Johannesburg - Marumo Gallants and SuperSport United played out a 0-0 draw in their DStv Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday night.
The result sees Bahlabane ba Ntwa remain in 11th place on 31 points, as they creep ever closer to mathematically securing top-flight football for next season, while Matsatsantsa moved up one place to seventh on 35 points – though they will give the position back to AmaZulu if the Durban side avoids defeat in their derby against Royal AM on Sunday.
Both teams took time to settle into a rhythm, and Gallants looked the more fluid outfit when they managed to bring Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo and Katlego Otladisa into play.
However, they suffered a couple of injury blows through the course of the first half, as both Ayanda Nkili and Thabo Mnyamane succumbed to knocks, being replaced by Tshepo Gumede (16th minute) and Lerato Lamola (38th minute) respectively.
SuperSport, despite being on the back foot for much of the first half, had a couple of notable opportunities, with Ghampani Lungu shooting wide after a powerful run inside from the flank, while Jesse Donn sent a header wide a few minutes before the interval.
SuperSport were also forced into an injury change just over 10 minutes into the second half, with Boalefa Pule rising off the bench to replace goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who took a blow to the thigh earlier in the game, and finally relented to what looked to be a ‘dead leg’.
United also had the first clear chance after the restart when Thapelo Maseko used his pace to put Gumede under pressure for a back-header and run onto the ball, but Gallants goalkeeper King Ndlovu did well to make a point-blank range block with his body.
Matsatsantsa had another opening in the 70th minute when a defensive mistake handed Thamsanqa Gabuza a sight of goal from the right of the penalty area, but the burly striker’s effort was a poor swipe with his left foot which skewed way off target.
Gabuza had an even better chance just over 10 minutes later when SuperSport put together their best attack of the game, with Jamie Webber and Aubrey Ngoma combining to set up the former Orlando Pirates man, but this time he dragged a right-footed shot wide of the mark.
Another chance for the visitors to break the deadlock arrived in the 88th minute when a corner kick pin-balled in the box and had Siyabonga Nhlapo direct an effort on target, but Ndlovu was well-positioned to make a sharp save.
The teams will return to Premiership action on May 3, with Gallants visiting Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport hosting Stellenbosch FC.