Swallows managed Mhango in fiery victory over AmaZulu

Swallows managed Mhango in fiery victory over AmaZulu

Moroka Swallows coach Steve Komphela revealed he paid special attention to striker Gabadinho Mhango ahead of Friday night's DStv Premiership clash with former club AmaZulu.

The Dube Birds won the game 2-1, with both goals coming from forward Tshegofatso Mabasa after Usuthu had taken the lead through midfielder Ethan Brooks at Dobsonville Stadium. 

AmaZulu played the majority of the second half with 10 men when Abbubaker Mobara was sent off, but Komphela claims Swallows were concerned about Mhango controlling his emotions. 

"The first area of caution was to manage Mhango because he comes from AmaZulu. We did not want to experience the same setback we had when we played Mamelodi Sundowns without Andile Jali. In the fourth minute, he got a red card,"he told the media.

"For whatever reason they tend to, maybe, take it personally, trying too hard to try and prove a point. Throughout the week that was more of the theme in the conversation, more especially with him," said Komphela.

Mhango was shown a yellow card by referee Moses Kheswa, prompting Komphela to make a substitution before the situation escalated. 

"Even with the yellow card, I felt, maybe, we should pull him out. We don't want to play with one man down, worst the opponent [already] has a player out and the possibilities, we may [also] get a red. But apart from that we had to accept that it was physical.

"And I don't know, AmaZulu are quite aggressive, they press well, and we also keep the ball, and we are very provocative."  

"The team most of the time comes with control inside the game. I don't want to say anything else because I'm going to be banned. It's physical when you're playing against 15 and even without, you're also giving them reasons to play with one man down. And this is something that we need to control, this is the second time it has happened. It's true that our players are receiving criminal tackle.

Meanwhile, Komphela’s counterpart, Usuthu coach Pablo Franco Martin was measured in his response when asked by SABC Sport why the game was so tense, fearing a fine from the PSL for commenting about match officials. 

Martin wanted a foul – and possibly a red card – shown to Swallows defender Keenan Phillips for what appeared a reckless tackle on their goal scorer Brooks.