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Wednesday, 03 April 2024 22:12

Swallows hold 10-man Pirates, Galaxy blow away Thwihli Thwahla.

Staff Reporter.

Orlando Pirates' erratic form in the DStv Premiership continued on Wednesday night as they shared the spoils 1-1 in the oldest Soweto derby against relegation-threatened Moroka Swallows.

The DStv Premiership match played at a wet Dobsonville Stadium saw the Birds claim a first-half lead via Lindokuhle Mtshali, before the Buccaneers levelled through Patrick Maswanganyi early in the second half to earn a share of the spoils.

Yet the away side produced more than enough chances and attacking pressure to merit a second goal, but were unable to find the net again and thus recorded a second successive match without a win, following their defeat to Sekhukhune United this past weekend.

Pirates stayed in fourth place on the log, missing out on the chance to reclaim third place from Sekhukhune.

Swallows, meanwhile, broke a five-game losing streak at home and have opened a comfortable nine-point buffer above the relegation playoff zone.

Swallows almost claimed the lead inside the opening 40 seconds, with their attack capitalising on a poor pass out from Pirates goalkeeper Sipho Chaine, but Jacob Everson saw his scuffed attempt graze the top of the crossbar.

After that early scare, Pirates bossed possession and began to build attacking pressure, with Tshegofatso Mabasa heading just wide in the 21st minute in their first genuine threat on the home team’s goal.

Goal Denied

However, against the run of play, Lindokuhle Mtshali took advantage of another poor piece of play from Chaine, picking up a loose ball and driving toward goal, before providing a low finish into the bottom corner to hand Swallows a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute.

Pirates sought an equaliser before the halftime interval and came close twice via Mabasa, who put a backward header into the side netting on 39 minutes and then charged down a clearance from goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi in the 45th minute, but the ball didn't rebound into the net.

Deon Hotto also flashed a well-struck drive just off target in injury time, leaving the game 1-0 in favour of the Birds at the break.

Pirates kept up their pressure in the second half and were rewarded with a fine equaliser in the 53rd minute, as Patrick Maswanganyi ran onto Thabiso Lebitso’s perfectly weighted low cross from the right flank and provided a classy side-footed finish for 1-1.

The Buccaneers continued to dominate and had a goal from Thalente Mbatha narrowly ruled out for offside, Thapelo Xoki put a header narrowly wide, had a very strong appeal for a penalty turned down, and both Mabasa and Mofokeng missed out on a glaring chance in a period from the 58th to 77th minutes.

Failing to capitalise on their momentum and the chances created, the Buccaneers were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with the Birds – and their frustration was compounded with an injury time straight red card for defender Nkosinathi Sibisi, presumably for remonstrating with the match officials.

The teams will return to DStv Premiership action this coming Saturday, 6 April, with Swallows away to Richards Bay and Pirates at home to Golden Arrows.

Meanwhile Golden Arrows came from two goals down to record a 2-2 stalemate with SuperSport United at the Mpumalanga Stadium in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday night, as Matsatsantsa recorded their fifth straight draw in the league.

Elsewhere TS Galaxy got the better of Royal AM in the DStv Premiership for the first time after they ran out 3-0 victors at the Mbombela Stadium and Chippa United beat Cape Town Spurs 2-0 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday evening, April 3.