Home Sport Another late goal in PSL gives Royal AM win over Swallows FC

Another late goal in PSL gives Royal AM win over Swallows FC

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Royal AM players celebrate after Elias Pelembe scored a goal in the dying moments of their DStv Premiership match against Swallows FC at Chatsworth Stadium in Durban on Sunday
Royal AM players celebrate after Elias Pelembe scored a goal in the dying moments of their DStv Premiership match against Swallows FC at Chatsworth Stadium in Durban on Sunday. Picture: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

Substitute Elias Pelembe scored a volley in the fifth minute of stoppage time to give Royal AM the win over Swallows FC in their DStv Premiership clash on Sunday.

Johannesburg — Substitute Elias Pelembe struck late with a half-volley that handed Royal AM the maximum points during their 1-0 victory over Swallows ‘FC in a DStv Premiership encounter at the Chatsworth Stadium in Durban on Sunday afternoon.

This victory ensured that Royal AM leapfrogged Kaizer Chiefs to second on the standings as they have 36 points, 15 behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns who were stunned by Maritzburg United away from home in their match on Saturday.

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Swallows have themselves to blame as they were the better of the two teams especially in the second half, where Royal AM also conceded a red card after Zukile Mkhize unleashed a career-threatening tackle on substitute Keletso Makgalwa.

With matches coming thick and fast, both sides were eager to improve their respective spots on the log. But the odds favoured Royal AM coming into this encounter, given that they hadn’t lost at home in their last nine games this season.

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As a result of their confidence, coach John Maduka didn’t make any changes to the team that beat SuperSport United away from home in their last match, while the Birds had one change to the team that beat Sekhukhune United 1-0 away.

The two teams started on a high note, going pound-to-pound early on. But all the action was in the engine room where the Birds’ duo of Givemore Khupe and Kamohelo Mahlatsi traded blows with Lantshene Phalane and Given Mashikinya.

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But it was early in the game that the visitors looked like the team that would draw first blood. Mahlatsi unleashed a high-weighted pass that Khethukuthula Ndlovu found near the goals before forcing Patrick Nyame to parry the ball away.

Swallows continued to dominate possession in the midfield. So much so that they were wasteful not to make it count, especially after Khupe had found himself with acres of space in front of Royal AM’s box before he skied the shots.

From thereon, chances were few and far in between for either side – with the duel continuing in the midfield, although there was not enough supply to their respective frontmen upfront. A feat that must have been worrying for both coaches.

Before halftime, though, the home side had a chance to take the lead after Mkhize delivered a nice square ball for Mxolisi Macuphu whose attempted half bicycle sailed inches wide off goal, although he had the attention of Thela Thela.

Dylan Kerr’s side were arguably the better side for the first 10 minutes after the restart. The evergreen Mahlatsi should have found the opener first, but he unceremoniously put his close-range curling effort just inches wide off the far post.

Ndlovu was Swallows’ wasteful player of the day. Ricardo Solomons, who was their best player of the day, whipped in a cross that Nyame parried back to the former who side stepped him before Ricardo Nascimento cleared the ball off the line.

Again, the visitors were unfortunate not to find the lead after another square ball from Solomons found Joseph Musonda who put his header wide off goal. With Swallows wasteful, it was up to Royal AM to punish them with a sucker-punch.

Thwihli Thwahla did exactly that after Pelembe came off the bench to score the winner as they climbed to second on the log, while Swallows remained drawn in the relegation battle as they are one point behind Baroka who are at the foot.

@Mihlalibaleka

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