Wilful Celtic hold Sundowns

Anthony Laffor of Mamelodi Sundowns is challenged by Wandisile Letlabika of Bloemfontein Celtic during their Absa Premiership match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria yesterday.
Anthony Laffor of Mamelodi Sundowns is challenged by Wandisile Letlabika of Bloemfontein Celtic during their Absa Premiership match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria yesterday.
Image: BACKPAGEPIX/SAMUEL SHIVAMBU

The match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic turned sour at Loftus Versfeld as Celtic defender Wandisile Letlabika sustained a serious head injury after colliding with the goal posts.

However, the club said last night the player was stable.

Letlabika suffered severe injuries to the head before half-time and was rushed to the Muelmed Hospital near the city centre.

With Celtic having failed to bring a doctor to the match, Sundowns doctor Carl Tabane had to assist.

Referee Daniel Bennett had stop the match for about 15 minutes after the 29-year-old hit his head against the post in the 42nd minute trying to stop an attack from Sundowns.

The incident put a dampener on the match and left spectators shell-shocked by the gruesome injury. At the time it happened the score was goalless as Downs had been unable to break down the Celtic defence.

The Brazilians went into the game aiming to extend their lead at the top of the table. The defending champions knew should they fail, Bidvest Wits could retake the lead if they won, but Wits lost against Cape Town City last night.

Sundowns, Wits and Orlando Pirates are in a three-horse race for the title and with less than 10 games left, the stakes are high.

An injured Letlabika is carried away in a stretcher.
An injured Letlabika is carried away in a stretcher.
Image: BACKPAGEPIX/SAMUEL SHIVAMBU

Having enjoyed an open game in their 3-2 win over Cape Town City in midweek, Downs were made to work by Celtic to create scoring chances. Celtic lined up a disciplined defence, making life difficult for the home side.

Sundowns playmaker Themba Zwane was hounded for nearly the entire first-half by defensive midfielder Shadrack Kobedi, whose job for the afternoon was to stop the attacker. Hlompho Kekana was also given little space to manoeuvre as his opposite number Lucky Baloyi gave him little breathing space.

It appeared as if the tactic deployed by the Free State side was to man-mark Downs' most dangerous players - Zwane, Kekana and Gaston Sirino.

The match ended goalless.

Other PSL Results

  • Kaizer Chiefs 3 - Highlands Park 2
  • Free State Stars 2 - Black Leopards 2
  • Wits University 2 - Cape Town City 3
  • Golden Arrows 0 - Orlando Pirates 1

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