Celtic held by Maritzburg
Posted: 3 November 2013 Time: 15:18
Bloemfontein Celtic coach Ernst Middendorp and Maritzburg United counterpart Clinton Larsen could not get the better of their former sides when their teams played to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
The tacticians switched loyalties a fortnight ago.
As early as the second minute of the Premiership game at Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium, Celtic had a chance to go 1-0 up. Vuyani Ntanga snuck in between two Maritzburg defenders who had let their guard down, but the Celtic midfielder saw his close range shot superbly saved by experienced Maritzburg keeper Shu-Aib Walters.
In the 14th minute Musa Nyatama cracked a long-range shot that stung the hands of Walters as he brilliantly parried the ball away, but the pressure was still on for United as Celtic recycled the ball as it fell to Nyatama. The former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder missed a sitter from close range as he shot wide of goal with Walters at his mercy.
The biggest chance of the match fell to Lerato Manzini on the half-hour mark. The striker was perfectly placed in front of the goal unmarked when he received a low cross from John Arwuah, but he could not get down in time to slide the ball home as both teams took to half-time deadlocked at 0-0.
Three minutes into the second half Celtic thought they had taken the lead through young debutant Thapelo Morena. With Celtic pushing forward in numbers and pressurising the United defence, Morena benefitted as the ball was laid into his path, he calmly positioned himself on the edge of the box and placed a good shot with his weaker left foot which cannoned off the cross bar.
Neither keeper would be troubled later in the match as it ended goalless in front of a vocal crowd in Bloemfontein.