Sundowns’ Title Hopes Dented By Stubborn Celtic
There was good tempo to the encounter in the opening exchanges, with both sides showing their attacking intent early one.
Sundowns enjoyed most of the possession in the opening 20 minutes, although their defence looked far from stable with Bangay Soumahoro being caught on a few occasions.
Celtic nearly went ahead after 30 minutes, but Sundowns goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene produced two fine saves in quick succession to deny Kabelo Mahlasela and Lantshene Phalane.
The Brazilians had a double chance of their own after 38 minutes when Patrick Tignyemb denied Castro from six-yards out, befor Alfred Ndengane did well clear Themba Zwane’s goal-bound effort
Sundowns pushed for a opening goal in the closing stages of the half, but the Celtic defence remained resolute, as they went into the break scoreless.
The hosts were dealt a blow on the stroke of halftime as Tiyani Mabunda was forced off after a collision with Phalane. He was replaced by Modise.
Celtic opted for a change at the start of the second half, as Musa Nyamtama replaced Mahlasela.
The second half continued in the same fashion as the first, with Sundowns seeing a lot of the ball while Celtic were looking to capitalise on the break.
Ndengane came to Celtic’s rescue in the 64th minute, as the defender was on hand to clear Ricardo Nascimento’s shot off the line.
Mosimane opted for a change after 71 minutes as Castro made way for Sundowns’ go-to-guy Anthony Laffor, moments after Khama Billiat had struck the crossbar.
Celtic opted for late change with 10 minutes remaining as Dumisani Zuma replaced Lyle Lakay as they went in search for a winning goal.
Sundowns pushed for a winning goal in the closing stages, with Modise going closest with a free-kick , which Tignyemb tipped over the crossbar in the 88th minute.
However, Celtic managed hold out until the final whistle to clinch a valuable point, while Sundowns stretched their winless run to five games.
Here’s how they lined up:
Sundowns: 1. Mweene, 27. Morena, 39. Soumahoro, 16. Nascimento, 4. Langerman, 8. Kekana, 13. Mabunda (Modise 45′), 16. T.Zwane, 33. Billiat, 22. Tau, 25. Castro (Laffor 71′).
Celtic: 30. Tignyemb, 12. Mahlasela (Nyatama 46′), 22. Rikhotso, 29. Ndengane, 7. Lakay (Zuma 81′), 3. Dube, 5. Letlabika, 19. Mxoyana, 11. Hotto, 8. Phalane, 17. Mabasa.
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