Cape Town City and USM Alger played to a high tempo goalless draw, in the first leg of their CAF Confederations Cup at the DHL Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Marc Van Heerden had first shot at goal in the first minute, which was tipped behind by USM Alger Goalkeeper Ousamma Benbot. The resulting corner created a chance for Taariq Fielies, but his effort was off target.
City took the game to the Algerians but most of their attempts were wayward. USM Aimen Mahious took a venomous shot but it was saved by a brave and acrobatic Darren Keet in the 38th minute.
Khanyisa Mayo had a slightly deflected shot just before half-time, but Benbot was able to save it.
Being the away team, the visitors were happy to soak up the pressure and hit on the counter in the second half.
Twenty minutes into the second stanza City were given a free kick in a favourable position, but Mpho Makola’s curled shot went just over Benbot’s crossbar.
Darwin Gonzalez created an opportunity in the 72nd minute, but Thami Mkhize squandered a glorious chance to get the first goal.
Abderrahmane Meziane shaved the upright in the 77th minute, sending the small yet noisy crowd of Algerian fans into overdrive.
This was a pulsating game with lots of chances, but with neither team capitalising on the opportunities. The advantage surely goes to City for not conceding a single away goal against their opponents. But they would be mightily frustrated, given how well they did against USM Alger.
These two teams will meet again in the second leg, which takes place in Algeria on the ninth of November, with the victor heading to the prestigious CAF Confederations Cup Group Stages.