Steve Komphela’s Bloemfontein Celtic missed the chance to go above Orlando Pirates at the top of the Premiership table on goal difference after a 0-0 draw with SuperSport United at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Wednesday night.
Despite the score-line, it was a thrilling encounter with plenty of goal-mouth action.
And were it not for some brilliant goalkeeping from SuperSport United’s Ronwen Williams and his Celtic counterpart Patrick Tignyemb, there could well have been at least a couple of goals.
The Free State side were on top for the opening 45 minutes as Matsatsantsa battled to find any rhythm and failed to threaten the opposition goal.
After a couple of early half-chances for Ndumiso Mabena, the Celtic striker found himself one-on-one with Williams, thanks to a superb through-ball from Menzi Masuku, but Williams came up trumps with a brave stop from close range in the 19th minute.
Williams was at it again a minute later when he tipped Masuku’s effort over the bar, and it then required a last-ditch tackle by SuperSport defender Luke Fleurs to stop Lantshene Phalane from pulling the trigger 10 yards out.
Phunya Sele Sele continued to keep the pressure on the Tshwane team, but again they found Williams in outstanding form as he produced a spectacular instinctive save on Masuku’s close-range volley.
Celtic remained on top after the interval, and after Tshegofatso Mabasa squandered a great chance when he ballooned a shot from just 10 yards out with the goal at his mercy, the Williams show resumed as he produced two fantastic saves within a minute to keep out two attempts by Kabelo Dlamini.
There was finally a decent chance on goal for the visiting team 25 minutes from time, but the score-line remain unchanged as Bongani Khumalo’s downward header from a corner bounced wide.
Suddenly the momentum switched, and SuperSport had a couple more attempts at goal as Evans Rusike sprinted clear down the left before going close with a curling effort, followed by a speculative volley over the bar from Richard Boateng, before Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s stinging drive was kept out by Tignyemb.
Tignyemb was soon called into action again when he reacted sharply to palm away Phumlani Ntshangase’s powerfully-struck volley with 10 minutes to play.
After Rusike missed the target from a tight angle in the 88th minute, Celtic were able to mount a couple of late attacks themselves.
And following a couple of unsuccessful shots at goal, the home side were desperately unlucky not to claim victory when Mabena’s header struck the upright deep in added time.
The result leaves Celtic second and SuperSport fourth on the Premiership standings.
African News Agency (ANA)