Phunya Sele Sele made six changes from the side that beat Buya Msuthu in their Nedbank Cup clash a week ago, while new coach Luc Eymael was not on the bench following an appeal by his former employer Polokwane City. Lehlohonolo Seema played caretaker in charge again.
Eric Tinkler's side also featured six changes following their early Nedbank Cup exit at the hands of third-tier side Acornbush United.
In a well-contested and hard-fought first half it was City that made most of the positive running as they enjpyed the marority of the possession and half-chances, but their decision-making and finishing let them down, much to the coach's frustration.
Lebogang Manyama had the earliest opportunity when he pounced on a stray pass at the back by Celtic but he delayed the shot before Lehlohonolo Majoro eventually put his attempy wide under pressure.
Manyama had another chance at the far post following a good run by Aubrey Ngoma down the right and a right-footed cross, but the captain failed to connect properly with the volley.
Roland Putsche also had a clear shot at goal following a corner-kick but leaned back and blazed it over the bar under no pressure.
Lantshene Phalane had Celtic's best effort with a long-range shot that Shu-Aib Walters quite comfortably tipped over the bar.
The second half turned out to be a vastly more exciting period of football as both sides created chances to win the game, especially in the final 20 minutes.
Starting off an exciting ending to the match was Moeketsi Mvula when he sprung the offside trap and ran free down the right before opting to shoot into the side-netting when he had two teammates on the overlap in better positions.
Manyama was guity of missing the best chance of the match when he crashed a first-time, left-footed shot against the crossbar, unmarked from eight yards out, after a fine curling pass from the right flank found him free at the far post.
Within the space of three minutes in the final period – either side of that Manyama miss – Celtic striker Tshegofatso Mabaso also had two good chances to score, first a close-range snapshot wide with his back to goal and then a curling shot that Walters pushed away.
Mabaso had one more half-chance in the 90th minute when he showed good awareness to reach a loose ball in the area but he could not keep the shot down on the stretch.