Usuthu, Maritzburg share spoils
Craig Rosslee (Gallo Images)
Durban - AmaZulu had to settle for a point when their Absa Premiership match against Maritzburg United ended in a 0-0 draw at the Moses Mabhida
Stadium on Tuesday night.
Although they were unable to walk away with maximum points, Craig Rosslee’s side will take some positives from their confident build-ups and the number of chances they created.
While Tapuwa Kapini had a quiet night between the posts for Usuthu, his opposite number Shu-aib Walters had to make some brilliant saves to secure a point for his side.
The hosts had the ball in the back of the net in the eighth minute when Ayanda Dlamini managed to place his shot past Shu-aib Walters, but the AmaZulu striker was adjudged to have been offside.
Then in the 12th minute Heinrich Isaacks ran onto a pass from Terrance Mandaza on the right before firing over the crossbar, while Goodman Dlamini did the same at the other end three minutes later from just outside the box.
Usuthu continued to dominate possession and in the 22nd minute Mshengu ran onto a backheeled pass from Andile Khumalo just inside the box, but Walters dived to his right to keep his effort out.
Seven minutes later Mandaza should have done better when he was set up by Isaacks on the edge of the penalty area, but his effort lacked the pace and the placement to trouble Tapuwa Kapini.
The home side was then denied by another good save from Walters in the 32nd minute as he dived to his left to parry a well-struck shot from Khumalo, who had been set up by Mshengu.
The United goalkeeper pulled off another save in the final minute of the first half as he managed to tip a volleyed shot from Ayanda Dlamini over the crossbar to keep the scores level at the break.
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 half time 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.
The second half saw less in the way of goalmouth action but it was the away side who fashioned the first chance in the 53rd minute when Mario Booysen nodded the ball across towards Byrone Hendricks
, but his effort was saved by Kapini.
Ayanda Dlamini had the best chance of the second half in the 70th minute when he was released by Njabulo Manqana on the left, but instead of picking his spot he fired his low shot straight at Walters.
Then in the 81st minute Mshengu, who was looking lively on the flanks, cut inside from the right before firing his low shot on target, but Walters was positioned well enough to make a comfortable save.
Five minutes later Delron Buckley tried his luck from outside the penalty area, but his effort was always going over the crossbar and failed to force Kapini into making a save.
The result leaves AmaZulu at the bottom of the table with 13 points from as many games, while Maritzburg United remain in 5th place with 25 points.Teams:
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 83’)