Swallows FC fought back to hold Orlando Pirates to a 1-1 draw in the DStv Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The draw saw the Beautiful Birds remain second on the league standings – two points behind leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns, while Bucs remained sixth on the log.
The Beautiful Birds started the match brightly and Wayne Sandilands was a busy man in the Buccaneers’ goal-posts.
Sandilands was called into action in the 12th minute and he pulled off a fine diving save to deny his former Pirates teammate Thabo Matlaba.
Matlaba then went down injured and he was replaced by Sfiso Hlanti and Swallows continued to launch attacks with Ruzaigh Gamildien looking lively.
Gamildien was sent clear on goal in the 19th minute, but the experienced forward was brilliantly denied by Sandilands.
Sandilands then produced a great save to deny Gamildien, who was looking to score with a first-time shot seven minutes before the half-hour mark.
Pirates grew in confidence towards the half-time break and Wayde Jooste forced Swallows keeper Virgil Vries into a great save at the near-post.
The Birds defence frustrated the Bucs attackers which saw Fortune Makaringe and Deon Hotto try their luck from range and they missed the target.
The two teams were locked at 0-0 during the half-time break.
The Buccaneers dominated possession in the opening stages of the second-half, but the Beautiful Birds looked more dangerous on the counter-attack.
Sandilands produced two great saves to deny Kgaogelo Sekgota and Gamildien as he kept Swallows at bay within the first 15 minutes of the second-half.
Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer introduced Frank Mhango and Siphesihle Ndlovu in the 61st minute as the home side looked to break the deadlock.
The momentum was with Pirates in the closing stages of the match and Vries had to come out in the 76th minute to deny Hotto from a one-on-one situation.
The hosts did grab the goal they had been looking for when Ben Motshwari placed his effort into the top corner to make it 1-0 to Pirates with five minutes left.
However, Kamohelo Mahlatsi had other ideas as he tapped home fellow second-half substitute Joseph Mhlongo’s cross in stoppage time to ensure that the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Pirates (0) 1 (Motshwari 85′)
Swallows (0) 1 (Mahlatsi 90’+3)
Pirates: Sandilands, Hlatshwayo, Nyauza, Jooste (Makusu 82′), Mako, Motshwari, Monare (Ndlovu 61′), Makaringe, Hotto (Maela 90’+1), Lorch (Sam 90’+1), Dzvukamanja (Mhango 61′).
Swallows: Vries, Mere, Letlabika, Ngcobo, Matlaba (Hlanti 17′), Mokoena, Thibedi (Seabi 73′), Mthethwa, Basadien (Mahlatsi 58′), Gamildien, Sekgota (Mhongo 73′).