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Football | Absa Premiership

Lehlohonolo Seema © Backpagepix

Celtic, Highlands set for a six-pointer

Bloemfontein Celtic and Highlands Park will square off in an Absa Premiership six-pointer at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Tuesday evening, with victory for either side to go a long way in curbing their respective relegation fears.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm.

Siwelele suffered a 10th league defeat of the campaign, going down 2-0 to title-chasing Kaizer Chiefs as their problems at the wrong end of the log standings mounted.

The Free State State side will now be fully focused on securing their top-flight status, having exited the Nedbank Cup this past weekend following defeat to Orlando Pirates.

It was a spirited performance by Phunya Sele Sele, who ultimately lost following extra-time in Soweto.

Caretaker coach Lehlohonolo Seema believes that if the club are able to replicate the performance showcased in defeat to the Buccaneers, they will not suffer the drop into the National First Division (NFD).

"I think the guys can be proud of their performance against Pirates," said Seema.

"If they can take this kind of performance into the league, I think that we can survive. Hard luck, they [the players] put in so much effort but came out with nothing. It is a little a bit disappointing but we will soldier on."

He continued: "On Tuesday we are playing the cup final against Highlands Park. If the guys can put in the same kind of performance we can survive the relegation zone."

Tied with bottom-placed Baroka FC on 21 points following 24 fixtures, Highlands Park find themselves in even greater trouble than their hosts.

The Lions of the North saw their winless streak extended to three league matches after they were held 0-0 at home by the very same Orlando Pirates last time out.

Gordon Igesund is disappointed that his troops failed in their attempt to get the full house of points, but having moved up off the foot of the table, the Highlands Park mentor is confident the club can now push for safety.

"I am disappointed we never got the three points against Pirates," said Igesund.

"I think we dominated the game for long periods, especially in the first half. We played football, we kept possession, moved the ball around and made them work hard. We were excellent.

"This point is huge even though we wanted the three points."

"The point is great because it took us off the bottom of the log. Psychologically it’s a good thing and we can look forward to the next game against Celtic," the former Bafana Bafana head coach concluded.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Highlands have met in just one previous top flight league match.

That encounter took place earlier this season, with the teams playing to a 1-1 draw in Tembisa.


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