Kaizer Chiefs were twice thwarted by the crossbar on a frustrating afternoon on which they settled for a 0-0 draw against Royal AM, despite dominating their DStv Premiership encounter at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Both Edson Castillo and Christian Saile came within centimetres of scoring a goal that would have been the difference between a well-earned three points and the one Amakhosi were cruelly forced to settle for. Chiefs held the upper hand from the opening whistle and looked energetic and sharp, passing crisply and moving their opponents around to drag them out of shape.
They managed to create numerous half chances, with Ashley Du Preez particularly prominent, causing havoc with his pacey runs in behind the visitors’ defence. Early on he slid a dangerous ball across the box that evaded Colombian striker, Jasond Gonzalez’s touch by the merest of margins. A few minutes later, Du Preez intercepted a wayward pass but fired over, and also hit the side netting from a tight angle, when played in by Pule Mmodi.
Castillo, too, gave Royal AM cause for concern with his late runs into the box. He almost got on the end of an enticing George Matlou chip, before lashing a 20-yard drive against the crossbar in the 34th minute. On a rare break, dependable goalkeeper and captain, Brandon Petersen, pulled off a fine save to parry Royal AM winger, Hopewell Cele’s shot.
The resumption of the match saw a similar pattern unfold, with Amakhosi dominating possession and dictating proceedings. Castillo fired just wide on the turn and then a minute later crossed for Gonzalez to rise majestically to launch a towering header that was heading into the top corner until Thihli Thwahla goalkeeper, Xolani Ngcobo, tipped it over the bar at full stretch.
With 20 minutes remaining, substitute Reeve Frosler and Du Preez combined to get behind the Royal AM defence and the nippy striker pulled the ball back for another sub, Saile, to crash the ball against the underside of the crossbar, with Ngcobo well-beaten.
The Glamour boys continued to push for the winner their overall performance warranted and it nearly came nine minutes from full time, as Saile broke free down the left wing and played the ball into the centre, where Du Preez couldn’t make the contact needed to guide the ball home.
In the end, despite keeping a third consecutive clean sheet for the first time in a year and a half, Amakhosi will feel they ought to have come out of the game with more than they did on the day. The outcome took Chiefs up one place to fourth on the DStv Premiership log, with eight points from six matches. Amakhosi are in league action again on Wednesday, September 20, when they travel to Polokwane to face SuperSport United.