Arrows pay the penalty
Posted: 15 April 2009 Time: 22:36
A missed penalty from the League’s leading scorer Richard Henyekane meant Golden Arrows had to settle for a goalless draw against Moroka Swallows at Chatsworth Stadium on Wednesday night.
Both sides made five changes to the starting line-up from their previous games, with Swallows coach Julio Leal handing a debut to young centreback Thato Ferland.
The battle for dominance early on made for a tight game with little action in front of goal. The first save of the game came after 15 minutes when Greg Etafia elected to tip Henyekane’s in-swinging free-kick over the bar.
Four minutes later Henyekane was released into space on the left-hand side of the box, but he hit his parting shot narrowly wide of goal. Tshepo Mashego was presented with a similar chance from the right only a minute later, but he shot well wide.
With the exception of a couple of long-range shots by Swallows, it was the KZN side who looked more threatening in attack. Arrows’ chances were, however, also limited – apart from a tricky corner and a well-struck Mashego shot, Etafia was never over-extended.
But just before the break a push in the box by Mark Haskins on Kagisho Dikgacoi gave Arrows the chance to take the lead via the penalty spot. Henyekane hit his spot-kick pretty well, but Etafia made an outstanding save, diving low to his left.
The Soweto side got off to a good start in the second half and had a great chance to score in the 50th minute when Ivor Alves’ free-kick picked out Sandile Ndlovu at the far-post, but a poor touch saw the chance go to waste.
Three minutes later a quick counter-attack saw the Birds swooping down the field in numbers. Haskins picked out Ndlovu, who in turn played Cecil Oerson in on goal, but again a clumsy touch saw an excellent chance wasted.
However, following the bright start to the second period, the game deteriorated into a similar pattern to the first half as both sides struggled to find a creative spark in front of goal.
In fact, there were no further efforts on goal, with the only notable event coming in the 90th minute when Ferland’s debut was soured by a red card.