; Wits’ momentum slowed by battling Maritzburg – The Citizen

Wits’ momentum slowed by battling Maritzburg

Rushing de Reuck of Maritzburg United challenges Haashim Domingo of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership match between Maritzburg United and Bidvest Wits at Harry Gwala Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gerhard Duraan/Gallo Images)

Rushing de Reuck of Maritzburg United challenges Haashim Domingo of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership match between Maritzburg United and Bidvest Wits at Harry Gwala Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gerhard Duraan/Gallo Images)

League leaders Bidvest Wits drew a blank at the Harry Gwala Stadium as they played to a 0-0 draw with struggling Maritzburg United on Saturday evening.

The Team of Choice dominated the first half before Gavin Hunt’s men came storming back in the second stanza, with both goalkeepers forced into making some important saves on the night.

The first 45 minutes was a fast and physical affair, with little in the way of clear-cut chances.

Those opportunities that did arrive fell mainly to the home team, their first opening coming in the seventh minute when Pogiso Sanoka headed wide from a corner kick after seven minutes.

Five minutes later there was an opportunity for Maritzburg striker Andrea Fileccia after he cut into the box, but his shot lacked the power to trouble Wits keeper Darren Keet.

Keet was called into making a more difficult save in the 17th minute when he reacted sharply to keep out a snap shot from Rushine De Reuck inside the Clever Boys’ box.

Keletso Makgalwa’s pace was causing the visiting side all kinds of problems, especially captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, and he brought out another two saves from Keet in the five minutes leading up to the break in Pietermaritzburg.

Proceedings remained tight after the restart, the first real effort on goal coming on the hour mark when Keet did very well to claw Deolon Mekoa’s swerving pile-driver to safety.

Wits finally had a clear chance on goal 25 minutes from time when Deon Hotto’s cross picked out Mxolisi Macuphu right in front of goal, but home keeper Richard Ofori did brilliantly to tip the ball over the bar.

The Students were to build up a head of steam in the closing moments of the game and they should have been ahead in the 77th minute, when Macuphu teed up substitute Simon Murray, but the Scott fired a volley over from eight yards out.

There was a great chance as well for another Wits substitute, Gift Motupa, three minutes from time, but from close range he skied the ball over goal.

Both goalkeepers had work to do in added time as Hotto was denied by Ofori before Keet make a superb point-blank stop on Mohau Mokate as the score remained locked at 0-0 at full time.

The draw sees Wits moving three points clear of Bloemfontein Celtic at the top of the table on 13 points, while Maritzburg are marooned to the foot of the standings with two points.

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