JOHANNESBURG – Life for Jan Olde Riekerink’s as Cape Town City’s coach got off on a mild note as his troops played Bloemfontein Celtic to a 0-0 draw at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Wednesday night.
Despite joining the club soon after Benni McCathy was sacked early this month, Riekerink’s sat on the dugout for the first time tonight after getting his working visa during the international break.
Today’s draw meant since McCarthy was sent packing, City have won once against Polokwane City, while they also lost to Black Leopards.
McCarthy’s two-and half tenure came to an abrupt end early this month in awake of not bagging the results, but the former Porto striker delivered a MTN8 trophy in his second season, while he came closer to winning the league.
Riekerink would need to take the baton from McCarthy and run with it, hoping that his players will quickly adhere to his philosophy and vision – although they looked a bit lacklustre here tonight.
Coming into this encounter, there was ample reason for either side to bag three points especially with the recess looming. Before the international break, Celtic were held to a 2-2 draw with Maritburg United, while City had lost by 2-1 to Leopards.
The match got off to a slow start as either maintained shape, knowing that sloppiness could very well be punished. The visitors, City, were a bit stuttering up front, especially without the services of in-form striker Kermit Erasmus, who missed tonight’s match due to an injury.
Up front Lyle Lakay started alongside Shane Roberts but the duo didn’t have enough mileage to trouble Celtic’s goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane.
Celtic, on the other hand, played with fluidity and were making a habit of being a nuisance for the Citizens’, which hung on for the duration of the match.
As soon as the fourth minutes Phunya Selele should have grabbed the lead after striker Motebang Sera fluffed a chance from close-range after being teed by Sandile Luthuli.
Captain Ndumiso Mabena should have saved Sera from his blushes, but the Celtic’s No 10 lost his footing with only goalkeeper Sage Stephens to beat.
The home-side warmed-up to the game, but they just couldn’t find the necessary breakthrough. Wing back Sifiso Ngobeni also tested the waters but his thunderbolt whisked away in front of goal and sailed into the stands.
And early into the second stanza, Celtic nearly grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck as they piled the pressure on Citizens’ defence but the Capetonians kept their cool.
Sera came close to getting the all-important after beating the offside trap and rounding off Stephens but Edmilson Dove made a crucial clearance off the line.
Celtic continued with their attractive football, but their woes in front of goal also continued as they failed to put one past Stephens, who walked away with a clean sheet here today.