The Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu SeMnikati) started the campaign of the 2023 Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup on a low note after suffering a loss at the expense of Botswana at the King Zwelithini Stadium at Umlazi in Durban. It was a tight encounter in the first fifteen minutes with both sides being extra cautious when going forward.

It took Botswana twent-two minutes to break the deadlock after an unmarked blonded Lebogang Ditsele to score the first goal of the match. This was after a long throw from the right that was flicked in the box and found an unmarked Lebogang Ditsele in the box who side-footed the ball in the back of the net with Ncamiso Dlamini being exposed by his defence.

That was the only goal in the first half as the referee of the match Godfrey Nkakananga from Malawi sending both teams to the dressing rooms to signal the end of the first half. In the second half, Eswatini played with more urgency and creativity unfortunately they were to shy in front of goal. Eswatini was forced to make a change after Sabelo Ndzinisa was injured and the MTN Player of the season, Mxolisi Mkhontfo was rested. Sikhali was replaced by Mzwandile Mabelesa whilst Mxolisi Mkhontfo was replaced by Mthokozisi Gwebu.

In the 86th minute, Mthokozisi Gwebu’s header went over the cross bar with Lesenyane Malapela well beaten. Eswatini kept on applying the pressure unfortunately the created goal scoring opportunities were not converted. The referee blew the final whistle of the match with Botswana still leading by that first half solitary goal thus winning the match. After the first match day of Group A, Botswana is on the summit of the log after Namibia and South Africa played a 1-1 draw. Eswatini is at the base of the log with two matches left for each team.


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