Birds drop points
MOROKA Swallows joined the list of Absa Premiership title challengers who failed to pick up maximum points this weekend, while Kaizer Chiefs' woes worsened with a defeat, at Santos yesterday.
The Dube Birds played to a third successive draw when they came back from a goal down to hold home side Bloemfontein Celtic to a 1-all draw at Botshabelo Stadium.
Celtic were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time after Swallows defender Luvhengo Mungomeni handled the ball in the box. Striker Lennox Bacela stepped up to convert to give Celtic the lead.
The Birds were more dominant but none of that resulted in an equaliser until they were also handed a spot kick in the 66th minute.
David Mathebula was brought down by defender Eric Mathoho. Siyabonga Nomvethe took responsibility to score the equaliser and his 13th goal of the season.
The visitors' goalkeeper Greg Etafia, who was the man of the match when his team played to a goalless draw against log leaders Orlando Pirates last week, again stood between Swallows' opponents and a win.
He denied Danny Venter in a one-on-one situation, saving with his legs to keep Swallows in the match. Etafia also put his body on the line to stop Phenyo Mongala's cross finding a teammate in the box, and got the accolade in a second consecutive game.
Swallows could also have had a shot at grabbing a late winning goal when Mathebula's free kick came off the woodwork in the 83rd minute.
With leaders Pirates drawing and second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns losing 24 hours before this clash, Gordon Igesund's side would have closed the gap on the leaders, but a stalemate still leaves them trailing the Buccaneers by four points.
Chiefs fell at Athlone Stadium to quick strikes by Graham King and Eleazar Rodgers who struck within two minutes of each other.
King profited from a pass from Thabiso Ntloana in the 46th minute and Rodgers struck from the centre of penalty area just over a minute later.
George Lebese pulled one back for Chiefs in the 75th minute.
lSapa reports that AmaZulu climbed further up the top half of the standings with a 4-1 drubbing of Premiership strugglers Black Leopards in Giyani in another match yesterday.
The visitors showed early intent with Kagiso Senamela firing a shot over the crossbar in the 12th minute.
They took the lead a minute later after Humphrey Khoza brought down Siyabonga Thwala and Marc Van Heerden drilled home from the free kick.
Leopards, however, hit back shortly before the half-hour mark, through Luyolo Mapolisa.
The visitors regained their lead when Siyabonga Thwala netted in the 62nd minute after connecting with a cross from Senamela on the right.
Ayanda Dlamini banged in Amazulu's third goal to stretch the gap with 17 minutes left, and though AmaZulu's strike force blasted a few efforts wide in the dying stages, Goodman Dlamini found the target in injury time to bury the hosts.