Swallows survive

Two late goals from Moroka Swallows saw them avoid the 15th place relegation play-off spot when they beat MP Black Aces 2-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Puma Rugby Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Giorgi Nergadze and Oscar Machapa were the heroes for the Birds as goals from them in the 81st and 85th minute respectively saw the virtually steal victory in a game that was fiercely contested in the middle of the park.

The result means that Swallows finished 14th on the league table and Vasco da Gama finished 15th despite winning 3-0 against Santos in Cape Town.

The game between the Birds and Aces was certainly not the prettiest football and chances were few and far between, but the passion and commitment from both sets of players was evident from the sideline.

Tackles in the middle of the park were ferocious and it was only a matter of time before the referee started flashing the yellow cards or someone got injured. In fact, Warren Bishop was booked as early as the first minute.

The rough tackling in the middle of the park, though, made for a scrappy game and consequently there were no real goal scoring chances in the first half.

The fans virtually booed the players into the change rooms at half time and were clearly expecting more in the second 45.

The Birds did not disappoint and the second half was a much better display from them, but still they seemed to struggle to break down the Aces defence and had to shoot from long range.

In the 53rd minute Lerato Chabangu came bitterly close to breaking the deadlock for the Birds when his 25-yard shot just skimmed the wrong side of the upright.

In the 58th minute the home side were reduced to ten men when Myron Shongwe was sent from the field for a professional foul on Shere Lekgothoane. With Aces down to ten men Swallows pressed forward even more.

Chabangu was at the thick of the action again in the 78th minute with another long range shot, but much like his first effort of the afternoon it went narrowly wide of the target.

Finally in the 81st minute Swallows made their pressure pay off when Giorgi Nergadze found the back of the net. It was a spectacular 30-yard strike that found the top right-hand corner of the net, 1-0.

It was always going to take something special to break the deadlock and the goal from Nergadze was exactly that.

Five minutes later, though, and the Birds doubled their lead and secured their place in the top flight for the 2011/12 season.

Substitute Oscar Machapa scored the goal with another long range effort from 25-yards out that found the bottom left-hand corner of the net, 2-0.

That is the way the match ended as Swallows secured their place in the Absa Premiership.

MP Black Aces (0) 0
Moroka Swallows (0) 2 (Nergadze81’, Machapa 85’)

Teams

Aces: Onyango - Eberle, Da Silva, Rooi, Bishop, Mathebula, Masina, Masondo (Spelman 23’), Mbatha, Shongwe, Maleka

Swallows: Etafia – Mphahlele, Nergadze, Lekgothoane, Mmotong, Mere, Cisse (Chabangu 47’), Tsutsulupa (Shivambu 72’), Sibaya (Machapa 58’), Nomvethe,