Usuthu will avoid the axe, says Leal

Canaan Mdletshe.

Canaan Mdletshe.

AmaZulu coach Cesar Julio Leal believes his team will avoid relegation.

He was speaking after his charges salvaged a point from their goalless draw against Orlando Pirates in a Castle Premiership encounter on Saturday.

Usuthu were expected to repeat the same performance they showed against the other Sowetans, Kaizer Chiefs last week when they beat Amakhosi 2-0.

The game was played in front of a capacity crowd at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu.

Both sides packed their midfield and that left the strikers battling to get supply. This forced defenders such as Lucky Lekgwathi and Innocent Mdledle having to venture forward in an attempt to get a goal for their team.

Lekgwathi came close to scoring with a 25m drive before the half-time break, but his effort was parried out for a corner by Usuthu's goalkeeper, Tsepo Motsoeneng.

Usuthu returned from the break even hungrier and they should have punished Pirates in the 56th minute when Lucky Mzizi set Xolani Mabaso free with an excellent pass, but Mabaso ballooned his shot over the bar.

Bibbey Mutombo, Bucs' coach, said though he wanted to win the match, a point was good enough against Usuthu.

"AmaZulu played well defensively but we did get one or two chances but failed to make anything out of them, but a point is better than nothing," said Mutombo.

Leal said he will be working on the final touches of his charges.

"I think we played well, but we need to improve on our finishing. However, we are improving with each match and I hope we will survive relegation," said Leal.