Home Sport MTN8 semi-final: Wasteful Citizens let Swallows off the hook

MTN8 semi-final: Wasteful Citizens let Swallows off the hook

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Abdul Ajagun of Cape Town City is challenged by Lehlogonolo Matlou of Swallows FC during the 2021 MTN8 1st leg semi-final at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Sunday. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePix

Cape Town City dominated possession, and had a plethora of opportunities particularly during the final 10 minutes when they raided the Swallows goal, but could find a way to get the ball into the back of the net.

CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City may rue missing a host of chances in their MTN8 first-leg home semi-final against Swallows FC at Athlone Stadium on Sunday.

The home side dominated possession, and had a plethora of opportunities particularly during the final 10 minutes when they raided the Swallows goal, but could find a way to get the ball into the back of the net as the visitors hung on for a goalless draw to take back to Dobsonville.

City made one change from their midweek victory over Royal AM as new signing Khanyisa Mayo started ahead of Douglas Maphu. Swallows coach Brandon Truter also made just the solitary change with Strydom Wambi coming into the Dube Birds line-up.

The Citizens hit the upright twice during the first half when Abbubaker Mobara found himself unmarked collecting a Mayo cross, but the defender could only manage to direct his strike against the post.

City coach Eric Tinkler was up on his feet already just before halftime when Mayo struck a pile-drive at the Swallows goal, but the Swallows keeper Virgil Vries, who was in superb form all afternoon, tipped the shot over the bar to force a corner. There was another opportunity from the set-piece to open the scoring, but Taariq Fielies headed the resultant corner wide.

Swallows had a couple of chances of their own before the interval but Khetukuthula Ndlovu could not trouble Hugi Marques in the City goal with his strike. Equally, Junaid Sait was also not on target with his header.

Tinkler’s talk at the half-time would certainly have revolved around his team pushing forward in search of that all-important goal to take into the second-leg, and his charges certainly responded by being more creative in the final third.

However, they were not incisive as they lacked their killer-instinct at crucial times. Vries, though, was also in top form as he made another superb save with his knees shortly on the line shortly after the break.

City playmaker Mduduzi Mdantsane was in control during the second half, pulling the strings in the midfield, and making telling passes as the home team continued to pile on the pressure.

Swallows, though, held on for dear life with Vries called on to make another save from Abdul Jeleel Ajagun before Craig Martin missed the chance to be hero for the Citizens in the dying minutes when he failed to capitalise on a cross from Terrence Mashego.

The visitors almost delivered a sucker punch right at the death on the counter-attack but Fielies averted the danger for City as the teams remained deadlocked after 90 minutes.

@ZaahierAdams

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