AmaZulu, Ajax open with goalless draw

AmaZulu and Ajax Cape Town had to settle for a share of the spoils when their Absa Premiership encounter ended in a 0-0 draw at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Urban Warriors ended the match with one man less following the late sending off of captain Nazeer Allie, but managed to do enough to secure a valuable point away from home.

The visitors had the early opportunity in the fifth minute when Clifford Mulenga’s cross found Tashreeq Morris at the far post, but the forward sent his tame header straight at AmaZulu goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini.

Usuthu started to dominate proceedings and created their first real chance in the 10th minute when Bonginkosi Macala broke through on the left flank before squaring the ball towards Philani Shange, but his goalbound effort was blocked by Cecil Lolo.

Shange continued to cause problems for the Urban Warriors coming off the right flank, but his side were unable to capitalise as the two sides were inseparable on the half-hour mark.

Usuthu were forced to make a substitution in the 32nd minute with Tshepo Liphoko replacing the injured Nkosinathi Mthiyane but it was the visitors who almost broke the deadlock moments later with Thabiso Nkoana firing a low shot just wide of the upright.

AmaZulu had an even better opening at the other end seven minutes later when Shange ran onto the right side of the box before setting up Macala with a neat backheel, but the fullback sent his shot crashing against the sidenetting.

The first part of the second half saw little in the way of goalmouth action but it was the home side who should have taken the lead in the 71st minute when a cross from Macala found Ruzaigh Gamildien unmarked at the far post but he sent his header over the crossbar.

The Urban Warriors also had an opportunity to steal maximum points in the 86th minute when a long pass was flicked towards Keagan Dolly in the box but he rushed his volley over the crossbar.

Roger De Sa’s side were then reduced to ten men in the 88th minute as Allie was shown his second yellow card and they were almost punished in added time when Gamildien got onto the end of a low cross from Shange, but his effort was pushed wide by Anssi Jaakkola as the match ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

AmaZulu: Kapini, Macala, van Heerden, Nyadombo, Mwedihanga, Madondo, Shabalala, Gamildien, Shange, Mthiyane (Liphoko 32’), Ndulula (Dlamini M 70’)

Ajax: Jaakkola, Lolo, Allie, Coetzee, Lebusa, Scott, Morris, Graham, Nkoana (Paulse 79’), Dolly, Mulenga (Mobara 72’)