Home Sport Cape Town City take points from Swallows FC against the odds

Cape Town City take points from Swallows FC against the odds

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Wandisile Letlabika and Thabo Matlaba of Swallows FC try to stop Mduduzi Mdantsane of Cape Town City during their DStv Premiership match. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

A dogged Cape Town City overcame a red card to burgle a 2-1 win against a transformed Swallows FC side in their DStv Premiership clash at the Cape Town Stadium.

Cape Town – A dogged Cape Town City overcame a red card to burgle a 2-1 win against a transformed Swallows FC side in their DStv Premiership clash at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening after trailing 1-0 at halftime.

The come-from-behind victory crowned a victorious day for the Mother City teams after Stellenbosch FC too burgled a 1-0 win against relegation-doomed Baroka at the sweltering Danie Craven Stadium earlier on Saturday.

It turned out to be a nightmare first half for City, who were not only a man down, but also a goal by the time the teams made their way down to the tunnel for the halftime break.

Winger Monnapule Saleng made it 1-0 after 19 minutes following a hugely enterprising start marked by their high line, which proved effective. It was Christmas coming early for Saleng, who punished a dreadful mistake by midfielder Thato Mokeke, who made a pass across his goalmouth, and it was intercepted.

The goal marked Swallows first away goal after 17 matches this season.

There was more woe for City on the stroke of halftime when defender Abbubaker Mobara was given his marching orders after bringing down Swallows’ centre forward Ruzaigh Gamildien, who was closing in on the opposition’s penalty area. Referee Eugene Mdluli awarded Swallows a free-kick on the fringe of the penalty area and a red card for Mobara.

Gamildien’s effort from the set-piece struck the upright and denied Swallows a chance to go further ahead. On the evidence of first-half play, a second goal would have been deserving for Swallows, whose high-press tactic seemed to create an uneasy pressure for City’s rearguard.

In the opening seven minutes of the second half, Swallows managed two shots on target via Lebohang Mokoena and Kamohelo Mahlatsi, and each time City’s shot-stopper Hugo Marques was equal to the task.

It would seem the team has transformed since the appointment of the newly appointed Maltese-born coach Dylan Kerr. He is unable to take up his position in the dugout because he is still awaiting a work permit. Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Fani Madida, Swallows’ assistant coach, has been directing the side from the touchline in Kerr’s absence on matchdays.

Midway through the half, Mobara came close with two scoring chances. He struck the upright after running on to a pass from Mpho Makola, who made the feed from a close-in free-kick. Moments later, Mobara was again in the picture as his effort was marginally wide after an assist by striker Amethyst Ralani.

Swallows were equally enterprising when second-half play started and came close to adding another goal.

As the second half wore on, the 10-man City stepped up the ante and were rewarded with an equaliser just past the hour mark when the Congolese-born central defender Nathan Fasika scored.

Fasika outjumped the Swallows defence from a Thamsanqa Mkhize corner. His header was allowed to bounce plumb in front of the Swallows post, and when the defence failed to clear, Fasika pounced and rifled the ball home. It was his first goal of the season.

A minute later, central striker Fagrie Lakay came close, but his parting shot flew over the cross-bar at a time when the Swallows defence were in disarray.

Swallows seemed to be running out of steam after this setback, and nine minutes from the end, they were sent packing by a marvellous strike by midfielder Mpho Makola from a free-kick some 35 metres out.

Makola’s bullet-like shot struck the underside of the crossbar and ricocheted into the back of the net for what proved to be the eventual winner.

@Herman_Gibbs

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