Chiefs deny Celtic in MTN8 semifinal

Bloemfontein Celtic were denied by Kaizer Chiefs as they played to a 1-1 draw in a MTN8 semifinal, first-leg at a packed Free State Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

It was Siwelele who found the net first through a first-half thunderbolt by Helder Pelembe and in the second stanza the visitors managed to bounce back through Bernard Parker’s fine strike.

Steve Komphela’s men attacked the hosts as early as the third minute with George Lebese combining well with Parker, but Lebese’s shot was well read by Patrick Tignyemb with the follow up by Reneilwe Letsholonyane blocked.

20 minutes into the game, Siphelele Mthembu saw his effort blocked by Musa Bilankulu which went for a corner and Tignyemb collected with ease.

Clinton Larsen’s men tried to play long balls using pace to open up Amakhosi and that proved to work when Helder Pelembe managed to find space and unleashed a thunderous shot to beat Itumeleng Khune in the 35th minute.

Amakhosi had a chance to equalise when they were awarded a penalty in the last four minutes of the first half after skipper Bevan Fransman was adjudged to have pushed Mthembu in the box.

Parker stood up to take it, but saw his effort sailing way over the target and that meant Siwelele head to the tunnel leading by 1-0.

In the second half, Steve Komphela’s men produced good football with Yeye and Shabba exchanging good passes, but Letsholonyane’s header hovered above Tignyemb's posts.

A few minutes later, Parker received a pass from Lebese and finished with a fine effort to beat Tignyemb in his top right corner to level matters in the 63rd minute.

Although Siwelele continued to attack Amakhosi in search of their second goal, their decision making in the final third let them down with Siyanda Xulu making crucial interceptions.

Chiefs were a different side in the second stanza with their attacks causing all sorts of troubles for Phunya Sele Sele.

Despite the tremendous support in the stands for the hosts, Siwelele could not find their way through the Amakhosi defence.

On the other end, Shabba continued to give the opposite defence tough times.

With nine minutes to go, substitute Dumisani Zuma combined well with Lerato Lamola, but Khune and company managed to control the situation.

In the last five minutes, Mthembu cvould’ve wrapped the match when he failed to convert Shabba’s cross.

The match was an end to end affair in the dying minutes, but it was clear that goals were not going to come as both sides settled for a 1-1 draw.

Bloemfontein Celtic: (1) 1 (Pelembe 34’)
Kaizer Chiefs: (0) 1 (Parker 63’)

Celtic: Tignyemb, Fransman, Ndengane, Rikhotso, Bilankulu, Mogapi, Pelembe (Morena 62’), Phalane (Buchanan 30’), Nyatama (Zuma 74’), Dube, Lamola

Chiefs: Khune, Gaxa (Moleko), Mathoho, Xulu, Masilela, Tshabalala, Katsande, Letsholonyane, Lebese (Matovu 82’), Parker (Maluleka 82’), Mthembu