Usuthu, Maritzburg in goalless stalemate
AmaZulu and Maritzburg United earned a point each when their Absa Premiership tie ended in a 0-0 draw at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday night.
The home side kept the bulk of the possession and created the better chances, but were let down by lack of composure at times, while Maritzburg United goalkeeper Shu-aib Walters also made some crucial saves.
Ayanda Dlamini thought he had put his side in the lead in the eighth minute when he intercepted a shot from Luyanda Hlongwa before firing past Walters, but his goal was ruled out for offside.
Five minutes later the visitors had their first chance at the other end when Heinrich Isaacks was put through by Terrance Mandaza on the right, but he fired his shot over the crossbar.
Then in the 15th minute Goodman Dlamini collected a pass from Thokozani Mshengu just outside the penalty area but failed to test the Maritzburg United goalkeeper as he sent his volleyed shot over the target.
The home side had their best chance of the first half seven minutes later when Andile Khumalo played a clever backheel to find Mshengu inside the box, but he was denied by a good one-handed save from Walters.
Usuthu looked the more dangerous of the two sides but United did have their chances and in the 29th minute Isaacks found Mandaza on the edge of the box but the latter fired his tame shot straight at Tapuwa Kapini.
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Three minutes later, Usuthu threatened at the other end from another quick break which saw Mshengu squaring the ball for the onrushing Khumalo, but his first time shot was parried to safety by Walters.
Craig Rosslee’s side came close to breaking the deadlock yet again on the stroke of halftime when Goodman Dlamini played a lobbed pass towards Ayanda Dlamini inside the box, but he also saw his shot tipped over the crossbar by Walters.
Eight minutes into the second half it was the away side who came close to breaking the deadlock from a setpiece when Mario Booysen headed the ball across towards Byrone Hendricks in the centre of the box, but Kapini came out of his line to make collect the ball.
Ayanda Dlamini then had a great chance to open the scoring in the 70th minute when he was put through by a brilliant pass from Njabulo Manqana on the left, but he sent his low shot straight at the goalkeeper.
Then in the closing stages of the match the chances were few and far between but Mshengu fire his shot straight at the goalkeeper in the 81st minute, while Delron Buckley shot over the crossbar as the two sides settled for a share of the spoils.
Maritzburg United 0
AmaZulu: Kapini, Hlongwa, Van Heerden, Nyadombo, Teyise, Madondo, Dlamini G, Manqana (Tshabangu 71’), Mshengu (Malongoane 85’), Khumalo, Dlamini A (Ndulula 71’)
Maritzburg United: Walters, Hendricks, Petersen, Booysen M, Morton, Matuka (Evans 83’), Buckley, Mandaza (Yende 64’), Sheppard, Isaacks, Shandu (Booysen D 46’)