KAITANO Tembo enjoyed probably his finest day since taking over at Richards Bay as he guided the Natal Rich Boys into the quarter-finals of the Carling Knockout after a 2-1 win over Moroka Swallows yesterday.

Young Philasande Manqele made his debut in goal for Richards Bay, as Swallows welcomed back Keegan Allan and gave Gabadinho Mhango a start.

Manqele was put to work minutes in when he stood firm to thwart a first-time shot from Tshegofatso Mabasa following a delivery from the right.

Former Orlando Pirates man Abel Mabaso made complete use of a loose ball in the area to give the hosts the lead after the Birds failed to clear a corner-kick.

Swallows weren’t able to get any rhythm going thereafter but did have a sufficient portion of possession before the hosts overloaded the half-spaces for a low-block.

The approach showed promise and allowed the hosts to break in behind to release, amongst others Yanela Mbuthuma, who snapped wide from the closest of angles.

Swallows were level five minutes into the second half after a cutback from Ntsako Makhubela found Mhango, who fired into the bottom-corner.

The Natal Rich Boys were back in front ten minutes later as Mbuthuma beat the offside trap and beat Akpeyi with a composed finish.

Former AmaZulu and Kaizer Chiefs striker Dumisani Zuma was called off the bench by the visitors over the last 20 minutes and replaced Lantshane Phalane.

Richards Bay, though, remained on the ascendancy and looked to extend their tally, but were undone by poor finishing. – Sports Reporter/KickOff

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