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  • 26 August 2014
  • • 19:30
  • • Volkswagen Dobsonville Stadium, Johannesburg, GA
  • Referee: Z. Mthetho
  • • Attendance: 1000

Swallows' skipper Lerato Chabangu

Moroka Swallows 3-2 Polokwane City: Chabangu brace steals all three points for Birds

Swallows' skipper Lerato Chabangu

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Lerato Chabangu continued his superb early season form and bagged a brace as the Birds had to come from behind to beat Polokwane City in a thrilling Absa Premiership clash

The midfielder-cum-striker bagged his fourth league goal in as many games for the Soweto outfit as Swallows wrapped-up their third win of the season.

Chabangu opened the scoring midway through the half, before Thapelo Tshilo equalised just four minutes later.

Rise and Shine then took the lead less than a minute later as Puleng Tlolane scored City's second, but Vuyisile Wana scored before the break to pull the teams level once more.

But Chabangu would have the last say, scoring with less than 10 minutes to play as Swallows bagged their third win, which puts them level on nine points with Kaizer Chiefs.

A bright start saw plenty of end-to-end action but the teams seemed rushed in attack and neither could make any sort of impact during the opening 10 minutes.

Wana will feel slightly aggrieved after the match after his goal was ruled offside in the sixth minute.

Television replays showed afterwards that Wana was onside and received a delightful through ball from Chabangu, before the striker easily slotted home past goalkeeper Dino Visser.

The game slumped slightly but before the half-hour mark, Swallows put City to the sword as Chabangu pounced on a superb left-footed cross from Siyabonga Nomvethe, heading into the back of the net with a diving effort to hand the hosts the lead.

Their lead didn’t last long, however, and just four minutes later the game was back all square courtesy of Tshilo’s header.

A City corner caused all sorts of problems at the back and goalkeeper Greg Etafia over committed, leaving his net unguarded to collect an aerial ball.

Benson Mhlongo beat the shot-stopper to the ball and headed towards Tshilo, who couldn’t miss, scoring one of the easiest goals of his career by nodding home into an empty net, with Etafia left lying on the ground and completely out of position.

Things went from bad to worse for the Birds and within 90 seconds City stole the lead through Tlolane, whose diving header rounded off a fine team effort, leaving Swallows in their wake as City surged forward and centered for Tlolane, who powered his header past a helpless Visser in goal.

The Soweto side refused to let up and continued to apply pressure and before long, on the stroke of half-time, Swallows were back on level terms thanks to Wana, who coolly slotted home after receiving a delicate pass from Chabangu, before curling his effort past Visser to tie up the scores at 2-2, as a thrilling first 45 came to an end.

City looked dangerous after the break and had numerous attempts go wide of the mark. Linda Shiba had a host of chances and hit the side-netting on more than one occasion, while in the 66th minute, the diminutive midfielder struck the upright and went agonizingly close to netting for the visitors.

Second half replacement Lucky Baloyi forced a superb stop out of Visser with 10 minutes left on the clock, as Chabangu fed an advancing Baloyi with the ball, before he canonned a right-footed effort goalwards, but was denied by Visser's good save.

But Visser could not do the same shortly after, as Chabangu bagged his second of the night.

Dikgang Mabalane had a go from way out, but his shot took a nasty deflection, which put the ball right into the path of Chabangu, who made no mistake in converting a simple chance eight minutes from the end to all but secure the win for the hosts.