Richards Bay missed the chance to move top of the DStv Premiership table after they were held to a goalless draw by Maritzburg United on Saturday afternoon.
Result: Richards Bay 0-0 Maritzburg United
Date: 15 October 2022
Venue: King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium
The Natal Rich Boyz made only one enforced change from their goalless draw against Orlando Pirates, as Yamela Mbuthuma replaced the suspended Siyanda Msani.
The Team of Choice, meanwhile, made five changes from their heavy defeat against Stellenbosch, as Cameroonian goalkeeper Anye Fru got his debut alongside recalls for Keegan Ritchie, Travis Graham, Amadou Soukouna and Friday Samu.
Richards Bay were on the front foot in the opening exchanges as Mbuthuma had a chance to give them an early lead after inside the box but he curled his shot wide.
John Maduka's charges were absorbing the pressure and playing on counter-attacks and they had good chance on the half-hour mark after Soukouna went through on goal but he fired his shot over the crossbar.
Bay regained their momentum towards the end of the first stanza and Somila Ntsundwana came very close to breaking the deadlock for them with a well hit volley in the box that was dipping but Fru tipped his effort over the crossbar.
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Maritzburg continued to drop deep and look for chances on counter-attacks and Soukouna had a big opportunity around the hour-mark after he raced clear on goal but he side-footed his shot just wide, one-on-one with goalkeeper Salim Magoola.
With the game on the edge, the sides made changes 20 minutes before time as Bay brought on Nkanyiso Zungu in place of Luvuyo Memela for tactical reasons and United looked to inject pace in attack as Siboniso Conco replaced Karim Kimvuidi.
The game was open for the taking in the closing stages, as Maritzburg also fancied their chances and the visitors nearly pounced from an error by Magoola in the dying minutes after he was closed down playing from the back but Bay recovered in the nick of time.
In the end neither side could create clear chances, as the game ended all square, as the hosts moved equal on points with Sundowns in second place on the log, although they have an inferior goal difference.
Richards Bay: 80. Magoola, 2. Maphathe, 35. Mabua, 25. Mcineka, 34. Nyauza, 6. Mabaso, 30. Barns, 12. Mathebula, 9. Mbuthuma, 10. Memela, 45.Ntsundwana.
Subs: 16. Jacobs, 5. Mthethwa, 14. Majadibodu, 20. Mthembu, 8, Mdabuka, 27, Makateng, 17. Mthethwa, 50. Zungu, 15. Hlongwa.
Maritzburg United: 1. Anye Derick, 5. Makume, 16. Ritchie, 18. Mashikinya, 22. Theron, 19. Sam, 6. Graham, 23. Moloisane, 26. Kimvuidi, 11. Soukouna, 20. Samu
Subs: 32. Leaner, 28. Palace, 17. Conco, 10. Human, 12. Njoti, 9. Macheke, 7. Van der Ross, 30. Monamodi, 29. Masia
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