Amazulu and Sundowns fire blanks in Durban
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CAPE TOWN – Benni McCarthy's Amazulu missed the chance to close the gap at top of the Dstv Premiership table to just three points as they only managed to hold the league-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns to a 0-0 stalemate at Kings Park.
Usuthu were aiming for a sixth straight win, but had to be content for share of the spoils on Wednesday afternoon. Sundowns, therefore, maintain their unbeaten record and six-point lead with the added cushion of having played two games less.
The first half was a cagey affair as both teams adopted a tactical approach that hinged on the other making a mistake. With none forthcoming, neither side were able to create the opening that would unlock this intriguing contest.
There were a couple of chances that fell to Sundowns' Thapelo Morena and Peter Shalulile, but neither could direct their shots on target.
Thabo Qalinge endured the same misfortune for the hosts after the winger burst inside the box before over-hitting his strike at goal.
However, the second half begun in complete contrasting fashion as Amazulu's Augustine Mulenga was cut through the Sundowns defence to rattle the visitors' crossbar.
This was almost the kickstart the champions' required as they immediately put together a string of silky passes in the transition that ultimately led to the ball landing at the feet of Themba Zwane, who struck straight at Veli Mothwa in the Amazulu goal.
Sundowns continued to press in search of the gamebreaker when substitute Aubrey Modiba, who came on for Gaston Sirino in the 74th minute, could not finish off a delightful move that found him unmarked in the Amazulu box.
McCarthy's team were not clear of danger just yet, but Peter Shalulile failed to capitalise on the rebound as his strike went astray with the goals wide open.