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Swallows KO Pirates

Swallows are through to the MTN8 semi-finals after a 2-1 victory over defending champions Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.

It was a fast paced start to the game, but while there were a few half chances, neither side threatened the goal, until Ruzaigh Gamildien put Swallows into the lead, scoring from a free kick in the 16th minute, his curling right foot shot beating Richard Ofori at the near post.

Gamildien made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute, as he took advantage of an Ofori error, who was caught out of position, after being robbed of the ball by Dillon Solomons, and Gamildien was able to score from 30 yards out.

Pirates were awarded a penalty in the 23rd minute when Virgil Vries brought fellow Namibian Deon Hotto down in the box. Kabelo Dlamini stepped up to the spot, and while Vries went the right way, Dlamini’s shot was powerful enough to beat the goalkeeper.

At half-time Swallows led 2-1.

Swallows thought they had a third on the hour mark, but substitute Keletso Makgalwa was ruled off-side after putting the ball in the back of the net, while a minute later Vincent Pule had a chance on the other end, but his back-heel lacked power and Vries saved easily

Hotto made a good run into the box in the 68th minute, but after brining the ball down, his final effort was mis-cued and went wide, while substitute Monnapule Saleng, on loan at Swallows from Pirates, forced Ofori into a save five minutes later.

While Pirates were pushing hard for a way back into the game, they weren’t troubling Vries.

Pirates were awarded a dangerous free kick in stoppage time, after substitute Gabadinho Mhango was brought down, but after standing up to to take the free kick himself, he shot directly into the wall.

The end of the road for the defending champions, as Swallows join Golden Arrows in the last four.

Pirates XI: Ofori, Sam, Hlatshwayo, Nyauza, Jooste, Mabaso, Makaringe, Dlamini, Hotto, Pule, Tlolane.

Swallows XI: Vries, Sait, Letlabika, Mere, Matlaba, Matlou, Ndovu, Nyatama, Mokoena, Solomons, Gamildien