Absa Premiership

Pirates go top after Celtic draw

2019-03-05 22:24
Luvuyo Memela (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates scored a late goal to salvage 1-1 draw at home against Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday but still climbed to the top of the Absa Premiership standings.

Mbhazima Rikhotso gave Phunya Sele Sele the lead in the 38th minute but Luvuyo Memela equalised for the hosts with 10 minutes remaining.

Celtic had the first chance of the game when Rikhotso drew a save out of Pirates keeper Wayne Sandilands in the seventh minute after header at the far post from a free kick.

The Buccaneers though began to dictate terms and dominated possession at the Orlando Stadium but could not penetrate the Celtic defence to fashion any clear-cut opportunities.

The visitors took the lead against the run of play seven minutes before the half-time interval when Rikhotso stabbed the ball past Sandlands in the Pirates goal after the home side failed to clear from a corner.

Lucky Baloyi should have doubled Celtic's lead soon after the interval but he shot wide after an inviting cross by Menzi Masuku.

Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic needed some inspiration from bench and he brought on Memela and Thabo Qalinge on the hour mark to boost his attack.

Thembinkosi Lorch had a shot saved by Celtic keeper Patrick Tignyemb with 15 minutes remaining as the away team's stubborn defence looked to hold out.

However with 80 minutes up on the clock, Memela slotted into the back of the net after neat inter-play on the edge of the penalty area.

Bucs through everything at their opponents in the final stages to snatch a winner but all their efforts was to no avail as Siwelele walked away with the a point.

Despite the draw, Pirates moved to the top of the table on 40 points, equal with Mamelodi Sundowns but with a better goal difference although the Brazilians have played a game less.

Celtic remain in eighth place with 31 points.

 

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Fixtures
Friday, 05 April 2019
Maritzburg United v Bloemfontein Celtic, Harry Gwala Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 06 April 2019
Wits v Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Stadium 15:00
Highlands Park v Free State Stars, Makhulong Stadium 15:00
Golden Arrows v Cape Town City, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium 15:00
Kaizer Chiefs v Baroka FC, FNB Stadium 18:00
AmaZulu v Chippa United, King Zwelithini Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 07 April 2019
Mamelodi Sundowns v SuperSport United, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:00
Polokwane City v Black Leopards, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:00
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