Arrows strike out Swallows
Giorgi Nergadze and Thamsanqa Gabuza (Gallo Images)
Durban - Goals in each half from Thamsanqa Gabuza and Thanduyise Khuboni helped Golden Arrows bounce back from their weekend cup disappointment with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Moroka Swallows in an Absa Premiership match in Umlazi, outside Durban, on Wednesday.
Arrows, defeated by Orlando Pirates in their Telkom Knockout semi-final on Saturday, opened the scoring in the 43rd minute through Gabuza, with captain Khuboni netting from the penalty spot early in the second period.
The margin of victory could have been even bigger for Muhsin Ertugral's team, but the coach would have been pleased as his team continued their recent resurgence after a wretched start to the season.
The hosts showed little sign of their recent league struggles early on, with their midfield looking particularly dangerous going forward.
Swallows, however, carved the first opening when captain Lefa Tsutsulupa shot straight at Helton da Rocha from the edge of the box.
Arrows' hit back with a subsequent counter-attack, paving the way for a Collins Mbesuma shot that was dragged wide to the left.
Oscar Machapa almost silenced the sparse home crowd with a sizzling long-range strike that had to be palmed over by Da Rocha, with another effort from Chabangu also needing to be scrambled away by the Brazilian.
Midway through the half, Mbesuma got closer when Elrio van Heerden, who was causing all sorts of problems down the right flank, beat Luvhengo Mungomeni to a cross, but headed centimetres over.
The deadlock was broken just before half-time when an attack from the right led to Siyanda Zwane breaking forward and sending a low cross across the face of goal that was turned in at the far post by Gabuza.
After the break, Van Heerden again caused problems for the Birds as he picked out Mbesuma in the box, but the Zambian was taken out by Giorgi Nergadze as he shaped to shoot.
The penalty was awarded and it was blasted straight down the middle by Khuboni.
It could have been 3-0 moments later when Gabuza drifted wide on the left and crossed for Mbesuma in the box, with his goal-bound shot scrambled away by a wrong-footed Greg Etafia in the Swallows goal.
Njabulo Manqana and Philani Shange missed chances late on, but Arrows hung on to bag all three points.