Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 Swallows FC: Late goal denies Masandawana victory
Erasmus ended the Brazilians’ two-match goal drought, but his strike was not enough to earn the team a victory in Tshwane
Swallows FC showed character as they fought back to hold Mamelodi Sundowns to a 1-1 draw in a PSL match which was played at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Kermit Erasmus opened the scoring with an exquisite finish in the first-half, but his strike was cancelled out by Musa Nyatama’s stoppage-time goal.
Masandawana were looking to bounce back to winning ways having recorded two successive 0-0 draws against SuperSport United and Bloemfontein Celtic.
Hlompho Kekana and Gaston Sirino were recalled to the starting line-up by Sundowns head coach Manqoba Mngqithi, who made two changes to the team which faced Celtic in midweek.
On the other hand, the Beautiful Birds had also dropped points in midweek when they were held to a 1-1 draw by a resilient Chippa United side.
Coach Brandon Truter recalled experienced duo of Lebohang Mokoena and Thabo Matlaba to the starting line-up after they missed the clash against the Chilli Boys.
The two teams were evenly matched in the opening exchanges, but the game began to open up after the 15th-minute mark with Masandawana launching most their attacks down the right-hand side.
Virgil Vries spilt two crosses from Sirino and Thapelo Morena, but the Swallows goalkeeper was able to react quickly and gathered the ball on both occasions before Kermit Erasmus could pounce and score.
An unmarked Lebohang Maboe then missed the target from inside the box when he dragged his effort wide of the target after receiving a cut-back pass from Themba Zwane.
Ruzaigh Gamildien, who was being frustrated by the Masandawana’ resolute defence, picked up his fourth yellow card of the season and Swallows’ talisman will miss the Soweto giants’ next match which is against SuperSport on January 30.
The hosts continued to probe for the opening goal with Kekana placing his effort wide of the target from inside the box, before forcing Vries into a low save with a long-range effort from a free-kick.
George Maluleka, who was dictating the tempo of the match in midfield, then sent Erasmus through on goal and the diminutive striker fired past Vries to make it 1-0 to Sundowns on the stroke of half-time.
Masandawana searched for more goals after the restart and Vries was the busier of the two goalkeepers with his side under pressure.
The former Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper produced a low diving save to deny Zwane, before gathering Erasmus’ effort which was heading for the top corner.
Attack-minded duo of Kagiso Malinga and Kgaogelo Sekgota was introduced by Truter just after the hour-mark as Swallows looked to restore parity.
The Beautiful Birds resorted to long-range shots in the closing stages of the match and one of them was easily gathered by Onyango from Malinga.
However, Musa Nyatama grabbed a late equalizing goal in stoppage time to ensure that the game ended in a 1-1 draw when he scored from the rebound after Onyango had parried Malinga’s free-kick on to the former Pirates’ midfielder path.
The draw saw Sundowns, who are set to take on Black Leopards on January 27, remain second at the top of the league standings – level on points with second-placed Swallows.