Wits, Maritzburg in stalemate
Kurt Lentjies of Maritzburg United and Lehlogonolo Maselesa of Wits (Backpage)
Johannesburg - Wits played out to a tame 0-0 draw with Maritzburg United in their Absa premiership match at the Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday.
The encounter did not provide many clear-cut chances on goal as the game petered out to a draw.
The only real goal-scoring opportunities came in injury time as both teams displayed their rust from the offseason.
The home team started slowly, but worked their way into the game in the second period and looked like scoring but lacked one final pass.
With three minutes left in the match, Ryan Chapman spurned the opportunity of the game when he was left one-on-one with Maritzburg keeper Shu-aib Walters who pulled off a fine save to deny the home side three points.
Michael Morton produced an inspired performance against his former club, and made a number of probing runs in the midfield.
Earlier, a large crowd filled in the university stadium, with strong support for the visiting KwaZulu-Natal team.
Both teams struggled to find their rhythm in the early exchanges as the mid-season break seemed to affect their fluency.
Tension broke out in the seventh minute with Wits old-boy and current Maritzburg midfielder Morton at the centre of a scuffle.
The home team struggled to land passes and often tried long balls up field to little effect.
The 20th minute provided the first meaningful attack for Wits on the Maritzburg goal. Clever Boys captain Sipho Mngomezulu ran into space up the right, and was allowed to whip a cross into the area but could not find another Wits player.
Wits striker Ryan Chapman was closely marked and did not see much of the ball, as the home team's main attack was stifled.
Wits came close to scoring in the 33rd minute, when a fast Wits attack on the left saw Mngomezulu have a shot saved from close range.
Maritzburg have yet to win away from home this season, recording five draws and three losses from eight matches on the road.