Swallows ease past Stars


Goals from David Radebe and Elton Morelato either side of a beautifully executed free-kick from Matome Madimabe handed the Birds all three points, and coach Julio Leal will look to build on this fine away win with the league season finally getting into the swing of things.

Morelato had the first effort at goal, shooting wide from 25 yards out in the fifth minute, but Stars' Diyo Sibisi should have opened the scoring less than 60 seconds later when he somehow headed wide from Madimabe's excellent cross.

The Birds punished Stars for their early miss, with Cecil Oersen showing great vision down the right flank to pick out Radebe, and the former Free State Stars player struck home the opening goal in the 20th minute from close range.

Swallows' lead lasted just five minutes, however, as Madimabe capitalised on a foul committed by Fabian McCarthy on James Matola and scored direct from the free kick, curling the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Stars' Sthembiso Ngcobo had a couple of ambitious efforts in the subsequent minutes, but instead it was the visitors who regained the advantage in the 36th minute.

Brazilian striker Morelato crisply finished off Mark Haskins's low pass to put Swallows back in charge of the game heading into half time.

Stars coach Themba Sithole shuffled his pack at the start of the second half, sending on Jimmy Kauleza and Thamane Motaung in place of Motseothata November and Ngcobo respectively, and it almost brought an immediate reward when the substitutes played a role in setting up Sibisi for a shot from the side of the penalty area, but 'keeper Tyron Damons made a comfortable save.

Five minutes into the half and Radebe was threatening again, this time shooting wide from 25 yards out, before forcing defender Sanele Mabaso into committing a foul that earned the Stars man a yellow card.

Ea Lla Koto's Ruben Cloete almost forced an equaliser with a powerful drive on the hour mark, but Damons parried the ball away for a corner kick. Three minutes later Stars made their final change, with the ineffective Sibisi replaced by Saitjheni Tsotetsi.

Oersen twice in quick succession almost added to Swallows' lead, driving a shot narrowly wide of goal in the 71st minute before forcing Kennedy Mweene into a save with another effort in the 76th, while Stars' Madimabe and Motaung also went close to adding to the score line.

Report by Backpagepix