Saturday Feb 24, 2018. 22:31
AmaZulu walked away with a point when they drew 0-0 against Free State Stars in the Absa Premiership on Saturday night at Goble Park Stadium.
The draw sees the Durban-based side placed at number 10 on the log standings with 27 points with 22 games played.
Resulting from a high-paced start, Siyabonga Mbatha was called to action to deny Sinethemba Jantjie and Siphelele Mthembu in the box after a brilliant attack from the hosts after 15 minutes.
Usuthu were awarded a set piece when Paulus Masehe committed a foul on the edge of the area in the 29th minute, but the curling set piece went straight to Ali Sangare’s hands.
The hosts exchanged good passes on the stroke of half-time and Maxime Cosse set up Nyiko Mobbie, yet the former saw his well-struck effort sailing inches wide.
Despite all the efforts to break the deadlock from both camps, there were no goals at half time in Bethlehem.
However, it was Ea Lla Koto that came out guns blazing in the second half and Nhlanhla Vilakazi saw his brilliant low shot going wide in the 52nd minute.
Two minutes later, Harris Tchilimbou would make a wonderful turn in the box and unleashed a shot aiming for the near post, but was unable to beat Mbatha, who punched the ball away for a corner.
Simphiwe Lumkwana also tried a long range effort in the 60th minute after turning his opponent, but the effort could not trouble Sangare, as it went wide.
Cavin Johnson introduced Rhulani Manzini for Camaldine Abraw upfront, Stars gave the substitute space to manoeuvre and his goal-bound shot was punched away by Sangare in the last 10 minutes.
Luc Eymael’s men looked threatening in injury time, but substitute Mohammed Anas would see his shot saved by Mbatha and the keeper was alert to produce a second save from a rebound.
Despite the draw, Stars move up to number four on the table with 34 points and are left with eight matches in their season.
Free State Stars 0
Stars: Sangare, Masehe, Mobbie, Mahamutsa, Keita, Phungwayo, Vilakazi (Dlamini 85’), Tchilimbou, Cosse, Jantjie (Maphakisa 64’), Mthembu (Anas 76’)
AmaZulu: Mbatha, Mabiliso (P. Gumede 70’), M. Gumede, Nyongo, Ouro-Akoriko, Darpoh, Mnguni, Karuru, Lumkwana, Nomvethe (Ncobeni 84’), Abraw (Manzini 66’)