Ajax, Swallows share spoils
Cape Town - Moroka Swallows came back from two goals down, drawing 2-2 with Ajax Cape Town to keep their Premiership hopes alive at a wet and cold Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night.
Both sides found good penetration down the flanks, with Siyabonga Nomvethe giving Cecil Lolo the run around and delivering some decent balls across the face of goal for the Birds, but with no reward.
At the other end, Nhlanhla Vilakazi whipped in a dangerous cross in the 10th minute, which Swallows defender Gilbert Mapemba managed to keep out of the visiting side's net.
The first real clear-cut chance came in the 19th minute when Cole Alexander played a neat one-two with Brent Carelse, but he fired his shot straight at Swallows goalkeeper Greg Etafia.
The Urban Warriors took the lead after 24 minutes when Matthew Booth used his considerable height to beat Etafia to an aerial ball, nodding it goalwards, where Brent Carelse steered the ball into the net from close range.
The visiting side nearly snatched an equaliser five minutes later, but Mpho Maleka was unlucky to see his curling effort sail wide.
The Birds started the second half with purpose and were close to scoring in the 46th minute when Luvengo Mungomeni powered a header marginally wide following a corner kick.
There was a narrow escape a minute later as the ball ricocheted around the Ajax box after Nomvethe put Booth under pressure.
The home side, however, cemented their lead in the 52nd minute as Khama Billiat played Lebogang Manyama through on goal, and the latter finished with a lovely chip over the advancing Etafia.
However, the two-goal cushion was to last only three minutes as Swallows hit back through a David Mathebula strike when Thulani Hlatshwayo got his attempted back pass all wrong.
And soon after it was all square as Nomvethe nipped in to score with a 62nd minute deflected goal after Vilakazi had needlessly given away possession.
Alexander thought he had restored the home side's lead in the 66th minute, but Etafia made a wonderfully acrobatic save.
The Birds keeper also did brilliantly a few minutes later to snatch the ball off the feet of a goal-bound Carelse.
The game remained evenly contested, though with few further scoring chances, bar a late penalty appeal by Ajax who appeared to have a legitimate claim turned down when Manyama was taken out in the Swallows box in additional time.