Cape Town City thrash Swallows FC to reach MTN 8 final
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A brace from Bradley Ralani combined with goals from Fagrie Lakay and Edmilson Dove made the difference as Cape Town City advanced to the final of the MTN 8 following a 4-0 win over Swallows FC at the Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg. The Western Cape based side won the tie 4-0 on aggregate.
Swallows made a fast start to the game as they probed the City defence. After taking time to adjust to the away territory, City made their first attacking foray after ten minutes as Fagrie Lakay managed to pick out Mduduzi Mdantsane who had a shot blocked.
The game had a fast start with both sides getting their opportunities but the speed did deteriorate after 20 minutes as heavy rainfall and wing impacted both sides.
Picked out well by Terrence Mashego, Ralani made his experience count as he remained composed and in Didier Drogba fashion, used his chest to control the ball before tucking it beyond Swallows goalkeeper Virgil Vries.
In what would have been a relief for both sides, the rain and wind subsided ahead of the second half. Play was temporarily halted prior to the start of the second half but both dugouts would have been relieved that the suspension was just over five minutes.
Swallows made two attacking changes ahead of the second half as they introduced Strydom Wambi and striker Mwape Musonda.
Musonda very nearly drew Swallows level in the 52nd minute as he rounded City keeper Hugo Marques before his shot hit the upright. The conditions played a role as Marques slipped while coming off his line.
Lakay doubled the lead for the Citizens in the 57th minute with an expertly chipped shot from a tight angle which gave Vries no chance of saving.
Lakay’s finish for his goal was brilliant but he missed a golden chance to notch his second just over a minute later as he found himself in a one on one situation with Vries before dragging his shot wide.
Sipho Sibiya almost certainly prevented Ralani from notching his second of the game just two minutes later as he successfully executed a last ditch effort to halt Ralani from scoring when he would have only had the Swallows goal in sight.
Ralani eventually did go on to notch his brace as he was presented with a tap-in by team-mate Mdantsane after Swallows were forced to push their players up front.
The result presents City with an opportunity to win the MTN 8 for the first time since 2018. All that lies in their quest for the trophy is Mamelodi Sundowns who will also be eager to win the one trophy that he eluded them for 14-years.
Dove added insult to injury for Swallows in the dying minutes as he was presented with a free-header by the Swallows defence following a corner.
The result would also be a major relief to Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler given that his side have had a less than ideal start to the Premiership with five points after four games.