Swallows FC defeated Baroka FC 1-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon, a result which puts them back on level terms with DStv Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Birds took full advantage of Sundowns’ draw with SuperSport United earlier in the day, and yet another goal from Ruzaigh Gamildien sees them level with the champions on 25 points from 11 unbeaten matches since the start of the season. Bakgaga, meanwhile, drop to 12th on the log.
Swallows enjoyed the early dominance, with midfielders Tlakusani Mthethwa and Given Thibedi bossing the ball in the middle of the park and looking to set up the likes of Kgaogelo Sekgota and Ruzaigh Gamildien.
Baroka, though, were organised and resilient in defence. They also looked to offer a potent threat on the counter, with Richard Mbulu and Evidence Makgopa always keen to run in behind the Birds’ defence when the hosts moved their line high up the field.
The only clear chance of the half went the way of Swallows in the 41st minute, with veteran Lebogang Mokoena forcing a good low save from Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze, ensuring the break arrived with the teams locked at 0-0.
Swallows upped their game after the restart and claimed the lead via a 57th minute penalty. Ruzaigh Gamildien continued his scoring form by firing home from the spot, with the award coming for a foul on Fawaaz Basadien.
Baroka were sparked to life by the goal, going on the offensive and forcing the Birds onto the back foot. Substitutes Tshediso Patjie and Jemondre Dickens added to Bakgaga’s attacking impetus, but they struggled to call Swallows goalkeeper Virgil Vries into significant action.
Swallows toughed out Baroka’s efforts to get back into the game and secured another victory to keep up their superb return to the top-flight league of South African football.
The teams will return to DStv Premiership action on Wednesday 20 January, with Baroka visiting Stellenbosch FC and Swallows hosting Chippa United.
Baroka FC 0
Swallows FC (0) 1 (Gamildien 57’ pen)
Baroka: Chipezeze, Mphahlele (Mgaga 36’), Makume, Shozi, Gebhardt, Masiya, Jampies, Monama (Patjie 66’), Mosele, Mbulu (Dickens 55’), Makgopa
Swallows: Vries, Mere, Ngcobo, Letlabika, Hlanti, Mthethwa, Mokoena, Thibedi (Sait 85’), Basadien (Mhlongo 64’), Sekgota (Seabi 77’), Gamildien (Mosadi 85’)