Swallows leap to second after seven-goal blitz

2012-05-05 07:56

Moroka Swallows leaped to second on the Absa Premiership table in thrilling fashion with an emphatic 5-2 win over Black Leopards in Giyani last night.

They remained firmly in title contention with two matches left to play.

They are on 50 points, two behind log-leading Orlando Pirates.

Swallows, the formerly dormant Soweto giants, have lost just four matches in the league, the fewest of any team.

All seven goals – including three braces – came in a frenetic last 33 minutes after the score was deadlocked at 0-0 at the half-time interval.

The floodgates opened after industrious midfielder Giorgi Nergadze headed in the opener in the 57th minute, before the league’s leading scorer Siyabonga Nomvethe scored twice, in the 71st and 80th minutes.

Nomvethe has now increased his goal tally to 18 for the season, and is playing himself back into contention for a Bafana Bafana call-up.

Substitute striker Mpho Maleka sealed matters with a brace of his own in the 82nd and 85th minutes, as Leopards fell away.

But Kingston Nkhatha found a consolation brace for the Limpopo outfit, scoring one goal in the 87th minute and another in added time in a lukewarm second-half performance.

It was a deserved victory for coach Gordon Igesund’s charges, who were the better team in the first half despite the 0-0 score at the break.

Leopards, though, had done well in the first half and did not allow space for Swallows to manoeuvre.

The visitors manufactured only two clear chances through Lerato Chabangu and Nomvethe, neither of which troubled the keeper.

The hosts’ best opportunity in the match came from Tiyani Mabunda’s shot that was tipped over the bar by Swallows goalkeeper Greg Etafia in the 25th minute.

Leopards were lethargic in the second half – possibly the CAF Confederation Cup trip to Nigeria on the weekend played a factor.

Pressure mounted on the bench as well when Swallows ran away with proceedings as coach Vladislav Heric and technical adviser Sunday Chidzambwa were seemingly arguing about the next step.

Leopards remain threatened by relegation and in 14th place on the log with 24 points – one above Santos.

They have three matches to survive returning to the National First Division.

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