The Birds are back after winning promotion to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) but had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Stellenbosch FC at the Danie Craven Stadium on Sunday.
It may not have been the Moroka Swallows of old but this reincarnation of the Birds will have pleased the neutrals as coach Brandon Truter’s charges played their first match since winning promotion.
Swallows gave a gallant account of themselves on their first day in the premiership, but in the end the Soweto team were happy to settle for a share of the spoils.
The visitors were the first on the scoreboard after confusion between Robyn Johannes and goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt led to a penalty after a foul on Zaphaniah Mbokoma in the 16th minute.
Ruzaigh Gamildien stepped up to the penalty spot and beat Langeveldt with a low shot.
Stellenbosch drew level in the 27th minute after Leletu Skelem duped referee Kwinda Olani into believing that he was fouled in the area.
Skelem rolled on the pitch as if he had been hit by the Gautrain yet Swallows goalkeeper Virgil Vries never touched him. Johannes made up for the earlier blunder when he beat Swallows goalkeeper Vries to score the equaliser.
Truter admitted that the draw was a fair reflection and was happy with a point away from home in their first match in the top flight.
“We made a mistake in the back while we forced a mistake on the other side‚ and that’s the game,” he said.
Swallows are at home to Bloemfontein Celtic at Dobsonville Stadium in their next match on Wednesday, while Stellenbosch are away to Orlando Pirates at Orlando on the same day.
Exciting midfielder Mogakolodi Ngele scored his third goal in two matches to help PSL newcomers Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC (TTM) force a 1-1 draw at home to fellow top-flight debutants TS Galaxy.
Centre-back Bevan Fransman scored Galaxy’s first premiership goal on the stroke of halftime to go into the break with their noses in front after the TTM defence went to sleep at Thohoyandou Stadium in Venda.
But Ngele restored parity when he equalised for TTM shortly after the restart with a header from a corner.
TTM named a full squad with nine players on the bench‚ a far cry from the embarrassing moment when the club had only three players‚ including a goalkeeper‚ as substitutes during the 3-2 cup exit against SuperSport United last week.
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