PRETORIA – SuperSport United had the better of Maritzburg United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night, but had to settle for a 0-0 draw in a league encounter.
SuperSport, with assistant coach Kaitano Tembo in charge after Eric Tinkler’s departure from the club on Friday, were on top for most of the night.
They started the game full of purpose and energy, and had the visitors on the back foot in as early as the first minute when Evans Rusike’s close range shot was kept out by Richard Ofori.
More chances followed for the hosts as Reneilwe Letsholonyane fired over the bar before Rusike, who joined Matsatsantsa from Maritzburg in January, went clean through on goal in the 20th minute, only to shoot tamely at Ofori.
Although the KZN side managed to start stringing some passes together, it was SuperSport who continued to create chances as Teboho Mokoena brought out another good stop from Ofori after a storming run, before Letsholonyane sent a shot over.
Maritzburg did, however, finish the half strongly and were unlucky not to score when Mohau Mokate’s near post header from a corner struck the bar.
The Tshwane team were back on top after the restart and had a great chance on 55 minutes when Letsholonyane put Aubrey Modiba in on goal, but his parting shot went straight at Ofori.
The Team of Choice had an opportunity shortly after, when Mokate’s shot – following a bit of magic from Fortune Makaringe – was comfortably saved by Ronwen Williams.
Modiba again brought out a stop from Ofori with a well-struck curler from the edge of the box on the hour mark.
Man-of-the-Match Ofori was earning his salary in no uncertain terms and the Ghana international pulled off another brilliant point-blank save when he denied Mokoena with 17 minutes to go.
The home side continued to press forward, but although there were some promising moments in the opposition box, Maritzburg threw bodies on the line to ensure Ofori’s goal remain protected.
It wasn’t to be SuperSport’s night when Dean Furman’s injury time cross-come-shot missed by inches as they had to settle for the point.
As evidenced by his two late substitutes, designed to run down the clock, it was Maritzburg’s Fadlu Davids who was the happier of the two coaches with the point earned.
African News Agency (ANA)