Wasteful Birds held to draw
Posted: 8 August 2009 Time: 17:13
Davi Rancan missed a second-half penalty as Moroka Swallows were held to a goalless draw by Golden Arrows at the Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Brazilian’s indiscretion, after a very doubtful penalty call on David Radebe, was but one of many by the Birds, though the can be somewhat excused due to the woeful state of the pitch.
Swallows handed debuts to the likes of Ashraf Hendricks, Gordon Gilbert and Siyabonga Nomvete, while Arrows retained the same starting XI that beat Free State Stars 1-0 in a MTN8 match in midweek.
New Swallows coach Rainer Zobler didn’t sit on the bench as he is apparently still waiting for some documentation, so assistant Zeca Marques took charge of the team for the day.
Much of the action in the first half took place in the midfield, with Kagiso Denge and Lefa Tsutsulupa having to battle hard against their counterparts Thanduyise Khuboni and Ntlantla Zothwane.
As a result there were few goalscoring chances until near half-time, when Swallows began to take hold of the game. They created a couple of decent opportunities, particularly for Ryan Botha, who had earlier set up Nomvete for a point-blank range header, only for goalkeeper Helton da Rocha to save with his foot.
A corner just before the interval saw Denge power a header on target, but the Arrows defence cleared the ball off the line.
The home team continued to dominate after the restart and Da Rocha had to make a good parrying save from Tsutsulupa’s long-range drive in the 48th minute.
Arrows, meanwhile, seemed to have no plan other than to try and hit Swallows with the pace of striker Richard Henyekane, who had a frustrating game just a few days after earning his first call-up to Bafana Bafana.
The Birds were given a great opportunity to finally break the deadlock when Joseph Musonda was adjudged to have brought down Radebe down in the box, but Da Rocha guessed the right way to parry the ball to safety.
Swallows will most certainly be the more disappointed of the two teams, while Arrows will consider it an away point well earned.