Stubborn Celtic Dent Bucs' Top Eight Hopes
Full-time: Bloemfontein Celtic 0-0 Orlando Pirates
Date: 10 May 2017
Venue: Dr. Molemela Stadium
Orlando Pirates' hopes of finishing in the top eight took another dent, after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Bloemfontein Celtic.
The Buccaneers enjoyed an encouraging start to the encounter, although it took them a while to threaten Celtic's goal.
Pirates' first chance eventually arrived after 15 minutes when Dove Wome skipped past his marker but failed to beat Patrick Tignyemb from 10-yards out.
Celtic had a chance of their own in the 20th minute when Musa Nyatama rattled the upright from distance with Jackson Mabokgwane well beaten.
Pirates continued to dictate play as the half went on and they should have went ahead after 38 minutes but Tendai Ndoro blazed over the crossbar from close range.
Nonetheless, neither side could break the deadlock in the closing stages of the first stanza and went into the break all square.
Celtic came out stronger in the second half and looked likely to get the opening goal of the game, although their final ball was not up to par.
Pirates were struggling to keep a hold of the ball for most of the second stanza, which led to a lack of chances in the final third.
Kjell Jonevret responded by introducing Thamsanqa Gabuza and Riyaad Norodien on 70 minutes, as they pushed for an opening goal.
The Buccaneers carved out a couple chances after 75 minutes with Mpho Makola going closest, as he blazed over the crossbar from close range.
Celtic opted for a more defensive change in the closing stages as Fiston Abdoul Razak made way for midfielder Lantshane Phalane.
The move paid off for Celtic as they managed to hold out till the final whistle and claimed a valuable point.
Here's how they lined up:
Celtic: 30. Tignyemb, 4. Nyatama, 6. Maruping, 27. Ndengane, 7. Lakay (Mahlasela 69’), 3. Dube, 5. Letlabika, 14. Abdoul (Phalane 88'), 11. Hotto, 25. Lebri, 26. Dlamini (Mabaso 67').
Pirates: 16. Mabokgwane, 45. Mobara, 4. Jele, 8. Matlaba, 36. Van Heerden, 18. Sarr, 20. Manyisa, 25. Rakhale, 35. Wome (Norodien 71'), 5. Makola, 7. Ndoro (Gabuza 71').