Bloemfontein Celtic scored two quick-fire goals to hold Kaizer Chiefs to a 2-2 draw in an Absa Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday evening.
Khama Billiat and Khotso Malope found the back of the net for the hosts before Menzi Masuku and Ndumiso Mabena hit back for the visitors, as Chiefs’ winless start to the campaign extends to five matches. Celtic drop down to second, but remain unbeaten after four matches this season.
The first chance of the match fell to Siwelele in the seventh minute, but Tshegofatso Mabaso directed his shot off target following a defensive blunder by Chiefs, who failed to clear their lines from a set-piece.
At the other end of the pitch, Chiefs went close through Siphelele Ntshangase whose cross-cum-shot beat everyone inside the area before clipping the outside of the post.
Ntshangase went close once more in the 24th minute, but Patrick Tignyemb, who brought up 300 appearances for Celtic earlier this month, made an unorthodox but effective save to keep out the midfielder’s powerful effort.
Dumisani Zuma then rattled the woodwork with a dipping effort from range as Chiefs continued to knock on the door in search of the opener.
The goal finally came in the 37th minute as Billiat scored his first league goal for the club. The Zimbabwe international ran onto a timely pass from Ntshangase before guiding a low shot past Tignyemb to give the hosts a narrow lead at the break.
Malope doubled Amakhosi’s lead in the 64th minute with a neat finish, lobbing the onrushing Tignyemb following a pass from Leonardo Castro for his first goal in senior football.
Celtic, though, were not not ready to throw in the towel and pulled a goal back through Masuku in the 76th minute following a quick one-two on the edge of the area before leveling matters three minutes later.
Mabena scored with a crisp volley effort that left Bruce Bvuma with no chance, to stun the Chiefs fans into silence.
Chiefs surged forward in desperate search of the winner, but Celtic held firm to add further pressure on Giovanni Solinas ahead of their MTN8 semifinal second-leg clash this coming weekend.
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Billiat 37′ Malope 64′)
Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 2 (Masuku 76′ Mabena 79′)
Kaizer Chiefs: Bvuma; Mphahlele, Ngezana, Cardoso, Ntiya-Ntiya, Katsande, Ntshangase, Malope (Jayiya 71′), Billiat, Zuma, Castro.
Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb; Rikhotso, Ndengane, Gordinho, Sam, Potsane (Masuku 49′), Mashikinya, Phalane, Dlamini (Letsoalo 71′), Mabaso (Baloyi 52′), Mabena.