Durban — AmaZulu will no doubt be frustrated after having played out to their sixth consecutive draw following their 1-1 stalemate with Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
The draw was Usuthu’s 11th in the league this season and they are now officially the “draw specialists”. They have taken over the title which was held by Swallows who played out to a record 20 league draws from their 30 games last season.
The result leaves the Durban-based club in eighth place with 20 points after 16 games.
Perennial strugglers Chippa are once again relegation candidates this season. They are currently second last in the standings and just one point above last place Baroka FC.
However, the erratic nature of this season means that a couple of wins for the Chilli Boys from here on could potentially see them climb up to the top half of the standings in a short space of time.
AmaZulu too can still completely turn around their season as they are only separated by three points from second placed Orlando Pirates.
Pirates' 2-0 win over TS Galaxy on Saturday also saw them complete a remarkable climb up the standings as they moved from seventh to second place, behind only runaway league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
While AmaZulu’s ambitious coach Benni McCarthy will no doubt be highly frustrated, Chippa United stand-in coach Kurt Lentjies cut a happy figure after the game.
“We had a good game. It was a cagey affair and we conceded a goal. Our boys reacted well to equalize before half-time. Even though we played at home, we are happy with the point. It is a true reflection of the game today,” said Lentjies.
In a rare event, both sides will play in the reverse fixture on Tuesday, though this time it will be Usuthu hosting Chippa at the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium in Durban.
It’s probable that the fixture on Tuesday will be more exciting and feature more attractive football as the teams will now be more familiar with each other's strengths and weaknesses. Each side is unlikely to make major changes to their side for the return fixture.
“Playing them in a short space of time means that the fixture will be like a Champions League second leg. Like I said, we will see what will happen in the first couple of minutes before each team gets a feel of the game,” said Lentjies.