Relegation-threatened Swallows FC struck late in the second half to secure 2-2 draw against SuperSport United on Friday night.
Result: SuperSport United 2-2 Swallows FC
Date: 06 May 2022
Venue: Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium
SuperSport were bolstered by the return of Kegan Johannes and Keenan Phillips, while Swallows recalled Ruzaigh Gamildien, Wandisile Letlabika and Lebohang Mokoena after their narrow defeat to AmaZulu.
Johannes's return proved to be a welcomed returned after he opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a clinical strike past shot-stopper Jody February after the Swallows defence failed to clear their lines.
The Birds tried to play a high line and were fortunate not to be 2-0 down just four minutes later after Thamsanqa Gabuza beat the offside trap to go clear on goal but his left-footed strike came off the bottom post.
Dylan Kerr's charges got their distances right after that, as they carved out openings in the last third but they lacked the cutting edge and went to the halftime break trailing by an odd goal.
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Arendse made a double tactical change at the start of the second hlaf, as Iqraam Rayners and Thalente Mbatha both came on for Ngobeni and Johannes.
The hosts struggled to settle after that, under pressure from Swallows and Gamildien eventually levelled matters five minutes later with a powerful half-volley from a rebound in the box.
Matsatsantsa had to find ways to get out of the high press from the Birds and the creativity of Jamie Webber in central midfield and the pace of Gamphani Lungu on the right wing was instrumental, as they regained their lead 20 minutes before time after Rayners finished off a low cross at the near post.
Swallows were up against a deep-lying defence by SuperSport in the closing stages, which saw Dylan Kerr throw in two strikers in the last seven minutes as Joseph Mhlongo and Kagiso Malinga reinforced their attack.
Arendse's men succumbed to pressure by the visitors and conceded a penalty in stoppage time after Selaelo Rasebotja was adjudged to have fouled Malinga in the box, which allowed Dillion Solomons to net the equaliser and salvage a point for the visitors.
The Birds moved three points clear of bottomside Baroka while SuperSport remain in eighth spot, handing Golden Arrows the chance to move into the top eight with a win on Saturday.
Here's how they lined up:
SuperSport: 31. Pule, 18. Nhlapo, 25. Fleurs, 37. Johannes, 14. Bhasera, 12. Webber, 27. Phillips, 2. Ngobeni, 26. Donn, 17. Lungu, 13. Gabuza.
Subs: 1. Chigova, 40. Maseko, 16. Mbatha, 40. Maseko, 16. Mbatha, 23. Waiswa, 9. Rayners, 24. Ngoma, 6. Dithlokwe, 35. Rasebotja, 21. Maziko
Swallows: 31. February, 18. Solomons, 5. Letlabika, 34. Sait, 28. Sasman, 21. Margeman, 3. Mahlatsi, 15. Nyatama, 9. Mokoena, 10. Saleng, 12. Gamildien.
Subs: 50. Tshabalala, 24. Basadien, 33. Khupe, 11. Mvelase, 29. Mbhele, 47. Wambi, 25. Mhlongo, 25. Musonda.