Result: AmaZulu 0-0 Maritzburg United
Date: 01 December 2019
Venue: King Zwelithini Stadium
The KwaZulu-Natal derby could not produce the goals on Sunday as AmaZulu and Maritzburg United played to a goalless draw at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
Usuthu boss Jozef Vukusic made wholesale changes to the side that narrowly lost to Mamelodi Sundowns, with only Mario Booysen, Michael Morton, Sphesihle Maduna, Siyethemba Sithebe and Bonginkosi Ntuli keeping their places in the starting team, while Neil Boshoff replaced the injured Siyabonga Mbatha in goal.
Maritzburg mentor Eric Tinkler also made a few changes of his own from the loss to SuperSport United, with Kwanda Mngonyama, Mxolisi Kunene and Keagan Buchanan being installed back to the Maritzburg line-up.
The sides were going at each other with a lot of pace in the early stages, with AmaZulu going the closest to breaking the deadlock in 27th minute after Sithebe unleashed a left-footed low drive from range that sailed inches wide of the corner.
Usuthu missed another chance to go ahead five minutes later after goalkeeper Richard Ofori's scuffed clearance from a back pass by Mngonyama fell to Ovidy Kakuru in the centre of the box but the Zimbabwean international could not capitalise.
The Team of Choice's best chance came on the stroke of half-time after Buchanan was given time to unleashing curling strike from just outside the box, but the midfielder's effort sailed just wide.
The sides were struggling to break each other down early in the second stanza, which prompted Tinkler to bring on Thabiso Kutumela in place of Bongokuhle Hlongwane towards the hour-mark, while Deolin Mekoa replaced Daylon Claasena few minutes later for fresh legs in midfield.
With the Team of Choice chasing the game, Vukusic was seemingly content with a point as he brought on defender Thembela Sikhakhane for Jabulani Ncobeni to add numbers in defence.
Maritzburg almost snatched a late winner five minutes before time after Kutumela went clear on the right side but Boshoff made a crucial save with his legs at the near post as the end the sides shared the spoils.
Here's how they lined up:
AmaZulu: Boshoff, 4. Morton, 29. Mabiliso, 27. Xoki, 18. Booysen, 34. Maduna, 6. Ncube, 10. Sithebe, 11. Karuru, 8. Ncobeni, 7. Ntuli.
Subs: 16. Josephs, 24. Sikhakhane, 17. M.Gumede, Khumalo, 50. Vilakazi, Ngubane, 20. Majoro.
Maritzburg: 31. Ofori, 45. Mngonyama, 36. Kunene, 3. Sanoka, 23. De Reuck, 4. Allie, 8. Buchanan, 14. Claasen, 21. Hlongwane, 15. Timm, 19. Moseamedi.
Subs: 30. Mpandle, 26. Shandu, Nyoni, 29. Mekoa, 10. Brockie, 7. Kutumela, 26. Sangweni.