'Birds' strengthen grip on second spot

Moroka Swallows strengthened their chances of qualifying for next season's African Champions League when they beat Santos 3-0 in a Castle Premiership match at Athlone Stadium on Friday night.

A brace from Henrico Botes and a powerful strike from Japhet Zwane were enough to earn the 'Beautiful Birds' a much deserved victory which gave them a five points lead over third placed Silver Stars.

Botes scored his first goal in the 27th minute when he volleyed home Lovers Mohlala's cross.

Santos had chances to score, but 'Birds' 'keeper Greg Etafia pulled out all the stops to make sure that Swallows take all the spoils.

Etafia came into the 'Birds' rescue in the 45th minute when he bravely collected the ball from Ryan Chapman's feet.

The Nigerian shot-stopper, who was having a good game made two brilliant saves to deny Isaacs and Thando Mngomeni in the 46th and 47th minute respectively.

Zwane then increased Swallows lead in the 64th minute after going on a solo run on the left flank before firing a powerful shot that beat Santos 'keeper Wayne Roberts hands down.

Santos were thrown a lifeline in the 71st minute when they were awarded a penalty after Chapman was fouled inside the box.

Isaacs, who was having a nightmarish game, blasted the penalty kick over the bar, much to the dismay of the Santos bench and supporters.

Botes beat the offside trap in the referee's injury time and marched towards goals and Roberts came out of his line to try and close the angle, but the lanky Swallows striker beat him as well before putting the ball into an empty net.

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May 20
Castle Premiership:
Drew 0-0 v SuperSport
Venue: Germiston Stadium

May 11
Castle Premiership:
Won 3-0 v Santos
Venue: Athlone Stadium

April 28
Castle Premiership:
Won 3-2 v Maritzburg
Venue: Germiston Stadium

April 21
Castle Premiership:
Drew 0-0 v AmaZulu
Venue: Germiston Stadium

April 8
Castle Premiership
Won 3-1 v Celtic
Venue: Seisa Ramabodu

April 1
Castle Premiership
Drew 1-1 v Chiefs
Venue: Germiston Stadium

March 11
Castle Premiership
Won 2-0 v Wits
Venue: Bidvest Stadium

March 3
Castle Premiership
Won 1-0 v Arrows
Venue: Germiston Stadium

Can Moroka Swallows beat Bundesliga team VFL Wolfsburg in the VW Challenge Trophy?