Maritzburg United picked up a valuable point on the road in a 0-0 draw with Chippa United, in a 2021/22 DStv Premiership match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
As a result, the Chilli Boys remain a single place (14th) above the relegation zone while the Team of Choice occupy 10th spot on the league standings, heading into the international break.
Chippa did most of the attacking from the first whistle and Marcel Engelhardt was the busier of the two goalkeepers, with the hosts keen to end their four-match run without scoring.
The German shot-stopper pulled off two good saves to deny Chippa’s Cameroonian centre forward Bienvenu Eva Nga, who was hungry to open his scoring account for the current season.
Maritzburg were forced to make an early change when their throw-in specialist Ryan Rae went down injured, and he was replaced by a defender Riyaaz Ismail on the half-hour mark.
The Team of Choice were then able to contain the Chilli Boys and the score was 0-0 at the interval with Chippa having dominated the first-half without taking their chances.
The visitors started the second-half on the front foot as they searched for the opening goal with coach Ernst Middendorp having introduced former Black Leopards playmaker Lefa Hlongwane.
Hlongwane, who was determined to make an impact, unleashed a thunderous shot that went just over the crossbar after he was set up by his fellow substitute Ismail on the hour-mark.
The Team of Choice pushed for a late winning goal in the latter stages of the match with Ismail firing straight at keeper Ayanda Mtshali, who made a comfortable save after the Chippa defence was exposed.
Ultimately, the match ended in a 0-0 draw as pressure continues to mount on Chippa head coach Gavin Hunt, whose team is now winless in nine matches in the league.
Chippa United 0
Maritzburg United 0
CHIPPA UNITED: Mtshali, Mthethwa, Hanamub, Pietersen, Mdunyelwa (Zulu 68′), Mkhize, Mdlinzo (Lentjies 79′), Ngele (Sekotlong 68′), Mokhele, Eva Nga (Dickens 79′), Lebitso.
MARITZBURG UNITED: Engelhardt, Ndengane, Allie, Rae (Ismail 30′), Theron, Claasen (Hlongwane 46′), Ntshangase, Kewuti, Graham, Hlongwane, Soukouna.
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