Absa Premiership

Mashego strike boosts birds

2013-04-27 07:40
Katlego Mashego (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Katlego Mashego’s crisp finish in first-half stoppage-time helped Moroka Swallows climb to the top half of the Absa Premiership table with a narrow 1-0 win over Maritzburg United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, in Port Elizabeth, on Friday night.

It was the 11th goal of the season for the veteran striker, who was played in superbly by Dikgang Mabalane, and even though the hosts created plenty of second-half chances, they failed to take them.

Mario Booysen came closest to an equaliser when he grazed the crossbar with a late header, while Cuthbert Malajila was also wasteful as the Team of Choice stayed sixth on the log, with the Birds drawing level on points, but remaining one position behind on goal difference.

Maritzburg, playing at the Eastern Cape venue due to a pre-arranged agreement with the city to take top-flight football to the region, began brightly with winger Dillon Sheppard managing to squeeze his way into some dangerous positions down the left flank early on, although Greg Etafia in the Swallows goal was rarely tested.

At the other end defender Luvhengo Mungomeni whisked a shot just metres over the frame of the goal, before a Mashego strike was correctly ruled out for off-side.

Moments later, Lefa Tsutsulupa had a go from distance and was on target, but Shuaib Walters was well-placed to catch the ball midway through the half.

Mashego then wasted a promising set-piece opportunity, poorly curling over from just outside the area.

Five minutes from the break, United had their first real chance on goal when Malajila was on the end of a looped Delron Buckley pass towards the back post, but he headed straight at Etafia, while Ruben Cloete crashed a powerful shot just wide of the left upright seconds later.

But the hosts were dealt a sucker punch on the stroke of the interval as Mabalane sprinted away down the right and cut back to Mashego, who beat two players by coming back inside and scored from the centre of the box.

Six minutes after the restart, Etafia had to be at his best to deny a stinging Michael Morton drive, with the goalkeeper acrobatically tipping over.

Moments later, Malajila headed over from another Sheppard cross as United upped the tempo in search of an equaliser.

On the hour mark, Lerato Chabangu combined excellently with Tsutsulupa, but the goal-bound shot from the former was deflected wide.

Ernst Middendorp’s men should have equalised in the 68th minute when Buckley’s superb ball through the middle released Malajila, who failed to beat an on-rushing Etafia one-on-one, instead dragging wide.

The Swallows custodian again had to be at his best when Buckley’s ambitious shot from way out on the right wing was dipping under the post, before being tipped over.

With time running out, Booysen came even closer to scoring after his header from a Sheppard free-kick clipped the crossbar on its way over.

And Malajila directed wide when Etafia was caught off his line in stoppage time.


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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

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
Sunday, 17 December 2017
Baroka FC v SuperSport United, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Golden Arrows v Maritzburg United, Princess Magogo Stadium 15:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

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

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

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

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


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.