Swallows end trophy drought
MONYATHELI Ntobo’s first half header was all that Swallows needed to beat Lerotholi Polytechnic and win the A division Top 8 tournament at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena yesterday.
The Mazenod outfit walked away M8000 richer while Lerotholi pocketed M6000 for finishing runners up.
Majantja, who finished third, received M5000.
Swallows beat Majantja 3-1 while Lerotholi beat Galaxy on penalties in Thursday’s semifinals to book their place in yesterday’s final.
Both teams started on cautious note although Lerotholi had the edge in the first 15 minutes with their midfield duo of Lisema Lebokollane and Basia Tseki dictating proceedings.
They were however, let down by the strikers especially Lehlohonolo Jobo who kept firing blanks.
Swallows were equally culpable in the striking department and when it looked like the teams would go to half time goalless, Ntobo was left unmarked to head home from a Tebello Leshoella set piece two minutes before the break.
Swallows returned the better of the two sides and they could have extended their lead on 52 minutes but striker Mohau Khali shot wide after latching onto Lehlohonolo Fothoane’s defence splitting pass.
The towering striker again shot over bar a minute later.
Swallows made the first substitution pulling out Khali for Itumeleng Makhetha on 56 minutes.
Lerotholi introduced Thabo Massa for Thabo Mahao on the hour mark and they could have levelled matters 10 minutes later but midfield workhorse Tseki’s header missed an empty net.
They kept piling pressure but Swallows goalkeeper Sekhoane Moerane produced a man of the match performance to preserve his side’s lead.
Swallows held on to break their trophy drought of more than 10 years since they last won the Premiership Buddie Top 8.
Meanwhile, Majantja beat Galaxy 2-0 in the third place play-off in the first match of the double header.
Swallows goalkeeper Sekhoane Moerane was named goalkeeper of the tournament with Lisema Lebokollane of Lihale scooping player of the tournament and the golden boot award went to Moeketsi Malibeng of Galaxy with three goals.