Kaizer Chiefs failed to reignite their top eight title hopes after being held to a 1-1 draw by Swallows FC in their DStv Premiership clash at FNB Stadium on Wednesday.
Leonardo Castro, Njabulo Blom, Willard Katsande and Daniel Cardoso came into the Amakhosi starting lineup while the Birds brought Kagiso Malinga and Musa Nyatama into theirs.
Swallows took the lead in the eighth minute when Sifiso Hlanti whipped in a superb cross from the left and Kagiso Malinga got in front of Ramahlwe Mphahlele and flicked a lovely finish on his left across goal and past Bvuma for a phenomenal finish.
Chiefs equalised in the 14th minute. Lebogang Manyama delivered from the right and Happy Mashiane headed against the upright but Castro was there to head home the rebound.
After some patient build-up by the Amakhosi, Happy Mashiane laid up Manyama on the edge of the box, whose powerful long range strike went narrowly wide.
In the 29th minute Swallows went direct. Malinga did great work to knock the ball down in a challenge with Mphahlele and Lebohang Mokoena struck a vicious volley from the second ball against the left-hand upright for what would have been a contender for goal of the season.
The Birds finished the half the stronger of the two sides, having enjoyed 62 percent of the possession in the final ten minutes of the first half.
Shortly after the interval Reeve Frosler provided a superb delivery from the right-hand side and Castro got goalside of Njabulo Ngcobo but couldn't connect with the header on the bounce properly.
Castro was proving to be an aerial menace and in the 53rd minute Bernard Parker delivered the free-kick from the right-hand side which the Colombian narrowly headed over the bar for what would have been his second goal of the match.
The Birds then won a free-kick when Kamohelo Mahlatsi was brought down on the right-hand side. Mokoena delivered in behind the Chiefs defence and Malinga just failed to get on the end of it with the stretch for what was nearly his brace.
In the 83rd minute, Philani Zulu played the ball into Samir Nurkovic, who chested it down and volleyed it on the turn with his left foot and Virgil Vries had to get down to his right to make the save. Space opened up again for the Amakhosi soon afterwards and Lazarous Kambole cut inside onto his favoured right foot but blasted the ball over the bar.
In the end Swallows held firm in the face of Chiefs' pressure as they played to their 17th draw of the season, the equal most of any team in a PSL season in history.