MTN8 Final: Swallows 2 SuperSport 1

Moroka Swallows win their first top eight title since 1979 with final win over SuperSport United.

Moroka Swallows have won the 2012 MTN8 after a thrilling 2-1 final victory over SuperSport United at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

It is a first trophy for The Birds since their 2009 triumph in the Nedbank Cup, but a first win in the top eight competition in 33 years.

They probably just about deserved the win after coming from behind via goals from Giorgi Nergadze and Bennett Chenene, this after Franklin Cale had given Matsatsantsa the lead.

Swallows forward Siyabonga Nomvete was not fit enough for a starting place, but did make the bench, while SuperSport started with Mabhuti Khenyeza and Sibusiso Zuma up front.

SuperSport were ahead inside four minutes as Sameehg Doutie found the perfect defence-splitting ball to play in Cale and he had the easiest of side-footed finishes.

The early goal was to set the tone for the first half as both teams looked to attack. Swallows drew level on 18 minutes when poor SuperSport defending allowed Katlego Mashego to pick up the ball out wide.

It was eventually fed inside to Nergadze, whose first-time shot from 25-yards was inch-perfect, beating a diving Rowen Fernandez in the Matsatantsa goal and cannoning in off the post.

Mashego should have given The Birds the lead when his brilliant run from the left beat two defenders, but the final shot was high over the bar when faced with just Fernandez in front of him.

At the other end, Doutie had a magnificent chance to put SuperSport back in front when his found himself one-on-one with Swallows goalkeeper Greg Etafia, but the Nigerian thrust out an arm to save his goal-bound effort.

Etafia saved again from a Cale free-kick early in the second period as the ball burst through the wall, but the keeper managed to stick out a boot and clear.

Fernandez did brilliantly to deny Felix Obada at the back post when the Nigerian winger found acres of space and time to fire a shot on goal that the keeper pushed to safety.

Seconds later and Swallows thought they had the lead when Ashraf Hendricks touched Chabangu’s shot towards goal and SuperSport defender Mor Diouf somehow managed to clear the ball before it crossed the line.

Hendricks was far too casual in defence at the other end and that allowed Khenyeza a strike on goal which the forward blasted over the crossbar.

It was the same story with 10 minutes remaining when Kermit Erasmus picked out the striker in the box and he crashed the ball high and wide.

Seconds earlier Swallows thought they should have had a penalty when the ball appeared to strike the arm of Bevan Fransman, but referee Lwandile Mfiki waved play on.

Swallows did have the lead on 86 minutes as Chenene beat the offside trap and provided a perfect lob to beat Fernandez, his fifth goal in as many games this season.