Durban - Bloemfontein Celtic survived relegation and Maritzburg
United secured their highest-ever Premiership finish as the two sides played to
a 1-1 draw in their final match of the 2016/17 campaign at the Harry Gwala
Stadium on Saturday.
Tshegofatso Mabaso put the visitors in front after 36
minutes when he capitalised on a rebound.
Lebohang Maboe though continued his
outstanding form this season when he lashed in off the post after 49 minutes.
The point meant Siwelele got the point they needed to secure
the survival in the top-flight league and the Team of Choice ended the season
in seventh – their highest in 11 attempts.
Celtic made a promising start and had a chance inside the
opening 60 seconds when Dumisani Zuma curled just over with Virgil Vries caught
off his line.
Five minutes later Maritzburg had a similar chance, but
Fortune Makaringe’s effort was always rising as Patrick Tignyemb watched the
ball fly over his goal.
A Kurt Lentjies corner was then almost headed into his own
net by Mabaso as the hosts began to apply more pressure. Another corner from
the United captain was then clawed out at full stretch from the top corner by
Celtic counterpart Tignyemb.
Evans Rusike had the best chance of the opening quarter when
he was picked out on the right side of the box by Lebohang Maboe, but poorly
failed to find the target.
The deadlock was eventually broken nine minutes from the
break as a cross from the right picked out Zuma on the edge of the box, and
after his shot ricocheted off a defender, the ball fell kindly for Mabaso to
The home side responded with a splendid Lentjies free-kick
that was headed towards the top right corner only for Tignyemb to fly out of
nowhere to tip the ball over.
Maboe then drew United level four minutes after the restart
when he smashed in a low shot from the right side off the box that went in off
the inside of the post.
Maritzburg pushed forward thereafter with Tignyemb making
two timely inventions from dangerous Bandile Shandu and Siphesihle Ndlovo
crosses from the right.
Midway through the half, Rusike dragged a decent chance from
the edge of the box across the face of goal.
The Zimbabwean wasted another good chance as the game
entered the last 10 minutes, flashing a delivery across the face of goal when a
cut-back would have been the better option, for what proved to be the final
chance as the match ended in a stalemate.