20 August 2017
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Mathoho 37’ )
Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 1 (Nyondo, penalty 75’)
Kaizer Chiefs and Bloemfontein Celtic played to a one-all draw at Bloemfontein’s Free State Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Amakhosi scored the game’s opener in the first half thanks to a goal from Erick Mathoho, after which the hosts equalised in the second half from the penalty spot.
Itumeleng Khune wasn’t able to play due to a bout of flu and was replaced by the ever-reliable Brilliant Khuzwayo.
George Maluleka, meanwhile, had a slight knee problem, which meant that Keagan Buchanan came on as a replacement.
The game started at a slow pace, with the hosts having most of the ball possession.
It was also Celtic that created the first real goalscoring opportunity of the game, but the ball was shot high over the Chiefs goal.
The Glamour Boys, however, took the initiative during the second part of the first half.
There was some good passing from Buchanan and Bernard Parker was full of running up-front, keeping the Bloemfontein defenders busy.
It was Mathoho who scored the opener against his former side. Buchanan took a well-weighted corner that found the defender’s head, finishing brilliantly, 1-0.
That was also the score at half-time.
Celtic tried to push for the equaliser in the second half, even though it didn’t result in too many real chances early on.
There was a set-back when Mathoho had to leave the pitch due to a foot injury, sustained in the first half. He was replaced by Daniel Cardoso.
Lorenzo Gordinho was a tad unlucky when the ball hit his arm from an attempted cross. Referee Victor Hlungwani pointed straight to the penalty spot. Substitute Atusaye Nyondo slotted the ball past Khuzwayo into the back of the net.
Chiefs fought hard to get the winner towards the end of the game, but it wasn’t to be. The encounter finished in a hard-fought one-all draw.
Key moment in the match:
The key moment of the match must be the corner of Keagan Buchanan in the 37th minute. The ball swerved excellently into the Celtic box, Erick Mathoho made a fine run, getting away from his opponent, and headed the ball neatly past goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Bloemfontein Celtic’s Alfred Ndongane was selected as the Absa Premiership’s Man of the Match. Keagan Buchanan, on the other hand, had a rare start, delivering a fine performance. The Amakhosi midfielder won balls and, especially, did well when it comes to ball distribution – his passing, long and short ball was excellent.
What it means:
It means that Kaizer Chiefs drew their first Absa Premiership match of the 2017/2018 season. It’s therefore crucial that the Glamour Boys collect three points on Wednesday, when we host SuperSport United, which was beaten heavily by Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khuzwayo; Mphahlele, Mathoho (Cardoso 69’), Gordinho, Masilela; Ekstein (Twala 77’), Katsande, Buchanan, Tshabalala (Chirambadare 82’); Parker, Páez
Subs not used: Petersen, Molangoane, Jayiya, Zulu
Bloemfontein Celtic 11: Tignyemb; Rikhotso, Ndenyane, Letlabika, Hotto; Mahlasela (Masuku 83’), Baloyi (Mashikinya 73’), Phalane, Motshegwa; Mabena , Nyundu (Nyondo 67’)
Subs not used: Mtshali, Lubisi Ntuli, Jembula
Next Match: Kaizer Chiefs will host SuperSport United at FNB Stadium on Wednesday, 23 August (kick-off is at 19:30).