Swallows squander opportunity

Moroka Swallows squandered an excellent opportunity to move up the table when they drew 1-1 with Santos in a Premier Soccer League match played at Rand Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The teams were locked at 1-1 at the break.

Swallows are now a point behind third-place Kaizer Chiefs with 32 points, while Santos have just 18 points and languish near the bottom of the log. Had the Birds managed to fashion a win from this oddly lacklustre game, they would have leap-frogged the defending champions.

They looked on course to do just that when referee Brian Sibisi awarded Swallows a penalty kick in the 29th minute after Byrone Hendricks handled Goodman Mazibuko’s intended cross inside the box.

Alfred Phiri made no mistake from the spot when he calmly slotted to give Swallows a deserved lead. Santos, though, came close to earning an equaliser two minutes later, but were denied by goalkeeper Conrad Hendricks, who made an excellent double save from two powerful shots by Mohammed Auseb.

Due to consistent pressure from Santos, Swallows’ defence looked suspect and it came as little surprise when Phiri cancelled out his earlier effort with an own goal in the 33rd minute.

That served to take the adventurous spirit out of the game and the teams headed into half-time at a goal apiece.

The second half saw few opportunities created as both teams seemed content to settle for a point each.

Dennis Lota, however, had a wonderful chance to claim all three points for Swallows but his powerful shot on the stroke of full-time went wide.—Sapa

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