AmaZulu held SuperSport United to a 0-0 draw in their DStv Premiership match played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Normally a home stalemate would be a disappointing result for Usuthu, but given that the hosts played more than half of the match at a numerical disadvantage, this result will certainly be seen as a point gained rather than two lost.
SuperSport were the more proactive and creative team in an attacking sense through most of the first half, though AmaZulu provided great protection for goalkeeper Veli Mothwa, who was only called on to make a couple of straight forward saves in the opening 40 minutes.
The hosts suffered a major blow five minutes before the end of regulation time in the first half when Thembela Sikhakhane was shown a straight red card for stamping on United midfielder Shandre Campbell.
SuperSport almost immediately capitalised on their numerical advantage, with a pinball moment in the AmaZulu penalty area ending with Thulani Hlatshwayo directing a header just wide of the target.
The start of the second half saw Usuthu introduce Tshepang Moremi in place of Augustine Kwem to better balance out their 10-man line-up, while Matsatsantsa waited until just past the hour mark to bring on Siyanda Xulu and Risen Albert, shifting their formation to a back three and pushing more bodies forward.
AmaZulu almost claimed the lead with just over 15 minutes of regulation time remaining, as substitute Bongi Ntuli capitalised on a loose ball in the penalty area and fired off a shot which rebounded off the post.
United had a great chance of their own on 81 minutes when a defensive error presented Albert with a shooting chance, but the youngster was denied by a brilliant save from Mothwa.
That proved to be the last major attacking threat at either end, with Usuthu and Matsatsantsa settling for a share of the spoils.
AmaZulu will return to DStv Premiership action on Saturday 19 August with a KwaZulu-Natal derby against Richards Bay.
SuperSport United 0
AmaZulu: Mothwa, Gumede, Zulu, Mphahlele, Hanamub, Sikhakhane, Brooks, Malepe, Ngema (Ndlovu 90+4’), Letsoalo (Ntuli 71’), Kwem (Moremi 46’)
SuperSport: Goss, Johannes (Xulu 63’), Hlatshwayo, Okon, Pfumbidzai, Ndlovu (Nange 73’), Margeman, Campbell (Albert 63’), Lungu, Dzvukamanja, Ighodaro (Matsio 73’)