In a game of few chances, the home side’s defence was impressive in terms of shutting out the 2020/21 league champions’ usually potent attack
Former Kaizer Chiefs star Jabu Mahlangu (Pule) singled out Swallows FC’s two central defenders, Junaid Sait and Njabulo Ngcobo for special praise after the Birds’ 0-0 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns at the Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday evening.
While Sundowns would have been hoping to celebrate the capture of a fourth successive PSL league title this week with a captivating win against Swallows, Brandon Truter’s men had other ideas as they fought resolutely against the star-studded Brazilians.
Among those who stood out were two players who have spent the bulk of their careers in the second-tier of South African football in Ngcobo and Sait, the latter being named as Man-of-the-Match.
Mahlangu was highly impressed with how the pair kept quiet PSL Player of the Season nominee Peter Shalulile.
“My key player before the game was Ncgobo,” the former Bafana Bafana winger said in the post-match analysis session in the SuperSport TV studio.
“And I said it, I want to look at the partnership with Sait. And both Ncgobo and Sait, they ground [it out]. Especially against the mobility of [Peter] Shalulile, we know it’s not easy to defend against Shalulile. He can run off the ball, he can receive the ball. He’s very strong on the ball. He’s got everything a striker needs.
“And these two guys, Ngcobo and Sait, they managed to deal with him very, very well. He was quiet this afternoon.”
There has been talk for some time now that Ngcobo is on the wanted list at Kaizer Chiefs who parted ways with head coach Gavin Hunt on Friday afternoon.
The 27-year-old central defender has been outstanding this season in what in his first campaign in the top-flight, having signed from First Division team Uthongathi.
Sait, 28, previously played in the second-tier for clubs such as Milano United, Cape Town All Stars, Stellenbosch FC and Richards Bay.