Swallows FC hold Stellenbosch as Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, TS Galaxy draw

Robyn Johannes of Stellenbosch FC is challenged by Kagiso Malinga of Swallows FC, October 2020
No side could break down the other as both Sunday’s matches ended in draws

Swallows FC marked their return to the Premier Soccer League with a 1-1 draw against Stellenbosch at Danie Craven Stadium.

It was a contest settled inside the opening 30 minutes and interestingly, both side got their goals from the penalty spot.

Ruzaigh Gamildien, on his first match for Swallows since switching from Chippa United, slotted home his penalty 16 minutes into the match, before Stellenbosch skipper Robyn Johannes responded, also from the spot, on 27 minutes.

The match started with no team posing any threat to the other in the opening stages but Swallows captain Lebohang Mokoena shot from just outside the box but his effort was blocked nine minutes after the first whistle.

Gamildien then broke the deadlock when Stellenbosch goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt was ruled to have kicked former Chippa United midfielder Zaphania Mbokoma to earn Swallows a penalty.

But the hosts were not to surrender as they pressed for an equaliser with Leletu Skelem a constant menace in the Swallows defence.

The persistence paid off when Swallows goalkeeper Virgil Vries was adjudged to have brought down Skelem inside the box and Robyn Johannes duly converted the penalty.

That was it in terms of goals as few chances came in the way of both teams thereafter.

Soon after coming on as a substitute just before the hour mark, Swallows debutant Moeketsi Makhanya’s low shot went just wide as he entered with so much verve, promising to break the Johannes-marshalled defence.

On the other end, Nathan Sinkala narrowly missed the goal with a headed effort off a Mario van Heerden corner kick on 65 minutes.

Sinkala was back again with 15 minutes to go but his shot from the edge of the box rose just above the right top corner.

With a minute left on the clock, Stellenbosch’s Ryan Moon missed with just Vries to beat in what was the best chance of the contest after he was released by fellow substitute Roy-Keane Avontuur.

Langeveldt was then forced to impressively repulse Sammy Seabi’s header which was his first touch of the ball after coming on from the bench deep into stoppage time.

Following the draw, Swallows now prepare to host Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday.

Elsewhere at Thohoyandou Stadium, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and TS Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw as well.

With both sides playing PSL football via the acquisition of Bidvest Wits and Highlands Park, they were not short of experience.

Tshakhuma coach Joel Masutha started the likes of former Orlando Pirates defender Alfred Ndengane, Mamelodi Sundowns loanee Nicholus Lukhubeni, Lerato Lamola and another Pirates attacker Meshack Maphangule.

Masutha’s opposite number Dan Malesela threw in veteran Reneilwe Letsholonyane as a substitute into a squad that started with Mxolisi Macuphu and Lindokuhle Mbatha. 

New Zealander Myer Bevan marked his TS Galaxy debut by thrusting his team ahead a minute into first-half stoppage time.

Former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Mogakolodi Ngele then hit back for Tshakhuma nine minutes into the second half.

Both sides struggled to penetrate each other's defence and the contest ended as a share of the spoils.

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Bevan registered his name on the scoresheet after heading in Mbatha’s cross from the right.

Mogakolodi then replied for Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila after combining well with Maphangule.

Tshakhuma now gear up to visit Sundowns on Wednesday, while TS Galaxy host AmaZulu on the same day.