Usuthu held by Royal in league opener

Mfundo Thikazi of Royal AM challenged by Riaan Hanamub of AmaZulu during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match between Royal AM and AmaZulu at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on 05 August 2023 Β©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

AmaZulu FC were held to a 0-0 draw by Royal AM in their opening DStv Premiership match played at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday evening.

As a result, Usuthu started the 2023/24 season with a draw and they will be in action on Wednesday when they play host to SuperSport United in Durban.

Usuthu were the better side in the opening stages with Augustine Chidi Kwem looking to use his imposing physique to bully the Thwihli Thwahla defenders who were led by Samuel Manganyi.

The Nigerian striker had a chance to break the deadlock in the 23rd minute, but he lost control of the ball and goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto denied him a shooting chance. The score was 0-0 at half-time.

The two teams continued to search for the opening goal after the restart, but they were struggling to create clear-cut chances and keeper Veli Mothwa made a routine save from Mfundo Thikazi’s free-kick in the 56th minute.

AmaZulu were awarded an opportunity to grab a late winning goal in the 72nd minute, but Tercious Malepe dragged his shot wide of the target from an indirect free-kick inside Royal’s box, and the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

Royal 0
AmaZulu 0

Royal AM: Mpoto, Manganyi, Sikhakhane, Mogaila, Masuku (Cele 66′), Msomi, Matlaba, Kobedi, Macuphu, Thikazi, Radebe (Sera 79′).

AmaZulu: Mothwa, Gumede, Mobara, Mphahlele, Sikhakhane (Human 63′), Brooks, Malepe, Hanamub, Moremi, Jooste, Kwem (Ntuli 79′)