Chiefs remain unbeaten, Pirates snatch late win

2015-02-12 09:30

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Bloemfontein Celtic put the pressure on unbeaten Premier League leaders Kaizer Chiefs in a goalless draw, while Orlando Pirates grabbed a late win against AmaZulu.

After a torrid, evenly-matched encounter at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein last night, Chiefs maintained their imposing unbeaten record that now stretches to 19 games with a healthy lead of 13 points at the top of the log ahead of second-placed defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Last season Chiefs enjoyed an eight-point lead over Sundowns at a similar stage of the league programme, but faltered badly in the end – and the way 11th-placed Celtic matched them all the way suggests the Amakhosi still have something of a fight on their hands.

On a bumpy, uneven pitch that seemed more suited to rugby, for which it was initially built, Chiefs still began the game in a rampant mood and threatened to over-run Celtic during the opening 20 minutes.

Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb was kept busy from the outset and needed to be at his best to save a snap shot from Bernard Parker in only the fifth minute.

But both sides squandered several opportunities through over-anxious finishing as the tempo and pressure of play continued unabated in spite of the hot and humid conditions.

Chiefs played without George Lebese, who was arrested and charged earlier in the week on an assault charge.

They were still able to field a line-up with almost half the players having been part of Bafana Bafana’s Afcon squad.

But urged on by the crowd, Celtic showed scant respect for their more renowned opponents as both teams came close to scoring in the final 10 minutes – with poor finishing and impressive goalkeeping from both sides ensuring the match remained goalless.

Meanwhile, a 90th minute strike from Kermit Erasmus helped Orlando Pirates break AmaZulu hearts as they snatched a come-from-behind 2-1 Premiership win at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban last night.

New Usuthu signing Mbulelo Mabizela headed them ahead after 66 minutes.

But the home sides’ joy was short-lived as Lehlohonolo Majoro levelled three minutes later, before the Buccaneers frontman teed up strike partner Erasmus to thump in the winner in the final minute of play.

The result helped the Buccaneers consolidate their fourth position on the table, while AmaZulu stayed rooted to the foot of the table, nine points behind second-bottom Platinum Stars.

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