All clubs in South Africa’s top division took part in the DStv Premiership’s opening weekend with Swallows FC among the teams joining Friday’s winners Mamelodi Sundowns by gaining three points. Swallows took down Royal AM on Sunday by utilizing their suffocating defense to keep the newcomers from registering a shot on goal and finding the winner in the game’s last moments to emerge with a 1-0 result. Substitute Mbulelo Wambi was in the right spot to head in a cross from Keletso Makgalwa to send the Dube Birds into celebration with a hard fought victory that was a regular sight last season from the Soweto side.
On Saturday another Johannesburg team, Orlando Pirates, struggled to a 2-2 home draw against Stellenbosch but will be glad for the point considering Ntsikelelo Nyauza’s red card dismissal in the first half. Star attacker Deon Hotto provided a sublime response from a free kick in the 18th minute after a deflected shot from Stellenbosch forward Waseem Isaacs looped past an outstretched Richard Ofori in the Pirates goal to open the scoring for the visitors. The joy was shortlived for Pirates as Nyauza appeared to elbow and then stomp on Stellenbosch forward Ashley Du Preez, igniting a mass confrontation before the red card came out.
The Bucs did not give up and could have escaped with three points, finding the go ahead goal early after halftime when new signing Goodman Mosele ran on to Vincent Pule’s near post flick for a headed goal. However, Stellenbosch would restore parity little more than five minutes later courtesy of their own new signing as Judas Moseamedi provided a brilliant header from a Dean van Rooyen cross that just snuck in Ofori’s far post.
Kaizer Chiefs came out very flat and provided little to no threat in breaking a 0-0 deadlock between them and TS Galaxy on Sunday. Last week saw Amakhosi take a while before waking up for a solid effort in their MTN 8 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns, but that moment never arrived against Galaxy even after South Africa national team midfielder Keagan Dolly was introduced shortly after halftime to provide a spark.
Golden Arrows, Chippa United and Baroka FC were the other winners from the weekend as Marumo Gallants, Sekhukhune United and Maritzburg United will continue to seek their first points after opening match defeats. Highlights from the three matches recapped earlier are below.