Absa Premiership

Maritzburg and Wits struggles continue

2017-11-25 19:10
Bevan Fransman (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Maritzburg United and Wits continued their Absa Premiership struggles with a 0-0 draw at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday afternoon. 

For the hosts, it was the eighth match without a goal as their drought continued, although Bevan Fransman did strike the crossbar midway through the opening half. 

The visitors also hit the woodwork through Eleazar Rodgers in the 67th minute, but they extended their winless run in the league to three games. 

But the point was enough to lift them off the bottom, a remarkably poor position for the defending champions. The Team of Choice moved up two spots to 11th.  

The first chance of the game fell the way of Wits, but Gerald Phiri’s free-kick from a promising position on the edge of the box was hacked over. 

Maritzburg’s first chance was after 13 minutes when Bevan Fransman’s hopeful punt from inside his own half had to be watchfully pushed over by Darren Keet as the ball dipped late. 

The United defender had another big chance in the 22nd minute when his powerful header was deflected upwards onto the crossbar via the head of Steven Pienaar as it remained scoreless. 

The visitors had a chance to take the lead a minute later when Daine Klate was played into acres of space on the left, but after teeing up the shot, the ball flew inches over. 

Bandile Shandu then squandered a chance after he was put in space and ended up dragging a tame shot wide. 

Before the break, Mxolisi Kunene tried his luck from range with the ball sailing over leaving the score deadlocked at the break. 

There was a bright start to the second half with good chances for Evans Rusike and Yazid Atouba.

First, it was the latter that forced Keet into the first big save of the match – throwing himself to his left – from the Cameroonian’s volley, before Zimbabwean Rusike shot over from the right with plenty of time on his side. 

At the other then, Thulani Hlatshwayo forced Richard Ofori into his first save with his header parried wide. 

There was a big chance for the Students in the 67th minute when Eleazar Rodgers came within centimetres of breaking the deadlock, only for his header from a Vincent Pule cross on the left to hit the upright and go wide. 

Moments later Thabang Monare drew another flying save from Ofori with his curling effort from just outside the box excellently caught by the big Ghanaian. 

Phiri then hit a bullet of a shot that whisked over – the visitors edging closer and closer. 

However, nothing ended up coming as the match ended in a stalemate.

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Fixtures
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Free State Stars v SuperSport United, Goble Park 19:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Friday, 15 December 2017
Cape Town City FC v AmaZulu FC, Cape Town Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Polokwane City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates, Goble Park 18:00
Wits v Platinum Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:15
Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
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