AmaZulu, Tuks in goalless draw

AmaZulu and the University of Pretoria played to a goalless draw in an Absa Premiership encounter at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The draw virtually ends AmaTuks chances of finishing in the top eight while Usuthu move up to seventh place on the log and subsequently move a step closer to securing a top half finish for the first time in five years.

Marc van Heerden and Khulegani Madondo returned to the starting XI for the hosts after serving suspension.

Siyabonga Ngubane returned for AmaTuks while Lucky Mathosi was handed a rare start after Geofrey Massa had to pull out due to injury.

The best chances of the first half fell to Bongani Ndulula in the fifth minute.

Van Heerden's free-kick fell favourable for the sturdy striker, but Ndulula seemed to be caught by surprise that the ball landed at his feet and scuffed his resulting effort wide of Washington Arubi's left-hand upright.

The hosts bossed the early exchanges but as the half grew on the visitors started to find their rhythm and threatened Usuthu's goal more regularly in what was a fiercely contested opening half.

Thabo Mosadi and Grant Kekana went close, but Lucky Mathosi probably should've given Tuks the lead on the cusp of halftime.

Mosadi's perfectly weighted cross floated invitingly into the path of the lanky striker, but he completely miss timed his jump and saw the ball fly past his head with the goal at his mercy.

AmaZulu, who were looking to consolidate their place in the top eight for only the second time in the past 20 years, would've been disappointed with their efforts in the opening stanza as the teams headed for the changing rooms at the break.

Mathosi made way for Thabo Mnyamane at the start of the second-half as Steve Barker pushed for the three points that will keep their hopes alive of a top eight finish.

It was a livelier second half to the game, but neither side found could manage to break down the opposition defence.

Ruzaigh Gamildien's introduction in the 69th minute almost reaped immediate rewards with first Ndulula and then Goodman Dlamini going close.

Ndulula again failed to capitalise from close range for Gamildien set-up Dlamini who's powerful effort skimmed the top of Arubis crossbar.

Chances were few and far between in the closing exchanges as the teams settled for a point apiece.

Tuks remain in danger after Polokwane City managed to oust Mpumalanga Black Aces in a simultaneous kick-off, while AmaZulu climbed above Platinum Stars and into seventh.

AmaZulu: Zikalala; Macala, Nyadombo, Teyise, van Heerden, A. Dlamini, Madondo (Gamildien 69'), Arwuah, Manqana (Mthiyane 70'), G. Dlamini, Ndulula (Nguzana 76')

Tuks: Arubi; Kekana, Shoyisa, Mkhwanazi, Sibande, Ketjijere, Matsi, Mosadi, Ngubane (Monama 78' (Zwane 88')), Nyondo, Mathosi (Mnyamane 46')