SuperSport United 0-0 Bloemfontein Celtic: Phunya Sele Sele secure vital point in Tshwane

Siwelele's big-spending continues with the addition of three more players to their squad

It was a frustrating evening as SuperSport United failed to penetrate the Bloemfontein Celtic defence at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

Celtic looked to move away from the dreaded relegation zone when they travelled to Tshwane. Phunya Sele Sele went into the encounter languishing dangerously above the drop zone and a positive result against SuperSport would have given them some much needed respite.

Meanwhile, Matsatsantsa welcomed back coach Stuart Baxter. The coach had been missing on the technical bench for the last two games after undergoing medical treatment.

Ahead of kick-off, Baxter rang the changes in hope of freshening up his team. Most notably, Morgan Gould returned to the heart of the defence. The veteran defender was suspended for SuperSport’s last outing against Kaizer Chiefs.

Celtic went into the match with a cloud of uncertainty looming above them. Head coach Luc Eymael was still unable to sit on the technical bench due his ongoing off field troubles, and Lehlohonolo Seema continued to lead the team, making two changes to the previous starting XI. Fiston Abdoul Razak and Lantshene Phalane both returned to the starting line-up.

Both teams cancelled each other out in the middle of the park for the better part of the game, and in the end had to settle for a share of the spoils. 

Celtic looked promising in possession in the opening stages of the game and were exposing cracks in SuperSport’s defence, but despite the pressure, Siwelele could not test Ronwen Williams in the SuperSport goal.

The Tshwane side struggled to play their usual game and they were guilty of turning over possession far too often. The crowd had to wait 20 minutes for the first real effort on goal. Thabo Mnyamane had a free-kick on the edge of the area, but his attempt was comfortably saved by Patrick Tignyemb.

Six minutes later, Mnyamane again threatened the Celtic goal. The winger powered through on goal, but his shot brought out a fantastic save from Tignyemb.

SuperSport were dominant, but it was Celtic who created the better chances chance of the half. Lyle Lakay was a constant threat on the night and after some great work down the wing, the midfielder was unlucky not to have registered an assist as his cross could not be directed goal wards.

Celtic were prospering down the wings but on several occasions, they were let down by their final ball.

Nonetheless, both teams went into the interval hoping for an improved performance in the second half.

The second half looked to be more promising with SuperSport applying a more direct approach.

Baxter was encouraging SuperSport to use the pace of Thuso Phala and Mnyamane to unsettle the Celtic defence. Phala should have done better with his effort five minutes into the second half, but the 30-year-old dragged his effort wide of Tignyemb’s goal.

At the other end, Musa Nyatama had a glorious chance to give Celtic the lead. The midfielder found himself unmarked inside the SuperSport box, but he could only shoot straight at Williams.

On the hour-mark, Baxter threw on Jeremy Brockie in hope of grabbing the three points.

SuperSport shifted to a three-men defensive line which saw them look more enterprising in attack. The danger of SuperSport's increased attacking impetus was that they were left vulnerable on the break and Williams had to be at his best to thwart the Celtic counter-attacks.

Tignyemb also had to be alert as he denied Mnyamane yet again. The 24-year-old failed to score with only the Cameroonian keeper to beat.

Minutes later, it was those two at it again, but again Tignyemb came out trumps as he denied the attacker from point-blank range. The Celtic keeper was having a night to remember as he single-handedly kept the Free State side in the clash, and eventually walked away with the man of the match of the award. 

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