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Johannesburg - Moroka Swallows added to Orlando Pirates’ weekend of misery with a dramatic 3-2 win over the Buccaneers in their Premiership League clash at the Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Buccaneers hit the ground running and launched an attack in the first minute, which saw Takesure Chinyama sending Sifiso Myeni through.
The midfielder showed great composure as his let go a grass-cutter, which gave Greg Etafia no chance in goal for the hosts.
The Pirates could have doubled their lead in the fourth minute when Daine Klate sent in an inviting cross, which unfortunately found no player, allowing Etafia to collect.
Swallows’ best chance fell to Katlego Mashego in the 18th minute. Siyabonga Nomvete worked his way through on the left wing and floated a beautiful cross which Mashego miscued in front of goal, which Thabo Matlaba cleared.
Etafia was forced to make a save in the 24th minute, tipping over the bar a Klate pile-driver from a freekick just outside the box. Pirates wasted the resultant corner.
In the 31st minute Klate was fouled, but referee waved for advantage and the Birds scrambled the ball away - but only to Myeni, who failed to capitalise.
Pirates' second goal came from the penalty spot in the 35th minute. Da Costa was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box and Andile Jali made no mistake from the spot-kick.
Swallows pulled one back in the 44th minute. Chabangu’s defence-splitting pass found the speedy Mabalane, who did well to pull the ball back for Mashego, who fired home past Senzo Meyiwa to make it 2-1 going to the break.
Pirates carried on from where they left off in the first half and came close to finding their third in the 47th minute. Jali’s dipping cross found Manyisa, who did well to beat the offside trap only to miscue his effort with only the keeper to beat.
In the 60th minute, Swallows levelled matters. Mabalane let fly from about 35m and the strike beat Meyiwa, but bounced off the upright straight to skipper Lefa Tsutsulupa, who buried the chance with a diving header.
Seven minutes later, Mashego turned provider as his cross found Chabangu, who headed home to give the Birds the lead.
On top of conceding the goal, Pirates were dealt another blow when their goal-scorer Myeni limped off injured, forcing coach Roger de Sa to throw Tlou Segolela into the fray.
Swallows also lost Chabangu through injury. He had to be replaced by Oscar Machapa, who also did well to provide some steel in the middle of the park for the Birds to hold on for a win.
The win saw Swallows fly to 10th position with 22 points, while Pirates missed the chance to topple arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs at the the summit of the table ahead of the two giants’ clash this weekend. - Sapa