Sundowns hold Celtic to a draw
Posted: 28 March 2012 Time: 21:34
Bloemfontein Celtic and Mamelodi Sundowns played to a 0-0 draw at the Botshabelo Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Tshwane side, who were overwhelming favourites to win the match, started well and did all the attacking but they fluffed a numbers of opportunities created.
Their free-flowing style of play certainly asked a few questions of the home teams' defence early on, especially down the right flank where Anthony Laffor and Siyabonga Ngubane combined to orchestrate a few probing raids.
Katlego Mphela had the first chance for Sundowns as early as the fourth minute, but volleyed over the bar from only 10 yards out. Six minutes later the Bafafa Bafana striker had a great chance to open the scoring after leaving Thabo Nthethe for dead, but his tame shot was easily gathered by Thabani Stemmer.
Celtic managed to fashion a few half chances, but Lennox Bacela and Phenyo Mongala both failed to provide any real problems for Calvin Marlin in the first half. The former connected with a great cross by Cecil Oerson in the 36th minute but he could not keep his header down, while the Botswana international's shot in the 43rd minute was saved by Marlin.
The score remained goalless at half-time.
Clinton Larsen's boys started the second stanza on the attack, and they were unlucky to see Jacky Motshegwa’s well-taken shot going inches off target in the 51st minute. Two minutes later, Nyasha Mushekwi’s shot from across the goal struck the woodwork and then went back into play.
Immediately after that, Sundowns almost broke the deadlock when their effort was cleared off the line by Tsietsi Mahoa.
From there onwards, it was an end-to-end stuff as both sides tried hard to get the goal in vain. Mphela found himself with some space in the area, however, he shot over the bar. He should have done better.
Celtic put good effort into the final 15 minutes of the game, but time and time again they lacked the spark up front needed to convert what were on occasion good build ups, into goals. Motshegwa and substitute Ruzaigh Gameldien could not believe their eyes when their efforts went slightly wide of goal.
In the end, the match ended in a stalemate as neither side managed to take their chances.