Swallows climbed out of the DStv Premiership relegation zone after a last-gasp equaliser earned them a 1-1 draw against Stellenbosch at the Danie Craven Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Maroons took the lead through Zitha Kwinika in the 10th minute, but they weren’t able to see out the contest as Wandisile Letlabika pounced in the seventh minute of added time to rescue a vital point for Dylan Kerr’s side.
Stellies remain in third position on 30 points, while the Dube Birds swapped places with Baroka, who dropped to 15th in the table.
Steve Barker’s men were targeting three points that would take them above Orlando Pirates up to second place, if only for a couple of hours potentially, but it was Swallows who tried to make inroads early on.
Matlala Makgalwa forced Sage Stephens into a save with a shot from range after just three minutes, although the hosts managed to settle down and hit the front seven minutes later.
New signing Juan Carlos Ortiz delivered a set-piece into the danger area and Kwinika steered a glancing header beyond Thela Ngobeni into the right corner of the net.
The Soweto outfit looked to respond and Makgalwa drew another save out of Stephens with a header from Monnapule Saleng’s cross on 28 minutes before Ruzaigh Gamildien sent his free-kick just over the crossbar four minutes later.
Stephens was called into action again on 41 minutes to deny Gamildien from close range after he was set up by Lebohang Mokoena, while Makgalwa was guilty of not hitting the target from inside the area moments later.
Swallows went into the break having bossed proceedings in the first half without any tangible reward they continued to push for an equaliser after the restart.
The first couple of chances came the way of Stellies though, as Ortiz attempted to catch out Ngobeni with an audacious effort from close to the halfway line on 48 minutes and Jayden Adams directed a header just wide of the left post from Marc van Heerden’s 50th-minute free-kick.
The Birds wasted three opportunities before the hour mark, with Gamildien shooting wide of the left post from inside the box and then heading over a cross from Fawaaz Basadien before Grant Margeman pulled a shot just to the left of the goal from range.
Both Ibraheem Jabaar and Nathan Sinkala tried their luck from distance at the other end without success, while Monnapule Saleng wasn’t able to keep his free-kick down as the ball cleared the wall and well as the frame of the goal.
But the visitors’ efforts were finally rewarded deep into stoppage time when Letlabika met Sphesihle Mbhele’s cross to head home from close range and clinch a deserved share of the spoils.
Stellenbosch (1) 1 (Z.Kwinika 10′)
Swallows (0) 1 (W.Letlabika 90+5′)
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