Moroka Swallows were beaten 3 - 2 by Pretoria University in a fast-paced PSL fixture at the Dobsonville Stadium on Friday night.
Powerful striker Mame Niang scored two goals in the first half for Pretoria University and Katlego Mashego was able to lead Swallows reply with a first half deflected effort.
Played at a wet, windy and relatively empty Dobsonville Stadium, the match started off brightly for AmaTuks as they looked sharper than Moroka Swallows, controlling possession and looking solid in defence.
Tuks defensive minded counter-attacking style was an appropriate strategy against a free scoring Swallows side, and they created early chances as Mame Niang came close with a shot which was flashed across the goal in the 3rd minute.
Swallows’ defence looked troubled by the lanky Senegalese striker and AmaTuks continued to feed the striker with crosses and long balls in the early minutes of the game.
This increased pressure resulted in a second chance for Niang as he placed a header with superb technique into the Swallows goal in the 10th minute, feeding off a quality delivery and opening the scoring for Pretoria University.
Swallows tried to string together some creative passages of play following the goal and were able to win a free kick in the 20th minute. A low laid back ball by Lerato Chabangu was latched onto by Katlego Mashego and he sent his shot firing towards the Tuks goal. The ball hit a Tuks defender in the chest and then deflected into the goal. Swallows were back in the game.
The game opened up after the equaliser, as both teams looked to re-establish a hold on the contest. The pitch conditions encouraged a fast paced game and Pretoria University looked to take advantage of the slick surface. They began to control the game against a struggling Swallows defence.
Mame Niang forced a superb save by Aubrey Mathibe with a left footed volley in the 33rd minute which seemed destined for the back of the Swallows net. Mathibe had to steel himself and tipped the looping shot over the top of his net.
It was not long before Niang scored his second goal of the night as he sent a powerful header into the back of the net in the 35th minute, continuing his impressive outing by putting Tuks 2 – 1 ahead. Swallow’s defence could not cope with the striker in the first half and he made them pay for their costly mistakes.
Pretoria University started the second half strongly looking to build on their lead. Niang continued to be a threat, and troubled goalkeeper Aubrey Mathibe with his height and strength.
Swallows struggled to break through the well organised Tuks defence and their attacking play lacked creativity and precision during the early minutes of the second half. Their midfield play lacked cohesion and they could not gain any kind of control.
The second half settled into a familiar pattern, as Swallows tried to break down the Tuks rigid defence, whilst Tuks responded with frequent counter attacks.
Swallows finally responded with an equaliser after a period of sustained pressure, when substitute David Mathebula showed his game breaking ability and set up a chance for Bennet Chenene with some enterprising play. Chenene grabbed hold of his chance and slotted home.
Tuks did not give in and continued to push forward for a winning goal, as Mpho Maruping made an excellent run and scored with a precise shot at the near post, forcing a resilient Tuks back into the lead.
The win means an unbeaten start for Pretoria University this season, a dream start considering they were plying their trade in the National First Division last season. Moroka Swallows will leave their home stadium disappointed after their first loss of the season.