Swallows keep title challenge alive

Moroka Swallows climbed three places to second in the South African Premiership table Friday with a 5-2 triumph at relegation-threatened Black Leopards.

All the goals came during the second half in north-eastern town Giyani with Siyabonga Nomvethe and Mpho Maleka bagging a brace each and Georgian Giorgi Nergadze also on target. Leopards' Zimbabwean substitute Kingston Nkhatha was another player to score twice on a hot, humid night with all but one of the seven goals coming inside the last 20 minutes as the conditions took their toll.

Nomvethe took his league tally to 18 and looks certain to finish leading scorer. The result set the stage for a thrilling finish to the title race with defending champions Orlando Pirates on 52 points, Swallows 50, Mamelodi Sundowns 49 and SuperSport United and Free State Stars 48 two rounds from the finish line.

Leopards remain one point ahead of Cape Town-based Santos with a game in hand as both clubs try to avoid finishing second last and going into play-offs against three first division sides for a single Premiership place.