Result: AmaZulu 0-0 Bloemfontein Celtic
Date: 24 January 2018
Venue: King Zwelithini Stadium
Bloemfontein Celtic missed a chance to move into the top eight of the Absa Premiership, playing to a 0-0 draw with AmaZulu in Wednesday night’s clash at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
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The encounter was scheduled to take place in November, but the original game was abandoned in the opening minutes due to heavy rain.
This time, Ovidy Karuru had an opportunity to open the scoring in the first minute after a headed pass from Camaldine Abraw set him up. Unfortunately for Usuthu, he blasted his effort off target.
Nevertheless, AmaZulu looked the brighter of the two sides in the opening stages, although neither created any clear-cut early chances.
23 minutes in, Karuru was in the spotlight once more, as it appeared he was tripped by Ronald Pfumbidzai in the penalty area. However, referee Jelly Chavani felt otherwise. Celtic raced to the other end of the field, where Siyabonga Mbatha had to rush to the feet of Deon Hotto to deny him a goal.
The visitors settled into the game as the half progressed and there was nothing to separate the teams at the break.
In the seventh minute after half-time, Vusi Shikweni threatened to break the deadlock as he unleashed a powerful long-range drive, forcing Mbatha into an alert save.
The first substitution of the game came in the 62nd minute, when Jabulani Ncobeni replaced Augustine Ramphele for AmaZulu.
Five minutes later, Ndumiso Mabena became the first player to come on for Siwelele, with Roggert Nyundu making way.
Cavin Johnson was forced into his second change shortly afterwards. Butholezwe Ncube came off injured after being caught by Alfred Ndengane and was replaced in the 72nd minute by Siyethemba Mnguni.
That substitution was followed by the introduction of Siduduzo Dlamini in place of the veteran Siyabonga Nomvethe.
Phunya Sele Sele made their second change in the 76th minute, as Jacky Motshegwa replaced Shikweni, before Menzi Masuku came on for Sepana Letsoalo five minutes later.
However, neither side could find a late winner despite the abundance of fresh legs on the field and a spell of Usuthu pressure in stoppage time. Celtic stayed ninth in the league, while AmaZulu remained 13th.
Here's how they lined up:
AmaZulu: 28. S. Mbatha, 17. M. Gumede, 29. Mabiliso, 25. P. Gumede, 13. Ouro-Akoriko, 6. Ncube, 4. Morton, 7. Ramphele, 10. Nomvethe, 23. Karuru, 18. Abraw.
Celtic: 30. Tignyemb, 3. Pfumbidzai, 22. Rikhotso, 27. Ndengane, 26. Lubisi, 45. Nyundu, 25. Gordinho, 35. Baloyi, 7.. Hotto, 23. Shikweni, 13. Letsoalo.