Swallows to face playoff lottery after Chiefs draw

Swallows came so close to securing their DStv Premiership status on the final day of the season before being pegged back to a 2-2 draw by a 10-man Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The Glamour Boys took the lead through Njabulo Ngcobo midway through the first half, but two penalties from Dillon Solomons turned the tide in the Dube Birds' favour after Phathutshedzo Nange was sent off in the 62nd minute.

Bernard Parker would rescue a point for Chiefs five minutes from time to condemn their Soweto rivals to the relegation playoffs after finishing three points behind Chippa United in 15th place.

Arthur Zwane's team missed out on CAF football though, when Stellenbosch beat Cape Town City 1-0 to move into third place, ahead of Amakhosi on goal difference.

It was do or die for Swallows as they went in search of a first win in four matches and the visitors threatened after just two minutes when Fawaaz Basadien found Mwape Musonda inside the box on the left and the striker got off a shot from close range that went inches wide of the near post.

However, their survival hopes suffered a major setback on 20 minutes as Amakhosi hit the front from their first real clear-cut chance, with Ngcobo powering a header past Jody February from a corner.

The Dube Birds looked to respond and Musonda got on the end of Solomons' cross to steer a header just over the crossbar in the 28th minute before Kamohelo Mahlatsi tried to pick out the far corner of the net from inside the area on the left, but his shot curled just wide of the right post.

Bruce Bvuma was required to save Lebohang Mokoena's effort from inside the box on the left in the 26th minute and Juniad Sait tested the Chiefs keeper with a header from Basadien's cross in the final minute of the first half, while Mbulelo Wambi was also denied an equaliser in stoppage time after getting off a shot on the right side of the box.

Khama Billiat wasn't far away from doubling the hosts' lead from a direct free-kick that flashed wide of the left post on 55 minutes, but the Birds' pressure finally told four minutes later when Phathutshedzo Nange was red-carded for a deliberate handball inside the box and Solomons converted the penalty to restore parity after a lengthy delay.

Matters got worse for Chiefs when Swallows were awarded another spot-kick for handball on 68 minutes, this time conceded by Ngcobo, although the outcome was the same as Solomons stepped up to tuck the ball past Bvuma from 12 yards out to give Dylan Kerr's side renewed hope.

Kamohelo Mahlatsi nearly made it 3-1 nine minutes from time when he managed to find space for a shot inside the box on the left, only to be kept out by Bvuma and it proved a crucial save as Parker made it 2-2 on 85 minutes with from a direct free-kick.

Kagiso Malinga almost snatched a dramatic victory at the death for Swallows, but saw his shot drift just beyond the right post from range.

Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Ngcobo 20', Parker 85')

Swallows (0) 2 (Solomons 64' PEN, 70' PEN)

Kaizer Chiefs:B. Bvuma, N. Blom, Nj. Ngcobo, R. Mphahlele (A. Dube 46'), R. Frosler, H. Mashiane (M. Shabalala 87'), K. Baccus (S. Mabiliso 66'), P. Nange, K. Billiat, S. Radebe (L. Kambole 67'), B. Parker (Nk. Ngcobo 87').

Swallows:J. February, D. Solomons, J. Sait, W. Letlabika, M. Wambi (M. Nene 84'), L. Mokoena (J. Mhlongo 57'), G. Margeman, F. Basadien, M. Saleng (K. Ndlovu 57'), K. Mahlatsi (K. Malinga 90'), M. Musonda (M. Makgalwa 90').