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SWALLOWS NEWS
Chiefs secure title...finally 28/05/04
Kaizer Chiefs secured their first Castle Premiership title after beating Moroka Swallows 2-0 in an action-filled encounter at the Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Amakhosi dominated the match with Collins Mbesuma putting them 1-0 ahead at half-time, with David Radebe adding the second five minutes from the end.

The Ted Dumitru's side made their intentions clear from the offset with striker Collins Mbesuma shooting wide from just inside the area.

Swallows depended on catching the visitors on the break, but Birds striker Denis Lota often found himself isolated and quickly closed down by the Chiefs defenders.

Chiefs went ahead after 16 minutes when the industrious Junior Khanye overhit his left-flank cross and when Thabo Mooki crossed the ball in from the right, Mbesuma rose unmarked to head home at the far post, with Birds goalkeeper Greg Etafia stranded in no man's land.

The visitors continued to push forward and should have gone 2-0 up in the 27th minute when Mbesuma was put clear by veteran John 'Shoes' Moshoeu, but Etafia made a brilliant stop at the Chief striker's feet, only for Cyril Nzama to blast the rebound high over the bar.

Swallows push forward in a rare foray upfield in the 35th and should have levelled matters when Denis Lota found himself in a promising position inside the area, but the striker blasted his effort high and wide from close range.

Chiefs then wasted a golden opportunity to double their lead when Bevan Fransman surged down the left before producing a great cross for the onrushing Derrick Spencer, who had timed his late run to perfection, but the midfielder shot over the bar from just seven yards out.

Gavin Hunt's side were then handed a massive blow when they had goalkeeper Etafia sent off after he handled the ball outside the area as Moshoeu tried to lob the Nigerian.

The red card resulted in Edzai Kasinauyo being replaced by reserve keeper Conrad Hendricks, who was relieved to see the Chiefs free-kick strike the defensive wall and the score remained 1-0 at the break.

The visitors continued in the same vein after the interval, with Moshoeu still pulling the strings in midfield.

Chiefs should have added to their score when Mbesuma was played in by the Chiefs playmaker, but the striker rushed his shot, which was blocked, as was his second effort from the rebound.

Dumitru's side were unlucky not to go 2-0 up after 72 minutes when David Radebe received the ball on the edge of the Swallows area, following excellent work by Mooki, but the striker watched in anguish as his shot hit the woodwork, with goalkeeper Hendricks well beaten.

However, Radebe made no mistake in the 85th minute when Cyril Nzama chased a long clearance and when Swallows defender Glen Lewis slightly underhit his back-pass, Nzama kept going.

The Chiefs defender's persistence resulted in him blocking Hendricks clearance and the ball floated over the six-yard area, for Radebe to nod home.

The result sees Chiefs secure their first domestic title since 1992, while Swallows have virtually ended their ambitions of finishing in the top three.

 

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