There was nothing to choose between Cape Town City FC and Swallows FC as the sides played to a 0-0 draw in their MTN8 semifinal first-leg clash.
Result: Cape Town City 0-0 Swallows FC
Date: 29 August 2021
Venue: Athlone Stadium
City made a last-minute change to their side as Mpho Makola replaced Thato Mokeke in the starting lineup. For Swallows, Lebohang Mokoena was given a rest, Strydom Wambi got his first start, while Musa Nyatama took over the captaincy.
It was a good start from City as an opportunistic strike from Terrence Mashego almost crept into the back of the net.
Swallows responded as Thabo Matlaba went on a brilliant run from his own box before finding Khetukuthula Ndlovu and he played it to Ruzaigh Gamildien, who put his effort wide of the target. And then Strydom Wambi hit a low effort which City keeper Hugo Marques did well to keep out.
The Citizens, however, were the team in control and looked high on confidence following their quarterfinal win over AmaZulu. Khanyisa Mayo’s delivery found Abubaker Mobara on the edge of the box, who fired a powerful toward goal which hit the crossbar and rebounded to safety.
On the stroke of half-time, a long ball over the top found the speedy Craig Martin, who laid it off expertly to Makola and he fired a powerful effort towards goal which grazed the top of the crossbar.
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Shortly after half-time, Mobara made an outstanding block and denied a shot by Dillon Solomon as the visitors looked for an early goal in the second stanza.
City were enjoying the majority of the possession, with the Birds looking to execute counter attacking football.
Vries came to Swallows' rescue as he saved with his knees on the line from Khanyisa Mayo's close-range effort after he was assisted by Mashego with a cross into the box.
With 15 minutes to go, Martin won a free-kick in a promising position after he was brought down. Shane Roberts' fierce left-footed strike went inches wide of the right post.
In the 83rd minute, Mduduzi Mdantsane fed Abdul Ajagun and his shot towards the bottom left corner was saved by Vries, which proved to be the final opening as the sides have everything to play for in the second leg.
Here's how they started:
City: 1. Hugo, 2. Mkhize, 3. Mobara, 12. Fielies, 14. Mashego, 8. Makola, 13. Ajagun, 10. Mdantsane, 11. Ralani, 30. Martin, 17. Mayo.
Subs: 40. Anderson, 4. Fasika, 21. Mokeke, 5. Dove, 19. Mapfumo, 27. Goedeman, 6. Mokhuoane, 18. Roberts.
Swallows: 30. Vries, 27. Matlaba, 34. Sait, 28. Sasman, 4. Sibiya, 15. Nyatama, 42. Matlou, 22. Ndlovu, 47. Wambi, 18. Solomons, 18. Gamildien.
Subs: 31. February, 20. Musonda, 45. Nene, 36. Mohamme, 11. Mbokoma, 47. Khupe, 35. Makgalwa, 24. Basadien, 8. Mere.