TEMBISA, October 2 – An action-packed Tuesday night at the Makhulong Stadium failed to produce any goals as PSL rookies Highlands Park held Kaizer Chiefs to a 0-0 league draw.
It was a match that had everything but goals as both teams had more than their fair share of chances to grab all three points.
In front of the capacity crowd who were in great spirits throughout, the game got off to a scintillating start and the home side were nearly ahead after just two minutes when Peter Shalulile turned sharply on the edge of the box and fired in a curling effort which just missed the top corner.
At the other end four minutes later, Chiefs also had a good chance when Dumisani Zuma played in Khama Billiat, but from 18-yards out the Zimbabwean dragged his shot wide.
The electric atmosphere was making for a superb contest and it was again the hosts who threatened on 23 minutes when Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune made a fine save to keep out a pile-driver from the outstanding Lidonkuhle Mbatha.
A minute later Highlands Park keeper Tapuwa Kapini was called upon to earn his pay when he made an excellent reflex save with his legs to keep out Zuma from close range.
The action continued up to the interval as Gustavo Paez had a shot blocked, Lebogang Manyama fired over the bar and Daniel Cardoso went wide with a header for the Glamour Boys, while Moekesti Sekola missed an attempt at the near post for the Lions of the North and Mothobi Mvala failed to get any contact with the goal at his mercy from 10-yards out.
Highlands Park started the second half with great purpose, although the first real opening after the break fell to Zuma, who headed over the bar from a Paez cross on 52 minutes.
The intensity continued from both sides before Chiefs wasted their best chance of the evening when substitute Hendrick Ekstein poked a shot wide from just six yards out with only Kapini to beat after some lovely skill and a back-heeled pass from Siphelele Ntshangase in the 70th minute.
The Soweto side then survived a double scare 10 minutes later when Shalulile headed straight at Khune from a great position in the box before Denzil Haoseb flashed a 20-yard effort inches wide.
After a wonderful run by Billiat, Ekstein should have snatched victory for Chiefs in the 89th minute, but again his composure let him down as he missed at the far post.
Owen Da Gama’s side thought they had won the game themselves just a minute later when Shalulile buried a rocket of a header into the net, only for the offside flag to go up.
Kapini then brilliantly denied Billiat from scoring a long-range winner in added time in what was the last chance of a thrilling night’s football out in the East Rand.
– African News Agency (ANA)