DURBAN – AmaZulu’s frustrations continued as they were held to a goalless draw by SuperSport United at the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium in Durban in a game where both sides ended with ten men.
Usuthu coach Benni McCarthy clearly made some big decisions for the game as he made five changes from his side that was downed 1-0 by Nyasa Big Bullets in the CAF Champions League last Friday.
Usuthu currently look to be a shadow of the team that they were last season and the game was rife with both sides shooting blanks in front of goal.
AmaZulu were dealt an early scare as the injury-prone Keagan Buchanan fell to the ground within the first minute following a tussle with SuperSport’s Siyabonga Nhlapo. Fortunately for Usuthu, the 30-year-old was quickly on his feet again.
The best chance in the first half fell to AmaZulu’s Sphelele Mthembu after a SuperSport defensive mishap. The veteran was unfortunate to have slipped before the ball fell to team-mate Thabo Qalinge. Qalinge missed a sitter but his blushes were saved as he was flagged for offside.
In embarrassing circumstances for the Kings Park Stadium officials, the commencing of the second half of the game had to be delayed by 15 minutes due to stadium lighting issues.
Usuthu coach McCarthy was clearly furious with the flow of the game in the second half which could be seen by his demeanor.
The discipline of both sides in the second half became reckless as both teams were consigned to two yellow cards each before AmaZulu’s Tercious Malepe was given his marching orders in the 73rd minute following a mistimed challenge on Jamie Webber.
Last season’s DStv Premiership top scorer Bradley Grobler did not have his scoring boots on in the game as he fluffed a couple of chances for his side. Webber found the striker from a corner in the latter stages of the game but he ended up sending his shot straight into the arms of AmaZulu keeper Veli Mothwa.
Mothwa was sturdy in goal for the Durban-based side as he was required to make some sharp saves but other than that, Usuthu looked very ordinary.
SuperSport were also reduced to ten men in the 89th minute after Luke Fleurs received a red-card.
The pressure will now be on McCarthy to turn around the fortunes of the club sooner rather than later. They are now without a win in the five games in all competitions that they have played this season.
Usuthu’s next game is a challenging trip to Malawi to play against Big Bullets in the Champions League on Saturday as they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.