Absa Premiership

Ten-man Maritzburg frustrate Amakhosi

Siphiwe Tshabalala (Gallo Images)
Siphiwe Tshabalala (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Maritzburg United held Kaizer Chiefs to a goalless draw at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday evening, despite being a man down for almost the entire game

As it happened: Maritzburg United v Kaizer Chiefs

The Team of Choice picked up their first point of the Premiership campaign in a hard-fought encounter, with Siphesihle Ndlovu having been shown a straight red card after 13 minutes.

Amakhosi could not make their extra man count as their winless start to the 2018/19 season under Giovanni Solinas continued.

In front of a full house the hosts flew out of the starting blocks and created the first scoring opportunity of the game as early as the ninth minute.

Deolin Mekoa raced down the left wing before firing a cross in towards Bandile Shandu, who controlled it well but fired wide of the target.

Minutes later, Fadlu Davids' side were reduced to 10 men as Ndlovu was given his marching orders for a lunging tackle on Siyabonga Ngezana.

The dismissal didn't stop them from attacking. In the 15th minute, Itumeleng Khune was almost called into action as Mekoa's left-footed volley went inches wide of goal.

In the 20th minute, Chiefs enjoyed the best opening of the game yet. A lively Siphelele Ntshangase produced a brilliantly weighted pass for Kabelo Mahlasela, who put in a measured cross into Khama Billiat but he scuffed his shot from just six yards out.

The visitors were now doing all the pressing and Leonardo Castro almost brought the match to life with an audacious volley, although Siyanda Xulu was alert to the danger and did well to block the shot.

Chiefs began the second half eager to capitalize on their numerical advantage. Just passed the hour mark, Ntshangase took the initiative and ran at the defence before unleashing a powerful drive from outside the box that flashed over the crossbar.

They were enjoying the majority of the possession but United remained resolute, restricting them to long-range efforts.

The Glamour Boys had another half-chance in the 70th minute through Daniel Cardoso, who carried the ball out of defence and was allowed to shoot, but his effort also flew over the goal.

With just a few minutes to go, second-half substitute Siphiwe Tshabalala found space in the box and fired at goal, drawing a good save from Richard Ofori, who could not hold onto it but luckily for the Ghanaian keeper, his defence managed to clear the ball to safety.

It was the last bit of real goal-mouth action as the Soweto giants had to settle for a share of the spoils.