Mhlengi Cele of AmaZulu challenged by Daniel Cardoso of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on 17 March 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Saturday Mar 17, 2018. 20:02
Kaizer Chiefs’ Absa Premiership title hopes were dealt a huge blow when they drew 0-0 against AmaZulu on Saturday night at FNB Stadium.
The dull draw sees the Soweto giants placed at the fifth spot after 24 matches with with 36 points.
Cavin Johnson's troops were the better side in the opening five minutes, but Chiefs showed their quality after 10 minutes as Leonardo Castro’s header sailed wide from a set piece.
Energy Murambadoro was the busiest of the two goalkeepers as he collected aerial balls floated in through Siphiwe Tshabalala’s left foot.
Amakhosi thought they scored when Teenage Hadebe’s header was blocked by Murambadoro in the 32nd minute, the keeper punched the ball and it hit the post to return back to action.
Usuthu’s Siyethemba Mnguni nearly beat Itumeleng Khune from range with a half volley, the well-struck effort sailed wide with seven minutes left to the interval.
The two sides were deadlocked at the end of the first stanza.
The return from the tunnel saw both sides pushing for a goal and an unmarked Ovidy Karuru came close to scoring against his former team when his shot went wide in the 56th minute.
Cavin Johnson’s men improved their attack after an hour and Mnguni's powerful shot from the edge of the area produced a superb save from Khune.
The introduction of Ryan Moon, Siphelele Ntshangase and Hendrik Ekstein renewed Chiefs’ energy, yet they could not beat Murambadoro as Willard Katsande’s header went wide in the 76th minute.
Despite getting more pressure from Steve Komphela’s men, the visitors remained solid at the back and Tapelo Nyongo’s header nearly beat Khune in the 89th minute.
Resulting from this draw, Usuthu now have 28 points at number 11 from 24 league matches.
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Chiefs: Khune, Cardoso, Mphahlele, Hadebe, Zulu (Ntshangase 64’), Molangoane, Katsande, Meyiwa (Ekstein 49’), Tshabalala, Parker (Moon 51’), Castro
AmaZulu: Murambadoro, Sikhakhane, Mabiliso (Lumnkwana 76’), P. Gumede (Nyongo 86’), M. Gumede, Ouro Akoriko, Ncube, Mnguni, Cele, Karuru, Khenyeza (Ncobeni 69’)