ESWATINI OUT OF THE HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA CUP 2023

The Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu SeMnikati) could not advance to the knock-out stages of the on-going Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup Tournament that is currently taking place in Durban, South Africa. This was after Sihlangu SeMnikati lost the match against South Africa in a match that was played at the Princess Magogo Stadium in Kwamashu.  It was a highly contested match with both teams looking for a win to stand a good chance of qualifying for the semi-finals of this tournament. Eswatini Head Coach Dominic Kunene sticked to the first eleven that did the business against Namibia three days ago. Both teams created some goal scoring opportunities in the initial half of the match but none of them found the back of the net. The referee ended the first half with the scoreline at 0-0.

In the second half, both teams came out with more urgency as the tempo of the match increased. Eswatini drew the first blood in the 52nd minute. This was after the South African defence failed to deal with the cross of the overlapping Kwakhe Tfwala on the left flank that resulted in Philani Mkhontfo laying a perfect pass for an on-coming Bongwa Matsebula who unleashed a striking shot that hit the roof of the net with Jethren Barr in South African goal with no chance.

South Africa applied more pressure to Eswatini in trying to get an equalizer. In the 75th minute, Eswatini made a change upfront when Philani Mkhontfo was rested for Sabelo Ndzinisa. Two minutes later South Africa equalized via the boot of man of Tshegofatso Mabaso who was the man of the match. His grass cutter from outside the box was able to beat Sandanezwe Mathabela in Eswatini goal. Another substitution was made by Eswatini in the 87th minute when Neliswa Dlamini was rested for Fanelo Mamba in the 79th minute. Immediately after this substitution, Tsegofatso Mabaso completed his brace when he slotted his second goal of the match on the left-hand side of Sandanezwe Mathabela. The 3 minutes added time by the referee was not enough for Sihlangu SeMnikati to at least get an equalizer as the referee blew the final whistle with South Africa in the lead.  

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