Swallows return in style

Moroka Swallows made a triumphant return to the Rand Stadium on Sunday when they beat Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in a Castle Premier Soccer League (PSL) match on Sunday afternoon. The lone goal from substitute Dennis Lota came in the dying moments of the game, just when the match looked likely to end in a goalless draw.

Swallows relocated to the Germiston Stadium last year after the Rand Stadium was declared unfit for the PSL last year.

Sunday’s opening of the refurbished Rand Stadium not only saw Gavin Hunt’s Dube Birds keep their two-year unbeaten record at that stadium intact, but they also scored their first win over Chiefs since 1996.

Dennis Lota, who was introduced in the 83rd minute of the game, scored the winning goal on the stroke of full-time after Shaun Permall’s shot rebounded off the upright.

Swallows had the best of starts and could have had an early lead had they managed to convert any of their three early chances. Virtually from the kick-off, Edzai Kasinauyo’s shot was blocked and Lungisani Ndlela put the rebound over the crossbar.

A minute later, the pair came together again as, from Kasinauyo’s corner kick, Ndlela headed the ball wide.

In the fifth minute, Ndlela set up Pitso Lekone after a good run down the left, but the ensuing kick went over the bar.

With so many missed opportunities throughout the match it appeared that this was not about to be Swallows’ day.

But in the last moments of full-time, Mark McVeigh picked out Permall with a searching pass at the back post and the Cape-born striker controlled the ball before sliding in a shot that hit the upright and bounced back into play, where Lota was on hand to turn the ball home, much to the delight of the loyal Swallows fans.

Chiefs coach Ted Dimitru threw everything he could at Swallows, making numerous substitutions, but he was unable to change the course of the match.

The result puts Swallows on 24 points and moves them into second place on the log behind Orlando Pirates.—Sapa

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