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Maritzburg United and Swallows FC share the points after stalemate

Durban — Maritzburg United and Swallows FC cancelled each other out as they played to a goalless stalemate at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night.

A raging John Maduka expressed great disappointment in a number of his players’ individual performances in their last game, and that resulted in six changes to the side that lost 3-0 to Kaizer Chiefs earlier in the week.

The visitors had Musa Nyatama taking charge of the team as head coach Dylan Kerr awaits his work permit. On loan Chiefs man Darrell Matsheke made his full debut in the heart of midfield alongside Givemore Khuphe.

A large majority of the first half belonged to the home side as a wild reception under the lights in the Midlands spurred them on and unsettled the opposition.

The Team of Choice exemplified the known principles of what a John Maduka side has displayed in the past, precise passing, confidence in possession and total dominance of the ball at a high tempo, DR Congo international Karim Kimvuidi at the heart of it.

The 20 year old midfield dynamo presented danger to the Swallows defence in the tight areas while Lelethu Skelem looked the most promising to find a breakthrough for his side.

The former Stellenbosch attacker had his shot from a tight angle parried out for a corner after he deceived the defender with a smart turn and quick fire shot just inside the box.

Maritzburg haven’t made the best of starts to the new season and had to find their feet quickly if they are to avoid being a part of the relegation conversation like the previous season.

The Dube Birds themselves would’ve needed a stern talking to at the break as they presented very little to trouble Maritzburg, their best chance easily gathered by King Ndlovu after a glancing header by Sboniso Mtshali.

The second half proceedings weren’t too different from the opening stanza, Maritzburg pushing for that all important goal at home and perhaps should’ve found it through Skelem in the 69th minute.

The 24 year old forward spurned the chance of the match when he placed his effort way over the bar with the goalkeeper nowhere to be found.

The two sides made numerous alterations in terms of playing personal in the latter stages of the match but none could find the breakthrough, in the end the two sides cancelling each other out.

Maritzburg will have another opportunity to try and claim their first win when they travel to Cape Town City next while Swallows welcome a tricky AmaZulu outfit to Dobsonville.

@SmisoMsomi

IOL Sport

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