Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 0-0 Bloemfontein Celtic
Date: 19 January 2020
Venue: Lucas Moripe Stadium
Mamelodi Sundowns missed the chance to go three points clear at the top of the DStv Premiership table after they were held to a goalless draw by Bloemfontein Celtic on Tuesday evening.
Kermit Erasmus replaced Gaston Sirino in the Sundowns line-up while Celtic were without Ndumiso Mabena and Victor Letsoalo, with Harris Tchilimbou and Sera Motebang taking their places upfront.
The Brazilians had an early chance to go ahead in the eighth as Tebogo Langerman caught goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane out of his area with a cross-cum shot that missed the far top corner by a whisker.
Mothobi Mvala had a much clearer chance for the hosts half-way through the first stanza after receiving a teasing cross from Themba Zwane unmarked inside the box but his glancing header missed the bottom corner slightly wide.
With Sundowns dominating, Erasmus had a chance of his own lead ten minutes before the break after latching onto a bal from Zwane but he was denied by Jackson Mabokgwane.
Siwelele had their best chance from the resulting counter-attack, with Siphelele Luthuli breaking clear on goal to round shot-stopper Denis Onyango but his effort towards goal lacked power and was blocked with the net gaping.
Peter Shalulile found the back of the net eight minutes inside the second stanza with a low shot into a gaping net after a cross inside the box but his goal was disallowed after he cushioned the cross with his hand before scoring.
Erasmus was unfortunate not get the breakthrough for the Brazilians four minutes before the hour-mark with a curling left-footed shot from outside the box that rattled the top post, with substitute goalkeeper Sipho Chaine well beaten.
Motebang had the ball in the back of the net soon after with a sweeping finish but the strike was disallowed for offside, although replays show the Celtic striker had been played onside.
Erasmus had another chance to put Sundowns ahead in the last 17 minutes after going through at the near post but his looping shot shot parried over the bar by Chaine.
Unfortunately, Sundowns were unable to find a way past the Celtic defence and now go a second game without scoring following the goalless Tshwane derby. As a result, Swallows can move top with a win against Chippa United on Wednesday.
Here's how they started:
Sundowns: 14. D.Onyango, 27. Morena, 4. Langerman, 5. Lebusa, 6. B.Onyango, 12. Maluleka, 41. Mvala, 33. Maboe, 18. Zwane, 11. Erasmus, 38. Shalulile.
Subs: 20. Goss, 37. Modiba, 8. Kekana, 22. Kapinga, 24. Vilakazi, 10. Sirino, 32. Majadibodu, 21. Mkhulise, 26. Makgalwa.
Celtic: 16. Mabokgwane, 35. Baloyi, 33. Chabalala, 24. Lingwati, 22. Rikhotso, 15. Pfumbidzai, 8. Phalane, 27. Tchilimbou, 9. Sera, 34. Fikizolo, 13. Luthuli.
Subs: 31. Chaine, 17. Mofokeng, 5. Kobedi, 20. De Jongh, 42. Ncobeni, 18. Mashikinya, 11. Potsane, 29. Ndwandwe, 50. Masuku.