Kaizer Chiefs and Bloemfontein Celtic played to a goalless draw in an Absa Premiership match at FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening. Amakhosi were the better side, but they were unable to find the back of the net, despite creating numerous chances.
Lucky Baloyi and Erick Mathoho came into the starting line-up compared to Amakhosi’s last league fixture against Chippa United. Baloyi replaced the suspended Willard Katsanda, while ‘Tower’ had recovered from his groin injury.
Both sides started a bit tentative, even though Chiefs had most of the ball possession in the early stages.
The first goalscoring opportunity came for Michelle Katsvairo after the Celtic goalkeeper made a bit of a meal of things inside the box with the ball falling in front of the Zimbabwean striker. Katsvairo’s left-footed shot at goal, however, failed to hit the target.
Six minutes later a long distance shot from Baloyi flew just over the crossbar. It would have been an absolute sitter.
Amakhosi’s defence looked composed and well-organised, with the versatile Daniel Cardoso doing a fine job at left-back.
The home side started to dominate the proceedings towards the end of the first half, although there was a set-back in the 41th minute when George Lebese got injured. He was replaced by Joseph Molangoane.
The half-time score was goalless.
Chiefs started the second half much better than the first, really trying to put the Celtic defence under pressure.
It resulted in a few good chances for Siphiwe Tshabalala (his left-footed shot missed the target) and Mathoho, whose header was brilliantly saved off the line by the Celtic goalkeeper.
Coach Steve Komphela brought on Bernard Parker for Katsvairo in the 51st minute to add to the pressure on the visitor’s backline.
Baloyi had a stable game, anchoring the midfield, while George Maluleka was the one making more runs going forward. Tshabalala, meanwhile, was spraying around some fine passes in his role behind the striker.
Celtic, on the other hand, didn’t give up and started to get to grips with the second half after about 15 minutes. They even created a few opportunities, but Brilliant Khuzwayo was always alert in goal, making some brilliant saves.
In the end, no goals were scored.
Amakhosi have now collected 18 points from 13 matches.
Chiefs next host Polokwane City in an Absa Premiership fixture at FNB Stadium on Sunday, 18 December (kick-off is at 15:30).
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Bloemfontein Celtic 0
Kaizer Chiefs: Khuzwayo; Mphahlele, Mathoho, Gordinho, Cardoso; Lebese (Molangoane 41’), Baloyi, Maluleka (Buchanan 80’), Chirambadare; Tshabalala, Katsvairo (Parker 51’)
Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb; Dube, Sankara, Letlabika; Zuma, Ndengane, Maruping (Shikweni 77’), Hotto (Masuku 70’), Mxoyana; Nyatama, Nyondo (Abdoul 53’)
Key moment in the match:
Brilliant Khuzwayo makes a brilliant one-handed save to deny Musa Nyatama in the 79th minute. This was one of two top saves he had to make late in the second-half when Celtic were piling on the pressure looking for all maximum point, but the goal minder came to party to ensure the team walks away with a point.
Picture of the match:
Lucky Baloyi’s performance in the heart of midfield is to be commended considering that he hasn’t played in the team for the last couple of games. His minutes in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge side have proved worthy as he steadied the ship in the heart of midfield for Amakhosi in the absence of anchor man, Willard Katsande.
Another notable performance was that of Joseph Molangoane who came on for the injured George Lebese. His runs down the right flank created some problems for the Celtic left back. His link-up play with Siphiwe Tshabalala in the midfield created some neat openings for Parker and Edmore Chirambadare. His display will pleasing for the technical team heading into the next Absa Premiership match against Polokwane City.
Amakhosi only have three days to prepare for the next clash against a much-improved Polokwane City side on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 15h30). Steve Komphela’s men will want to improve on their home form and register a much needed win against a side that is lying fourth on the league standings. Amakhosi will welcome back both Willard Katsande and Sibusiso Khumalo from suspension.