Birds fly over Sundowns

Chabangu scored for Swallows in the seventh minute, making it three goals in three matches against the Brazilians. His other two goals were in the two-legged MTN8 semifinals. Felix Obada added the second goal to ensure Zeca Marques went to the break the happier of the two coaches, with Swallows taking a 2-0 win at full-time.

The Brazilians coach Johan Neskeens gave Eleazar Rodgers a start ahead of Edward Manqele and the former Santos man nearly repaid the coach's belief in him as early as the fifth minute. Punch Masenamela played a brilliant cross from the left which was met by Rogers's head but flew inches over the cross bar.

Swallows responded immediately through Lerato Chabangu, who broke through Sundowns' defence before bulldozing home the opener.

The visitors came close to levelling the scores in the 20th minute, when Hlompo Kekana unleashed a pile driver which was parried back into play by goalkeeper Greg Etafia but Tebogo Langerman failed to capitalise on a loose ball as he rifled his effort wide off an empty net.

Ten minutes later, Felix Obada stretched the lead for the Birds with a powerful shot from about 25 yards after he was well setup by the debutant Dikgang Mabalane whose pace proved to be a problem for the Sundowns readguard.

Beaten man
Swallows continued in the second half from where they left off, and Sundowns pulled out Elias Pelembe for Nyasha Mushekwi to add more firepower upfront.

Lefa Tsutsulupa was unlucky not to score in the 57th minute, the Swallows skipper took advantage of some casual marking from the Brazilians defence and let go a screamer which crashed against the cross bar with Wayne Sandilands a beaten man.

In the 60th minute, Johan Neskeens pulled out the wasteful Tebogo Langerman and threw Edward Manqele into the fray to join Rodgers and Mushekwi in the frontline as the Brazilians looked to have more bodies in attack.

In the 78th minute Clayton Daniels hacked down Obada just outside the box. Mabalane took the set piece hoping to cap a fine debut for the Birds with a goal but his brilliant effort was cleared by Alje Schut. With five minutes to go to fulltime, Obada set up David Mathebula for a shot and the midfielder let fly a nippy shot which was blocked by Abel Mabaso.

The win sees Swallows climb to 5th on the log table with nine points, seven behind log-leaders Kaizer Chiefs who have 16 points. For Sundowns, the loss means they remain rooted in the relegation zone with just four points from six matches. – Sapa


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