PSL- Cape Town City and Maritzburg United played out a goalless stalemate in their DStv Premiership match at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The result sees the Citizens remain in seventh place, and they need one win from their last two matches to guarantee a top-eight finish. As for the Team of Choice, they move up to 12th place – leapfrogging Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila on goal difference – but find themselves just four points clear of the relegation playoff zone.
City started the stronger of the two teams and spurned two good chances in the opening quarter hour: first Fagrie Lakay had a free header from a corner kick but put his effort off target, before Thabo Nodada did great work to tee up Aubrey Ngoma for a shot from the edge of the box, with the ball flashing just wide of goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt’s left-hand post.
United started to find their attacking rhythm as the game wore on, with runners from midfield such as Daylon Claasen and Phumlani Ntshangase more than willing to get forward in support of Judas Moseamedi and Thabiso Kutumela.
Yet chances to truly test City ‘keeper Peter Leeuwenburgh were few and far between, with centre-backs Keanu Cupido and Taariq Fielies doing great work to shield their last line of defence.
The halftime interval arrived with the teams locked at 0-0 – little surprise given the fierce midfield battle which kept the action to a minimum at either end of the field.
Maritzburg opted for a change in attack at the start of the second half, with Moseamedi making way for Thobeka Zondi. The visiting team had a few promising moments, but again found City’s defence an immovable object.
The battle of attrition continued through the second stanza, but the Team of Choice were dealt a major blow on 68 minutes when defender Fares Hachi picked up his second yellow card for a late challenge on Thabo Nodada. His dismissal left the away side with 10 men for the remaining quarter of the game.
With a numerical advantage, the Cape team dominated possession and territory up the final whistle but found Maritzburg’s defence equally resilient to their own – though a lack of precision and composure in the final third certainly did not help City’s hopes of snatching all three points.
The teams will return to DStv Premiership action on June 2, with City at home to Black Leopards and Maritzburg visiting SuperSport United.
Cape Town City 0 Maritzburg United 0
City: Leeuwenburgh, Martin, Cupido, Fielies, Mashego, Makola, Mokeke (Ajagun 88’), Mdantsane, Nodada, Ngoma (Ralani 57’), Lakay
Maritzburg: Engelhardt, Rae, Daniels, Hachi, Stevic (Ismail 84’), Ntshangase, Claasen (Shandu 89’), Graham, Tlolane, Moseamedi (Zondi 46’ [Morgan 70’]), Kutumela