Kwem winner lifts Rockets out of the drop zone

TS Galaxy claimed a vital three points in their quest for DStv Premiership survival after beating fellow strugglers Swallows 1-0 at the Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday evening.

Augustine Kwem scored the only goal of the game in the 35th minute as Sead Ramovic's side made a winning start to 2022 and climbed off the foot of the table up to 14th place.

The Dube Birds have now gone six league matches without victory as they dropped down to 15th position, one point ahead of basement boys Baroka.

The possession stakes were pretty even in the first half, which got off to a slow start as the two teams looked to get to grips with the slick surface due to the rain.

Swallows worked the ball around the opposition box early on without fashioning any clear openings, while Lifa Hlongwane had a shot blocked in the eighth minute.

The first clear-cut opportunity came the way of the visitors on 28 minutes when Ethan Brooks pulled his effort wide of the far post from inside the area on the right.

Galaxy would take the lead from their next chance seven minutes later as Lindokuhle Mbatha advanced down the left flank and laid the ball off for Kwem, who picked out the bottom-right corner of the net from inside the box.

Kwem threatened again just before halftime with a strike from range that Thela Ngobeni dealt with to keep the Soweto outfit in the contest at the break.

The men from Mpumalanga continued to ask questions after the restart, with Given Msimango steering a header just over the crossbar from a 55th-minute free-kick before Kwem fired over from a narrow angle on the left seven minutes later.

The hosts grew in confidence as the second half progressed and started applying pressure on the visiting goal. Kamohelo Mahlatsi skewed his shot to the right of the target from inside the box on 65 minutes, while Musa Nyatama directed a header narrowly past the left post from a free-kick in the 68th minute.

Mwape Musonda spurned two good chances in the space of two minutes as he failed to test Melusi Buthelezi on either occasion from inside the area and Wandisile Letlabika was also guilty of not hitting the target with a header from a corner in the 80th minute.

Swallows kept pushing for an equaliser as the clock wound down, with Musonda firing wide of the left post from inside the box on 87 minutes before Sphesihle Mbhele skied a shot from a corner in the 90th minute.

Kagiso Malinga squandered a final chance to restore parity when he headed a corner wide of the left post in the third minute of stoppage time as the Birds got sucked back into the relegation zone.

Swallows (0) 0

TS Galaxy (1) 1 (A.Kwem 35')

Swallows: T.Ngobeni, D.Solomons, W.Letlabika, Y.Sasman, F.Basadien (M.Musonda 65'), K.Mahlatsi, G.Margeman (S.Mbhele 46'), L.Matlou (M.Nyatama 46'), M.Makgalwa (K.Ndlovu 46'), R.Gamildien (K.Malinga 66'), M.Saleng.

TS Galaxy: M.Buthelezi, G.Msimango, P.Sanoka, E.Seedat, M.Munyai, L.Hlongwane (S.Nduli 88'), B.Aubaas, E.Brooks (M.Mbunjana 88'), O.Mongae (S.Mahlangu 61'), L.Mbatha, A.Kwem (M.Mahlangu 72').