Original Soweto derby ends in draw

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 10: Vuyo Mere of Swallows FC challenges Gabadinho Mhango of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Swallows at Orlando Stadium on January 10, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Mahlangu/BackPagePix/Gallo Images)

A dramatic end into the Soweto derby between Orlando Pirates and Swallows FC saw the sides share the spoils after a 1-1 draw in a DStv Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium on a rainy Sunday afternoon. 

Ben Motswari thought he had won the game for Pirates in the last five minutes of regular time, before Kamohelo Mahlatsi canceled it out in additional time to level the scores.

It wasn’t the best of performance from both sides and one might have made the excuse of the wet pitch making it for the players to play.

The result would be a major blow for Pirates, who came into this game after losing to Mamelodi Sundowns, while for Swallows, it would be a confident booster as the Birds continue with their unbeaten streak in the league.

The rain continued into the first half and both teams were struggling to play their normal football.

Swallows were dealt with a major blow when Thabo Matlaba was forced out of the match early on due to an injury before being replaced by Sifiso Hlanti.

In the 19th minute, Pirates had a glorious opportunity after Deon Hotto benefitted from a loose ball in the Swallows box. But the chance fell through after the winger found himself on an awkward angle, before playing the ball to Fortune Makaringe who played a short cross which the Birds were able to clear out of danger.

At the other end, Ruzaigh Gamildien was presented with a half-chance following a cross from the right-wing, but his first shot was saved by Wayne Sandilands in the 22nd minute.

In the half-hour mark, some exceptional play from Bucs Wayde Jooste saw the right-back dribbling past two Swallows defenders, but his shot couldn’t trouble Virgil Vries in the Birds poles.

The game went into half time with the sides unable to break the deadlock.

Pirates enjoyed much of the possession in the opening minutes of the second stanza. However, their entry into the final third wasn’t impressive as they failed to create clear-cut chances.

While Swallows were sitting back most of the time, the visitors were waiting for a counter-attack. The Birds almost benefited with transition play in the 55th minute through Gamildien, but he was once again denied by Sandilands.

In the 70th minute, Pirates thought they had won a penalty after Fortune Makaringe was brought down inside the Swallows box by Tlakusani Mthethwa. But referee Jelley Chavani opted to give the Bucs midfielder a yellow card for simulation, whereas replay shows he was definitely fouled.

Moving over from that incident, another glorious opportunity fell in the home team’s way, but Hotto wasn’t able to capitalise as Vries managed to make another great save with less than 15 minutes left of play.

It was in the 85th minute that Pirates would eventually go into celebrating as Motswari’s attempt from close range got into the back of the net.

But their celebrations were short-lived as Swallows bounced back with an equaliser from Mahlatsi in injury time forcing the teams to take one point each.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.


 

COSAFA TV




today in print