at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Durban – AmaZulu and Golden Arrows remained without victories three games into the Premiership season after playing to a goalless draw in the KwaZulu-Natal derby at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.
The two clubs managed to pick up their first points of the season, but their lack of confidence on attack was again evident in a mainly uninspiring fixture.
Usuthu midfielder Kagiso Senamela came closest to breaking the deadlock when he struck the crossbar in the first half, while visiting goalkeeper Pavel Steinbors was forced into two good saves later on.
The point each lifted the two sides above Chippa United, but the newly promoted Cape outfit had a game in hand over their KZN counterparts.
The visitors thought they had taken an early lead after six minutes when Philani Shange swung over a cross from the right that appeared to be spilt by Mbongeni Mzimela, under pressure from Thamsanqa Gabuza, with the ball ending in the back of the net.
However, referee Kulasande Qongqo ruled it out for a foul on the Usuthu goalkeeper.
AmaZulu’s first real threat came midway through the half when Senamela managed to get a foot onto a long ball from midfield, but he saw his lobbed attempt bounce up onto the crossbar with Steinbors caught out of position.
With the half-hour mark approaching, Senamela again found himself in space on the right side of the box, following a long ball from new signing Kulegani Madondo, but he blazed wide.
A string of fouls by both sets of players before the interval left the teams stuttering at the break, locked at 0-0.
After the restart, another new Usuthu signing, Mkhokheli Dube, managed to win the ball ahead of Musa Bilankulu in the area, but his indecisiveness meant he could only fire wide.
On the hour mark, Arrows almost took the lead when Mzivukile Tom beat his man on the left and crossed for Ntlantla Zothwane, whose sumptuous volley flew inches wide.
At the other end, Tsweu Mokoro’s pin-point cross from the right was met by a strong Ayanda Dlamini header, but the ball again ended on the wrong side of the crossbar as both sides edged closer to finding the back of the net.
Steinbors was finally forced into a first real save of the match after 76 minutes when Senamela picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and forced the Latvian to parry away to his right.
Moments later the Abafana Bes'thende custodian had to scramble back to tip over Marc van Heerden’s opportunistic lob from inside his own half.
Those proved the final chances for either side as the game ended goalless. – Sapa