Chiefs back into top eight


Swallows created plenty of goalscoring opportunities in their home match at Rustenburg's Olympia Park Stadium, but simply missed too many chances.

Swallows coach Ian Gorowa had a changed team compared to the starting line-up he used in the Nedbank Cup Last 16 loss against Santos.

Greg Etafia (for Aubrey Mathibe), James Mayinga (for Brent Geyer), Cecil Oerson (for Siphesihle Ngobese) and Sandile Ndlovu (for Maimane Phiri) all started, while Chiefs had one change; Kaizer Motaung Junior replaced the injured Shaun Bartlett.

Amakhosi started as the more attacking team with Mabhuti Khenyeza and David Mathebula looking in fine form. Chiefs scored in the 16th minute from a corner, which was powerfully headed in by Khenyeza.

Shortly thereafter, Swallows leftback Mayinga was lucky to stay on the field after a horrendous tackle on Gerald Sibeko.

Slowly, the Birds came back in the game, creating a few opportunities. The best chance came in the 29th minute for Swallows striker James Chamanga, but Chiefs goalie Itumeleng Khune saved brilliantly.

One minute later, however, the Zambian striker did not miss, scoring the equaliser from short range after fine work by Sandile Ndlovu. It was Chamanga’s 14th goal of the season.

The Birds could have gone 2-1 up late in the second half, but Bevan Fransman’s shot landed on the crossbar and the half ended 1-1.

Five minutes into the second half, Khenyeza got an opportunity to score Amakhosi’s second goal, but the striker waited too long, giving Swallows goalie Etafia time to intervene.

Thereafter, the Birds created the better chances. Khune, however, was in great form and was correctly selected as the Man of the Match.

The Bafana goalie stopped Chamanga from scoring in a one-on-one situation, and a while later stretched to his left corner to block a Lefa Tsutsulupa long-distance shot from going in.

Then Siphiwe Tshabalala, who had a poor afternoon, was clumsily handled by keeper Goodman Mazibuko while dribbling just outside the Swallows box, and the resulting penalty was coolly slotted in by Chiefs centre-back Jonathan Quartey.

Ian Gorowa brought in two changes to attempt the equaliser, Phiri for Mark Haskins and Evans Gwekwerere for Japhet Zwane, but Swallows’ attacking efforts were thwarted when Mayinga was sent off in the 80th minute as a result of receiving his second yellow.

Substitute Thuso Phala scored the third for Chiefs in the 83rd minute, to take the score to 3-1 – not a true reflection of the evenly-balanced match.

Swallows claimed a penalty when Chamanga was brought down in the box by Amakhosi's leftback Onismor Bhasera, but, to the annoyance of Birds coach Gorowa, the referee decided against it.

“I don't think the Chiefs’ penalty should have been given,” Gorowa stated afterwards. “However, Chiefs have to be in the Top Eight, so things like this can be expected.”