Sekhukhune United secured a fourth successive DStv Premiership victory after defeating Swallows FC 1-0 on Friday evening.
Babina Noko brought Tlotlo Leepile, Siphosake Ntiya-Ntiya and Elias Mokwana back into the line-up from their win at Stellenbosch FC, while Swallows were without Gregory Damons through suspension.
It was a lively start by the Dube Birds inside five minutes from kick-off, as Kagiso Malinga’s teasing shot was blocked by veteran defender Edwin Gyimah.
Zambian Roderick Kabwe went close for the home team a few minutes later with a telling attempt from a promising area, but he missed target.
As the match continued to open up, Sekhukhune launched another threat when a free-kick by Leepile forced the defence to block and clear their lines.
There was little to separate the two sides at the start of the second half and in that aspect the match remained a tightly balanced contest on all fronts.
Sekhukhune showed purpose following a decent spell and went ahead when former Kaizer Chiefs full-back Ntiya-Ntiya, who found the back of the net with a stunning strike from distance.
The Dube Birds looked for a quick reply with a smart attempt, but the Sekhukhune goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare kept them at bay.
Babina Noko turned to the substitutes bench for the first time in the match in the last ten minutes and introduced Wonderboy Makhubu ahead of Mokwana.
Sekhukhune could’ve bagged a second goal in the dying minutes from an opening by Chibuike Ohizu following Victor Letsoalo’s pass, but the Nigerian striker was unable to profit although the one goal was enough to secure maximum points.
Sekhukhune United: Sangare, Cardoso, Mobbie, Ntiya-Ntiya, Gyimah, Kabwe, Seabi, Mokwana, Letsoalo, Leepile, Ohizu.
Subs: Nsabata, Mahashe, Madonsela, Mashikinya, Mahlangu, Mokhabi, Makhubu, Masiya, Mkhabela.
Swallows FC: Mbanjwa, Lukhubeni, Sait, Allan, Sasman, Zulu, Mthethwa, Shwabule, Malinga, Wambi, Isaacs.
Subs: Tshabalala, Khumalo, Makaringe, Sibiya, Ngwenya, Musonda, Mtshali, Mngonyama, Matsheke
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