Birds start Q4 with a draw

The Birds started the fourth quarter of the Absa Premiership with a 1-1 draw with Bidvest Wits at the Volkswagen Dobsonville Stadium on Friday night.

Outgoing Bennett Chenene continued to show his commitment to the Nest with his seventh goal that had the Birds leading, but Sibusiso Vilakazi scored in with less than 10 minutes left in the game to level matters.

The Birds had all the chances in the early stages of the match, but the visitors' keeper stood between them and an early lead.

Captain Lefa Tsutsulupa watched two of his set-pieces saved by the energetic goalminder, the first was in the fourth minute when he held on to the midfielder's quickly-taken free-kick before tipping another decent attempt from the skipper over the bar in the 20th minute.

The visitors found their rhythm and had the Birds on the back-foot for much of the remaining minutes in the first half and scores remained deadlocked at 0-0 at half-time.

The Birds started the second half like they did the first, but they couldn't do damage with the last ball.

Dikgange Mabalane had the best of the chances when Siyabonga Nomvethe set him up with a decent cross into the box, but technique let the Birds' winger down - as sent his header wide from close-range.

The deadlock was finally broken when substitute Joseph Makhanya set the on-form Chenene with a clever pull-back and the winger did the rest from close-range to put the hosts 1-0 up.

Chenene could have doubled the lead 10 minutes later, after Tsutsulupa set him free with a neat back-heel, but he couldn't beat the keeper.

The Birds sat back trying to consolidate the lead with the clock winding down, the visitors took that as an invite to attack and were rewarded when Clavin Kadi found Vilakazi who poked the ball past Greg Etafia to put the sides back on level terms.

Neither side could ill afford to concede what could be the winner and were happy to share the spoils to keep their top eight positions in tact.

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