Arch Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates were foiled by the woodwork as they drew 0-0 Saturday in a predictable outcome to the South African Premiership clash. It was the fourth consecutive league stalemate between the biggest football drawcards in the republic and the seventh draw in the last 11 Soweto derbies.
Few chances between Chiefs and Pirates
Clearcut chances were scarce before a 70,000 crowd at Soccer City stadium in Soweto and when goals seemed inevitable, the post and the crossbar intervened.
Chiefs centre-back Siyabonga Ngezana scored with a header off a free-kick on his debut last Tuesday in a 2-1 away win over recently deposed African champions Mamelodi Sundowns. And the teenager came close to repeating the feat 29 minutes into the first half of the initial league clash between the teams this season, nodding a George Maluleka free-kick across the goal and past shot-stopper Wayne Sandilands only to see his effort rebound into play off the far post.
It was the turn of Pirates to almost end the deadlock 10 minutes after half-time when Thabo Qalinge volleyed a through ball past goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune only to rattle the bar.
"Disappointing Soweto derby"
"This was a very disappointing Soweto derby because there were so few clearcut scoring chances," said SuperSport TV analyst and former national women's team star Amanda Dlamini.
"The teams were more intent on not losing the match than winning it. Defences were dominant, limiting the entertainment for the crowd."
Both sides lack a consistent scorer with Chiefs netting only 10 times in nine league outings this season and Pirates managing just seven goals from the same number of matches.
However, the Buccaneers are higher in the standings with almost a third of the season completed, lying third, one place and one point above the Amakhosi (Chiefs).
Pirates are two points behind surprise pacesetters Baroka, who host title-holders Wits Sunday in northern city Polokwane.
Golden Arrows squander chance
Second-place Golden Arrows squandered a chance to overtake Baroka after coming from behind twice at home to draw 2-2 with Polokwane City in Durban.
Recent signing Thomas Chideu rescued Arrows with a stoppage-time equaliser after leading Premiership scorer Rodney Ramagalela and then Sammy Seabi had put Polokwane ahead.
Hosts Sundowns were shocked 2-1 by AmaZulu in Pretoria with veterans Siyabonga Nomvethe and Mabhuti Khenyeza scoring in the final 10 minutes for the Durban outfit.
Thokozani Sekotlong had given Sundowns an earlier lead, clinically side-footing a cut-back from Algerian full-back Fares Hachi into the net.
It was the second loss in five days for the 2016 CAF Champions League winners and they slipped to ninth, seven points adrift of Baroka.
A three-match winning streak by Free State Stars ended when they were held 1-1 at home by bottom club Platinum Stars in central town Bethlehem.
Ajax Cape Town climbed one place to 12th courtesy of a 2-1 win over visiting Bloemfontein Celtic.