On a challenging pitch, the home team were to control large portion of the possession in the first half, although it was Maritzburg who created all the clearcut goal-scoring chances. The Pietermaritzburg side also looked the more likely to score in the second stanza, but just couldn’t get the ball in the net.
The first opportunity was to arise in the ninth minute when Mxolisi Kunene whipped in a cross for Gabriel Nyoni, but the Chilli Boys defence was able to scramble the ball clear.
Around the half hour mark, some good opportunities came the way of Maritzburg from a quick succession of corners.
However, on the first occasion Judas Moseamedi’s header was kept out by Chippa keeper Veli Mothwa, who then also denied Pogiso Sanoka from the resultant corner.
The visitors were getting stronger as the first half progressed and were inches away from scoring when Moseamedi chested down Kunene’s cross into the path of Daylon Claasen, whose curling effort missed finding the top corner by the narrowest of margins.
There was an anxious moment for the Team of Choice 10 minutes into the second half when Augustine Kwem nearly stole the ball in their box, but Nazeer Allie read the situation superbly to bail his side out.
Maritzburg though were playing some excellent football as they continued to pose problems for the Chilli Boys defence and they were very unlucky not to score on the hour mark when Nyoni’s header struck the inside of the post and bounced back into play.
From the resultant corner the ball again fell to Nyoni, but from a tight angle he dragged his shot inches wide of the far post.
The Team of Choice remained on the front foot, showing fantastic energy levels on a wet and heavy playing surface.
There were a couple more opportunities, including an 86th minute chance for Jeremy Brockie, but he miscued his shot wide.
Sanoka then looked set to score with a header a few minutes later, but he was unfortunate to see the goal-bound effort hitting a defender.
Chippa: Mothwa, Modisane, Thopola, Moyo, Malepe, Mahola, Maziya, Rakhale, Maphangule, Sekotlong, Kwem
Subs: Mazibuko, Maarman, Lentjies, Maphanga, Nsabiyumva, Mthethwa, Lebitso
Maritzburg: Mpandle, Kunene, Sanoka, De Reuck, Allie, Timm, Buchanan, Claasen, Nyoni, Augusto, Moseamedi
Subs: Ofori, Mngonyama, Kutumela, Jappie, Brockie, Shandu, Morgan
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