As part of the 55/55 Double Celebration, the U20 Men’s National Team played an international friendly match against Mozambique U20 Men’s National Team yesterday evening at the Somhlolo National Stadium. This match ended in a 1-1 draw after the ten-man local side fought back following an early shower for Luyanda Nhlengetfwa for a dangerous play. The referee of the day, Thulani Sibandze send both teams to the dressing rooms at the end of the first half with Mozambique leading by 1-0.
Eswatini pilled more pressure to the visitors in the second half as they were able to create more goal scoring opportunities which resulted in the local side scoring the equalizing goal through Banele Nkambule. This lightened the atmosphere at the stadium as the Eswatini fans were on top of their voices urging the local team to score the winning goal. The referee blew the final whistle with the score line still at 1-1.
When reacting to the performance of the national team, the EFA President, Mr. Peter Simelane acknowledged the effort of the players in as far as this match was concerned. “The boys are promising and they did very well considering that the visitors had one player advantage following the red card in the first half,” Simelane said.
His words were echoed by the head coach of the national team, Mr. Mduduzi Nxumalo who praised the players for showing character after playing almost the whole match with one man down. “The boys fought very well after being one man down which showed a lot of character in as far as they are concerned,” Nxumalo said. He also lamented on the missed goal scoring opportunities and the less time to prepare for this match as he felt they could have done better. “We missed a lot of goal scoring opportunities and also we had less time to prepare for this match which had an effect on our play,” Nxumalo said. The head coach also highlighted the adverse effect of the off-season as most of the players have not yet played competitive club football for the new season and some of them are still new in the national team set-up.