Marumo Gallants unlucky as they are held to a goalless draw by ailing Kaizer Chiefs
The last few days have been hell for those who pledge allegiance to the Kaizer Chiefs flag and Sunday's away league outing against Limpopo strugglers Marumo Gallants could not come fast enough for some of them.
Chiefs suffered the ignominy of a humiliating 4-1 defeat to newcomers Royal AM a week ago and a match against the premiership's basement side would have been welcomed as an opportunity for some redemption for coach Stuart Baxter's once Mighty AmaKhosi.
But these are difficult times in Naturena and Chiefs were lucky to sneak a point in a goalless draw against a side that started the day in the bottom of the premiership standings on Sunday morning .
The two sides finished with 10 men after receiving sending offs - , but Gallants will consider themselves unfortunate that they did not put their ailing visitors to the sword.
Chiefs boss Bobby Motaung will be cursing the soccer Gods as the visitors could have undeservedly won the match right at the death when Khama Billiat delivered a free kick into the area in the 88th minute that seemed to be on course to becoming the decisive kick of the match.
But while Billiat's kick found captain Eric Mathoho's head, Gallants keeper Washington Arubi denied the towering defender with a brilliant save.
Such was the point-blank save that it forced a stunned Motaung to grudgingly applaud the stop from the stands.
Chiefs moved moved to 13th place on the standings after the result while Gallants finally got off the foot the table to rise to 15th place, with TS Galaxy taking their place in the basement.
Gallants will be the more devastated of the two clubs as there were times when the Limpopo side looked the better team on the pitch. In fact, they were hardly tested by a Chiefs side that was about as aggressive as a toothless shark in the first half.
Chiefs did not have a single attempt at goal on target in the first half and this will have worried those who thought this side can rattle the dominance of champions Mamelodi Sundowns this season.
Gallant had the best chance of the opening period when Katlego Otladisa connected beautifully with a cross into the area and headed what he thought was the opening goal of the match.
But Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was up to the task and made a brilliant single hand save to deny Otladisa what would have been the opening goal of the match in the 13th minute.
Center-backs Eric Mathoho and Daniel Cardoso were nowhere to be found and will have been grateful that the Nigerian goalkeeper was on hand to produce the stunning point-blank save.
Gallant continued to ask questions of Chiefs and regularly tested Akpeyi, with Chiefs offering very little in the opposite end of the pitch.
Chiefs' best chance of the period came in the 37th minute when Cole Alexander shot from range outside the area, but his strike sailed well over Gallant goalkeeper Arubi's crossbar.