Bloemfontein Celtic came from behind to hold Swallows FC to a 1-1 draw in a 2020-21 DStv Premiership match at Dr Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein on Tuesday evening.
The result leaves Celtic in 11th spot on the league standings but moved them level on 25 points with Kaizer Chiefs. Swallows, who played to a league-high 13th draw of the season, remain in fifth place.
There were no real chances to write home about in the early exchanges and in the 23rd minute Celtic suffered a blow as captain Ndumiso Mabena was forced from the field with an injury.
Swallows finally conjured a chance in the 40th minute as Kgaogelo Sekgota burst into the area and into a dangerous position but he clipped his resulting attempt wide of goal.
The best chance of the half fell in the second minute of stoppage-time. A corner-kick caused havoc inside the Dube Birds area and Harris Tchilimbou’s close range effort looked destined for the back of the net, but Njabulo Ngcobo was perfectly positioned on the line to clear from danger.
Swallows opened the scoring in the 55th minute following another goalkeeping error. Siwelele shot-stopper Sipho Chaine passed the ball straight at Sekgota who controlled the miscued effort before firing home on the half-volley. Earlier on the day, Baroka FC scored against Chippa United in almost identical fashion.
Celtic hit straight back as on the hour mark Neo Maema netted his first league goal. The midfielder’s low shot deflected off Wandisile Letlabika and past Virgil Vries who was completely wrong-footed by the touch.
Maema came within inches of completing his brace in the 76th minute but was denied a double by the woodwork.
Swallows also had one last chance to grab all three points as the ball fell favourably at Bantu Mzwakali’s feet in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage-time but he was unable to hit the target as the two teams ultimately settled for a point apiece.
Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 1 (Maema 60′)
Swallows FC (0) 1 (Sekgota 55′)
Bloemfontein Celtic: Chaine; Matjila (Mangweni 79′), Ngobeni, Mahashe, Rikhotso, Baloyi, Mashikinya (Ncobeni 79′), Maema, Masuku (Sera 68′), Mabena (Tchilimbou 23′), Letsoalo (Van der Ross 78′).
Swallows FC: Vries; Matlaba, Ngcobo, Letlabika, Mere, Nyatama, Mokoena, Mahlatsi (Mhlongo 85′), Sekgota (Mzwakali 85′), Mbokoma (Seabi 66′), Gamildien (Gozar 74′).</