Swallows strike late to frustrate Orlando Pirates at wet Orlando

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Ben Motshwari (Gallo Images)
Ben Motshwari (Gallo Images)

Orlando Pirates were held to a 1-1 draw in their DStv Premiership clash with Swallows FC at a very wet Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

As it happened | Orlando Pirates v Swallows 

Ben Motshwari broke the deadlock with an unstoppable shot past Virgil Vries on 85 minutes. In the 93rd minute, Kamohelo Mahlatsi popped up with a leveller to ensure a share of the spoils.

The result saw Bucs remain in sixth place on the league standings, with 14 points, as Swallows stay in second place, on 22 points, two behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Swallows were in with the first half-chance of the tie as Fawaaz Basadien cut in from the right-hand side before shooting at goal, only for his effort to hold up on the drenched pitch.

Terrence Dzvukamanja had a shot deflected wide on six minutes as Pirates exerted some good early pressure at the other end.

Kgaogelo Sekgota looked to square for Ruzaigh Gamildien inside the area, but his pass from the left was cut out by Bucs stopper Wayne Sandilands.

A shot from range from Thabo Matlaba forced Sandilands into a good low saw to his left. Matlaba was then unfortunately forced off with a hamstring strain he picked up sprinting forward in attack. Sifiso Hlanti replaced the injured left-back and was immediately into the action with a cross from the left that so nearly dropped in under the Bucs crossbar.

A Basadien free-kick on 18 minutes was just too far from Gamildien to pounce before he shot straight at Sandilands as Swallows broke forward with pace.

Paseka Mako fired over for Bucs on the turn as Given Thibedi drilled in a powerful pass from the left of the box that was blocked.

Deon Hotto then did expertly well to bring a high ball down and turn his man before Vuyo Mere recovered to make an important tackle.

Wayde Jooste forced Vries into a near-post save from his strong run and shot on the half-hour mark with the game still shifting from end to end.

Jooste fired over from range as Fortune Makaringe could only force a corner after working some space for an effort as the first half drew to a close.

While the rain had subsided for the second half, the pitch was badly cut up and making it difficult for the players to keep their footing.

A header on target from Sekgota lacked the power to beat Sandilands on 50 minutes, as a Jooste ball into the box was just too hard for the advancing Hotto to the left of the goal.

Gamildien may well have opened the scoring on 55 minutes as he picked up a neat Basadien pass into the Bucs area, but Sandilands was equal to the effort.

Jooste found himself with some space to line up a shot from a central area but could only fire high and wide.

Thembinkosi Lorch couldn't find his range with a free-kick from a good position on the hour-mark, as second-half Swallows substitute Mahlatsi had two efforts on goal blocked.

Sekgota failed to trouble Sandilands with a tame shot on 67 minutes before Makaringe was sensationally booked for simulation after appearing to be fouled by Tlakusani Mthethwa in the box.

Vries clawed the ball away from the toe of Hotto as Pirates pressed forward in search of a winner.

Both sides threw everything forward in search of one last attempt and it was an unlucky deflection as Swallows tried to defend a late throw-in that led to the game's first goal. Lorch was on hand to neatly lay off the loose ball to Motshwari, who fired emphatically past Vries into the top left corner of the net.

But just as Bucs thought they had claimed all three points, a long kick forward from Vries was picked up by another Swallows substitute in Joseph Mhlongo. He played some super one-twos with Mahlatsi, who ultimately found himself in the box and fired past an advancing Sandilands.

- TEAMtalk media

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