SuperSport United rose to second spot on the DStv Premiership standings after playing to a goalless draw against AmaZulu, who remain winless.
The KwaZulu-Natal side is yet to win or score a single goal in this league campaign, Usuthu recalled Siyethemba Sithebe, Siphelele Mthembu, Keagan Buchanan and Limbikani Mzava, alongside a first start for Tshepang Moremi while Matsatsantsa head coach Kaitano Tembo started Kudakwashe Mahachi in place of the injured Sipho Mbule.
The hosts were dictating matters in the opening exchanges and they had a big chance in the 20th minute after a mistake at the back led to Mthembu going clear on goal, but he stumbled inside the box, with the ball falling to Thabo Qalinge, who sent the effort wide.
oth sides started the match struggling to penetrate each other and in the 15th minute, Kuda Mahachi got SuperSport’s first chance of the match but shot straight at Usuthu goalkeeper Veli Mothwa.
AmaZulu’s woes upfront manifested themselves as it took 26 minutes for them to have a first realistic chance at goal when Ronwen Williams did well to tip over the bar a Thabo Qalinge effort.
The hosts appeared to have then gained some momentum going forward as two minutes later, Siyethemba Sithebe missed the target while attempting to connect a Malepe cross from the left flank.
Another chance presented itself for Usuthu on the half-hour mark but midfielder Tshepang Moremi missed the target by a whisker with a grounder.
Amid some pressure from AmaZulu, SuperSport tried to make a foray at the other end but Iqraam Rayners was denied by Mothwa in a one-on-one situation.
After the teams went for the half-time break goalless, a stadium lighting problem delayed the start of the second stanza with Tembo returning to replace Mahachi with Gabuza.
The former Orlando Pirates player made his first meaningful contribution eight minutes after his introduction by setting up Bradley Grobler who shot just wide.
Grobler then tried to make amends shortly after, but Mothwa impressively saved his headed effort off a corner kick.
As the match dragged on without goals, a seemingly frustrated McCarthy could be heard raging with anger on the bench directing some strong words at Kaitano Tembo.