Nomvethe strike keeps Birds alive

Veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe scored the only goal of the match as Moroka Swallows defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in an Absa Premiership at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on Saturday afternoon.

The win leaves the Dube Birds in 15th place with 30 points and it means the Soweto side will now compete in the promotional-relegation playoffs for a chance to remain in top flight football next season.

The hosts showed their intentions early in the game and came close to taking the lead in the 13th minute when Nomvethe got a solid effort on target, only to be denied by a good save from Bongani Mpandle.

Ten minutes later the Celtic goalkeeper was at it again, this time showing good reflexes to tip Vuyisile Wana’s attempt over the crossbar.

The visitors came close to silencing the home crowd in the 38th minute when Thapelo Morena fired a powerful effort which flew just wide of the upright, leaving the two sides deadlocked at 0-0 at halftime.

Swallows started strongly after the restart and in the 52nd minute Felix Obada did well to control the ball before firing towards goal, but his effort lacked the power to trouble Mpandle.

With the crowd on the edge of their seats, it was Nomvethe who brought some calm in the 71st minute when he headed the ball into the back of the net from close range, connecting with a cross from Shere Lekgothoane.

That goal was enough to ensure that Swallows live to see another day as they finished three points ahead of AmaZulu, who have been relegated after losing 2-1 to Maritzburg United in a KwaZulu-Natal derby in Durban.

Moroka Swallows 0 (1) (Nomvethe 71’)

Bloemfontein Celtic 0


MOROKA SWALLOWS: Stephens, Mngomezulu, Cohen, Isaacs, Lekgothoane, Hendricks, Phalane, Baloyi, Obada (Chabangu 63’), Nomvete (Tsutsulupa 90’), Wana (Mabalane 44’)

BLOEMFONTEIN CELTIC: Mpandle, Fransman, Ndengane, Letlabika, Bilankulu, Mogapi (Lakay 89’), Mhango (Zuma 46’), Ntanga, Nyatama (Rikhotso 58’), Morena, Lamola

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