Mere blunts Arrows at the death
Swallows (0) 1 Golden Arrows (0) 1
GOALS: Swallows — Vuyo Mere (94m). Golden Arrows — Seth Parusnath (70m).
● Swallows FC skipper Vuyo Mere scored in the last 30 seconds of the referee’s optional time to help his team draw 1-1 with Lamontville Golden Arrows in a DStv Premiership match at the Dobsonville Stadium yesterday.
Arrows midfielder Seth Parusnath had given his side the lead with 20 minutes remaining. Arrows looked to have bagged their 10th win of the season before Mere pounced to help the Dube Birds earn a deserved point — their 12th draw this season.
Parusnath’s goal, his second of the season, would have given Abafana Besithende a fifth straight away win and moved them a point behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Dube Birds came here struggling for form having drawn seven and lost one of their last eight matches and having last won a league match on January 16.
And with Swallows’ top striker Ruzaigh Gamildien still completing a two-match suspension, Zephaniah Mbokoma, Kagiso Malin
There was nothing to enthuse about when it came to the Arrows attack
ga, Kamohelo Mahlatsi and Kgaogelo Sekgota were expected to fill the void. The quartet failed to find the net despite their team creating many better chances than their visitors in the 90 minutes.
There was nothing to enthuse about when it came to the Arrows attack which was as blunt as a spoon, with usually slick and sharp Pule Mmodi, Michael Gumede and supporting midfielders Velemseni Ndwandwe and Ntsako Makhubela unable to test Virgil Vries in Swallows’ goals in the first 45 minutes.
Mbokoma and Mahlatsi had great chances to beat Arrows goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana within the first 30 minutes, but their shots were not strong or accurate enough to help their team find the net for the 24th time in the Birds’ first season since returning to the top flight after five years in the wilderness.
Arrows had a chance to go ahead after the restart when Vries gifted them a free kick after handling just outside the area.
Substitute Knox Mutizwa knocked the ball into Nduduzo Sibiya’s path but the winger tamely shot wide with no one closing him down.
Malinga did the same for Swallows in the 51st minute when Sekgota found him with a delicious cross. The striker headed well wide with no Arrows defender close by.
Malinga was unlucky to also see his welltaken set piece missing Mlungwana’s net by a few centimetres a few minutes before Arrows took the lead when Mutizwa found Parusnath with a cross after a quick counter that caught Swallows’ defence out of position.
For Arrows coach Mandla Ncikazi the point will not be enough to keep their title charge alive.
SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates are also among the teams chasing defending champions Sundowns, who still lead by three points with three games in hand.