Relegation-threatened Moroka Swallows were held to a 1-1 draw against University of Pretoria at the Tuks Rugby Stadium in Pretoria, last night. Both teams went into the encounter on the back of a 4 game winless streak.
It was Swallows that drew first blood. The Dube Birds took the lead in the 20th minute, when Siyabonga Nomvethe cut in from the left wing and played in a through ball for Vuyisile Wana, who expertly slotted the ball past the AmaTuks goalkeeper. A few minutes later, Atusaye Nyondo, missed a clear cut chance to level the score. The Tuks striker latched onto an inch perfect long ball but failed to hit the target from close range. Thabo Mnyamane also went close to equalising just before the break but his header failed to test the Swallows goalkeeper. Tuks ended the half the stronger of the two sides but the Swallows defence held firm and they went into the half time break 1-0 up.
After the break, Tuks came out with more purpose to their game and they were duly rewarded with an equalising goal in the 50th minute. Nyondo made amends for his earlier miss, when he latched onto a clever defence splitting flick from Geoffrey Massa and he calmly placed the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-1. Felix Obada and Wana had chances to put Swallows ahead but their efforts on goal lacked the required accuracy. The game became stretched in the last 10 minutes with both teams looking to score the winning goal. Chances to secure the 3 points fell for both teams but neither side could produce the decisive match winning goal.
The result meant that the Dube Birds dropped 2 crucial points in the race to survive relegation. They now have 1 point more than bottom of the log Amazulu but Usuthu have a game in hand and could go 2 points clear of Swallows, if they manage to beat Platinum Stars tonight.
Craig Rosslee’s men will have to win their remaining league games and hope that Amazulu and Free State Stars drop points, in order to have a chance of surviving relegation. But with Amazulu finding form at the right time of the season and Free Stars Stars 4 points clear of Swallows with a game in hand, things don’t look good for the Dube Birds bid for survival.