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Football | Absa Premiership

Nqothana and Tsutsulupa © Backpagepix

Siwahla pegs back Birds



Mkhanyiseli Siwahla scored a late equaliser as Chippa United held Moroka Swallows to a 1-1 draw in an Absa Premiership match at a rainy Dobsonville Stadium on Friday night.

Having been beaten 2-0 by Bidvest Wits in midweek, the Birds would have been determined to bounce back to winning ways, and Lerato Chabangu’s goal midway through the first half put them on course.

However, a passing thunderstorm made life difficult for both teams and the Chilli Boys seemed to adapt better to the wet conditions in the second half, pegging back their hosts late on thanks to a fine individual effort from the diminutive Siwahla.

After a quiet start to the match in which neither team was able to create much more than half-chances, Swallows took the lead on 23 minutes when Lerato Chabangu scored with a glancing header from David Mathebula’s free kick.

Two minutes later the Birds almost doubled their lead in what would have been fortuitous circumstances, as defender James Okwousa sliced an attempted clearance just over his own goalposts.

Chippa threatened only fleetingly in the first half – one such occasion arrived in the 27th minute when Sindiso Nqothani got in behind the Swallows defence to latch onto a fine pass, but his first touch was poor and allowed goalkeeper Greg Etafia to smother the ball.

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Chippa were dealt a major blow toward the end of the first half when influential defender Vuyisile Ntombayithethi seemed to dislocate his shoulder in a collision, resulting in his withdrawal before the interval. He was replaced by Martin Moonsamy.

The Cape side improved after the break, enjoying the torrential rain in Soweto more than their hosts, and should have brought themselves level on 58 minutes when an Etafia clearance was charged down and fell straight to Welcome Qalanto, but he rushed his attempted lob and missed the target.

Qalanto had another chance in the 82nd minute when a clever knock-down from Andile Mbenyane put the striker in on goal, but Etafia did just enough to force the Chippa United player to shoot wide of goal.

On 87 minutes the Chilli Boys were rewarded for their second half endeavours when substitute Mkhanyiseli Siwahla scored an excellent solo goal, skinning Shere Lekgothoane down the right of the penalty area before beating Etafia at his near post with a well-struck shot.

Moroka Swallows (1) 1 (Chabangu 23’)

Chippa United (0) 1 (Siwahla 87’)

Swallows: Etafia, Mapemba, Nergadze, Hendricks, Lekgothoane, Mabalane (Makhanya 72’), Tsutsulupa, Chabangu (Machapa 90’), Chenene, Mathebula, Maleka (Khumalo 77’)

Chippa: Kassaly, Ntombayithethi (Moonsamy 45’), Okwousa, Cohen, Matomane, Mbenyane, Carelse, Nqothani, Shumana (Siwahla 62’), Amegnaglo (Sithole 75’), Qalanto

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