birds soar over stars

20091223AMU/SPORTS/SOCCER.
Free State Stars Ayanda  Gcaba drebble past Moroka Swallows Lungisani Ndlela during their ABSA/.PSL match at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto. PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE
20091223AMU/SPORTS/SOCCER. Free State Stars Ayanda Gcaba drebble past Moroka Swallows Lungisani Ndlela during their ABSA/.PSL match at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto. PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

DEBUTANT Auguston Leonard made an immediate impact to the hearts of Moroka Swallows fans yesterday by scoring the second goal which earned them a 2-1 victory against Free State Stars at Dobsonville Stadium.

DEBUTANT Auguston Leonard made an immediate impact to the hearts of Moroka Swallows fans yesterday by scoring the second goal which earned them a 2-1 victory against Free State Stars at Dobsonville Stadium.

This was Swallows' first win in eight matches. The last time the Birds flew high was on November 21 after defeating Lamontville Golden Arrows 3-1 in Durban.

Stars have themselves to blame for going home empty-handed. They squandering numerous scoring chances.

It was the Dube Birds who scored first. Striker Lungisani "Long Tom" Ndlela rattled the net in the 30th minute. He was fed a perfect cross by Mfundo Shumana on the left flank.

Ten minutes later, the home side lost striker Siyabonga Nomvethe through injury. He was replaced by Leonard.

The 18-year-old youngster was promoted from Swallows' development programme two weeks ago.

Two minutes later, Stars' hard-working striker Tebello "Big Man" Mofokeng could not believe his eyes when his goal was ruled off-side.

Ea Lla Koto were beginning to exert pressure on Swallows, who were minus their inspirational captain Lefa Tsutsulupa. He is serving a one-match suspension.

Stars coach Gordon Igesund introduced striker Sthembiso Ngcobo for Aleni Lebyane in the second half. That substitution brought some change.

Stars looked dangerous as they launched one attack after another, forcing Swallows defence to work overtime. But Stars' hard work did nothing to the score-line. Poor finishing let them down. They ultimately equalised in the 78th minute through Ayanda Nxaba after Nkhatha's corner kick.

But Leonard rattled the net in his first professional match in the 82nd minute.

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