Arrows shoot down Birds
Lamontville Golden Arrows ended their winless streak in the Absa Premiership when they defeated Moroka Swallows 2-0 at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Tuesday night.
Musa Bilankulu opened the scoring in the first half before substitute Mxolisi Macuphu added a second goal in added time after Swallows had been reduced to ten men close to the hour mark.
The visitors created the first chance of the match in the second minute after winning a free kick on the right; Lerato Chabangu then whipped the ball towards the near post to find Felix Obada, but he directed his header wide.
Then in the sixth minute the hosts came close to opening the scoring when Bonginkosi Ntuli made a run down the left flank before cutting the ball back for Bhekisizwe Nkosi, but he sent his first-time shot just wide of the upright.
A minute later Norman Smith tried to catch the goalkeeper off-guard with an effort from long range, but although he managed to get enough power on his strike, his effort dipped over the crossbar.
The hosts continued to threaten and in the 14th minute Bilankulu teed the ball up for Ritus Krjauklis inside the box, but Swallows goalkeeper Aubrey Mathibe extended his leg to block his low shot just before the line.
Swallows then had another chance of their own at the other end in the 19th minute when Lefa Tsutsulupa left the ball for David Mathebula just outside the box, but his low shot fizzed wide of the post.
The opening goal arrived six minutes later as Bilankulu rose highest in the box to nod the ball into the back of the net from a Sibusiso Hadebe corner.
The Dube Birds almost replied in similar fashion in the 32nd minute when Ashraf Hendricks connected with a Tsutsulupa corner, but he sent his header straight at Arrows goalkeeper Pavels Steinbors.
The visitors then came close to leveling matters on the stroke of halftime when Tsutsulupa released Chabangu on the left, but his stinging shot was pushed wide by Steinbors as Arrows took their 1-0 lead into the break.
Zeca Marques’ side were dealt another blow in the 59th minute as they were reduced to ten men after defender Sibusiso Kumalo was given his marching orders following a second bookable offence.
Arrows should’ve doubled their lead a minute later when Ntuli’s cross found Bhekisizwe Nkosi unmarked at the far post, but the midfielder headed wide of the target.
The Swallows came close to finding the equaliser from a freekick in the 71st minute, but Chabangu’s effort flew over the crossbar.
Then in the 82nd minute Smith wasted a good opportunity to double the lead after being put through on the right by Macuphu, hammering his shot wide of the post, while Nkanyiso Madonsela saw his goalbound effort deflected wide by Roger Da Costa.
Five minutes later Swallows almost struck from a dead ball situation, but Katlego Mashego’s dipping freekick was punched away by Steinbors.
However, Arrows sealed the result in the first minute of added time as Macuphu received a pass from Smith just inside the box before nudging the ball past the advancing goalkeeper.
The result sees Arrows moving up to 12th place with 13 points, while Swallows drop down to 11th place with 14 points.
Lamontville Golden Arrows (1) 2 (Bilankulu 25’, Macuphu 90 + 1’)
Moroka Swallows 0
Lamontville Golden Arrows: Steinbors, Tom, Mkhize, Krjauklis, Smith, Bilankulu, Ntuli (Macuphu 76’), Hadebe (Mapolisa 67’), Nene, Nkosi (Madonsela 71’), Musonda
Moroka Swallows: Mathibe, Kumalo, Da Costa, Hendricks, Lekgothoane, Nergadze, Tsutsulupa, Mathebula (Cisse 80’), Chabangu, Mabalane (Mashego 54’), Obada (Chenene 76’)