The first 45 minutes was a half characterised by yet another poor defensive display from Gavin Hunt’s men who looked at sixes and sevens every time the away team attacked.
SuperSport definitely saw more of the ball, but they failed to make the possession count as they created very few decent chances on goal because of some bad decision making in the final third of the field.
Instead, they were lucky to only go into the half time break a goal down, thanks to a blunder in defence by goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.
Still, it seemed inevitable that United’s shaky defence, a defence without their Captain Morgan Gould (dropped from the team because of six goals conceded in their last two games), would concede at least one goal in the first half.
The first sign of United’s meagre defence came in only the third minute of the match when they failed to deal with a simple cross from the left, allowing the ball to make its way to an unmarked Lenox Bacela at the back post. Fortunately for Hunt’s men, the Celtic attacker fired into the side-netting from close range.
Eight minutes later, however, United were not so lucky when a mishap in defence handed Bacela an early Christmas present.
Williams came out of his box to try and clear a harmless long ball from the back, but only succeeded in booting the ball into his own player. The ball rebounded of Tebogo Langerman and fell straight into the path of Bacela who passed it into an empty net, 1-0.
Hunt’s night got even worse in the 20th minute when Atusaye Nyondo had to be carried from the field injured and was replaced by Glen Salmon.
Nonetheless, United continued to control the possession stakes but despite all their might they were unable to fashion a real goal scoring chance in the opening half.
Instead, Celtic looked the more likely to score when they pushed forward and Bacela should really have found his second goal in the 36th minute, but he failed to get onto the end of a perfectly placed left wing cross from Thokozani Mshengu. Bacela was inches away from making contact with his head into what would have been another empty net.
The pattern of the second 45 took on a very different shape as United started playing some decent football, but they struggled to find their way past a resilient Celtic defence who seemed content to soak up the pressure and hit on the counter-attack.
Nonetheless, despite all their attacking it did not seem like Supersport were destined to find the back of the net on the night.
A perfect example of this was in the dying seconds of the match when Patrick Tignyemb cleared a two-yard shot from Mogogi Gabonamong off the goal line after the United player latched onto a loose ball at a goalmouth scramble.
It was not to be Hunt’s night as his side were resigned to their third defeat in a row after going unbeaten in their opening 12 matches of the league. For Celtic, back-to-back wins see them up to ninth on the table.