Pretoria - The University of Pretoria have bagged three priceless points when they edged Moroka Swallows 2-1 in a PSL clash at the Tuks Stadium, in Pretoria, on Tuesday evening.
Goals from Geoffrey Massa and Grant Kekana ended a run of successive league defeats, lifting the Pretoria outfit to 31 points and up to 10th in the league standings, with four games left this season.
Despite trailing after 35 minutes following Roger da Costa's breakthrough, Massa and Kekana converted either side of half-time to take AmaTuks past the crucial 30-point barrier, which in recent seasons has proved the magic number in surviving relegation.
The hosts set their stalls and soaked up plenty of early pressure from Swallows, preferring to make use of the counter-attack, which the visitors struggled to contain.
Chances for skipper Tebogo Monyai and Massa went wide, while Siyabonga Nomvethe flashed wide midway through the opening half.
An industrious effort from the Soweto side allowed them to dominate possession as the half came to an end.
Da Costa rose above his markers 10 minutes from the end of the half to hand Swallows the opener, courtesy of a well-timed jump and solid headed effort, which beat goalkeeper Washington Arubi for pace and power.
The Birds had their celebrations cut short eight minutes later when Massa rounded off in spectacular style, netting an acrobatic bicycle-kick from close range to draw the sides level.
AmaTuks looked the brighter of the sides after the interval, Massa providing a constant threat upfront, which lifted the rest of the AmaTuks outfit and provided some excitement after a dull opening stanza.
At the other end, a much-improved defensive effort kept Swallows at bay, as Tuks showed hints of dominating the exchanges in the middle of the field.
Tuks were rewarded for their persistence as Kekana headed home Khethukuthula Zwane's inswinging corner on 72 minutes, as the hosts took hold of the game and deservedly stole the lead.
Tuks managed to hold on for the nervy victory, as Swallows relinquished 10th spot and dropped down to 12, in serious danger of slipping down into the relegation places.
University of Pretoria (1) 2 (Massa 42’, Kekana 72’)
Moroka Swallows (1) 1 (Da Costa 35’)
University of Pretoria: Arubi, Nyondo Mkhwanazi, Monyai, Ketjijere, Ngubane (Bishop 87’), Mosadi, Sibande, Mnyamane (Zwane 46’), Massa (Monama 78’), Kekana
Moroka Swallows: Etafia, Isaacs, Da Costa, Cohen, Mapemba, Mbekile, Tsutsulupa, Nergadze, Wana (Chabangu 74’), Nomvethe (Manqele 79’), Obada