In his pre-match interview, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila head coach Mpho Maleka asked: “Can the Birds fly at night?
Well, the answer is no as the ‘Dube Birds’ – Swallows’ wings were clipped by the Limpopo side in the Nedbank Cup Last 16 at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Friday evening.
‘Vhadau Vha Damani’ booked their spot in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals with a 4-3 win on penalties as the game ended 2-2 after extra time. Veteran goalkeeper Washington Arubi was the hero on the night as he saved two penalties.
The combination of Maleka, David Mathebula, Dylan Kerr and new ownership seems to have worked wonders at the Limpopo club as they have now won four consecutive games in all competitions and continue their resurgence since the start of February.
“Firstly, let me say thanks to the guys [players] for a job well done and again following the game plan,” said a proud Maleka.
“We knew that they [Swallows] can concede and we have proven it as we were aware of their weaknesses, but it was unfortunate for us to concede two goals. Yes, it is a homework to us as much as we say the game is the teacher.
“With this win, we showed character and determination, we can be proud and with this dedication, it is going to give us an edge going forward. This is a good injection even though we nearly lost it.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel. As much as we are happy to go through, we have some homework to go and work on, but we appreciate the effort of the boys,” concluded Maleka, who is a former Swallows striker.
TTM are 14th on the DStv Premiership log standings after 16 matches with 15 points. They started the second half of the league with back-to-back morale-boosting wins Maritzburg United and Stellenbosch to ease the club’s relegation fears.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi