE – Baroka FC and Bloemfontein Celtic played to a 1-1 draw in a rather drab Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Baroka led 1-0 at halftime. The result leaves both teams still in relegation danger. Baroka are still second-last on the standings, with 23 points, while Celtic are not too far away on 26 points.

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Lyle Lakay struck the equaliser for Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePixMzwanele Mahashe opened the scoring for Baroka. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

A motivated Baroka got off to a flying start as they put Celtic under pressure. By the eighth minute, they were 1-0 up when Mzwanele Mahashe powered in a header from the edge of the box.

Baroka continued to impress with their energy and running off the ball. Celtic, though, were resolute in keeping their shape and structure while, at the same time, gradually starting to find their feet in attack.

Generally, though, the game developed into a war of attrition as both teams tried to get the upper hand in midfield. The exchanges were tough and both struggled to create any real, clear-cut opportunities in a tight opening 45 minutes.

In the second half, both teams went to the bench for some inspiration. Baroka substituted Nkosinathi Ogle and brought on Victor Letsoalo.

Mzwanele Mahashe opened the scoring for Baroka. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

Celtic looked to find some more attacking intent by replacing Dumisani Zuma with Vusi Shikweni. But the on-field action continued to feature lots of perspiration, but little in the way of creativity or inspiration.

There was bluster but no bite – and there certainly wasn’t much in the way of scoring chances.

In an attempt to find an equaliser, Celtic made another change, with Moeketsi Mvula replacing Ayanda Dlamini.

In response, Baroka substituted Siphelele Zikalala and brought in Jose Garcia.

Celtic’s perseverance eventually paid off when they levelled at 1-1 in the 80th minute, when winger Lyle Lakay’s shot was deflected into the net.

African News Agency (ANA)
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