Moroka Swallows moved to the next round of the Telkom Knockout Cup by beating Bidvest Wits 2-0 in a tedious match that provided little entertainment at the Olympia Stadium in Rustenburg on Sunday.
Former Wits player David Radebe put his team in the lead in the 56th minute and midfielder Mark Haskins netted in the 91st minute in a game marred by inconsistent refereeing decisions and lacklustre play.
The first half produced a few goal-scoring chances while referee Charl Theron took centre stage as he incurred the wrath of the Wits bench for giving defender Ashraf Hendricks a yellow card for what looked like a fair challenge.
Hendricks won the ball fairly from Radebe who went flying though the air from a tough, well-timed challenge. Theron did not hesitate to caution the Wits player and minutes later, after consulting the fourth official, ordered Wits assistant coach Eric Tinkler off the bench.
Theron contributed to the laborious first half by awarding dubious free kicks but correctly gave one to Wits on the edge of the area for a foul on Marawaan Bantam.
The former Santos playmaker struck the ball sweetly from the set-piece, beating Swallows’ keeper Greg Etafia hands down but it unluckily hit the upright. At the other end, Cecil Oerson foraged into the big box and was rudely brought down by Neil Winstanley. Theron failed to see the obvious infringement and Swallows were robbed of a scoring opportunity.
Swallows started the second stanza vigorously and Radebe put his team ahead 10 minutes after halftime. Wits’s solid defence failed to clear a routine cross into the 18-area and Radebe kept his composure as he struck home from seven yards out.
Three minutes later, the former Wits striker set Siphumelele Bhengu up but the 18-year old lacked the composure to convert his chance.
Wits coach Roger De Sa introduced lanky striker Dale Studzinski for fullback Byron Hendricks but even with an extra man in attack the Clever Boys’ attack was predictable and the game wound down to a tepid
Haskins stole into the box and finished off the students with a fine finish late in the game. Swallows join Free State Stars, Bloemfontein Celtic, Golden Arrows, SuperSport United, Ajax Cape Town and Bay United in the next round. – Sapa