Swallows could take over at the top tonight

Sundowns draw another blank as Celtic stay resolute

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Lantshene Phalane of Bloemfontein Celtic challenged by Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium on January 19, 2021 in Pretoria.
Lantshene Phalane of Bloemfontein Celtic challenged by Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium on January 19, 2021 in Pretoria.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns were held to a 0-0 draw by an industrious Bloemfontein Celtic in a league match played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium last night.

The result means that the defending champions have dropped four important points in their last two league matches and they also failed to find the back of the net.

Sundowns may be overtaken at the top of the pile if second-placed Swallows get all the three points against Chippa United tonight.

Sundowns are also threatened by SuperSport United who could draw level with them on points should they win  against AmaZulu also today.

The Brazilians created a number of chances in the opening 20 minutes with Peter Shalulile, Themba Zwane, Kermit Erasmus and Lebohang Maboe on the forefront, but they could not find the elusive opener.

The most notable attacks produced by the visitors came from the efforts of Motebang Sera, Siphelele Luthuli, Andile Fikizolo, Phalane Lantshene and Harris Tchilimbou, but they could not trouble Denis Onyango.

Phalane came the closest to opening the scoring when his well-taken free-kick flew agonisingly wide of the upright from the edge of the box after he was brought down by Mothobi Mvala.

Sundowns man Tebogo Langerman was denied by the cross-bar and moments later Zwane struck the side netting following a wonderful attacking move that included Thapelo Morena and Maboe on the half hour mark.

The Brazilians missed another opportunity to open the scoring when Celtic goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane denied Erasmus after striker was released by a clever back heel pass from Zwane.

Five minutes into the second half, Celtic suffered a huge blow when Mabokgwane was forced off the field with what looked like a serious shoulder injury and he was replaced by Sipho Chaine. After 56 minutes Erasmus was denied by the cross-bar after he unleashed a powerful left-footed drive that gave Chaine no chance.

A few minutes later what appeared to be a clear goal from Sera was disallowed after the far side assistant flagged him off-side.

Sundowns host Swallows in their next game this weekend while Celtic fly out to Benin’s capital Porto Novo to take on Rivers United of Nigeria in their rescheduled CAF Confederation Cup, last 32 tie.

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