Absa Premiership

Late flourish sends Birds top

2013-10-26 00:13
Lerato Chabangu (Backpagepix)

Johannesburg - A late goal flourish took Moroka Swallows to the top of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) log with a 2-0 win over Platinum Stars at a rain-drenched Dobsonville Stadium on Friday night.

An absorbing game between two of the more accomplished teams in the PSL appeared to be heading for a draw until evergreen former Bafana Bafana maestro Siyabonga Nomvethe broke clear of the Stars' defence in the 78th minute and opened the score after receiving a precise pass from Edward Mnqele.

Then, on the stroke of scheduled full-time, Lerato Chabangu rounded off an impressive man-of-the-match performance by weaving his way into the penalty area and making the final score 2-0 with a well-deserved goal.

While The Birds rise to the top of the log might be short-lived, with Mamelodi Sundowns only one point behind and with two games in hand, Swallows' coach Zeca Marques saw the result establishing his side as "genuine title contenders."

The victory was marred only by yet another meagre PSL crowd at a game in which glamour clubs Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, in the main, were not involved.

This did not prevent the small, but hardy band of Birds' followers leaving the largely-empty stadium still enthusiastically singing and chanting in the rain.

Stars, the new power in the PSL, who were only barely shaded by Chiefs for the Premier League title last season and earlier this season annexed the MTN8 title, may have themselves partly to blame for their downfall.

Coach Alan Freeze adopted a controversial rotation policy and left several of his most notable stars and in-form players like Botswana international Mogakoladi Ngele and the forceful Siphelele Mthembu on the bench at the outset and paid the penalty.

An even, probing opening half resulted in both sides coming desperately close to scoring, with Nigerian international Greg Etafia bringing off two courageous, point-blank saves to prevent Stars from taking the lead.

Swallows, in turn, had their chances as well and the livewire Chabangu peppered the Stars' goal with a continual stream of shots.

It was Nomvethe, however, a regular match-winner for The Birds in the last couple of seasons, who had the best-scoring opportunity of the first half when he headed Chabangu's cross against the crossbar from barely eight metres out in the 20th minute.

Games between Swallows and Stars have tended to end with the home side winning in recent years, and The Birds gradually gained an initiative the longer the game progressed.

As the rain intensified, so did the pressure put on the Stars' defence by the never-say-die Birds, with Nomvethe and Chabangu appropriately the players to provide the goals that mattered.

Read more on:    platinum stars  |  moroka swallows  |  psl  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Free State Stars v SuperSport United, Goble Park 19:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Friday, 15 December 2017
Cape Town City FC v AmaZulu FC, Cape Town Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Polokwane City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates, Goble Park 18:00
Wits v Platinum Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:15
Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.