Maritzburg, Usuthu fire blanks in derby


AmaZulu and Maritzburg United played out a goalless draw in a DStv Premiership clash in the KwaZulu-Natal derby on Sunday afternoon.

Tsepo Masilela, Lehlohonolo Majoro and Luvuyo Memela made a welcome return for Usuthu, as United coach Ernst Middendorp named an unchanged eleven from the win over Kaizer Chiefs last Saturday.

AmaZulu were under early pressure when a low shot from outside the centre of the area by Thabiso Kutumela saw goalkeeper Veli Mothwa drop to the ground to make a save.

More positive play from Maritzburg conjured up shortly after the half-hour mark through amongst others Judas Moseamedi and a threatening free-kick from Kutumela.

An uncertain bit of defending from Usuthu a little later presented a clear opening for Moseamedi, who after running goal-wards, squandered the chance with a wayward attempt.

AmaZulu managed to come alive in the last five minutes of the first half when a low shot inside the area from Majoro cannoned off the post following a cut-back from Siyethemba Sithebe.

The Team of Choice resonded with a double substitution at halftime in Daniel Morgan who replaced Fares Hachi and Daylon Claasen making way for Rushine De Reuck.

Majoro managed to get on the end of another big chance for Usuthu two minutes from the break, but Maritzburg goalkeeper Jethren Barr stood equal to the task.

AmaZulu continued to enjoy more of the all-round play midway in the second half, but were undone by ill-timed decision making up front as Maritzburg battled to get into gear.

There were chances either side late on through a speculative shot from Jose Ali Meza before Barr denied Tapelo Xoki and Augustine Mulenga, as the clash concluded all square.

Confirmed line-ups:

AmaZulu: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Masilela, Mzava, Xoki, Makhaula, Sithembe, Mlambo,  Memela, Majoro, Mulenga.

Subs: Mbatha, Gumede, Mabiliso, Chawapiwa, Sandile, Khumalo, Maduna, Ntuli, Mthembu.

Maritzburg: Barr, Allie, Ismail, Hachi, Kutumela, Graham, Buchanan, Shandu, Claasen, Moseamedi.

Subs: Mpandle, De Reuck, Sanoka, Mngonyama, Modise, Hlongwane, Meza, Tlolane, Morgan.