Cape Town - Bloemfontein Celtic were relieved to settle for a point against log leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
As it happened Celtic v Chiefs
Bloemfontein Celtic denied Absa Premiership leaders a chance to widen the gap as they held them to 0-0 draw on Wednesday night at a packed Free State Stadium.
Although Amakhosi remain unbeaten in the league, the draw means they still top the standings with 47 points, whilst Siwelele occupy position 11 with 21 points.
As early as the third minute, the visitors showed urgency in finding an early lead when Mandla Masango took a shot, but Patrick Tignyemb safely held on. As the game progressed, both sides became comfortable on the ball as the match intensified, both sides attacking each other.
In the ninth minute, George Maluleka’s long range attempt hit the woodwork with the keeper beaten hands down, however, Clinton Larsen’s men fought back when they didn’t allow Chiefs space in the middle, but Jacky Motshegwa couldn’t capitalise.
The first half saw Erick Mathoho battling Lerato Lamola on a number of occasions, but both sides could not create clear cut chances as they went to the tunnel with no goals to show for their battle.
In the second stanza, Amakhosi received a free-kick and Siphiwe Thsabalala’s delivery found Erick Mathoho, whose header produced an acrobatic save from the Cameroonian keeper. In the 54th minute, confusion at the back between Siboniso Gaxa and Brilliant Khuzwayo nearly gave Siwelele a goal, but Dumisani Zuma's header went over the bar.
Four minutes later, Khuzwayo was called into action when he came out to make a superb save from a cross by Lamola in search of Motshegwa. Again, Larsen’s men were the better side when they kept Amakhosi defence on their toes when Khuzwayo saved Lamola’s shot which deflected for a corner.
With 10 minutes remaining, Masango's attempt from the d-line was saved by Tignyemb for a corner, and Mathoho's header was cleared off the line by Thapelo Morena on the far post to deny Amakhosi the lead.
With less than three minutes to go, Bernard Parker picked out substitute Siphelele Mthembu in the box, but his effort could not trouble keeper Tignyemb, as he shot wide.
Kaizer Chiefs XI: Khuzwayo, Gaxa, Mashamaite, Mathoho, Masilela, Katsande, Letsholonyane, Tshabalala (Mthembu 69’), Maluleka, Masango (Zulu 84’), Parker.
Bloemfontein Celtic XI: Tignyemb, Fransman, Ndengane, Mzava, Motshegwa (Ntanga 58’), Morena, Bilankulu, Zuma (Mulenga 55’), Nyatama (Gabonamong 90’), Ritchie, Lamola.