Swallows just denied by 'Bucs'
Defender Lovers Mohlala's stunning first-half goal was not enough to seal yet another win for Moroka Swallows when they drew 2-2 with traditional rivals Orlando Pirates at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Wednesday evening.
The 'Birds' looked set to end Pirates' Castle Premiership three-match unbeaten streak, after Mohlala's long-range effort - a sure contender for goal of the season - found the back the net in the third minute, indicating that his presence in the 'Dube Birds' nest was no fluke after coach Gavin Hunt lured him to the club.
Pirates responded through a goal by midfielder Bennett Chenene just four minutes later after 'Birds' captain Goodman Mazibuko failed to clear the ball properly, but Swallows were not done yet and they soon snuck into the lead again.
Swallows' towering striker Mame Niang beat the off-side trap after some fine passing, only for his low shot to hit the upright, but not before crafty midfielder Lefa Tsutsulupa latched onto the rebound and tapped the ball into the empty net to make the scoreline 2-1 in the 13th minute.
The home team's Songwe Chalwe should have increased the margin straight afterwards, but he failed to beat 'Bucs' 'keeper Francis Chansa, despite having been left unmarked.
But Pirates did not give up and they began to dictate terms after the interval and when Bucuane was left unmarked - after Lucky Lekgwathi's cross - he headed home a remarkable goal; atoning for his miss during the first-round Premiership clash between these two teams.
With both teams huffing and puffing, more chances were created with substitutes coming in for both sides, but the stalemate was probably a fair result.
Swallows (4-4-2): Greg Etafia, Lovers Mohlala, Patrick Mabedi, Rudi Isaacs, Bevan Fransmann, Goodman Mazibuko, Lefa Tsutsulupa, Japhet Zwane (Evans Gwekwerere, 77), Cecil Oerson (Mark Haskins, 68), Songwe Chalwe (Thulani Ncephe, 65), Mame Niang.
Pirates (4-4-1-1): Francis Chansa, Lucky Lekgwathi, Innocent Mdledle, Lehlohonolo Seema, Lucas Thwala, Benedict Vilakazi, Rudzani Ramudzi, Benedict Chenene (Jurry Merahe, 77), Thapelo Leshabane, Manuel Bucuane (Gary McNab, 77), Fikru Tefera (Mulondo Sikhwivhilu, 46).