CAPE TOWN – Stellenbosch FC and Maritzburg United both remain winless in the league this season after playing to a 0-0 draw at a cold and wet Athlone Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
On the balance of chances, Maritzburg – who hit the bar in the second half and had a few other close calls for a goal, felt they deserved a more from the game. “For me it was a massive disappointment, almost like a loss,” coach Eric Tinkler said afterwards.
The early stages were evenly contested, with both sides enjoying time in the opposition half.
The first chance fell the way of the visiting side, but they were unable to capitalise as Thabiso Kutumela's angled drive flashed wide in the seventh minute.
Midway through the half Kutumela curled another effort wide, while at the other end, Maritzburg keeper Richard Ofori tipped over an Iqraam Rayners flick from close range, before saving a header from Alan Robertson.
Ofori was called into action again seven minutes before the interval, reacting smartly to keep out a powerful Morgan Gould header following a corner.
The KZN team started the second half with purpose and were unlucky not to go in front when following a goal box scramble, Daylon Claasen struck the post.
More followed as Kutumela shot wide, before the same player was put in on goal by Mohau Mokate - and looked set to put his team ahead, only for home keeper Boy de Jong to make a last-gasp block with his legs.
As the game moved past the 65 minute mark, the Cape side had some openings themselves, but Ofori was not called into making any saves as a couple of efforts flew wide of the target.
With three minutes to go, de Jong again came to Stellenbosch's rescue when he got in the way of a Rushine de Reuck header from point-blank range, the ball actually striking the goalkeeper on the head and bouncing clear.
The visiting outfit continued to pile the pressure on the home defence in the closing stages of the match, but it was just not to be their afternoon as they were unable to get the ball on the net.
The result leaves both teams with two points from three matches this season.
African News Agency (ANA)