Chilli Boys grind out mild draw

Arrows pierce Amakhosi while Ajax defeat Baroka with dramatic late goal

Katlego Mashego of Chippa United and Deon Hotto of Bloemfontein Celtic do battle during their Absa Premiership match at Bloemfontein’s Dr Molemela Stadium last night
Katlego Mashego of Chippa United and Deon Hotto of Bloemfontein Celtic do battle during their Absa Premiership match at Bloemfontein’s Dr Molemela Stadium last night
Image: Charl Lombard/Gallo Images

Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa United played out a tame goalless stalemate in their Absa Premiership clash at Dr Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein last night.

So both teams remain in the top half of the log table, with the Chilli Boys seventh on 35 points from 28 matches, while Phunya Sele Sele are one place lower with the same points tally but an inferior goal difference.

After a cagey opening period, Celtic began to get a grip on the game and began testing Chippa goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi through the likes of Victor Letsoalo, Kabelo Dlamini and Roggert Nyundu.

Nyundu had a shot from just outside the penalty area palmed away by the Nigerian gloveman midway through the first half in the hosts’ most notable chance.

Chippa, for their part, offered the occasional threat on the counter, though lone striker Katlego Mashego did not quite receive the service he needed to keep Celtic’s Patrick Tignyemb on his toes.

Overall, a lacklustre first half ended goalless with no major chances at either end.

In the second half, neither side was really able to take control of the game.

Chippa occasionally needed James Okwuosa and Zith Macheke to make a decisive tackle in a dangerous area, but in general the visitors’ defenders were able to handle whatever Phunya Sele Sele threw at them.

Both teams looked to shuffle their attacking options with late substitutions, though no player sparked any late goalmouth drama.
The clubs will return to league action on Saturday, Celtic playing away to Baroka and Chippa hosting SuperSport United.

In Durban, Kaizer Chiefs’ woes continued with a 3-1 hiding by Golden Arrows.

Steve Komphela’s absence from the Amakhosi bench was noticeable. During his tenure, Chiefs were more often than not criticised for their defensive approach.

Against Arrows, Chiefs caretaker coach Patrick Mabedi did not make wholesale changes – it was the usual Amakhosi lineup.

Perhaps the difference was the way Chiefs defended – horrendous, to say the least – and attacked, which looked promising at times.

As it is, there are more questions about this Chiefs side even with Komphela gone.

Meanwhile, a dramatic finish offered Ajax Cape Town a lifeline in their battle against potential relegation from the Absa Premiership as captain Musa Lebusa scored four minutes into stoppage time to beat Baroka FC 1-0 at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.

Ajax missed plenty of late chances after coming alive in the final 10 minutes of a limp affair, but horrid misses and some sparkling saves kept them at bay.

It was not until just 60 seconds were left that Sirgio Kammies drove forward to set up a chance, with Dlamini making an error as he palmed the cross onto the head of Lebusa and effectively handed Ajax three valuable points. – Mark Gleeson, SuperSport

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