Swallows up for Cup challenge

Moroka Swallows are hoping that their unbeaten run in 2010 will continue when they travel to Newlands on Sunday to face Ajax Cape Town in the first round of the Telkom Knockout competition on Sunday. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

The Birds after a slow start at the beginning of the compact Absa Premiership season under new coach Rainer Zobel have started to gel and after securing their place in next season’s MTN8 competition by beating relegated Jomo Cosmos 1-0 in their final Premiership fixture at Dobsonville last Sunday will travel to Cape Town with the pressure off their backs.

Said assistant coach Zeca Marques: “We were under pressure to beta Cosmos to make sure that we finished in the top eight. We managed that by finishing eighth and that was a big relief. The next day at training you could see that the players were more relaxed and looking forward to the knockout.”

But Marques said that it was a tough draw: “Playing Ajax away is not the draw we wanted. But it is another challenge and now that we do not have to worry about league games we can focus on the cup.”

Birds are pinning their hopes on their revitalised former Bafana Bafana striker Siyabonga Nomvethe who scored the goal that finally doomed Cosmos to the First Division after only one season back in the top flight.

Said Marques: “Nomvethe has been a revelation. He has peaked at the right time. He has got stronger in 2010 and he is now showing the form that made him such as star with Bafana. His experience and ability to get behind defences is invaluable and hopefully he will continue to test Ajax on Sunday. — Sapa

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