Absa Premiership

Celtic survive with Maritzburg draw

2017-05-27 17:46
Evans Rusike (TEAMtalk)

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 lash in. 

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.


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