A 93rd-minute Alfred Ndengane penalty saw Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila snatch a point from their DStv Premiership clash against high-flying new boys Swallows FC.
JOHANNESBURG – A late Alfred Ndengane penalty kick ensured that Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila salvaged a point from their 1-all draw with fifth-placed Swallows FC in a DStv Premiership match at the Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday.
The two teams had contrasting starts to life in top-flight football. Swallows, who were promoted back to the elite league after winning the second tier division, finished the first half of the term unbeaten as they made an unlikely feature in the title race.
Tshakhuma, who bought the status of Bidvest Wits, has found the going tough in the premier division as they are languishing in the bottom half of the standings. But the two teams who were playing in this “six-pointer” having had a run of mixed fortunes lately.
Swallows came into this match winless in their last four matches in all competitions, while Tshakhuma were unbeaten in the same number of games. This game had some significance, with Swallows out to avenge their 4-3 penalty shootout defeat in the Nedbank Cup last 16.
But it was the visitors that looked determined to find the breakthrough as their striking contingent was giving Swallows’ defence a tireless outing in the early stages of the first half. But goalkeeper Virgil Vries did well to keep his team in the game.
After a long ball from his own half, Rhulani Manzini beat the offside trap to set himself on a one-on-one duel with Vries. But the former Namibian No.1 did exceptionally well to keep out Manzini’s close-range thunderbolt with a high-flying save.
From the resultant corner-kick, Manzini found him a recipient of a loose ball behind Swallows’ defence but his turning shot was easily collected by Vries. But a few minutes later, Swallows turned the game on its head and found the breakthrough.
A lovely one-twos between Kamohelo Mahlatsi and Ruzaigh Gamildien released the former who found himself with Washington Arubi to beat. But the Zimbabwean goalie parried the effort to the path of Zaphaniah Mbokomo who tapped into an empty net.
In a blink of an eye, it should have been 2-0 to Swallows. After his lovely footwork helped him to slip his marker down the by-line, Kaogelo Sekgota cut back pass found Gamildien who’s close-range hard and low tap-in was blocked by a sliding clearance by Lehlohonolo Nonyane.
Swallows went to the break ahead. But Tshakhuma were unlucky not to be level, Farai Madhanaga having done well to turn and minus numbers before unleashing a thunderbolt that rattled against the upright before rolling away for a goal-kick.
The visitors’ tactical change at half-time nearly paid dividends though. Joseph Malogoane set-up fellow substitute Celimphilo Ngema who unleashed a pile-drive from the edge of the box, forcing Vries to another brilliant save as Swallows looked to hang on.
Gamildien nearly doubled his team’s tally but his lobbying effort was parried away by Arubi. Tshakhuma, though, were nearly awarded an own goal by Tlakusani Mthethwa who hit his own upright. But in the end, Ndengane won and converted a spot-kick for his team.
Meanwhile, Golden Arrows ended their hoodoo run since winning the Q2 Innovation to return to fourth on the standings after defeating struggling side Black Leopards 3-1 at the Thohoyandou Stadium in Venda on Sunday afternoon.