Sundowns clip Swallows' wings
Wednesday September 20 2006
A fine charitable own-goal by Moroka Swallows defender Patrick Mabedi gave reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns three valuable points to record their second successive win of the season in a scintillating minute-by-minute Castle Premiership match.
The former Kaizer Chiefs defender, whose header gave his goalkeeper Greg Etafia no chance after a cross by the Brazilian hard-tackler Benson Mhlongo, was enough to ensure that Sundowns launched a strong thrust in their bid to defend their precious title.
In fact Swallows didnt deserve to lose. They produced a spirited performance that saw them dictating the first half with aplomb.
Renowned for been inconsistent which was evident when they were held to a disappointing draw by rookies Benoni Premier United, who were humbled by SuperSport United 5-0, The Birds produced a five star performance.
Despite yet to score in an open match, Swallows outplayed the super-rich Sundowns.
Just after 13 minutes, the home team had two clear scoring chances when peanpole striker Mame Niang shot went horribly wide with Sundowns goalkeeper Calvin Marlin well beaten. However, the Senegalese-born striker atone his early miss when his fine header was saved by the agile Marlin.
Sundowns on the other hand, huffed and puffed and their only serious scary moment was on the 17^th minute when new signee Tyren Arendse's well taken shot was saved by Etafia.
Such was Swallows bad night that classy midfielder Lefa Tsutsulupa's shot hit the cross bar in the before halftime with Marlin well beaten as Swallows were searching for their only goal in an opening match.
Just after two minutes after the break, the star-studded visitors came with renewed vigour. Two shot by tenacious midfielder and crafter of repute Esrom Nyandoro in a space of five minutes signalled a purposeful Sundowns and it came as no surprise when Mabedi could not take the heat anymore when he scored for Sundowns to the dismay of his supporters.
But Swallows were not to be undone, the introduction of Sibusiso Themba, Evans Gwekwerere and Cecil Orsen for Tsweu Mokoro, Bongani Mbhele and Sasi Chalwe added some fire power but with Sundowns resorting to a more defensive mood by bringing in defender Oscar Ntwagae for pin-sized Jose
Torrealba, it was clear that Sundowns defended with their lives to deny Swallows a deserved draw.
Swallows lineup (formation 4-4-2): Greg Etafia, Patrick Mabedi, Tebogo
Monyai, Beven Fransman, Bjorn Gugger, Goodman Mazibuko, Lefa Tsutsulupa,
Bongani Mbhele (Sibusiso Themba 72), Mame Niang, Tsweu Mokoro (Cecil
Orsen 79), Sasi Chalwe (Evans Gwekwerere 68)
Sundowns lineup (formation 4-4-2): Calvin Marlin, Vuyo Mere, Michael
Manzini, Benson Mhlongo, Esrom Nyandoro, Surprise Moriri, Dillion
Sheppard, Manqoba Ngwenya (Lungisane Ndlela 45), Jose Torrealba (Oscar
Ntwagae 58), Tyren Arendse (Lerato Chabangu 77)
Yellow Cards: Mokoro and Ngwenya 35, Gwekwerere 79, Monyai 90
Referee: Daniel Bennett