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02 Mar 2008 14:00
The Birds left it late—then swooped to a scintillating 3-1 Absa Premiership win over Bloemfontein Celtic with three goals in the last ten minutes of play.
After Malawian international defender Patrick Mabedi had equalised for Moroka Swallows, with a superbly timed header in the 79th minute, the team completed their scoring spree with late goals from substitutes Sandile Ndlovu and Alfred Phiri which left Celtic coach Khabo Zondo looking bemused, bothered and bewildered.
It might have seemed, on the surface, a master stroke from Ian Gorowa to bring Ndlovu and Phiri into the game after the Birds had trailed 1-0 following a sprightly 38th minute Celtic goal by Darrel Smith.
But, in truth, the coach erred by leaving players of the calibre of Ndlovu and the seasoned Phiri, as well as others, on the bench for so long while fielding inferior players like the out-of-form Alton Meiring.
It was Meiring who squandered a gilt-edged opportunity of equalising for Swallows soon after half-time and his replacement, Ndlovu, in the 60th minute, was long overdue.
Swallows ultimately ran out deserved winners to replace Celtic among the top eight teams in the Premier League log.
But it was a bitter pill for the Celtic players to swallow after they had enjoyed the lead for a long period and defended stoically to hold on to their advantage.
Ultimately, it was a case of Celtic goalkeeper Postnet Omoney not delivering and suffering an injury in the closing minutes of the game after faltering when Swallows equalised. - Sapa
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