Moroka Swallows have won the 2009 Nedbank Cup after defeating brave First Division side University of Pretoria 1-0 in an enthralling final at the Rand Stadium on Saturday.
Vinicius da Silva scored the only goal of the game mid-way through the first half to claim their fourth win in this competition, and their first since beating Manning Rangers 3-1 in the 2004 final.
The newly re-opened Rand Stadium looked a picture and was a fitting venue for such a prestigious encounter, with a playing surface that must rank amongst the best in the country.
Mark Haskins had a header early on that was well-saved by Siya Mngoma in the AmaTuks goal, while at the other end Zakhele Ndhlovu fired in a thunderous volley that had Greg Etafia beaten, but rebounded out off the post.
But Swallows took the lead on 21 minutes when Mngoma came for a Igor Alves free-kick from the right, but failed to collect and Brazilian Da Silva was on hand to bundle the ball home.
There was controversy two minutes later when Thabo Moleko and Phaladi Kobola clashed after the Moleko had bundled into Etafia and put their heads together, which could have been a red card for both. Referee Charl Theron showed good sense, however, in issuing both a yellow and a stern warning, so as not to spoil the occasion.
Mhlonishwa Dlamini rifled a shot across goal as Tuks pressed, but Alves forced another mistake from Mngoma from long-range, though Sandile Ndlovu could not reach the rebound in time. Swallows had a let-off when Etafia was caught out as he went walk-about but Moleko robbed him of the ball, but his shot from an acute angle was cleared off the line by Da Silva.
Rancan had a long-range effort from 40-yards whistle just wide of the goal, and he should have made it 2-0 just past the hour-mark when he connected Alves’ corner six-yards out without an AmaTuks defender in sight, but could only put his header over the bar.
Richard Ferreira was inches wide with a drive from the edge of the area with 20 minutes to play, while Phenyo Mongala was a constant threat down the left, though all too often his attacking team-mates were not on the same wavelength.
Ferreira then played an excellent ball for Thabo Moleko at the back post which the striker narrowly missed on the stretch, while he should have done better in the dying seconds as he put his header from eight-yards out wide with the goal at his mercy.