MOROKA Swallows ended their poor Absa Premiership form by handing Platinum Stars a 1-0 defeat at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium last night.
The Dube Birds had only won once in their last ten league matches and this time their victory was handed to them courtesy of Felix Obada.
Platinum Stars knew that they could move into the top four of the log standings had they come away with the full points, while the visitors couldn’t afford another defeat.
There was an immediate opportunity that didn’t go too far away from goal by the home side when Mogakolodi Ngele struck an effort from range that narrowly wisped past the post.
The Botswana international got his next shot on target on 13 minutes, but Greg Etafia was equal to it in goals for Swallows, while ten minutes later Mduduzi Nyanda broke down the right flank to put in a cross that Sibusiso Hadebe was just unable to reach.
Siyabonga Nomvethe then had a crack at goal with a powerful drive that sailed over the face of goal in the 28th minute, before Ngele did the same thing with his effort at the other end of the field.
A great chance fell to Stars just before the break when Gift Sithole broke down the flank and crossed in a great ball for Siphelele Mthembu, but he could only steer his header narrowly wide of goal.
Alan Freese was forced into making a double save at the restart with both Nyanda and Hadebe coming off due to injury, seeing Thabani Mthembu and Mahlatsi Makudubela both come on.
Swallows did take the lead against the run of play when Felix Obada combined with his teammate to turn on the ball and drill in an effort into the bottom corner on 55 minutes.
It could have been 2-0 to the visitors 13 minutes later when Nomvethe struck a promising shot, but his effort sailed wide of Siyabonga Mpontshane’s goals.
Parity was nearly restored 15 minutes from time when Mthembu connected a a set-piece and nodded it back towards goal, however, it sailed just wide of the back post.
Stars ended the match with 10-man after Ngele limped off in the closing stages of the game through injury, before seeing Lerato Chabangu hit a snapshot just wide of goal.
Platinum Stars: (0) 0
Moroka Swallows: (0) 1 (Obada 55’)
Platinum Stars: Mpontshane, Mere, Gumede, Sithole, Mpeta, Nyanda (Mthembu 46’), Sarr (Msomi 68’), Mathe, Ngele, Hadebe (Makudubela 46’), Mthembu.
Moroka Swallows: Etafia, Mapemba, Hendricks, Mokgothu (Nergadze 88’), Bereng (Chabangu 56’), Cohen, Mbekile, Tsutsulupa, Mabalane, Nomvethe (Wana 82’), Obada.-www.psl.co.za