Posted in Match Report, News, Team News on May 02, 2023.
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1
Swallows FC (2) 2
(Damons 7’, Sam 33’)
Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane
Kaizer Chiefs went down to a narrow 2-1 defeat to Swallows FC in an absorbing Worker’s Day DStv Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
Christian Saile scored for Amakhosi, in between goals from Gregory Damons and Bongani Sam, with all three goals coming in the first half.
Despite starting the game confidently, Chiefs fell behind in the seventh minute when Swallows’ Lindokhuhle Mtshali pumped a long ball forward and as Damons challenged Siyabonga Ngezana, the ball fell kindly for the Swallows player with only Itumeleng Khune to beat. The veteran goalkeeper expertly foiled him first time around, but the rebound again fortuitously fell back into Damons’ path and he buried the ball into an empty net.
Khune, back in the team to replace the suspended Brandon Petersen and wearing the captain’s armband, more than justified his recall with another crucial save, this time pulling off a world-class block to prevent Kagiso Malinga’s powerful header in the 16th minute.
Chiefs drew level in the 23rd minute following a spell of possession and pressure, albeit from a set-piece. Mduduzi Shabalala floated a deep far post free kick from midway inside the Swallows half that met Saile’s well-timed run perfectly, enabling the Congolese striker to tap home his second league goal since joining the Club mid-season.
Amakhosi looked the more likely to add a second, but found themselves trailing again after 33 minutes. If there was a touch of luck about the first Swallows goal, the second also had a touch of good fortune for the visitors. Once again, Malinga proved a nuisance at the far post from a Swallows free kick, heading the ball back across goal. Defender Keegan Allan attempted a spectacular overhead shot that was going harmlessly wide until Bongani Sam managed to get his head to the ball and glance it past Khune to restore the Dube Birds’ lead.
Ngezana came desperately close to equalising a few minutes before half-time when he turned sharply in the box to hit a shot that Allan cleared off the line following a scramble in the Swallows penalty area.
However, Amakhosi went into the break still a goal behind.
They came out purposefully for the second period, with Ngezana seeing his header saved by former Amakhosi keeper, Daniel Akpeyi. A minute later Saile burst through in a two-on-one with Ashley Du Preez in support. Unfortunately, Saile chose to go alone and was tackled by man-of-the-match, Kwanda Mngonyama, when a pass to his teammate would almost certainly have created a better opportunity to score. From the resultant corner Ngezana went close with another header.
With time running out, coach Arthur Zwane sent on 18-year-old Wandile Duba to try to salvage something from the game and it almost proved a master stroke when he sprung the Swallows offside trap and latched onto another substitute, Samkelo Zwane’s clever pass to flick the ball past Akpeyi only for the ball to slip agonisingly wide. The move split the Swallows defence apart and, while the combination between the two teenagers didn’t quite come off, it bodes well for the future to see these two homegrown talents flourish on the big stage.
In the final minute, Akpeyi had to dive full length to tip Du Preez’s curling shot around the post to keep his team ahead.
The match ended on an alarming note as Keegan Allan appeared to collapse on the pitch during stoppage time, necessitating emergency attention that included a couple of ambulances coming onto the field. Following an anxious wait, Allan seemed to recover sufficiently to be declared out of danger.
The match resumed to play out the remaining time, but Amakhosi were unable to find the goal that would have staved off defeat.
The result leaves Chiefs in fourth spot in the league, with 44 points from their 28 matches, while Swallows ensured their safety from relegation and moved into the top eight.
Next up Amakhosi lock horns with Orlando Pirates at FNB stadium this coming Saturday for a place in the Nedbank Cup final.
Kaizer Chiefs: Khune (32); Hlanti (23), Ngezana (30), Nj Ngcobo (27), Frosler (39), Sithebe (6), Maart © (8) (Zwane (37) 63’), Mashiane (19) (Sekgota (14) 58’), Du Preez (9), Shabalala (42) (Duba (36) 85’), Basomboli (21) (Solomons (18) 58’)
Subs: Bvuma (44); Mathoho (3), Kwinika (4), Alexander (17), Matlou (22)
Coach: Arthur Zwane
Swallows FC: Akpeyi (55); Mngonyama (44), Allan (4) (Sibiya (2) 90+9’), Lukhubeni (32), Damons (18), Mtshali (7), Mthethwa (6), Patjie (25) (Uromi (38) 69’), Shwabule (23), Sam (66), Malinga (26) (Isaacs (3) 69’)
Subs: Mbanjwa (1), Macheke (70), Ngwenya (49), Rusike (19), Sasman (28), Musonda (20)
Coach: Musa Nyatama (caretaker)