Swallows FC are confident of retaining their PSL status after coming to within five minutes of safety before having to settle for a playoff spot following a 2-2 draw with Kaizer Chiefs in an incident-filled contest at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Dylan Kerr’s side recovered from Njabulo Ngcobo’s 20th minute goal for Chiefs with Dillon Solomons’ two penalties giving them a 2-1 lead before Bernard Parker made it 2-2 with a brilliant free-kick.
That means Swallows will have to navigate the tricky relegation and promotion playoff against second-tier National First Division (NFD) sides such as University of Pretoria and Cape Town All Stars to secure their status but Kerr is putting up a brave face.
“This is going to be a whole different story,” said Kerr after Saturday’s match.
He added: “NFD teams when they play PSL teams, it is always a big fight. Now we have to make sure we repeat the same performance we have done here today and take our chances. It is going to be tough but we’ve got great team spirit.”
The draw completed an awful season for Chiefs, who remained fourth on the table with 47 points, and will miss out on continental football, after being pipped to third position by Stellenbosch.
Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane explained why his side have been underwhelming in the just concluded campaign.
“It has been a difficult one and we made it difficult for ourselves today,” said Zwane.
“I was even worried that we scored too early because we took our foot off the peddle and allowed Swallows to be on top. You could see the way they were attacking they could score at any given time,” he added.
“At half-time, we told the players to stop playing the ball backwards. Try to think about going forward then we concede the penalties. Those are the things letting us down in games that we should be collecting maximum points.”
Despite the poor season, Zwane believes there is a silver lining for Chiefs going forward given the impressive displays of some youngsters who were involved on Saturday.
“If you look at just after the red card, the arrogance of Njabulo Blom in the middle of the park then [Happy] Mashiane, it gives me hope,” he said.