Durban — Swallows FC retained their place in the DStv Premiership after a Yagan Sasman goal propelled them to a 1-0 victory over The University of Pretoria at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Swallows found their breakthrough midway through the second half when an unfamiliar scorer in Sasman latched onto a loose ball in the 61st minute.
A thrown-in routine from the training ground resulted in the ball spilling out onto the edge of the box as Tuks failed to clear. Sasman was quickest to react and awkwardly fired his shot into the ground and beat Thakasani Mbanjwa in between the posts.
The Dube Birds went into this encounter with knowing that nothing but a victory against Tuks would ensure their return to the DStv Premiership for the 2022/2023 campaign, while Tuks needed to not lose to return to the top flight after six years in the GladAfrica Championship.
Swallows coach Dylan Kerr made his side's intentions clear as he lined up both Mwape Musonda and Kagiso Malinga upfront in a 4-4-2 formation for the first time in the last four games.
Tuks were missing the exploits of experience forward Thabang Sibanyoni upfront, However club top scorer Vuyo Phewa and Wonderboy Makhubu quickly showed they were prepared to take on the mettle as they created the games first big chance in the fourth minute.
The Swallows midfield started sloppily and gave the ball away in dangerous area, Phewa who on hand to pounce played a delightful ball over the top for Makhubu to run onto but the burly forward struck his effort straight onto the feet of Jody February in the Swallows goal.
Zambian International Musonda would've been very disappointed with himself as he spurned the chance of the first half in the 37th minute.
Monnapule Saleng, who was bright in the early stages of the match found room on edge of the box and clipped a cross towards Musonda who had managed to evade the defence and had just the keeper to beat. But his tame header went straight to the goalkeeper Mbanjwa in goal.
The first period of this match lived up to its billing as both sides threw numbers forward whenever in attack and played the match at incredibly high intensity.
Tuks coach Tlisane Motaung was very clear about his side's approach heading into this match and his comments were proven when he brought on Nigerian striker Etiosa Ighadora at half-time.
However, the 22 year old was guilty of missing a gilt edged chance shortly before Swallows found their opening goal. He ran onto a long ball behind the opposition defence and with just February to beat, he put too much power onto his shot and lifted it over the bar.
The Dube Birds emerged victorious and ensured at least another season in South Africa's top flight.