Swallows and Sundowns draw
Posted: 6 May 2009 Time: 22:10
Moroka Swallows and Mamelodi Sundowns shared a point as their Absa Premiership match ended goalless at the Germiston Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Both sides seemed reluctant to attack and spread the ball around aimlessly in a congested midfield. Defensive midfielders Jorge Acuna and Esrom Nyandoro did their graft diligently and smothered the more offensive Swallows line-up that included Lefa Tsutsulupa, Mark Haskins and Cecil Oerson.
It was Swallows captain Tsutsulupa that had the first shot at goal in the 10th minute. Haskins broke down the left, held the ball up well and found the towering Sandile Ndlovu in space whose clever one touch gave the captain time to shoot, but his effort was blocked by veteran keeper Brian Baloyi.
Swallows keeper Greg Etafia was untested in the first quarter and when Downs striker Diyo Sibisi headed for goal. The Nigerian keeper hardly broke a sweat in collecting the looping ball.
Etafia chased down a ball near the corner flag where Benedict Vilakazi dispossessed him and shot for goal. But unfortunately for the Sundowns faithful Vinicus Da Silva cleared the goal-bound effort.
Sibisi brought out a fine save from Etafia on the half-hour mark with a low drive, but the keeper went down quick to his left to deny a certain goal. On the other end Oerson took the Birds forward and whipped in an inviting cross that Ndlovu just could not reach.
With the half coming to an end Sundowns’ Sibisi connected with a Thando Mngomeni corner-kick that was goal bound but Phaladi Kobola was on the line to head it away.
Swallows contained the early pressure after the break as Sibisi again brought a fine save from Etafia. The hosts were pinned down but suddenly leftback Sydney Plaatjies broke free down the left and sent in an inch-perfect cross that Ndlovu somehow miscued.
Both sides battled to control matters in midfield but with the rain coming down harder the slippery conditions made things difficult.
Swallows’ Haskins had a great scoring chance when he burst away from the congested midfield with only Baloyi to beat. Haskins drew the keeper off his line and lobbed the ball over him but defender Robyn Johannes hacked the ball away.
As the half wore on Swallows replaced their tiring wingers Oerson and Haskins with Sibusiso Themba and Thulani Ngcepe respectively. Sundowns brought on Collins Mbesuma and Shakes Ngwenya for Sibisi and Mngomeni respectively.
Swallows launched a quick counter attack in the 80th minute after Sundowns failed to make the most of a free kick, but Igor Alves wasted what was a good scoring chance.