Swallows, Bucs share spoils

Swallows veteran Siyabonga Nomvete scored a first-half opener against the run of play but Pirates striker Lehlohonolo Majoro equalised in the 77th minute in Soweto.

The game started with slow build-ups, with Eric Tinkler’s men probing for an early opener when defender Happy Jele combined with Mpho Makola down the right flank but Rudi Isaacs managed to clear at the back.

However, for the first time in the Buccaneers’ camp, Kermit Erasmus partnered with Majoro and their combination troubled Fani Madida’s me

In the 15th minute, a long pass by Rooi Mahamutsa found Sifiso Myeni, his first touch was brilliant and his final shot was off target, failing to call Greg Etafia into action.

The match proceeded with both sides being even in the middle of the park, however, in the 34th minute, Lucky Baloyi’s attempt out of the penalty area was redirected by Nomvete to beat Brighton Mhlongo to give the hosts the lead.

Towards the interval, the visitors took the game to Swallows but their efforts to find an equaliser were in vain as Nomvete’s strike separated the two Soweto sides at half-time.

Swallows showed intent at times, defending well and looking good in transition, however, they were let down by their decisions in the final third.

Tinkler introduced Thabo Rakhale in the 62nd minute and his move worked as ‘Jomo’ revived Pirates’ play with his direct moves to the Swallows defence, which created chances for Majoro and Erasmus.

However, in the 77th minute, Rakhale’s pass found Erasmus who placed the ball for Majoro to finish with a neat shot, beating the Nigerian keeper. Just after Majoro’s goal, Helder Pelembe was introduced.

In the dying minutes, Swallows sat at the back and defended too deep, allowing Pirates to come at them, the substitute Rakhale was a nuisance for the Birds and he saw his attempt saved by Etafia on the line.

The Buccaneers desperately went forward in search of a late winner but the Dube Birds fought hard to ensure they bagged four points from Tinkler’s men this season, having won the first League encounter between the teams. 

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