Highlands Park and Kaizer Chiefs each recorded their fifth draw of the Absa Premiership season after playing out a goalless stalemate at the Makhulong Stadium on Tuesday.
In front of a packed crowd, the league clash was an entertaining and engrossing one, with the Lions of the North putting in a strong performance against the Amakhosi, but in the end a share of the spoils was probably a fair reflection of the game.
After a relatively quiet opening, the match came to life just after the midway point of the first half. On 24 minutes Highlands winger Lindokuhle Mbatha sent a long-range shot which looked destined for the top corner, but he was denied by a superb save from Itumeleng Khune.
Just a minute later, at the other end of the field, Gustavo Paez teed up a great chance for Dumisani Zuma to open the scoring, but his low shot was kept out by the legs of Tapuwa Kapini.
On the half hour mark the Lions of the North carved out a great chance for Mothobi Mvala, who ‘fresh aired’ his attempted shot, before Peter Shaulile tested Khune with a strong, left-footed effort to the near post.
The last chance of the half went the way of Chiefs’ Daniel Cardoso, who was left unmarked at a corner kick but headed wide, leaving the game locked at 0-0 heading into the break.
The home side continued to look strong through the second half, putting pressure on Chiefs’ defence with their pace and direct play. The Soweto giants responded in positive fashion, freshening their attack with the introduction of Bernard Parker and Hendrick Ekstein.
The latter had a glaring chance to break the deadlock in the 72nd minute, with a great piece of skill from Siphelele Ntshangase putting the substitute in on goal, but Ekstein poked his effort wide of the mark under pressure from Kapini.
Ekstein had a tougher chance late in the game when he sliced a shot wide after great work by Khama Billiat, while Highlands had the ball in the back of the net in the 90th minute but Denzel Haoseb’s header was correctly ruled out for offside.
The teams will be in league action again on Saturday, with Highlands at home to Chippa United and Chiefs welcoming Polokwane City to Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
Highlands Park 0
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Highlands: Kapini, Sibande, Rae, Mokoena, Msimango, Mvala, Mbatha, Ramoraka, Shalulile, Motlafi (Nyembe 67’), Sekola (Haoseb 75’)
Chiefs: Khune, Mphahlele, Ngezana, Cardoso, Walusimbi, Katsande, Ntshangase, Manyama (Ekstein 65’), Billiat, Zuma (Zulu 82’), Paez (Parker 65’)