Sundowns held by Celtic


The game was not without chances but the men between the sticks proved they were up for it with a number of fine saves. 

It wasn't long before the palms of both goalkeepers were warmed although the shots they were expected to deal with did little to trouble them.

Patrick Tignyemb was the first to be called upon as Hlompho Kekana had a go from range but rifled his effort straight at the veteran stopper whilst at the other end Tshegofatso Mabasa was similarly ineffectual with his effort.

A number of half chances followed with Siwelele looking promising on the break with their contingent of fans behind Kennedy Mweene's goal urgind their side forward.

The next real chance of the game came in the 18th minute as Themba Zwane swung the ball in and Leonardo Castro stooped to head the ball onto the roof of the net.

On the half-hour mark Sundowns had Mweene to thank for maintaining parity as he made an excellent double save to keep out Lantshene Phalane's low drive and Mabasa's follow up effort.

At the other end Castro skied his volleyed effort, off balance as he collected the ball following the visitor's failed attempts to clear a corner.

Castro was in the thick of things minutes later as he tried to slide in Percy Tau's square ball but Tignyemb denied him at point blank range before Zwane's follow up was cleared away from the line by Ndengane. 

Minutes before the teams were due to depart the field Tiyana Mabunda was forced to exit play earlier than intended as Phalane sycthed him down, incurring a yellow card in the process, and Teko Modise came on as his replacement.

As the first-half came to an end Mamelodi Sundowns had the ball in the back of the net but the flag was already up ruling Kekana offside as he stretched for a free-kick that had been lifted over the defensive line.

After the break it took a little while for the game to heat up again but once the clock ticked past the hour mark there were chances aplenty for Mamelodi Sundowns.

In the 61st minute Castro stretched for Modise's perfectly weighted ball over the top but Tignyemb, off his line swiftly, did enough to see the striker direct the ball wide.

Minutes later Sundowns believed they had the ball in the back of the net via Ricardo Nascimento but for the second time in the match Ndengane had made a last ditch intervention to keep the effort out.

The pressure was relentless from the home side and two excellent crosses in quick succession from Langerman resulted in a pair of promising moments as first Billiat glanced the ball onto the crossbar and then Kekana headed narrowly wide.

Minutes away from the final whistle Sundowns were awarded a free-kick in a promising area and Modise forced Tignyemb into a fine save, stretching to palm behind a ball destined for the top corner.

With the game in stoppage time a blistering break from Celtic saw the ball come out to Zuma wide of the left but his first time shot sailed woefully wide.