Celtic and Sundowns play to goalless draw
Bloemfontein Celtic and log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns played to a goalless draw in their Premiership encounter at Botshabelo Stadium on Wednesday.
The Brazilians are unbeaten in nine consecutive league matches, winning four and drawing five.
The Tshwane giants top the table with 42 points with eight games remaining.
The first stanza started on an upbeat tempo with the visitors exerting pressure on the home side searching for an early lead.
Anthony Laffor and Nyasha Mushweki bothered Siwelele’s defence but defender Mathoho Mulawandou stood head and shoulders above the rest and saved an early goal.
In the 31st minute Mushweki took a thunderous shot but struck the side netting.
Five minutes later Celtic’s midfielder Cecil Oerson made a cross which striker Luyanda Bacela headed over the post.
In a threatening attack by the home team, Phenyo Mongala took a shot but it was well saved by Brazilian goalkeeper Calvin Marlin.
As the teams went into the break Sundowns enjoyed most of the possession and launched a number of attacks.
In the second half Celtic were the first team to make a serious attempt for the lead but Jackie Motshegwa’s powerful shot went wide.
In the 70th minute substitute Lebohang Mokoena had a free header inside the box which was easily dealt with by Celtic keeper Thabani Stemmer.
In the dying minutes of the game the ball was swaying from one end to the other with both sides squandering scoring opportunities.
Wits crashed to a 1-0 loss at the hands of bottom of the log Jomo Cosmos in their Premiership match at Bidvest Stadium.
The winner came for Cosmos on the hour mark from Matthew Rusike and the solitary strike was enough to condemn the home side to seven matches in a row without a win in the league.
Neither side dominated for sustained periods in the encounter and Cosmos were more clinical in front of goal and was the difference between the two teams.
The first half presented few clear-cut chances for either team, with Wits starting stronger.
In the fourth minute Stanton Fredericks came close for Wits.
He edged ahead of the Cosmos defence but his shot from a tight angle just missed the target.
Initially Bongolethu Jayiya was proving difficult to handle with some probing runs down the right.
After 20 minutes, Wits began to control the game as they bullied Cosmos off the ball, but were still guilty of not creating any clear-cut chances in front of goal.
Against the run of play, Cosmos were awarded an indirect free-kick in the box in the 23rd minute after a Wits player fouled Rusike.
The resultant shot, however, was fired straight into the wall.
The best chance of the half fell to Wits forward Asive Langwe.
His shot from the edge of the area in the 37th minute was on target and required a full length diving save from Avril Phali in the Cosmos goal.
Six minutes after the break, Langwe made a run down the left, and after some showboating launched his wayward shot closer to the corner flag than goal.
There was a horror collision in the 55th minute between Wits defender, Enrico Adolph and Cosmos left back Ofosu Appiah.
Both men were left sprawled on the pitch but Adolph soon made it to his feet while Appiah had to be stretchered off barely conscious.
Five minutes later, Cosmos launched a quick attack which saw the opening goal of the match.
A bustling run by Mark Haskins down the right, followed by the Wits last line of defence, left Rusike in the perfect position with the ensuing cross as he made it 1-0 to the visitors.
With the loss Wits remain in 10th position on the log, while Cosmos stay bottom but will pleased with what could be a crucial three points away from home.—Sapa.