Celtic confirm safety, while Birds set unwanted record

Chippa throw lead away to remain in drop zone

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Given Moikhomotsi Thibedi of Swallows challenged by Ibraheem Jabaar of Stellenbotch FC during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 match between Swallows and Stellenbosch at Dobsonville Stadium, Johannesburg.
Given Moikhomotsi Thibedi of Swallows challenged by Ibraheem Jabaar of Stellenbotch FC during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 match between Swallows and Stellenbosch at Dobsonville Stadium, Johannesburg.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Bloemfontein Celtic almost certainly extricated themselves from relegation trouble with a crucial come-from-behind win at Chippa United yesterday.

Having trailed going into the break after Mdu Sibeko scored for Chippa at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, Phunya Sele Sele turned it around in the second period through goals by Neo Maema and Ndumiso Mabena, all but ensuring they are removed from relegation trouble in the DStv Premiership.

Chippa, however, remained in the quagmire and have two more matches to save their season. They remained in a precarious 15th spot, but can be saved from automatic relegation by the fact that Black Leopards are six points behind them.

Swallows, meanwhile, set a new PSL record for the most draws in a season when they were held 0-0 by Stellenbosch yesterday.

It was Swallows’ 18th draw of the season. Before the Birds welcomed relegation-threatened Stellenbosch at Dobsonville Stadium, this record was jointly held by SuperSport United (2012/13 term)‚ Free State Stars and Santos (both in the 2005/06 season) by 17 draws.

Swallows trainer Brandon Truter is keeping his fingers crossed that this bad record is not extended.

“Another record, [we were the] first team to win GladAfrica Championship. [Now we’re the] first team to draw 18 games, I will take it. It’s not a good one but it’s a record. I hope it gets broken sooner than later,’’ said Truter.

Stellenbosch mentor Steve Barker embraced the point on the road, feeling it’ll eventually prove crucial in their relegation battle. The Stellies coach was also not impressed with the surface at Dobsonville Stadium.

“At the end of the day it’s a hard- fought point away from home against a team that have only lost once this season. It was a fair result. It wasn’t easy, the pitch didn’t allow for fluid football,’’ said Barker.

“It was quiet bumpy. We’re fighting for our lives at the bottom of the table, so we have to fight for any point and we’ve to perhaps sacrifice a bit of the way we want to play to just scrap.’’

Elsewhere, Baroka and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila played out to yet another scoreless stalemate. TTM were the better side at Peter Mokaba Stadium but Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke pulled out a number of brilliant saves to keep the scoreline even.

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