Arrows, Leopards in stalemate
Durban - Lamontville Golden Arrows and Black Leopards had to settle for a share of the spoils when their Absa Premiership match at the King Zwelithini Stadium ended in a 0-0 draw on Saturday night.
Both sides went into this clash looking for maximum points following their midweek draws, but despite all their efforts they were unable to break the deadlock.
Arrows were denied the opener in the 11th minute as Ritus Krjauklis managed to get his header on target from a corner, but his header was pushed away by Leopards goalkeeper Posnet Omony before Musa Bilankulu saw his shot blocked on the line by a defender.
Then in the 15th minute Arrows managed to create some openings with some slick passing, but Thamsanqa Gabuza’s final shot was disappointing as he sliced his left-footed shot wide of the upright.
Leopards’ best chance of the first half arrived in the 21st minute as Rodney Ramagalela got behind the defence before firing a low shot from the right side of the penalty area, only to be denied by a good save from Arrows’ goalkeeper Pavels Steinbors.
Gabuza had an even better touch in the 24th minute when he played a neat one-two with Norman Smith to get himself into the penalty area, but his finishing let him down as his effort flashed wide of the post.
Two minutes later it was Leopards who had a sight of the target when Raymond Monama collected a loose ball just outside the penalty area, but he skied his shot well over the crossbar.
With both sets of defence getting more organised as the half progressed, the shooting chances became scarce, but in the 37th minute Nkosinathi Ogle ran onto a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area, only for his shot to be turned wide by Vincent Xakane.
The second half saw both sides making attempts to push more men forward, but competition in the midfield saw less action taking place in and around the penalty area.
The first chance after the break fell for Tiyani Mabunda, who was full of running on the field, but his long range strike flew wide of the target two minutes after the restart.
Two minutes after the hour-mark Norman Smith seemed to be caught by surprise as Leopards failed to deal with a corner and in the end his weak snapshot was blocked by one of the defenders in front of the goalkeeper.
The action was at the other end three minutes later as Monama’s free-kick found the towering Xakane in the centre of the penalty area, but the defender was unable to get the right connection as his header sailed across Steinbors’ goalposts.
With both sides desperately searching for the decisive goal in the final minutes of the game, it was Arrows who came closest in injury time when substitute Bongi Ntuli saw his shot blocked by a defender before Omony recovered to grab his follow-up shot.
The Arrows striker suggested that the defender had handled the ball during that move, but match referee Kulasande Qongqo was unmoved as he waved play on.
That proved to be the last chance of the match as the two sides were forced to settle for a point for the second straight time.