Blunt Kaizer Chiefs held by 10-man Maritzburg United

Kaizer Chiefs players like Siphiwe Tshabalala and Siyabonga Ngezana were left frustrated by their inability to score against Maritzburg United in their Absa Premiership clash, even more so becose the hosts had a player sent off Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs' disappointing start to the new Absa Premiership season continued on Friday night when they were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

Maritzburg had lost their opening three games of the season and played for 75 minutes a man short in this match, but still a blunt Chiefs attack could find no way through to pile more pressure on new coach Giovanni Solinas.

The point will no doubt feel like a loss for Chiefs, who remain winless after four matches on the league season having failed to turn a supremacy in possession and territory into three points.

Maritzburg were able to welcome back Belgian forward Andrea Fileccia from injury for his first appearance of the season, while there was also an outing for former Chiefs player Keagan Buchanan.

The visitors rested veteran winger Siphiwe Tshabalala, with Hendrick Ekstein his replacement in the starting XI.

Maritzburg were reduced to 10 men when Ndlovu went in 'studs-up' on Chiefs defender Siyabonga Ngezana as the pair battled for the ball and there was little option for referee Luxolo Badi but to send the Bafana Bafana midfielder to the stands.

Khama Billiat had an excellent opportunity to open the scoring for Chiefs shortly afterwards when Kabelo Mahlasela's square pass fell perfectly for him eight yards out, but he kicked more of the ground than he did the ball and the opportunity was lost.

Ekstein shot against the outside of the post as three Chiefs players appeared to go for the same ball in the box and the teams went to the break even at 0-0.

It took almost 30 minutes for Chiefs to force a save from Maritzburg's goalkeeper Richard Ofori in the second period, with Tshabalala coming off the bench to test the Ghanaian.

Billiat had a shot from 30-yards that dipped just over the bar in the final minute, but the visitors failed to breach the Maritzburg dam wall, with home skipper Siyanda Xulu, much-maligned during his time at Naturena, a rock at the back.