SAT 08 JULY 2017, 19:00,


Mbabane Swallows held by Stars in Rustenburg

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sat July 08, 21:22

Although they scored through Wonder Nhleko and Sabelo Ndzinisa, Mbabane Swallows drew their final CAF Confederation Cup, Group B match 2-2 against Platinum Stars at Moruleng Stadium on Saturday.

Robert Ng'ambi's brace ensured the hosts bagged a point as they remain placed at the bottom of the log table with three points from six matches, with three draws and as many losses.

On the other hand, the Swazis now finish at number three with five points from two draws, one win and three losses.

As early as the eighth minute, Swallows had their first shot when Nhleko unleashed a powerful volley which was saved by goalkeeper Steven Hoffman.

Thabo Vilakati's men continued to push for an early goal as they were better in ball possession, but they were not decisive in the final third.

However, the Swazi giants managed to break the deadlock through Nhleko in the 21st minute when his well struck free kick was deflected into the goal, 2-1.

Dikwena tried to penetrate the Birds, but Milton Dlamini's charges were not clinical in front of goal.

Despite enjoying the ball possession towards the end of the opening, Stars looked ordinary when going forward and were 1-0 down at half time.

Although Dikwena were expected to react and find an equaliser, there were no clear cut chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

The South African side continued to pile on the pressure and Katlego Khunou saw his curling shot saved by Ginindza in the 58th minute.

Against the run of play, Swallows made it 2-0 in the 69th minute with a powerful header through Ndzinisa after a cross from the left flank.

Dikwena managed to pull a goal back when Ng'ambi beat Ginindza on the near post after a dangerous set piece by skipper Vuyo Mere, 2-1.

With eight minutes to go, Nale was denied by the woodwork as he tried to find an equaliser as he saw his well-drilled effort beat Ginindza, but it came off the upright.

Stars showed resilience and continued to fight for an equaliser, Ng'ambi eventually made it 2-2 with a fine header from a corner bringing the hosts back into the game.

Despite their push to get a third goal, Stars exited the tournament with no victory next to their name, but managed to secure a point at home.

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