'Birds' fly into SAA Supa 8 semi-finals
Sunday August 20 2006
Moroka Swallows gave their cup ambitions a major boost when they beat Silver Stars 2-1 in their SAA Supa 8 quarter-final clash at the Germiston Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The 'Beautiful Birds' opened their scoring charts as early as the 17th minute when Mame Niang finished off Beven Fransman's headed cross with a tap-in.
Swallows were presented with brilliant a opportunity to increase their tally to two, but Cecil Oersen missed the target when he took a woeful shot in the 21st minute.
The Gavin Hunt-coached side seemed to have put their feet off the pedal after this miss and allowed Stars to launch a number of raids into their danger area.
December Ngobeni almost equalised for Stars in the 36th minute, but his close-range attempt was thwarted by the home side's Nigerian 'keeper Greg Etafia.
Oersen made amends for his earlier miss when he outran Stars' stalwart Willem Jackson and beat Stars stopper Wayne Sandilands with a brilliant shot in the 63rd minute.
The 2006/07 almost lost Etafia after a collision with Stars Johannes Motlhaping, but the highly-religious stopper was judged fit to continue to play between the posts.
Jackson pulled one back for the 'Lions of the North' deep in the second half, which a goal that provided what was to be a late motivation factor for Stars.
The Bafokeng Royal Palace-based side almost equalised in the 87th minute when Stanley Kgatla unleashed a fierce shot at the Swallows goals, but Etafia was on hand to thwart the attempt.
Stars late charge bore no fruit as Swallows sailed into the semi-finals after what coach Gavin Hunt said was a "good performance".