Soccer

Poor Kaizer Chiefs still running on empty, lose to Bloem Celtic

28 April 2019 - 00:00 By Mark gleeson


Kaizer Chiefs continued their indifferent run towards the season’s finish line as they lost 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic at the Peter Mokaba Stadium last night to extend their winless streak in the league to five matches.
Ndumiso Mabena buried a 22nd minute free kick for hosts Celtic, forced to move the match from the Free State because of the rioting that caused their last game in Bloemfontein to be abandoned.
They have been in Polokwane since midweek when they upset Polokwane City 2-1 and the sojourn in Limpopo looked to have been just the tonic as they moved back into the top eight.
They are only a point behind Chiefs, who remain seventh and still not sure they will qualify for next season’s MTN8.
Chiefs were awful in the first half with over-elaborate movement, short, pointless passes and Celtic showed them how to do it with quick transition and good use of the flanks, especially the left where Bongani Sam again impressed.
Celtic had several long-range efforts just off target from Kabelo Dlamini and Lucky Baloyi before Mabena bent a free kick in off the upright for a deserved lead at the break.
Ernst Middendorp made two changes at halftime to try to inject some life into his limp team but it was only in the 70th minute that Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb had to make his first save of the game —from a soft effort from Dumisani Zuma.
Bernard Parker went wide with a good chance eight minutes from time but two later breakaways offered Celtic the chance to make it 2-0 but, on both occasions, Neo Maema fluffed his lines.
Usually on the road, and in centres where they are infrequently seen, Chiefs attract a decent crowd, far more than at home at Soccer City, but such is the fading lustre of their brand that the World Cup venue was largely empty as fans voted with their feet.
Chiefs’ remote title hopes ended a while ago, though they are in the Nedbank Cup final.
Middendorp will still be undecided on his cup final line-up with few players putting their hand up in yet another poor showing.

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