Maritzburg rally back to hold Celtic

Maritzburg United staged a late comeback to force a 2-2 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic in the Absa Premiership on Friday evening.

William Lea’alafa and Keagan Buchanan made a welcome return for the Team of Choice, as Pogiso Sanoka replaced the suspended Kwanda Mngonyama.

United were off to a solid start when Gilbert Nyoni headed around the far post five minutes in following a cross from the right by Pogiso Sanoka. The Team of Choice continued throwing the gauntlet four minutes later, as Thabiso Kutumela cracked the crossbar following a supply from Lea’alafa.

Siwelele provided little in attack following the opening exchanges, as the Team of Choice threw another threat before the half-hour mark but Nyoni failed to trouble Jackson Mabokgwane.

Nevertheless, The Team of Choice entered the second half with a change as Lea’alafa made way for Bandile Shandu with the visitors unchanged.

It was Celtic who broke the deadlock against the run of play when Motebang Sera continued his scoring run with a simple finish eight minutes after the halftime break.

Eric Tinkler went for broke a minute later and introduced Daylon Claasen from the bench in place of Kutumela with Siwelele boasting the ascendancy on all fronts.

However, injury forced the Team of Choice to finish the match with ten men after defender Siyanda Xulu was stretched off on 76 minutes, with Tinkler having made all three changes already. Phunya Sele Sele utilised this and hit a second nine minutes from time when Siphelele Luthuli tapped in from close range following a counterattack.

With four minutes to go, United halved the tally after being awarded a penalty, which Claasen converted to set up a nervy finish.

Moseamedi then broke Celtic hearts in added time as he tricked himself into the area before nestling the top right corner to forcing a share of the spoils in Pietermaritzburg.

Teams:

Maritzburg: Ofori, Xulu, Morgan, Sanoka, De Reuck, Timm, Buchanan, Nyoni, Lea'Alafa, Kutumela, Brockie.

Subs: Mpandle,Shandu,Allie, Claasen, Augusto, Moseamedi, Kunene.

Celtic: Mabokgwane, Mashikinya, Ngobeni, Mabena, Baloyi, Pfumidzai, Masuku, Luthuli, Sera, Lingwati, Phalane.

Subs: Chaine, Potsane, Njoti, Tani, Khasipe, Maema, De Jongh.

comments