Chiefs, Swallows share spoils
The much-anticipated Soweto derby between Castle Premiership sides Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows ended in a 1-1 draw at Germiston Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors, under the stewardship of the charismatic Kostadin Papic, started out the hungrier of the two teams. Tinashe Nengomashe bulldozed his way through the Swallows midfield, but failed to put the ball in the back of the net - just 30 seconds after kick-off.
However, looking to appease their fan-base, who face another dreadful season in the championship race, the predatory Kaizer Motaung Junior further illustrated why he has been having an imperious season. Motaung rose to convert from the penalty-spot - after he was brought down by Swallows 'keeper Greg Etafia - to give his team the deserved lead in the sixth minute.
From there on, Chiefs dominated proceedings like men possessed, but found a no-nonsense Etafia in the 'Birds' goals.
In the 10th minute - and with the 'Birds' searching for the equaliser - Swallows defender Lovers Mohlala tried a long-range thunderbolt, but his shot went inches wide.
Making a rare start for Chiefs, pint-sized midfielder David Mathebula missed a chance to double his side's lead shortly afterwards; shooting wide after being gifted the ball by 'Birds' midfielder Lefa Tsutsulupa.
Injury-prone Swallows defender George Hummel was unlucky not to score for the 'Birds' in the 17th minute when he was left unmarked by the 'Amakhosi' defence, but he could not keep his header down after an accurate free-kick by the consistent Cecil Oerson.
A minute later, Motaung could not beat Etafia after he received a defence-splitting pass from Scara Ngobese and Chiefs went into half-time 1-0 up.
With the Swallows veterans pondering what to expect in the second half, their players came back from the break a different team, as substitute Evans Gwekwerere threatened the Chiefs rearguard after barely a minute on the pitch, much to the delight of the 'Birds' fans.
When 'Birds' striker Henrico Botes levelled matters in the 50th minute after a brilliant move from the home side, the memories of the once unstoppable Swallows came flooding back as the heroes of yesteryear celebrated with youthful exuberance.
Worse was to follow for Chiefs when Nengomashe, who had already been cautioned, received his marching orders in the 77th minute after fouling Swallows substitute Tsweu Mokoro.
The visitors struggled, as they were also without their leading marksman, Motaung Jr, who appeared to be injured when he was replaced by Louis Agyemang in the 67th minute.
Jabulani Mendu, himself a former Chiefs player, came into the picture with ten minutes to go, but he could not do enough to ensure that his coach beat his former team.
With their trophy cabinet bare, Swallows celebrated their 60th birthday with a move up the Premiership standings, to third position.
Swallows (4-4-2): Greg Etafia, Rudy Isaacs, Lovers Mohlala, George Hummel, Bevan Fransmann, Lefa Tsutsulupa, Mark Haskins, Cecil Oerson, Japhet Zwane (Evans Gwekwerere 46), Songwe Chalwe (Tsweu Mokoro 46, Jubulani Mendu 81), Henrico Botes.
Coach: Gavin Hunt
Chiefs (4-4-2): Rowen Fernandez, Cyril Nzama, David Obua, Jimmy Tau, Patrick Mayo, Tinashe Nengomashe, David Mathebula, Arthur Zwane (Gerald Sibeko 57), Scara Ngobese (Derrick Spnecer 85), Shaun Bartlett, Kaizer Motaung Jnr (Louis Agyemang 67).
Coach: Kosta Papic
Referee: Abdul Ebrahim
Yellow cards - Motaung Jnr 36, Nengomashe 46, Fransmann 64
Red cards - Nengomashe 77
By Patrick Baloyi/Backpagepix