BLOEMFONTEIN – A plucky Bloemfontein Celtic held Kaizer Chiefs to a 1-1 draw in an Absa Premiership fixture played at the Free State Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Chiefs led 1-0 at halftime.
In a cagey opening, in which neither side was prepared to risk too much, there were plenty of midfield exchanges, but nothing much to cheer about.
Goalkeepers Patrick Tignyemb for Celtic and Chiefs’ Brilliant Khuzwayo had to deal with a few half-chances, but nothing that was overly stressful.
Roggert Nyundu, in his first season with Celtic, found himself in the clear early on, but was foiled by a good block tackle from Mulomowandau Mathoho.
At the other end, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Keagan Buchanan tried to make things happen, but the Celtic defence handled both attempts quite comfortably.
But Chiefs took the lead in the 37th minute when Buchanan floated in a corner and Mathoho rose majestically to head into the net.
The Soweto side then had two opportunities to increase their advantage, but Tignyemb saved from Tshepo Masilela and Venezuelan striker Gustavo Paez drilled a shot that flew agonisingly across the goal.
The action remained tight and compact in the second half, with Chiefs making a change in defence, bringing on Daniel Cardosa for Mathoho.
In the 75th minute, though, Amakhosi conceded an unfortunate penalty when the ball hit the hand of Lorenzo Gordinho.
Celtic’s Atusaye Nyondo stepped up to convert the spot-kick and draw the Free State team level at 1-1.
To add more impetus to the attack, Chiefs made two more substitutions, with Hendrick Ekstein and Tshabalala withdrawn, to be replaced by William Twala and Edmore Chirambadare.
For Celtic, there was also a reinforcement from the bench, with Lucky Baloyi taken off and former Cape Town City midfielder Given Mashikinya coming on to debut for his new club.
But, with both teams seemingly satisfied with the point, and very little space available to try and forge a winner, a draw was how it ended.
African News Agency (ANA)