Swallows break winless streak
Soweto - Moroka Swallows fans will have breathed a sigh of relief after their run of nine games without a win finally came to an end with a 2-0 success over Platinum Stars at the Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday night.
It is a fine victory for The Birds against an inform Dikwena side who themselves had won nine of their previous 10 league matches.
It was the perfect result for coach Zeca Marques, whose job had been under threat following the poor showing of recent weeks.
But first half goals from Bennett Chenene
and Katlego Mashego
settled the home side’s nerves and although they had to weather some heavy pressure from the visitors, held on for the win.
Stars were quickest out the blocks and Botswana international Mogakolodi Ngele fired just wide of the target from a free-kick.
Swallows keeper Greg Etafia was then forced into a fine save from Thuso Phala as the winger smashed the ball goalwards, before the keeper was again at the ready to stop another powerful Ngele drive.
But as the half wore on, so the home side began to come into the play more and Mashego went close as he struck the ball into the side-netting following a neat turn.
The home side did take the lead on 38 minutes though, Chenene racing onto a great ball from Lefa Tsutsulupa and slotting the ball past Siyabonga Mpontshane.
By now Swallows had hit their stride and were playing with real intent. Chenene almost got a second, but he fired into the side-netting.
Mashego did make it 2-0 just before halftime though, some hesitant defending allowing the striker the time to score from close-range.
Gilbert Mapemba almost made it 3-0 early in the second half when his 35-yard effort crashed against the crossbar and away to safety.
Stars failed to find a way back into the fixture, but can still reflect on a fine 2012 and they will see in the New Year in third place in the Absa Premiership.
Swallows climb up to 11th, four points above Chippa United in the relegation playoff position. Scores:
Moroka Swallows (2) 2 (Chenene 38’, Mashego 45’)
Platinum Stars 0Teams:
Swallows: Etafia, Mapemba, Da Costa, Isaacs, Lekgothoane, Tsutsulupa, Nergadze, Chabangu (Kumalo 71’), Chenene (Maleka 84’), Mashego, Obada (Mathebula 60’)
Stars: Mpontshane, Mere, Gumede, Mhlongo, Ngwepe (Msomi 80’), Mkhabela, Tshabalala (Mbatha 56’), Ngele, Phala, Ng'ambi (S Mthembu 72’), Botes