Swallows claim come-from-behind win

Moroka Swallows came from a goal down to defeat AmaZulu 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening.

Bongani Ndulula put Usuthu ahead in the first half, but second stanza goals from Siyabonga Nomvethe and Larry Cohen took the Birds to a vital victory that lifts them clear of the relegation zone and leaves the hosts in dire trouble at the foot of the table.

After a couple of early half chances for both sides, it was AmaZulu who opened the scoring in the 11th minute through Bongani Ndulula. Sifiso Hlanti provided a great cross from the left and the Bafana Bafana striker headed home to make it 1-0.

The Durban side went on to enjoy the better of the rest of the first half, but they were unable to put a second goal past Swallows ‘keeper Greg Etafia.

At the other end of the field, Usuthu gloves-man Aubrey Mathibe was generally untroubled, though the likes of Lerato Chabangu and Vuyisile Wana provided some sporadic threats for the visiting side.

The Birds made a change at the start of the second half, replacing Chabangu with striker Siyabonga Nomvethe, and the veteran made an immediate impact. Latching onto an assist by Felix Obada, Nomvethe beat Mathibe to make it 1-1 within a minute of the restart.

AmaZulu responded with a double change from coach Steve Barker, sending on Khulekani Madondo and Nkosinathi Mthiyane. The duo helped the home side enjoy ascendancy in the middle of the park and look the likelier scorers.

Ndulula almost grabbed his second goal of the game in the 63rd minute, but his right-footed shot was parried away by Etafia.

However, Usuthu were hit by a sucker punch of a goal in the 86th minute when Dikgang Mabalane’s cross was headed home by defender Larry Cohen to put the Birds 2-1 up.

That goal proved to be the difference between the teams. The Soweto side move up to 11th on the log on 19 points, while AmaZulu remain bottom of the standings with nine points.

AmaZulu (1) 1 (Ndulula 11’)
Moroka Swallows (0) 2 (Nomvethe 46’, Cohen 86’)

AmaZulu:Mathibe, Mwedihanga, Ouro-Akoriko, Nyadombo, Hlanti, Shange (Madondo 54’), Shabalala (Mthiyane 53’), G. Dlamini, Liphoko (Smith 76’), A. Dlamini, Ndulula

Swallows: Etafia, Savic, Isaacs, Cohen, Lekgothoane, Mabalane, Phalane, Baloyi (Yende 64’), Chabangu (Nomvethe 46’), Obada, Wana