Royal AM, Kaizer Chiefs settle for a point each after goalless stalemate

Kaizer Chiefs' interim head coach Cavin Johnson

Kaizer Chiefs' interim head coach Cavin Johnson. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP

Published Feb 18, 2024


Kaizer Chiefs and Royal AM played out to an entertaining goalless draw at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

In a match that saw both teams fail to convert their goal-scoring chances, the two sides shared the spoils and took home a point each.

Royal AM remained in the 14th spot but level on points with Moroka Swallows and Chippa United while Chiefs also retained their sixth position after 90 minutes of play.

An Amakhosi side looking to keep their year-end form going made the trip down South to try and get one over Royal AM in their own backyard for the first time ever.

The permutations surrounding the survival of the hosts offered up a bit of relief ahead of this encounter as the relegation threat eased with Richards Bay dropping points the day before.

That sort of freedom seemed to give them a bounce in their step as they began the match the better of the two and perhaps should've had the opener through Menzi Masuku in the first minute.

The former Orlando Pirates man drifted in from his left wing position with a neat one-two but a moment of hesitation saw defender pile up in front of him and his shot blocked.

The opening 15 minutes was all about the hosts and nearly broke the deadlock again through Thabo Matlaba who fired one of his trademark shots towards Bvuma but the shot-stopper got his body behind the ball in time to keep the ball out.

Chiefs’Ashley Du Preez then received the best chance of the opening half in the 25th minute but failed to show the required composure to put his side in front.

Royal AM’s defence fell asleep and thought the ball had exited the field of play as Du Preez chased it down and ran through on goal but his attempted chip went wide of goal.

Although the ball possession might have reflected a level game 50% a side at half-time, the match was far from it as Chiefs struggled to contain the lively Menzi Masuku and the entire Royal AM attack.

The Chiefs head coach Cavin Johnson was visibly frustrated in his zone and stormed off into the change room at half-time to try and devise a plan to try and tacticall wrestle back control.

Even with the two teams playing identical formations, the hosts seemed to have more energy about them in the individual battles all over the pitch, which gave them the edge in the opening 45 minutes.

Chiefs returned to the field a different team and looked the better team in the second stanza with Du Preez a constant menace.

The speedy winger was guilty of missing another chance in thje 60th minute after being played through on goal by left back Sfiso Hlanti. However, his attempt to lob and chase over the keeper saw Patrick Nyame anticipate well to snatch the ball from the striker’s feet.

A game that provided much entertainment for the thousands in attendance failed to yield any goal.

Both sides will turn their focus to the Nedbank Cup in the coming week where Chiefs welcome Milford to the FNB Stadium while Royal AM battle AmaZulu.

IOL Sport