A game of missed opportunities
Posted: 20 February 2010 Time: 22:23
It was a game of missed opportunities at the Puma Rugby Stadium on Saturday evening as the Absa Premiership encounter between Mpumalanga Black Aces and Bloemfontein Celtic ended goalless.
With AmaZayoni looking to close the gap to third-from-bottom Bidvest Wits and boost their hopes of avoiding relegation from the top flight and Phunya Sele Sele hoping to mathematically secure a top eight finish, there was certainly plenty to play for.
However, while both teams created an abundance of clear goal scoring opportunities, the finishing on display left a lot to be desired and resulted in a disappointing stalemate.
Aces created the first chance of the game in the seventh minute, with Mpho Maleka running into Darrel Smith’s knockdown, but the striker’s effort from a tight angle only found the side netting.
Four minutes later Sandile Zuke tried his luck from long range but his low drive skidded wide of Patrick Tignyemb’s goal.
On 13 minutes Prince Olomu should have opened the scoring for the visitors. The Nigerian latched onto a ball in the penalty area and pushed forward into space, but his right-footed effort was wide of the mark.
Just past the half hour mark, Aces’ Lindokuhle Mbatha threatened to score a wonderful solo goal after a mazy run had seen him beat a couple of Celtic defenders but he scuffed his shot under pressure from Gary Goldstone.
It was then the turn of Olomu to again spurn a great scoring chance, failing to convert a one-on-one opportunity with AmaZayoni goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro who made a good save to his left-hand side.
Nine minutes into the second half Maleka fired off a good low drive but the ball went straight into the arms of Tignyemb.
On 56 minutes Celtic’s Patrick Malokase just couldn’t get enough dip on a free kick just outside the penalty area and the ball flashed just over the crossbar.
Around the hour mark Aces wasted two glorious opportunities, with Smith only finding Tignyemb’s hands with a free header and Maleka blazing wide of goal after a knockdown in the penalty area had given the striker his side’s best chance of the game.
Less than a minute after Maleka had missed that opportunity, Olomu had yet another terrific chance. Again faced with only the goalkeeper to beat, Celtic’s leading scorer sliced his shot onto the base of the upright.
AmaZayoni continued to create chances but they simply didn’t have the beating of Tignyemb. With just over ten minutes to play substitute Madoda Motha saw his header saved by the goalkeeper after good work down the right by Mbatha.
With five minutes to go Malokase rounded Murambadoro but his chipped effort from a tight angle was cleared off the line by Shere Lekgothoane (who injured himself in a collision with the post) and then a header mere seconds later from Moses Spandeel was superbly palmed away by Murambadoro.