Birds hand SSU first defeat
Siyabonga Nomvethe (Backpage)
Pretoria - Moroka Swallows have handed SuperSport United their first Premiership defeat of the new season, following a 2-1 victory at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday night.
Goals either side of the half-time break from Edward Manqele and Siyabonga Nomvethe secured the Birds' third win from five games, despite Edwin Gyimah's 73rd minute strike.
The result ensured Swallows move up to second in the league standings with 10 points, a place above AmaZulu, who beat the Birds less than a week ago in Durban.
Lerato Chabangu provided the spark for the visitors after his good work on the edge of the area allowed the Bafana Bafana international to dance his way through two defenders, before teeing-up Manqele.
Manqele, with only goalkeeper Ronwen Williams to beat, let the ball fall to his preferred right boot and tucked away neatly for the opener.
SuperSport threatened along the flanks, thanks largely to Bennett Chenene and Sameegh Doutie, who provided Mathebula with a ball outside the area in the 15th minute, but the former Birds playmaker saw his shot go past the upright having taking a deflection.
United continued to push for the equaliser, Chenene, Doutie and David Mathebula all with chances from promising positions, but Swallows' defence stood firm as the interval approached.
Swallows had Luvhengo Mungomeni go close three minutes before the break, after the United defence failed to keep the advancing wide man from getting a shot away, which was expertly parried away by Williams.
The hosts went wide again in the 54th minute when Mame Niang's header flashed narrowly wide of goal, after the tall Senegalese striker rose above his marker and connected the delivery into the area.
But Swallows were in charge and Nomvethe's well-timed header put the Soweto outfit further ahead on the hour mark.
Chabangu aimed his corner toward the near post as Nomvethe made a run and met the cross with a glancing headed effort which beat Williams and put Swallows in a comfortable position with a two goal cushion.
But Matsatsantsa kept themselves in the tie after Thuso Phala's corner was powerfully headed home by Gyimah, who made no mistake directing his effort into the top left corner of Greg Etafia's goal.
The visitors held on for the remaining 16 minutes to walk away with the result, despite a late charge from Phala, Doutie and Niang, who all tried but failed in their attempts to beat Etafia in the dying minutes.
SuperSport United (0) 1 (Gyimah 73’)
Moroka Swallows (1) 2 (Manqele 8’ Nomvethe 60’)
SuperSport United: Williams, Moloi, Fransman, Doutie, Mdledle, Lentjies (Maluleka 73’), Chenene (Phala 56’), Gyimah, Gabonamong, Niang, Mathebula (Grobler 67’)
Moroka Swallows: Etafia, Mungomeni, Da Costa, Cohen, Mokgothu, Mbekile (Isaacs 89’), Nergadze, Chabangu, Tsutsulupa (Obada 77’), Nomvethe, Manqele (Ogle 83’)