DURBAN - King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi is proving to be a difficult place to collect points for Premier Soccer League (PSL) sides. Orlando Pirates also fell short as they drew 1-1 with AmaZulu on Satruday night at the venue in a pulsating Absa Premiership tussle.
Usuthu are yet to be beaten at home this season and they kept that record intact. Mamelodi Sundowns (3-3) Baroka FC (1-0) Free State Stars (2-1)and Maritzburg United (0-0) all failed to get the maximum points in Umlazi. The Bucanneers were looking to be the first side to do so and go on top of the table.
They are now tied at the summit of the log with Bidvest Wits on 16 points. Wits will face Sundowns on Sunday at 3.30pm at Lucas Moripe Stadium. If they get a point or a win they will be lead Pirates by a single point or three if they pull out a victory.
Usuthu are still at the bottom of the table with three points. They were dealt a major blow when they were docked six points for breaching the Fifa rules. But they haven't allowed that to distract them if their performances are anything to go by.
Pirates took the lead in the first half via the Zambian, Augustine Mulenga, but AmaZulu restored the parity after the interval through Emiliano Tade. The game was packed with action from both ends. Mulenga should have completed his brace minutes in to the second half but Siyabonga Mbatha produced a fantastic save with his left foot to keep his side in the game.
The atmosphere was vibrant and electric in Umlazi. Pirates outnumbered Usuthu in the stands as expected. Bongi Ntuli should have put his side in the lead but Siyabonga Mpontshane denied him with a stunning save.
The game was end to end and people got their money's worth with the quality football dished out by both sides. Justin Shonga missed a sitter from Paseka Mako's cross. It was easier to score than to miss but Shonga fluffed the glorious opportunity. The second goal looked to be coming with the way both teams were attacking, but unfortunately it never came and the match ended as a draw.
“The players really put in the hard work. The effort is there. First-half we gave away a soft goal. We then showed a lot of maturity to come back,” Cavin Johnson pic.twitter.com/OiIpeA6TEb