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Hendricks (Shivambu 82’)
Botha (Khumalo 46’)
Nomvete (Alves 86’)
MOROKA SWALLOWS 0
0 GOLDEN ARROWS
Competition: ABSA Premiership
Date: 08 August 2009
Venue: JHB Stadium
Moroka Swallows and Golden Arrows got their 2009/10 Absa Premiership campaigns off to an underwhelming start as they played to a goalless draw at the Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The 2009/10 league season is yet to see a match which has not ended in a draw, as SuperSport United and Maritzburg United played to a 1-1 draw in Maritzburg last night, while Jomo Cosmos and Platinum Stars also played to a goalless draw in a match played simultaneously at the Rand Stadium.
The match was originally supposed to have been played at the Dobsonville Stadium but continuing power problems in the area saw it held at the Johannesburg Stadium. Unfortunately the pitch was not up to scratch and the teams struggled to play the kind of ‘carpet football’ that they prefer.
Swallows handed debuts to the likes of Ashraf Hendricks, Gordon Gilbert and Siyabonga Nomvete, while Arrows retained the same starting XI that beat Free State Stars 1-0 in a MTN8 match in midweek.
New Swallows coach Rainer Zobler didn’t sit on the bench as he is apparently still waiting for some documentation, so assistant Jose Marques took charge of the team for the day.
Much of the action in the first half took place in the midfield, with Birds’ Kagiso Denge and Lefa Tsutsulupa having to battle hard against their counterparts Thanduyise Khuboni and Ntlantla Zothwane.
As a result there were few goalscoring chances until near half time, when Swallows began to take hold of the game. The Soweto side created a couple of decent opportunities, particularly for winger-cum-striker Ryan Botha, but they were unable to really test Arrows goalkeeper Helton Da Rocha.
A corner just before the interval saw Denge power a header on target but the Arrows defence cleared the ball off the line, leaving the game goalless at half time.
The home team continued to dominate after the restart and Da Rocha had to make a good parrying save from Tsutsulupa’s long-range drive in the 48th minute. Swallows created numerous shooting chances but were unable to breach their opponents’ defence.
Arrows, meanwhile, seemed to have no plan other than to try and hit Swallows with the pace of striker Richard Henyekane, who had a frustrating game just a few days after earning his first call-up to the Bafana Bafana squad.
The Birds were given a great opportunity to finally break the deadlock when Joseph Musonda brought down David Radebe down in the 18-yard area and the referee awarded a penalty.
Defender Davi Rancan was given the responsibility of the spot kick but his compatriot Da Rocha in the Arrows goal pulled off an excellent save to keep the game goalless.
And that’s the way the match ended, with neither side able to trouble the scorers. Swallows will most certainly be the more disappointed of the two teams, while Abafana Bes’thende will consider it an away point well earned.
Moroka Swallows 0
Golden Arrows 0
Swallows: Etafia, Ferland, Hendricks (Shivambu 82’), McCarthy, Rancan, Gilbert, Denge, Tsutsulupa, Botha (Khumalo 46’), Nomvete (Alves 86’), Radebe
Arrows: Da Rocha, Zwane, Sangweni, Musonda, Tom, Bilankulu, Khuboni, Zothwane (Manqana 64’), Mshengu (Dos Santos 77’), Kombe (Mashego 84’), R. Henyekane
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Zothwane (Manqana 64’)
Mshengu (Dos Santos 77’)
Kombe (Mashego 84’)