Absa Premiership

Swallows floor Leopards

2013-04-02 21:49
Moroka Swallows logo (File)
Polokwane - Black Leopards slumped to a sixth defeat in their last seven Premiership matches when they went down 1-0 at home to Moroka Swallows at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday night.
The win sees the Birds, winners of four of their last five league matches, move into the top eight. Katlego Mashego scored in the 84th minute after excellent performances from both goalkeepers had threatened to condemn the game to a goalless stalemate.
Bennett Chenene almost put Swallows ahead as early as the fifth minute, letting fly with a long range effort that forced Leopards goalkeeper Azwindini Maphaha into a fine save.
In the 13th minute Leopards had their first shots in anger, and both Rodney Ramagalela and Joshua Obaje shot wide with speculative attempts that were never any trouble for Greg Etafia. Maphaha, in contrast, had to come up with another good save in the 17th minute to deny Birds midfielder Sibusiso Khumalo.
With the teams trading attacks on a regular basis, Ramagalela fired an effort on target from just inside the penalty area in the 22nd minute, but Etafia made his first notable save to keep the score sheet blank.
Despite the players being more than willing to shoot on sight, the first half ended goalless. Early in the second half Leopards’ Jean Mugananga continued the trend of long-range efforts, but he was comfortably denied by Etafia.
Just past the hour mark Swallows winger Dikgang Mabalane shot on target from 20m out, but Maphaha was equal to the effort as the ‘keepers continued to dominate the battle.
Both sides brought strikers on off the bench to bolster their attacks - Brian Amidu for Lidoda Duvha and Katlego Mashego for the Birds. The former forced Etafia into a great save with his feet in the 70th minute.
With just over 10 minutes to play, the visitors created one of the few close-range chances of the match. Defender Larry Cohen got on the end of a corner kick from Lefa Tsutsulupa, but put his header wide of the target from just a couple of metres out.
However, the Birds finally broke the deadlock in the 84th minute. Chenene picked out Mashego with a cross from the right, and the striker placed a shot into the bottom corner of the net that even the excellent Maphaha couldn’t keep out.
The late goal proved to be enough for Swallows, who leapfrogged Bloemfontein Celtic and moved into the top eight. Leopards remain just one point and one place above the relegation zone.

Read more on:    black leopards  |  moroka swallows  |  psl  |  soccer

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