Arrows, Sekhukhune play out goalless stalemate

Golden Arrows and Sekhukhune United played out a goalless stalemate in their DStv Premiership clash at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The two teams have only a point separating them on the log – Abafana Bes’thende are ninth with 32 points, Babina Noko 10th with 31 points – and played out a 1-1 draw when they first met back in September 2021, so an evenly-matched encounter was no surprise.

Arrows will be relieved at avoiding a third straight loss and a return to defensive strength after suffering a 6-0 mauling at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns in their prior outing, while Sekhukhune have stretched their winless run in the league to seven games (with only one win from their last 13 games across all competitions).

Sekhukhune looked to be the more threatening team in the early stages, with Rodrick Kabwe almost scoring in the ninth minute when he got on the end of a corner kick from Seth Parusnath and put a header just over the target.

Arrows, though, soon found their attacking rhythm and began calling Sekhukhune goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata into action.

The Zambian made a fine save on 13 minutes, adjusting well to keep out a deflected shot from Pule Mmodi, while the 20th minute saw him deny both Nduduzo Sibiya and Saziwo Magawana – the latter was causing all kinds of trouble with his elusive movement.

Magawana had the last notable chance of the first half, meeting a cross from Themba Mantshiyane and heading back across goal, only to see his effort drop just over the top of the crossbar on 43 minutes, leaving the score at 0-0 heading into the interval.

The start of the second half saw Babina Noko reinforce their midfield with the introduction of veteran Willard Katsande, who immediately brought a ruggedness to the midfield battle.

Abafana Bes’thende’s first substitute was Siboniso Conco, who missed out on a great chance to break the deadlock just after the hour mark, shooting into the side netting from a tight angle when he should have squared instead for an unmarked Mmodi.

The hosts threatened again midway through the second half when Sibiya drilled a low shot from the edge of the box which skipped just wide of Nsabata’s right-hand post.

Arrows continued to look likelier scorers through to the end of the match, but Sekhukhune were able to hold out – and offer a sporadic threat on the counter attack – to see the game ended goalless.

Sekhukhune will return to DStv Premiership action on Tuesday 3 May a home match against Mamelodi Sundowns, while Arrows will face Baroka FC away the following day.

Golden Arrows 0

Sekhukhune United 0

Golden Arrows:Mlungwana, Ndlovu, Zuke, Nxadi, Mantshiyane, L. Dube, Sibiya, Ndwandwe, Magawana (Conco 53’), Mmodi, M. Gumede (Mutizwa 75’)

Sekhukhune United:Nsabata, Mobbie, Gyimah, Motsepe, Madonsela, Mncube (Sithole 72’), Maart, Parusnath (Shonga 81’), Kabwe, Patjie (Katsande 46’), Ohizu (Mashumba 72’)