Swallows, AmaZulu share the spoils
Moroka Swallows and AmaZulu shared the spoils after playing a goalless draw in the Absa Premiership encounter at the Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A draw takes the Dube Birds to seventh on the log with 23 points after 16 matches while AmaZulu remain 3rd with 28 points after 19 matches.
It was a match with plenty of chances especially in the first half where the visitors squandered couple of them while the home side had few of them and didn’t use them wisely as well. A point will be a good result for AmaZulu as they stay unbeaten in 2014 after four matches.
Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques made two changes to the side that went down to Kaizer Chiefs eight days ago and brought on Gilbert Mapemba and Captain Lefa Tsutsulupa in the places of Larry Cohen and Dikgang Mabalane.
The visiting coach Graig Rosslee made a single change to the team that won against Ajax Cape Town midweek bringing in John Arwuah in the place of Nhlanhla Shabalala.
Moroka Swallows started the better of two sides and they had two long range shots on target from Lerato Chabangu and Siyabonga Nomvete but Philani Zikakalala was well positioned on both occasions to gather the ball with ease inside ten minutes.
AmaZulu gain momentum afterwards and Khulekani Madondo tested Greg Etafia with a low shot from the edge of the area but his effort was straight at the Nigerian goalkeeper in the 15th minute. They were a water break after 25 minutes as the sun heat in Soweto Township made the conditions a little bit difficult.
The visitors were starting to press down the host and they had a golden opportunity to score after 29 minutes when Bongani Ndulula mistimed his bicycle-kick and end up missing the ball unmarked from close range, it was a let off for Moroka Swallows.
Usuthu had another chance to take the lead when Greg Etafia’s poor clearance fell in the path of Goodman Dlamini just outside the area, but the attacking midfielder failed to guide the ball in the empty net as his effort sailed over the bar with four minutes left before the break.
The chances were coming in AmaZulu’s way and they squandered another one in the stroke of half-time when Bongani Ndulula passed Goodman Dlamini in the area, and the striker was also unselfish when he laid the ball to Ayanda Dlamini, who saw his low shot go inches wide of the post from acute angle, as the half ended goalless.
The visitors started where they left off in the opening half, and they threatened again when a counter-attack saw Goodman Dlamini charge from his own territory and played a one-two passes with Ayanda Dlamini before shooting wide of the target from the edge of the area in the 52nd minute.
Two minutes later, Njabulo Manqana was put clear on goal on the left but the former Orlando Pirates man was denied by the fine diving save by Greg Etafia. The home side only came close to scoring in the 55th minute when Lerato Chabangu’ header was on target but Philani Zikalala was untroubled.
Moroka Swallows looked to be dangerous after speedy winger Dikgang Mabalane came on for Edward Manqele but their final third finishing let them down as they attacked but failed to test Philana Zikalala in goal midway point of the second-half.
AmaZulu defender Thamsanqa Teyise tried his luck from long way out but his shot was easily held by Greg Etafia after 74 minutes. The tempo of the match slew afterwards, but the visitors had a chance to score late on when Ayanda Dlamini beat the offside trap before rounding Greg Etafia and shot in the side netting from tight angle five minutes from time.
Then Siyabonga Nomvete connected with a through lob pass by Georgia Nergadze inside the area, but the veteran striker volleyed wide of the mark in the 90th minutes as both sides finished with no goals.
Moroka Swallows: Etafia, Mapemba, Mungomeni, Issacs, Mokgothu, Mbekile, Negadze, Chabangu, Tsutsulupa © (Ogle 78’), Nomvete, Manqele ( Mabalane 55’) .
AmaZulu: Zikakala, Macala, Hlanti, Teyise, Nyadombo ©, Madondo, Arhuah, Dlamini, Manqana (Liphoko 72’), Dlamini, Ndulula.