SuperSport United and Bloemfontein Celtic could not be separated as the sides played to a 1-1 draw in an MTN8 semifinal first-leg tie at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday.
Matsatsantsa had the first decent attempt on goal with five minutes gone when Bongani Khumalo rose highest to meet Jamie Webber's corner but it was straight at Celtic goalkeeper Jackson Mabogkwane.
SuperSport came very close for the second time from a set-piece in quick succession five minutes later. Mabokgwane came out but failed to make contact when trying to punch out Webber's free-kick from the right-hand side and centre-back Clayton Daniels headed narrowly over as he wasn't really expecting the ball
Soon after, Celtic had their first opportunity of the game and it was a good one. Having started the move, Ndumiso Mabena scuffed an opportunity that was put on a platter by Victor Letsoalo, who had delivered a tantalising cross into the boc. The ball fell to Andile Fikizolo at the back post, but he sliced his effort wide of the upright.
However, Phunya Sele Sele would not be denied just moments later. Letsoalo's sublime ball with the outside of the boot released Mabena through on goal and the Celtic talisman made no mistake, showing all of his composure and experience to curl the ball around Ronwen Williams and into the bottom right corner.
Iqraam Rayners headed wide from a cross from the right-hand side in the 25th minute and then Celtic had a glorious chance after Mabena cleverly played in Letsoalo, but Williams did well to come off his line and thwart the danger. It was SuperSport who were on top in the final stages of the first half, with the away side having done well to repel the pressure as the sides went into the break.
Matsatsantsa came close two minutes after the interval when Rayners blocked Justice Chabalala's clearance and the ball fell to Thamsanqa Gabuza in the small box but Williams was well off his line once again and nullified the threat.
However, the hosts would not be denied three minutes later when Gamphani Lungu's effort was saved by Mabokgwane and the rebound fell kindly back to him for a simple tap-in from close-range.
The quality of play deteriorated as the weather conditions worsened, with the rain getting heavier and the light getting darker steadily throughout.
However, Teboho Mokoena did come mighty close with a superb long-range effort that shaved the woodwork in the 84th minute while Ronald Pfumbidzai skewed the ball inches wide with a hurried snapshot as the sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.
- TEAMtalk media