Neither Cape Town City nor SuperSport United could find the back of the net in their DStv Premiership game at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.
CAPE TOWN – It is often said that sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s no longer there.
Well, Cape Town City are certainly well aware that they are missing the injured Thabo Ndoda and Fagrie Lakay as they played out a goalless draw with SuperSport United at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday night.
It was expected the two sides would produce more of an open contest in this season opener, but the action was instead rather dour and uneventful.
If, truth be told, it was a rather forgettable opening game of the season, with the home team particularly lacking in the creative department.
Ndoda’s absence was particularly glaring, with the classy midfielder often utilised in a free role by former coaches Benni McCarthy and Jan Olde Riekerink that allows him to roam the park in order to get City’s midfield rumbling with a few short passes.
In the end, a draw was the appropriate result because based on the lack of enterprise shown, neither team deserved to win.
Both teams had promising moments to score, but they both lacked the necessary decisiveness and clinical presence required in the final third.
SuperSport had an early chance on goal, when Bradley Grobler sent his snap shot just wide off the post after Jesse Donn’s mistimed earlier effort.
Grobler had further opportunity to open the scoring when he showed good technique to neatly chest down a cross before swinging his left boot through the ball.
City’s new goalkeeper Hugo Marques, who was making his Dstv Premiership debut, however, did well to get an out-stretched left leg to the ball.
The home team struggled to find their rhythm throughout, as was evident when last week’s goalscorer Terrence Mashego attempted a one-two with Surprise Ralani on the edge of SuperSport’s box, but the latter’s return pass was over hit late on in the first half.
Marques is certainly proving to be a quality addition to the City squad, after being called upon again in the second half to make a couple of saves. The first was when Sipho Mbule received the ball down the left before firing his shot at the City goal, but Marques was well positioned to make the save.
Just a few moments later Grobler tested the Angolan international again when unleashed a powerful shot on target with his left boot, but Maques parried the ball away from danger.
Mashego had a chance to snatch all three points for the home side just before the end, but he could not control his shot after making a good run into the box to pick up a quality ball over the top from Thato Mokeke.
Although possibly disappointed with the lack of ingenuity of his team on attack, City coach Eric Tinkler would be pleased with the way his team’s new-found defensive structure allowed them to keep a clean sheet.
• Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates’ misfortunes during the start of the season continued after they were held to a 2-all draw by Stellenbosch FC in the opening game of their DStv Premiership campaign at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto, on Saturday afternoon.
And in Durban, substitute Siboniso Conco and Siphamandla Sabelo produced the goals as Golden Arrows began their DStv Premiership campaign with a 2-1 win over Provincial rivals Maritzburg United in a KwaZulu Natal derby at the Princess Magogo Stadium in Kwa-Mashu on Saturday afternoon.
Elsewhere in the PSL AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has once again cast the spotlight on the standard of refereeing in South African football after his team were not awarded a penalty in the opening match of the new Dtsv Premiership season against Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versveld.
McCarthy’s team were now the victims on the opening day of the league when referee Victor Hlungwani failed to award the visitors a penalty after the ball hit the hand of Gaston Sirino in the Sundowns box.
To compound matters, Hlungwani had earlier pointed to the spot after Peter Shalulile was fouled by AmaZulu’s Thembelani Sikhakhane, which according to McCarthy was a “soft penalty”. Themba Zwane stepped up and converted for the only goal of the match, condemning AmaZulu to a 1-0 defeat.
Cape Town City 0-0 SuperSport Utd (Athlone Stadium, Cape Town)
Baroka FC 2-0 Marumo Gallants (Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane)
Sekhukhune United 0- 1 Chippa United (Makhulong Stadium, Tembisa)
Golden Arrows 2-1 Maritzburg Utd (Princess Magogo Stadium, Durban)
Orlando Pirates 2-2 Stellenbosch (Orlando Stadium, Soweto)
Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 AmaZulu (Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria)
Additional reporting by Eshlin Vedan and Mihlali Baleka