Result: Orlando Pirates 1-1 Swallows
Date: 10 January 2021
Venue: Orlando Stadium
Swallows FC struck late in the second half to secure a point against Orlando Pirates on Sunday afternoon.
Thabang Monare came in for Vincent Pule and Paseka Mako replaced Innocent Maela in the Bucs' changes to the starting lineup, while Swallows coach Brandon Truter brought Fawaaz Basadien in for the suspended Zaphaniah Mbokoma.
The visitors had the first decent attempt on goal. Thabo Matlaba, who is always dangerous from long range, unleashed a shot from distance, which bounced awkwardly in front of Wayne Sandilands, who was forced to dive to his left and make a vital save.
That was to be Matlaba's last involvement as the former Pirates full-back hobbled off with injury soon afterwards and was replaced by Sifiso Hlanti.
Sandilands was called into action yet again on 19 minutes, showing good reflexes to keep out Ruzaigh Gamildien's first-time effort at the near post.
On the half-hour mark, Wayde Jooste displayed nifty feet to beat three defenders on the right flank, before prompting Virgil Vries into a desperate save to cut off the cross.
Sandilands had to be on high alert to block out a shot from Gamildien after the Swallows’ marksman found a way behind the Bucs defence in the 55th minute.
The Pirates goalkeeper was again on top of things as the very slippery Kgaogelo Sekgota found a way to release a shot low towards his near post.
A scramble inside the Swallows box then almost resulted in a goal, but the slippery surface proved decisive as Hotto failed to release a shot.
The Buccaneers took the lead five minutes from time. Ben Motshwari was the man on the scoresheet with a superbly taken half-volley at the edge of the box after the ball was laid off to him by Thembinkosi Lorch.
Swallows grabbed a dramatic late equaliser deep into stoppage time. Sammy Seabi combined well with Joseph Mhlongo, who got to the byline on the right-hand side and squared the ball back into the box on a platter for Kamohelo Mahlatsi to complete a well-timed close-range finish.
Here's how they started:
Pirates: 30. Sandilands, 14. Hlatshwayo, 5. Nyauza, 17. Jooste, 29. Mako, 6. Motshwari, 16. Monare, 15. Makaringe, 11. Hotto, 3. Lorch, 27. Dzvukamanja.
Subs: 40. Mpontshane, 39. Mundele, 32. Mntambo, 26. Muwowo, 23. Maela, 21. Zungu, 19. Sam, 8.Ndlovu, 7. Mhango
Swallows: 30. Vries, 8. Mere, 5. Letlabika, 4. Ngcobo, 27. Matlaba, 9. Mokoena, 6. Mthethwa, 24. Basadien, 14. Thibedi, 12.Gamildien, 38. Sekgota
Subs: 17. Ngobeni, Senwamadi, 21. Seabi, 22. Hlanti, 3. Mahlatsi, 25. Malinga, 15. Nyatama, 25. Mhlongo, 34. Sait.
Check out JZ’s strong Pirates squad for the 2020/21 season: