Africa-Press – South-Africa. JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs’ inability to consolidate their lead and possession continued to haunt them after squandering two early goals to being held 2-2 by Bloemfontein Celtic in a DStv Premiership encounter at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium yesterday afternoon.
These two points dropped meant that Chiefs remained outside the top-eight as they are ninth with 29 points, two behind eighth-placed TS Galaxy. But that all could have been avoided only if they had ensured that they cushioned their two-goal lead earlier on.
But that they allowed Celtic back in the game meant the latter also kept their hopes of a top-eight finish alive. Chiefs will be rightfully disappointed with the outcome of the match as they’ll have to ensure that they won’t leave any stone unturned in their last five matches.
That’s easier said than done for Amakhosi who’ll also face Simba SC in the Caf Champions League quarterfinals this month. However, that could also serve as a sense of motivation for Chiefs who’ll know that keeping a winning front can change their fortunes around.
After that last-minute-gasp defeat to Chippa United midweek, Chiefs needed an immediate response if they were going to keep their aspirations of finishing in the top-eight alive – especially after a rollercoaster outing in the last few weeks, having also defeat Mamelodi Sundowns.
They showed their intentions returning to winning ways from the outset in Bloemfontein, taking the lead in the third minute after Happy Mashiane whipped in a high and hard shot from a set-piece which beat a high-flying Jackson Mabokgwane at his near post.
Chiefs didn’t sit-back, instead they continued to pile on the pressure. They were, soon, rewarded. Lebogang Manyama picked out Eric Mathoho with a lovely diagonal ball before the latter rose high in the box to head home and give Chiefs a 2-0 deserved lead.
But some quick interplay between Ndumiso Mabena and Neo Maema ensured that Celtic pulled one back. The latter received a through-ball from Mabena before racing his way between three defenders and slotting past a helpless Daniel Akpeyi in goals.
Mashiane came close to extending Chiefs’ lead with another sumptuous delivery from a set-piece, but the reflexes of Mabokgwane came to the fore this time around – the veteran goalkeeper parrying the curling effort away for a corner-kick.
Celtic looked to be the better side heading to the end of the first stanza. But Chiefs were saved from their blushes by Akpeyi who blocked a pin-point shot from Mabena, before sustaining a possible concussion in the rebound against the knee of Victor Letsoalo.
Bruce Bvuma replaced Akpeyi during halftime. But before the former could make his first save of the match, and season, he was forced to collect the ball from his net after Letsoalo had equalised from the spot after a foul on Tebogo Potsane inside the box.
Chiefs, though, finished the strongest of the two sides but they were let down by their poor finishing – with Daniel Cardoso having missed a sitter. But Celtic failed to punish them as well after Bvuma made a point-saving save for his side later in the match.