Kaizer Chiefs were unable to make it four wins in a row as they played out to a 0-0 league draw with Stellenbosch FC at the Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday evening.
Overall it was an absorbing game in which both teams had their moments in front of goal, but too often the final touch was lacking.
Following the kick-off, there was little noteworthy action in the opening 25 minutes during which time Chiefs had more ball possession but were unable to unlock the home defence.
After both sides had failed to threaten with a couple of long-range efforts around the half-hour mark, the first clear chance of the day fell to Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, who combined nicely with Samir Nurkovic but dragged his parting shot from 20 metres out just wide of the right hand upright.
As half time approached the game burst into life and Stellenbosch should have taken the lead in the 39th minute when Stanley Dimgba got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Junior Mendieta, but the South American scuffed a straight-forward finish wide of goal.
At the other end, Nurkovic was inches away from putting Amakhosi in front when he snuck in to the near post to get on the end of Lebogang Manyama’s cross, but he didn’t get his touch right and the ball trickled just wide of the target.
There was still another chance before the break when Dimgba threaded in a pass for Mendieta, but Chiefs keeper Daniel Akpeyi did well to rush off his line to make an intercept.
The action continued after the interval with Amakhosi having the first chance of the second half – after Stellenbosch failed to adequately clear a corner, Happy Mashiane unleashed a venomous half volley but was denied by a fine diving save by home keeper Lee Langeveldt.
The home side meanwhile seemed to grow in confidence as the game went on and they were able to create a couple of great openings five minutes after the restart.
They could not capitalise however as Leletu Skelm’s goalbound effort was cleared off the line by Erick Mathoho before Dimgba headed over the bar after an inch-perfect cross from Mark van Heerden which deserved a goal.
Chiefs youngster Darrel Matsheke then had a couple of shots at goal, but from range he was off-target on both occasions.
With about 15 minutes to go the Soweto side began to up their efforts in search of a winner and it looked set to come when substitute Njabulo Blom picked out Nurkovic with an inviting cross in the 82nd minute, but the chance was wasted as the Serbian sent a powerful downward header the wrong side of the post.
Two minutes later Chiefs were even closer when following a goalmouth scramble, the ball fell kindly for Siyabonga Ngezana – who poked the ball goalwards – only for Langeveldt to make a last gasp save with his legs.
That proved to be the last real chance for a goal as the two sides had to settle for a point each from what was largely an evenly-balanced encounter.