In a match where scoring chances were hard to come by, the defences certainly had the upper hand and it was no surprise when the referee’s final whistle confirmed a 0-0 draw.
The first real chance of the game came in the way of Prince Olomu, who went close with a screamer, but Shu-Aib Walters pulled off a class save when he parried the shot away for a corner in the 11th minute.
Maritzburg had a slight edge over the visitors, but were stopped on their tracks by Celtic’s defence before they could even enter their opponent’s danger zone.
However, Rudolf Bester managed a long range shot in the 22nd minute but found Patrick Tignyemb equal to the task.
United’s best effort came from Gert Schalkwyk but his shot went over the crossbar.
At this stage, both teams looked dangerous on a few raids they launched, but it was a game of mixed fortunes as they squandered golden chances right through the first half.
The tension was so thick in the second half as both sides searched for a goal, but it was a matter of so close yet so far.
Now resolute and disciplined in the second half, Maritzburg were more impressive as they continued to frustrate Celtic.
The hosts were hell-bent on destroying their opponents and needed a touch of class to decide the game, but despite having the upper hand and more chances, they failed to get the better of Celtic, who worked tirelessly to at least salvage a draw away from home.
Even the introduction of Fadlu Davids, Musa Nyatama and Rheece Evans in the second half still couldn’t bring a change in the game, and the results means Maritzburg United have only managed to collect two points in their last four games.
Coming into this game, the coastal side had lost to Arrows 3-0 and Chiefs 3-1, before playing a one-all draw with AmaZulu.
While it was far from vintage stuff, it was a case of job done for Ernst Middendorp going into their next game against Moroka Swallows next week on Saturday at Dobsonville Stadium.