Eswatini is now one foot in the group stages of the TotalEnergies AFCON 2025 Qualifiers after a convincing victory against Somalia in the first leg match that was played in Morocco. Sihlangu SeMnikati lived up to their words as they promised the nation that they will do their best to win this match.

The national team showed early in the match that they meant business as they played an offensive game as from the first minute in search of an early goal. They shared the ball very well and the defence was as solid as a rock.

In the 18th minute Eswatini got a free kick just outside the 18area box of the Somalians after Sabelo Ndzinisa was fouled and a powerful shot by Mxolisi Mkhontfo hit the Somalian wall, Mxolisi was back again with a powerful shot in the 24th minute and it was saved by Yuusuf Mohamed in the Somalian goal.

After Justice Figareido got a yellow card in the 24th minute for committing a foul, that did not dampen his fighting spirit as he continued to give the Somalian defence tough times. He was rewarded for his hard work in the 29th minute after his venomous shot from 18 yards was too much for Yuusef Mohammed as the ball found the back of the net.

Eswatini continued to search for the second goal and it came in the 40th +3rd minutes through a strong header by Sabelo Ndzinisa in the 6-area box. This was after Sibonelo Sibandze who got is maiden full cap, delivered a wonderful cross from the right flank.

Both teams went for the half time break with Eswatini leading by 2-0. Sihlangu SeMnikati continued where the left in the 2nd half as Kwakhe Thwala scored his first goal for the national team as his grass cutter shot found the back of the net in the 55th minute.

In the 60th minute, Eswatini made a double substitution, as Justice Figuaredo and Bongwa Matsebula were rested for Mthunzi Mkhontfo and Thubelihle Mavuso who also got his first full cap. Another substitution was made by Eswatini in the 70th minute when Mxolisi Mkhontfo was rested by Sandile Gamedze.

In the 79th minute Sandile Ndzinisa’s shot wentjust wde with Yuusef Mohamed well beaten. The referee blew the final whistle with Eswatini leading by 3-0. The second leg will be played on Tuesday, 26th March 2024 at the Mbombela Stadium in Nulspruit and kick-off is at 1500hrs South African Time.