Late Swallows stunner catches Chiefs on the wrong side of scoreboard
CAPE TOWN - Moroka Swallows ran out close-shave 1-0 winners after a late goal against Kaizer Chiefs in Tuesday night's DSTV Premiership clash at the Dobsonville Stadium where these two Soweto rivals clashed for the first time in five years in the elite league.
The well-taken win will see Swallows replace Mamelodi Sundowns at the top of the log while Chiefs will remain rooted in 11th position.
Before kick-off, the players observed a moment of silence to mark the passing of sports and football personalities including former Bafana Bafana international Anele Ngcongca.
The first scoring chance fell to Chiefs as early as the third minute when a hesitant Swallows failed to deal with a goalmouth cross.
Both teams were playing at a pace which caused them to turn over possession at regular intervals, mainly because of passes going astray.
In the 11th minute, Chiefs striker Khama Billiat overcooked a goalmouth cross which flew well beyond his teammates who were unmarked in the firing zone.
Midway through the first half, Chiefs seemed to be building up a head of steam after penetrative sorties down the right channels. At least two half-chances emerged but were spurned at a time Swallows' defence was not particularly efficient.
Chiefs' pressure towards the end of the first half saw them force a handful of corners and a few close-in free-kicks but their set-piece efforts were ineffective.
In the closing stages of the first half Chiefs started to show their superiority and might have returned to the change rooms with a goal advantage. However, Daniel Cardoso's scoring effort was controversially ruled 'no goal' after referee Masixole Bambiso changed his mind on the advice of an assistant referee.
A notable first-half strike was that of Chiefs' Philani Zulu whose thunderbolt crashed against the crossbar leaving Swallows' Namibian goalkeeper Virgil Vries clutching at fresh air, two minutes ahead of the halftime break.
Chiefs were not able to enjoy the same dominance in early second-half play and Swallows managed to take play deep into the opposition goalmouth without setting scoring opportunities. During this passage of play, three corners could not help Swallows break the deadlock.
By the time the match passed the hour mark, Chiefs were still reduced to a largely defensive role, and they had to rely on counter-attacks to keep their winning hopes alive.
The few counter-attacks broke down around the fringes of the Swallows penalty area, and Swallows' defence lived a charmed life as they were hardly tested.
Swallows, last season's First Division champions, finally cracked Chiefs' defence when their skipper Lebohang Mokoena reeled in a goalmouth cross which debutant Joseph Mhlongo steered into the goals three minutes from the end (1-0).