TEAM OF CHOICE FRUSTRATED BY BIRDS IN HOME DRAW
12 August, 2022
Maritzburg United were forced to settle for a point after playing to a 0-0 DStv Premiership draw against Swallows FC at a near-to-capacity Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.
The Blue Army were in full voice in the stands all evening long, but although the hosts made a lot of the play, they just couldn't unlock the visitors' defence.
From the kickoff, Maritzburg dictated the tempo, showing excellent levels of intense energy and focus.
There was nearly a goal for the home side when some lovely interplay in the 14th minute between Karim Kimvuidi and Bongani Sam saw the latter narowlly failing to pick out Lelethu Skelem in front of goal.
Skelem was making life difficult for the Swallows defence and after a sharp turn on the half hour mark, he managed to fire in a near post shot which drew a good save from Thakasani Mbanjwa.
At the other end, Team of Choice keeper King Ndlovu had his first real work of the half in the 43rd minute, making an excellent diving save to keep out Siboniso Mtshali's header from a cross.
Maritzburg kept up the pressure after the restart and after a lung-busting run from Sam in the 68th minute, the ball was worked to Skelem. But with the goal at his mercy, the home striker fired over the bar.
For a while the Johannesburg side managed to create some openings of their own, although Ndlovu remained largely untested. And the KwaZulu-Natal capital city side were soon back on the front-foot themselves as their fans in the packed stands urged them forwards.
But there were no more clear chances for a winner as Swallows defended resolutely.
Starting XI: Ndlovu, Theron, Makume, Moloisane, Hlongwa, Sam, Mashikinya, Palace, Conco, Karim, Skelem
Subs: Macheke, Samu, Human, Monamodi, Njoti, Masia, Baloyi, Van der Ross