TS Galaxy inflict first defeat of the season on Swallows

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Owen Da Gama (Gallo Images)
Owen Da Gama (Gallo Images)

Swallows were left shell-shocked at Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday evening as TS Galaxy mounted a late comeback to clinch a 2-1 come-from-behind victory in the DStv Premiership.

Swallows looked to be heading for a narrow win thanks to Ruzaigh Gamildien's 54th-minute penalty but Swallows were rewarded for their never-say-die attitude late in the contest as Lindokuhle Mbatha levelled matters before Bevan Fransman netted the match-winner with three minutes of regulation time remaining.

The first half was an action-packed affair, offering up plenty of goalscoring chances as the Rockets created the lion's share of goal scoring chances.

The hosts started brightly, creating two chances in quick succession in the opening minutes, Mxolisi Macuphu firing over the bar before Mbatha saw his goal-bound shot kept out by Swallows keeper Virgil Fries.

Galaxy continued to press forward, firing wide of the mark in the eighth minute before midfielder Marks Munyai saw his powerful shot tipped onto the crossbar by Vries in the 21st minute.

Wayde Lekay squandered a great chance a few minutes later while teammate Mbatha fired into the side netting after making a driving run into the box.

Vries was again called into action on 37 minutes, denying Mbatha with a great save as the defence reacted quickly to clear the danger.

Midfielder Bathusi Aubaas fired wide from a Mbatha corner kick one minute later as Swallows somehow managed to survive another scare.

Swallows' best chance of the half arrived in the final minutes of the half but it would go to waste as Gamildien skied his shot over the bar from the centre of the penalty area, much to the relief of the home bench.

And there was plenty of drama early in the second half as the referee awarded a penalty to Swallows after midfielder Zaphaniah Mbokoma went down in the area in the 48th minute, Gamildien converting the resulting spot-kick.

Just two minutes later, Galaxy were awarded a spot-kick of their own only for the assistant referee to flag an infringement in the build-up to the incident in question.

The Galaxy players were clearly unhappy with the decision of the assistant referee and channelled all of their frustration into clawing their way back on level terms.

The Rockets had Swallows pinned back in their own half but were struggling to find a way through an obstinate defence that was putting everything on the line to keep a slender lead intact.

Swallows very nearly added a second goal in the 82nd minute as Tlakusani Mthethwa saw his goal-bound shot cleared off the line by the Galaxy defence.

The visitors were made to rue that squandered opportunity as the Rockets roared back with two goals in quick succession to claim the lead with just a few minutes remaining.

Mbatha sparked the comeback with a memorable long-range strike from the left-hand side of the pitch before Fransman sealed the come-from-behind win with a shot from more than 35 yards out.


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