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