With both KwaZulu-Natal sides fresh from midweek losses, AmaZulu hosted Maritzburg United at King Zwelithini Stadium on Sunday afternoon in the KZN derby and were locked in a 0-0 draw.
The hosts were on the losing side in their away encounter to the reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions, Mamelodi Sundowns in Tshwane and were gunning for a win in front of their home crowd.
On the part of the Team of Choice, Eric Tinkler was looking to guide his troops to a victory as they saw their winning run halted by SuperSport United last week.
Coach Jozef Vukusic’s men were without goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha who remains sidelined after sustaining an injury against Sundowns on Tuesday night.
As early as the third minute, the visitors had a good start when Keagan Buchanan delivered a cross in search of Bongokuhle Hlongwane, but his header went wide failing to trouble Neil Boshoff on the near post.
It was an evenly contested game between the KZN giants as both sides have had chances but the score remained deadlocked after 20 minutes of action.
Eight minutes later, Siyethemba Sithebe unleashed a rocket from the edge of the penalty area but it went wide of the right of Richard Ofori’s post.
Although the two sides fought harder for an early goal in the opening stanza, the scores remained deadlocked at the interval.
Upon their resumption from the tunnel, the two outfits could not create clear cut chances in front of goal where they both exchanged fouls in the heart of the park resulting from Sithebe receiving a caution in the 48th minute.
Just after the hour mark, the visitors had a glorious opportunity, Deon Mekoa picked up Thabiso Kutumela but the striker’s control let him down as his effort was blocked.
As they were running against time, Judas Moseamedi controlled the ball in a good area but failed to beat Boshoff who collected easily in the final eight minutes.
In the wake of the draw, the 2019/20 Telkom Knockout Cup finalists are placed at number 10 position with 14 points and Usuthu occupies 15th spot with 12 points from 13 games.