CAPE TOWN – Visiting Orlando Pirates were held to a 1-all draw by hosts Bloemfontein Celtic in their Absa Premiership match at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein.
The match was played in pouring rain and players had to contend with testing conditions that included a bumpy pitch.
Pirates took the field looking to start where they left off in 2019 when they defeated Black Leopards 3-1 to finish in fifth place on the standings. Celtic signed off 2019 in 10th place after back-to-back losses to Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu and were looking to snap their losing streak.
There were early tell-tale signs that Pirates would be enjoying the upper hand as they looked composed on the ball but lacked urgency in the striking zone.
A 14th-minute attack launched from inside their half saw Pirates make headway down the left flank where Maliele Pule and Hellings Mhango combined splendidly to open the way for the first goal of the match. Maliele Pule flicked the ball into the path of the strong running Malawian international Mhango who rounded one defender before slipping under the diving Celtic goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane.