Johannesburg (AFP) – South African top-flight club Swallows ended a 673-minute goal drought on Sunday, but a winless run stretched to eight matches after a 1-1 Premiership draw with Stellenbosch.
It was appropriate that Ruzaigh Gamildien should be the scorer for the famed Soweto club, who were formed 23 years before better known neighbours Kaizer Chiefs
He was the leading scorer last season when the promoted club finished a respectable sixth after creating a Premiership record of 20 draws in a 30-match season.
Gamildien bagged two of Swallows’ three goals this season as the club won their opening two matches, a knockout competition quarter-final against Orlando Pirates and a league clash with newcomers Royal AM.
However, Swallows coach Brandon Truter and his squad could never have visualised that the stoppage-time goal against Royal on August 22 would be the last until mid October.
The 43rd-minute drought-breaking goal was a simple affair involving two veterans with full-back Tebogo Langerman pushing into the area, and his cut-back allowed unmarked Gamildien to net from close range.
The joy at finally scoring was short-lived though as Stellenbosch from the western Cape winelands equalised within two minutes at an empty Soweto stadium because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
Long-serving Deano van Rooyen, making a rare start for the visitors, latched on to another cut-back, this time from Nigerian Stanley Dimgba, to fire wide of goalkeeper Jody February into the corner.
A brilliant one-hand save from Stellenbosch goalkeeper Sage Stephens off a Kagiso Malinga thunderbolt late in the second half ensured his side held on to a point and rose to third.
Record 11-time Premiership winners Mamelodi Sundowns, in the Democratic Republic of Congo on CAF Champions League duty, top the table with 16 points, one more than Pretoria neighbours SuperSport United.
Stellenbosch have 13 points, Royal 12, promoted Sekhukhune United 11, and Golden Arrows, Pirates and Chiefs nine each.
On Saturday, Zambian Ghampani Lungu scored twice in three minutes early in the second half as four-time champions SuperSport maintained a perfect home record this season with a 2-0 victory over Baroka.
Former Montpellier forward Keagan Dolly — reportedly the highest paid Premiership player with a 1.45 million rand ($100,000/85,000 euros) monthly salary — struck twice as Chiefs trounced Chippa United 4-0 in Soweto.
Nigerian Chibuike Ohizu took his Premiership goal tally to four for the season by scoring in the 50th minute to earn his side a 1-0 win over Cape Town City in Johannesburg.