Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs' quest for a double this season received a massive boost as the Glamour Boys rallied to beat Moroka Swallows 3-1 in a tense Absa Premiership match at the Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday night.
There was drama in the match with a penalty being saved after being taken three times, with tempers flaring on the pitch and in the stands as Birds fans chanted the referee's name.
Swallows started the match well and were unlucky not to take the lead in the second minute of the game.
Siyabonga Nomvethe was allowed space for a shot outside the box but he was denied by the woodwork with Itumeleng Khune beaten.
In the 13th minute, Kingston Nkhatha found himself face-to-face with Greg Etafia but the Chiefs striker rushed his shot and the shot stopper was equal to the task.
Swallows opened the scoring in the 19th minute, George Nergadze out-jumping the Chiefs defenders to head in a set-piece.
The Birds should have doubled their lead from the penalty spot in the 26th minute, after Khune was adjudged to have hacked down Lerato Chabangu.
The Chiefs skipper was booked, and will miss his team's crucial next game against title hopefuls Platinum Stars.
Katlego Mashego took the penalty and scored but the referee Buyile Gqubule ordered two retakes after he adjudged that the Birds players crouched inside the box before the kicks were taken.
The striker scored the first retake but Nomvethe was adjudged to have crouched into the box and was booked then Khune denied Mashego at the third attempt.
Parity was restored in 30th minute, Bernard Parker set up inside the box and unleashed a low pile driver which found its way underneath Etafia to the back of the net, with the teams reaching half time all square.
After the break, in the 48th minute, Siyabonga Nkosi set up Simphiwe Tshabalala from a cross and the Bafana Bafana winger did not disappoint as he sent in a beautiful ball but Nkhatha headed over the cross bar under the challenge of keeper Etafia.
Parker scored his second to give Chiefs the lead in the 52nd minute as he buried a Nkosi low cross from the left much to the excitement of the Chiefs bench lead by coach Stuart Baxter.
In the 58th minute Lebese broke loose, leaving Roger da Costa behind him but his cross was disappointing and Swallows recovered to clear the danger.
From then, Chiefs were all over Swallows and their continued raids paid off when they got their third in the 72nd minute, Lebese slotting home after being well setup by defender Tsepo Masilela.
Parker nearly had a hat trick but failed to connect a Josta Dladla cross with only Etafia to beat in the 88th minute.
The win sees Chiefs complete a double over the Birds to move to 55 points, six clear off second placed Platinum Stars who played to 1-1 draw against Chippa United earlier on Saturday. – Sapa