Birds soar into second
Siyabonga Nomvethe (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Siyabonga Nomvethe continued his good form as he bagged a brace together with Mpho Maleka as Moroka Swallows went second in the league standings when they thrashed Black Leopards 5-2 in an Absa Premiership match played at the Giyani Stadium on Friday night.
Georgi Nergadze headed the visitors into the lead, but the home side at least had something to celebrate as Kingston Nkhatha proved to be an inspired substitution as he grabbed a five minute double in the dying minutes.
As early s the sixth minute the Dube Birds were in the thick of things when Leopards midfielder Luyolo Mapolisa was adjudged to have handled the ball outside the penalty area.
Swallows attacking player Lerato Chabangu unleashed a 25-yard shot from the set piece which Leopards keeper Posnett Omony parried across the post for a corner.
But, despite all their pressure in the first half, the opening goal would not come until the second 45.
Swallows took the lead in the 57th minute via an unlikely source.
An in-swinging corner-kick taken by Joseph Makhanya’s right foot was met by Georgi Nergadze at the near post and powerfully headed high into the roof of the net.
The Birds who were creating numerous chances at this point doubled their lead in the 70th minute.
A pin point free-kick from the right wing by Chabangu who sent the ball into the far post was headed home by an unmarked Nomvethe to make it 2-0 and take his league season tally to 17 goals.
But Nomvethe soon got his 18th; Chabangu caused some trouble in the Leopards box and a poor clearance by a Leopards defender who laid the ball into the path of Nomvethe coolly slotted home from close range to make 3-0 in the 80th minute.
Two minutes later a good team play by Swallows on the left wing into the centre of the Leopards box was buried home by Maleka, who chipped the ball over Omony in the 82nd minute.
Maleka than equalled Nomvethe’s match haul when Oscar Machapa went past a few Leopards defenders on the right wing and then supplied an unmarked Maleka in the box who made it 5-0 in the 85th minute.
But Nkhatha then proved to be an inspired substitution when he beat the off side-trap and slotted beyond Etafia to it make 5-1 in the 86th minute.
Nkhatha then had another chance and again left the Swallows defenders for dead and beat Etafia in the 92nd minute to score his brace.
The victory propels Swallows to second spot on the log and they are now two points behind league leaders Orlando Pirates.Scorers:
Moroka Swallows (0) 5 (Nergadze 57’, Nomvethe 71’ + 80’, Maleka 82’+ 85’)
Black Leopards (0) 2 (Nkhatha 86’ + 92’)Teams:
Moroka Swallows: G Etafia; R Isaacs, L Mungomeni, S Lekgothoane, G Nergadze; L Tsutsulupa (B Thwala 86’), D Mathebula, J Makhanya (O Machapa 70’), B Chenene (M Maleka 46’); L Chabangu, S Nomvethe
Leopards: P Omony; N Xakane, S Sighoole, H Khoza, S Mabunda (K Nkhatha 80’); L Mapolisa, R Monama, I Duiker, E Dzaga, J Obaje (K Taaiboos 75’); R Ramagalela