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Date: 23 September 2017

  South African - Soccer

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News Headlines

Pirates peg Swallows back, as giants falter

[Posted 03 Nov 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Igesund has transformed Swallows into championship challengers this season.

High-riding Soweto giants Moroka Swallows suffered a sucker punch just moments away from victory in the Soweto derby, when lack of concernatration at the back allowed Happy Jele to steal a point at home in a league match played at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night. The match ended 1-1.

The Dube Birds, as Swallows are affectionately known, controlled much of the game against old rivals the Buccaneers, and deservedly took the lead in the 30th minute with an excellent long range strike by David Mathebula which gave Moneeb Josephs no chance.

When Reuben Cloete left the field due to an injury, the Pirates defence appeared shaky as his replacement, young  Sibusiso Mxoyana appeared affected by stage fright, allowing Joseph Makhanya to probe from the right.

Pirates' only clear chance came in the 21st minute when Bongani Ndulula failed to beat keeper Greg Etafia who brilliantly saved his attempt in a one-on-one situation. From there on, the Birds dominated ball possession and put Bucs on the back pedal.

Yet, Swallows failed to add to their solitary goal despite totally dominating their opponents.

Gordon Igesund surprisngly opted for a more cautious approach early into the second half, withdrawing Makhanya and replaced him with Zimbabwean defender Gilbert Mapemba. It was a surprising move as Igesund usually throws in Oscar Machapa at that point of the match to add bite to the attack.

Swallows' overly cautious approach was to backfire when Jele headed in from close range a speculative shot by Tlou Segolela in the 90th minute.

A draw was a painful result for the hard-working Swallows, who were fighting relegation only a few months ago in the last season. Such is the class of Igesund, that he has transformed Swallows into real title contenders.

Swallows, despite having failed to sour to second position on the log following the unfortunate loss of two points at Orlando Stadium, appear like the real team to beat this season, and they also appear capable of beating anyone in this league.

In other mid-week matches played, Kaizer Chiefs dropped two points against Maritzburg in Port Elizabeth on Tueday night following a 0-0 draw, while Mamelodi Sundowns also failed to beat Platinum Stars in Rustenberg in another goalless stalemate.

Of the top five giants of the ABSA premiership, only Supersport United managed a 1-0 victory over troubled Santos of Cape Town.

Ajax's campaign went up in smoke when they were surprisingly beaten 2-0 at home by unpredictable Bidvest Wits in Cape Town on Wednesday night.

Amazulu continued their fairytale rise under coach Roger Palmgreen. They followed up a 2-0 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic over the weekend with a clinical 2-1 win over Golden Arrows to win the KZN derby bragging rights.

Amazulu have continued their steady rise and now sit on position 10 on the log, far away from the relegation zone in which Palgreen found the team when he took over from dismissed Manqoba Mngqithi.

Supersport have opened a four point lead at the top with 24 points, followed by Chiefs on 20 points, same number of points as Swallows who are third only by virtue of an inferior goal difference to Amakhosi.

Sundowns are fourth with 19 points after their failure to win in Rustenburg.

Jomo Cosmos anchor the log with four points from the same number of matches all the other teams and could not improve their lot after losing 1-3 to Celtic. Cosmos are followed by fellow strugglers Black Leopards who lost by a similar score-line to yet another Free State side, Free State Stars.

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