Swallows fight back to win MTN8 Cup

2012-09-22 21:31

Coach Marques ushers in a rare milestone in the club’s revival
 
Moroka Swallows (1) 2 SuperSport United (1) 1

Coach Zeca Marques’ black designer jacket was back in the air as the Moroka Swallows coach ushered in a rare milestone in the club’s revival from being the sleeping giants of Soweto and South African football.

The trademark celebration has been a common sight on the Swallows bench in the two months he had been in charge.

The annexure of the MTN8 Cup last night completed a cycle of success founded by the now Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund in the last two seasons, in which Marques was his deputy.

Last night’s delivery of the R8 million prize did not come easily for the side that picked up the runners-up medals in 2003 and 2010.

Swallows were caught on what had been their weakness so far this season: their often indecisive defence that has conceded as much as the team has been scoring lately.

They started well early on when winger Felix Obada was always a threat on the right flank with his darting runs and inviting crosses.

But the hunter soon became the hunted when United broke the deadlock when some of the fans had hardly taken their seats.

The opening goal was a combination of former Ajax Cape Town team-mates when Sameegh Doutie set up Franklin Cale to slot home from close range.

However, Cale’s strike was soon to be cancelled by Giorgi Nergadze, whose thunderbolt completed what was a patient build-up initiated by Katlego Mashego.

But action from midfield was an eyesore for the 22 000-odd crowd as they witnessed just aimless kick-about in the centre of the immaculate park.

Swallows was always guilty at the back, particularly their fullbacks Shere Lekgothoane and Rudi Isaacs.

Doutie was afforded room by Lekgothoane and the speedy winger came close to scoring on two occasions in the opening half.

Similarly, Cale failed to take full advantage of Isaacs, who defended deep throughout the match.

The midfield play from the two sides was not convincing either as both teams resorted to playing high balls.

Referee Lwandile Mfiki did not help the course with some of his controversial decisions, including the moment when he denied Swallows a clear penalty after United’s Bevan Fransman had handled the ball in the defender’s bid to stop Bennett Chenene.

Earlier on, Mfiki was spot on not to allow a goal after Swallows defender Ashraf Hendricks’ cheeky back heel was blocked by his United counterpart, Mor Diouf, when the full circumference of the ball had not rolled over the line.

But Chenene was soon to bask in the spotlight with a clever lob over Rowen Fernandez in the United goal five minutes from regulation time to push Swallows to their first top eight since 1979.

One Swallows fan was captured by a TV camera with a 1983 Mainstay Cup final jersey, a sight that was more of a reminder of the era when last the Birds had dominated in the domestic knockout competitions.

As for United, Hunt was left to rue a missed opportunity of bagging his only second knockout trophy after he guided Matsatsantsa a Pitori to the Nedbank Cup at the Soweto venue in May.

Marques, on the other hand, did not mind the champagne that later soaked up his jacket.

Scorers: Franklin Cale 4th; Giorgi Nergadze 18th; Bennett Chenene 85th


How the teams lined up

Moroka Swallows:
Greg Etafia – Shere Lekgothoane, Luvhengo Mungomeni, Ashraf Hendricks, Rudi Isaacs – Giorgi Nergadze, Lefa Tsutsulupa, Bennet Chenene (Macbeth Sibaya 90th), Lerato Chabangu (David Mathebula 88th), Felix Obada (Siyabonga Nomvethe 67th) – Katlego Mashego

SuperSport United:
Rowen Fernandez – Roscoe Petersen, Bevan Fransman, Mor Diouf, Davis Nkausu – Franklin Cale (Clifford Mulenga 88th), Edwin Gyimah, Mark Haskins (George Maluleka 61st), Sameegh Doutie, Mabhudi Khenyeza – Sibusiso Zuma (Kermit Erasmus 57th)


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