'Birds' hold Sundowns to a draw
Moroka Swallows held defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns to a 0-0 draw in a thrilling Castle Premiership match at Germiston Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams started the match well, but it was the 'Beautiful Birds' who threatened to draw first blood in the 11th minute when Mark Haskins' long range shot was saved by 'Downs 'keeper Brian Baloyi.
Baloyi was called into action again in the 21st minute when Japhet Zwane took a snap-shot towards goals, and the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper again made the save.
Etafia pulled off a brilliant save to deny the former Orlando Pirates star five minutes later, making sure he kept a clean sheet at the half-time break.
Both coaches made various substitutions in the second half in an attempt to change the state of the game.
'Birds' coach Ian Gorowa pulled off Japhet Zwane, Alton Meiring and Tsweu Mokoro and brought on Patrick Thwala, Thulani Ngcephe and Songwe Chalwe respectively.
'Downs coach Gordon Igesund called on Manqoba Ngwenya, Josta Dladla and Lungisani Ndlela to replace Dillon Sheppard, Patrick Apataki and Brent Carelse respectively.
Even though the substitutions did bring a sense of urgency to the game, they could not win the match for either team.
The best chance of the second half fell to Lerato Chabangu in the 86th minute when his powerful shot hit the upright, with Etafia again well beaten.
Swallows thought they had earned a penalty on the stroke of full-time when Cecil Oerson went down inside the penalty box, but referee Daniel Bennet waved play on.
This proved to be the last real action of the match as Bennet blew his final whistle a few minutes later to end a game of near misses
Moroka Swallows (4-5-1): Greg Etafia, Goodman Mazibuko, Cecil Oerson, Lefa Tsutsulupa, Tsweu Mokoro (Chalwe 88), Japhet Zwane (Patrick Thwala 64), Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Bevan Fransman, James Mayinga, Mark Haskins, A Meiring (Thulani Ngcepe 78).
Mamelodi Sundowns (4-4-2): Brian Baloyi, Vuyo Mere, Shere Lekgothoane, Oscar Ntwagae, Benson Mhlongo, Esrom Nyandoro, Brent Carelse (Lungisani Ndlela 79), Dillon Sheppard (Manqoba Ngwenya 63), G Leremi, Lerato Chabangu, P Apataki ( Josta Dladla 70).