City and Chiefs fail to inspire in DStv Premiership stalemate

City and Chiefs fail to inspire in DStv Premiership stalemate

There were no goals and not much to shout about for a capacity crowd at Athlone Stadium.

Kaizer Chiefs and Cape Town City failed to do justice to a glorious sunny Saturday afternoon and a capacity crowd at Athlone Stadium, playing out an uninspiring DStv Premiership goalless draw.

It was perplexing, given his side’s lack of cutting edge, that it took Chiefs head coach Cavin Johnson until the last few minutes to bring on Christian Saile and Ranga Chivaviro to try and add some spark to his attack.

Amakhosi had their share of chances in the first half, but after young striker Wandile Duba slid a shot wide five minutes into the second half, they lost their way.

Eric Tinkler’s City had slightly the better of the first half, Darwin Gonzalez hammering the woodwork, but they also faded as the game went on.

Cavin Johnson restored Duba to the starting line-up, and also gave a first league start since November to Mduduzi Shabalala, the 20 year-old slotting into a midfield three alongside Siyethemba Sithebe and Sibongiseni Mthethwa, with Yusuf Maart and Edson Castillo both suspended.

Cape Town City head coach Eric Tinkler brought Gonzalez back on the left wing, as the Venezuelan returned from injury for his first game since Feburary 17. 24 year-old Namibian Aprocius Petrus, meanwhile, was handed his City debut at right back, while Khanyisa Mayo was also in from the start after returning from international duty with Bafana Bafana

Sithebe was heavily involved in the early stages, making only his second league appearance of the season. The dreadlocked midfielder failed to get proper connection on a far post free kick and then released Duba with a sublime through pass.

Duba, however, sent a poor shot over the bar.

Gonzalez nearly opened the scoring for City in the 11th minute, his rasping effort canoning back off the post, before Sithebe slotted another good pass to Ashley Du Preez, but his effort was neither a shot nor a cross, and went wide.

Sithebe should have opened the scoring when Du Preez found him from a corner completely unmarked, but his shot didn’t have enough power and Darren Keet saved.

Petrus was having a solid game on debut and almost lit up the occasion with a magical goal as he strode forward on the half hour mark and hit a piledriver that Bruce Bvuma did well to tip over.

City defender Lorenzo Gordinho then got forward to flick on a long throw, and Gonzales got another shot away, but this time Bvuma saved easily.

Swift counter

Chiefs nearly struck with a swift counter less than five minutes in to the second half, as Duba burst forward at speed, but his shot flashed agonisingly wide.

At the other end, Gonzalez really should have done better than put a cross from the byline straight into the grateful arms of Bvuma.

Shabalala then nearly released Du Preez with an excellent volleyed pass but Keet anticipated well, before Mthethwa was booked for clattering into Thabo Nodada.

A tired-looking Mayo was taken off by Tinkler on the hour mark, with Jody Ah Shene getting his senior debut for City after some superb displays in the DStv Diski Challenge.

Mthethwa’s challenge on Nodada unfortunately left the latter unable to continue, and he was soon replaced by Luyolo Slatsha.

Chiefs brought on Mduduzi Mdantsane and Dillon Solomons, as well as Chivaviro and Saile at the death, but nothing and no one could break the deadlock.

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