birds hold off united

NO WAY THROUGH: Moroka Swallows striker Collins Mbesuma, right, shields the ball from Maritzburg United's Bheka Phakathi during their Premiership match at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto yesterday. Swallows won 2-0. PIC: VELI NHLAPO. 18/10/2009. © Sowetan.
NO WAY THROUGH: Moroka Swallows striker Collins Mbesuma, right, shields the ball from Maritzburg United's Bheka Phakathi during their Premiership match at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto yesterday. Swallows won 2-0. PIC: VELI NHLAPO. 18/10/2009. © Sowetan.

TWO goals in the last 10 minutes of the game silenced disgruntled Moroka Swallows supporters yesterday.

The Birds beat a stubborn Maritzburg United 2-0 in a thrilling Absa Premiership game at Dobsonville Stadium, despite being reduced to 10 men in the 72nd minute.

Swallows fans carrying placards, some of which read "Leon Prins and Sipho Xulu must go" and "Swallows only buy dead wood", have not had anything to cheer about lately with their team falling far behind their rivals in the league.

They were a disappointing 13th on the log going into yesterday's match.

Prins, who looked rattled by the fans' demand that he pack his bags, remained positive and in the end his players came to the party.

Typical of Gordon Igesund's clubs, United were not going to lie down and gave Swallows a good run for their money.

It took the Beautiful Birds until the 79th minute to open the scoring through Sibusiso Khumalo, who unleashed a powerful shot that gave United goalkeeper Tashrique Goldman no chance after some brilliant work by David Radebe.

The goal seemed to have been what Swallows had been looking for, as they started pushing forward in search of their second, which eventually came in the closing minutes of the match from Radebe.

National Under-20 captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele's shot forced a save out of Goldman, and from the corner kick, Radebe rose to head home the second.

Swallows were reduced to 10 men after Ashraf Hendriks was given his marching orders for a second yellow card in the 72nd minute.

It was United's second loss in a row, following the 5-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns.

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