Independent Online

Monday, June 27, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Swallows rearguard at the forefront of club’s DStv Premiership survival

FILE - Swallows FC’s Yagan Sasman celebrates with teammates after scoring the only goal of the game during their promotion-relegation playoff clash against University of Pretoria at Lucas Moripe. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

FILE - Swallows FC’s Yagan Sasman celebrates with teammates after scoring the only goal of the game during their promotion-relegation playoff clash against University of Pretoria at Lucas Moripe. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Published Jun 16, 2022

Share

Durban – Swallows FC delivered the drama when they took their hunt for relegation survival to the final day of the relegation-promotion play-offs and emerged victors with the club's rearguard figuring importantly on both ends of the pitch.

A partially empty FNB Stadium played host to a Kaizer Chiefs vs Swallows encounter. While the home team honoured a dead rubber fixture, the visitors were on the verge of dropping to the second tier of local football.

Story continues below Advertisement

Step up Dillon Solomons in the 70th minute to convert his second penalty of the game and put Swallows 2-1 up, a lead they would eventually forfeit but a point enough to ensure at least a place at the end of season playoffs.

Defender Solomon's influence never ceased as he took his fine form into the tricky round-robin post season playoffs, emerging as one of the brightest sparks in an inconsistent Swallows side with his captain and defensive partners Wandisile Letlabika, Yagan Sasman and goalkeeper Jody February taking their cue with perfect timing.

Letlabika began the final playoff match on the back of arguably the worst game of his career. Giving the ball away for Cape Town All Stars to equalise before handing them the goal to take the lead with poor penalty giveaway.

Fast-forward a few days later and he's on the sidelines begging his coach not to sub him after a bad landing subjected him to medical check up in the changerooms. A testament to the man's character.

"Wandisile (Letlabika) has been criticised alot for the goals we conceded against All Stars but you look at him today and he has nearly ended up in hospital but he wanted to come back and play as he did last week when his father died," lauded coach Dylan Kerr after his side's late escape.

Former Ajax Cape Town duo Sasman and February formed part of a disappointing defence that conceded 36 goals in the DStv Premiership season but their shortcomings would've been forgotten shortly after their exploits on Wednesday afternoon.

Story continues below Advertisement

February made five saves against The University of Pretoria,three of which were point blank and could've easily taken the game away from the Dube Birds. He commanded a near perfect performance on his way to a deserved clean sheet, one he had promised prior to the match according to coach Kerr.

Eventual matchwinner Sasman has had a torrid year. Released by Chiefs at the end of season and battled for form while adjusting to a new environment throughout the campaign.

His status retaining strike ensured an ironic conclusion to their season after withstanding a barrage of reproval throughout the campaign.

Story continues below Advertisement

@SmisoMsomi16

IOL Sport

Share