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Junior Birds give Santos a lesson 25/03/05
The Moroka Swallows U-19s turned on the style as they hammered four goals past their Santos counterparts in a Metropolitan Cup match played at Erica Park, Belhar, on Thursday night.

The Birds, at times playing some outstanding football which belied their young age, gave the Cape side a lesson in football as they struck twice in each of the 30-minute halves.

To their credit, Santos by no means played badly, but they had no answer for the pace and quick passing of the Soweto side, who were clinical in front of goal when chances came their way.

Swallows went in front midway through the first half when the exciting Jabulane Ntombela scored with a cracker of  a shot from outside the box which rifled into the top corner, giving goalkeeper Robin Lewis no chance whatsoever.

Shortly before the break the Birds struck again when Bongani Mbele showed a clean pair of heels down the left flank before firing in a cross which proved to hot to handle for Santos defender Clifton Davids, who put the ball into his own net.

Mbele, who possesses an awesome left foot and plenty of speed, stood out for Swallows throughout the match and certainly looks a good future prospect for the senior team.

The People's Team came out after the break and took the game to the visiting side, but could not break their resolute defence, which was well marshaled by captain Thabiso Mokoena.

On two occasions the home side were unlucky when crosses from the right hit the crossbar.

When they did break the Swallows backline, Santos found goalkeeper Brian Ngiba to be in brilliant form, and on this display the young shot stopper also looks set for a bright future.

The most threatening attacks from the Cape team came down the right flank through Bhekani Ndlovu, who had a good game. Playmaker Tristan Human also stood out for the team in yellow with his skill and intelligent passing.
But Swallows managed to weather the early storm and nearly grabbed a third in the 44th minute when Mbele's wickedly curling free kick from all of 40 yards out on the right hand side of the field narrowly missed the target, with Lewis well beaten.

Four minutes later they put the outcome of the game beyond doubt when Mbele capitalised on a weak back pass to add his name to the scoresheet.

To put the icing on the cake the Birds added a fourth when substitute Simon Vilakazi played a one-two before beating Lewis to the ball and then scoring in an empty net.

This performance by Swallows, who are coached by former Dube Birds legends Ace Mnini and Andries Mphondo, will certainly make the other sides in the competition sit up and take notice.

In attendance at the game last night were the 1996 African Cup of Nations winning captain and manager Neil Tovey and Clive Barker, who would certainly have been impressed by some of the talent on display.

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