Celtic, Bucs share the spoils

Both goals were scored in the last 20 minutes of the game, with Katlego Mashego putting Bucs into the lead before Siphelele Mthembu equalised for Phunya Sele Sele.

The first notable action of the game saw Ruben Cloete test Celtic’s Patrick Tignyemb with a stinging long-range free-kick in the 11th minute that forced the goalkeeper into a good save low to his right.

Bucs weren’t really able to create any clear scoring chances in the first half, though they certainly looked threatening with their shooting prowess from long range.

Oupa Manyisa fired a dipping effort just wide of the target in the 17th minute and eight minutes later Andile Jali rattled the underside of the crossbar with a superb drive from 25 metres out that had Tignyemb beaten.

Celtic had enjoyed their fair share of possession but didn’t threaten a goal until the end of the first half when after a determined run Lennox Bacela sliced his effort wide with only Senzo Meyiwa to beat.

The second half was much of the same, with the teams looking to attack but struggling to create genuine opportunities.

Then, in the 72nd minute, Pirates broke the deadlock almost from nowhere.

Bucs strung together an attack and for once the Celtic defence was all at sea, Mashego cut back onto his left foot and scored with a deflection off Thabo Nthethe.

Celtic coach Clinton Larsen reacted to going behind by throwing on Bennett Chenene and Mthembu, and the two on-loan Pirates players repaid their coach’s faith almost immediately.

The pair combined to bring Phunya Sele Sele level in the 81st minute, with Chenene playing in a low cross from the left and Mthembu providing a composed and classy finish.

Both sides had spells in what remained of the game when they looked like scoring a late winner, but in the end the final whistle saw the match locked at 1-1.