Swallows grab away point at Santos
Moroka Swallows salvaged an away point when they played to 1-1 draw with Engen Santos in a hard-fought Castle Premiership match at Athlone Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Swallows goalkeeper Greg Etafia had to be alert early on after Santos' veteran defender Musa Otieno tried to chip him from long-range just seconds after the start of the match.
The self-same Otieno almost put the 'Birds' ahead in the 14th minute when he turned the ball towards his own goal, but Santos goalkeeper Wayne Roberts got enough on the ball to parry it for a corner.
Those early efforts aside, Santos' SA Under-23 internationals, Eliazar Rodgers and Erwin Isaacs, who came for the injured Jonathan Armogam, eventually combined to put Santos ahead in the 44th minute, when Isaacs delivered an inviting cross into the box that Rodgers headed past a hapless Etafia.
With the scoreline at 1-0 in Santos' favour at the end of the first half, Swallows returned a more determined side from the interval as 'Birds' midfielder Mark Haskins forced Wayne Roberts into a good save with a powerful snap-shot in the 48th minute.
The Santos goals were pounded by the Swallows contingent in the second half, but Haskins was again unlucky in the 54th minute as his well-struck volley flew narrowly wide of goal, while striker Evans Gwekwerere came close with a header in the 55th minute.
Something had to give as substitute Tsweu Mokoro turned his marker and unleashed a fierce shot past Roberts for the equaliser in the 66th minute, much to the relief of the visitors' head coach Ian Gorowa.
The pressure on Santos was eased off by the 'Birds' after defender Mayinga was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 80th minute, but the visitors had, by then, done enough to salvage a valuable Premiership away point in the difficult Cape conditions.