Swallows, Downs in stalemate
Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns and Moroka Swallows played to a six-goal thriller in an exciting MTN8 semi-final first leg tie at Lucas Moripe Stadium with Lerato Chabangu particularly impressive.
Chabangu, a former Sundowns player, was back his best forma nd had a hand in Swallows’ goals, scored by Felix Obada, Ashraf Hendricks and Bennet Chenene.
But while The Birds will be thrilled with the result, Sundowns missed some fantastic scoring chances and will be the unhappier side as they go home tonight.
Swallows struck in the sixth minute. Lerato Chabangu made a goal line save and goalkeeper Greg Etafia pumped the ball forward. Chenene did very well to draw his marker and find Obada who took his time and placed his low shot into the corner of goal.
Two minutes later Swallows grabbed a second goal when a Chabangu corner kick was met by Ashraf Hendricks’ head.
The ball went straight into the ground and looped towards the far post and snuck into the net. But Punch Masenamela had left his defensive position on the far post and will want to forget this silly moment.
Sundowns were soon back in the game when they scored from a Teko Modise penalty, but at his second attempt, after he was ordered to retake his initial spot kick because Etafia had moved off his line.
Modise went the same way again and this time his attempt was far stronger.
After the break Pelembe crossed to Manqele, but his downward header bounced into the hard surface and went over the bar, when it seemed easier to score than miss.
Then Method Mwanjale hit the upright with a low drive but in the 64th minute Sundowns found the equaliser when Hlompho Kekana side-footed a volley past Etafia.
But in the 75th minute, Chabangu spotted Chenene’s run and played him through on goal. Chenene drew the goalkeeper and finished expertly.
But Sundowns equalised ten minutes later thanks to an excellent Edward Manqele strike.
With a man on his back, Manqele turned and blasted a left footed shot from a tight angle, which gave Etafia no chance in goal.
Thami Sangweni came close with a shot across goal in the dying moments when he really should have hit the target.