JOHANNESBURG – Log leaders Golden Arrows and Kaizer Chiefs played to a goalless draw at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night in an Absa Premiership match that produced few quality goal-scoring chances.
Chiefs striker Gustavo Paez was in the wars for most of the first half as he tussled with Arrows midfielder Nkanyiso Cele.
The Venezuelan goal-getter, who scored both goals in his team’s midweek win over Maritzburg United, was involved in a freakish goal-bound opportunity midway through the first half.
The 27-year-old unleashed a chip form the right which the wind got hold of, and Arrows goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede had to back-peddle and produce a super save to force the ball over the crossbar.
Experienced midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala was a continuous thorn in the flesh of the Arrows defence with his dangerous runs and free-kicks on goal.
Hendrick Ekstein, too, had a few shots from range in the first half, but failed to find the target.
Chiefs coach Steve Komphela did his best to try and turn a one-pointer into a win by bringing on William Twala for Bongolethu Jayiya and 17-year-old Wiseman Meyiwa for Khotso Molope in the second half, but despite their added value to the match, the scoreline remained deadlocked.
Arrows, who went into the match off the back of consecutive wins over Bidvest Wits, AmaZulu and Platinum Stars, battled numerically with the Chiefs defensive pattern, and seemed at best to get on the score-sheet via a counter-attack or dead-ball situation.
Centre forward Lerato Lamola battled bravely, with Kudakwashe Mahachi also putting in some quality runs upfront for the visitors, but there were few attempts on goal in the first half that caused much concern for Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune.
In the closing stages, Arrows substitute Wayde Jooste put in a solid shot on goal that Khune was forced to save, but the strike was one of the few in the second period from the men in green.
The match finished on a dramatic note when Khune went down injured after making a clearance just ahead of Knox Mutizwa outside the 18-yard area, and with the Amakhosi having used all three of their substitutions.
Their third substitute, Edmore Chirambadare, took over the goalkeeper gloves for the final few minutes of the match.
Fortunately for Chiefs, who were then down to 10 men, the referee’s final whistle followed soon after.
Chiefs, now on nine points from six matches, will host high-riding Baroka FC on Saturday, while on the same day Arrows, on 12 points from six games, will be at home to Chippa United.
African News Agency (ANA)