Free State Stars settled for a point after being held to a goalless draw by AmaZulu at Goble Park on Saturday night.
Stars were the better side early on with Sinethemba Jantjie firing in an early sighter that flew wide of the target.
Siphelele Mthembu was played through on goal on 24 minutes before being called back for offsides, while Ovidy Karuru’s low shot on 38 minutes was collected with ease by Badra-Ali Sangare.
Maxime Cosse forced a good save from Siyabonga Mbatha on 43 minutes before Mthembu fired just off target as the half drew to a close.
Ea Lla Koto were quickest out of the blocks at the start of the second period, but were denied a couple of good goalscoring chances by a narrow Usuthu defence.
And while Nhlanhla Vilakazi was wide with his shot, Harris Tchilimbou forced another good save from the AmaZulu keeper on 56 minutes, as he got down well to his left to make the save.
Siyabonga Nomvethe failed to hit the target with his effort moments later, while Simphiwe was also off target on the hour mark.
Stars continued to press and a curling Jantjie corner caused some problems for the visitors before a long range attempt from Cosse was pushed behind by Mbatha.
Mbatha was again in the action in the dying minutes to deny Stars from grabbing a late winner.