Mamelodi Sundowns were held to a 0-0 draw by Bloemfontein Celtic at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane on Saturday afternoon, in an Absa Premiership match overshadowed by Wandisile Letlabika’s serious injury.
The Siwelele defender was forced from the field on the cusp of halftime following a blow to the head – delaying the match by around 10 minutes as medical staff attended to him. He was duly stretched off and taken straight to hospital where he received further treatment.
The result moves the Brazilians up to 40 points on the log standings and two points clear of Bidvest Wits who host Cape Town City this evening. Siwelele move up to sixth following the stalemate.
Celtic threatened early on in the South African capital as Victor Letsoalo and Tebogo Potsane forced Kennedy Mweene into success saves. The Zambia international up to the task as he continues to fill the void left by the injured Denis Onyango.
Sundowns first shot in anger fell to Tebogo Langerman on 17 minutes. Gaston Sirino teed up the fullback who fired his volley attempt inches wide of goal.
The hosts continued to press for the opener and came close once more just short of the half-hour mark as Antony Laffor sent his curling attempt narrowly wide of goal.
Pitso Mosimane’s troops turned up the pressure in the second half and Sirino should’ve done better with Laffor’s pin-point cross in the 55th minute. With only Patrick Tignyemb to beat, the Uruguayan failed to connect with the ball, with the goal at his mercy.
At the other end of the pitch, Tshegofatso Mabasa looked sure to add to his goal tally for the season moments later, but Mweene pulled off superb save.
It was all Sundowns in the closing stages of the match as Phunya Sele Sele seemingly settled for a point on their travels.
Laffor had a chance to win it late on for the defending champions, but the ever-reliable forward could only succeed in dragging his attempt wide of goal as Siwelele ultimately held on to claim a valuable point on the road.
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 0
Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 0
Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene; Langerman (Lakay 74′), Nascimento, Coetzee, Ngcongca, Kekana, Mabunda, Zwane, Laffor, Maboe (Mahlambi 85′) , Sirino (Tade 75′).
Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb; Tani, Rikhotso, Letlabika (Mahashe 45+2′), Pfumbidzai, Baloyi, Kobedi (Dlamini 55′), Potsane, Mashikinya, Letsoalo (Maema 64′), Mabasa.