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MISSED CHANCES COST ESWATINI A SEMI - FINAL PLACE IN THE HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA CUP 2022

It was a heart-breaking loss for Eswatini as Sihlangu lost the Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup 2022 quarter final match against Senegal at the King Zwelithini Stadium at Umlazi in Durban. Eswatini created a lot of scoring chances for the entire 90 minutes of the game and only converted one after Senegal had taken the lead from a cross-cum-shot in the 8th minute that was tricky for Sandanezwe Mathabela in Eswatini goal. The half time score was 1-0.

In the 2nd half, Eswatini continued to create more chances in search of an equalizer but it seems Eswatini players forgot their scoring boots. It only took Eswatini 60 minutes to find the back of the net after Sandile Gamedze’s pass found the mobile Philani Mkhontfo who placed a low shot pass the advancing Aliou Faty in Senegal’s goal much to the relieve of the Eswatini camp. This goal was also followed by other goal scoring opportunities for Eswatini with man of the match Sandile Gamedze and Sabelo Ndzinisa being among the culprits. Sandanezwe Mathabela made up for his earlier that resulted in Senegal taking the lead by making a heroic save which was a one-on-one situation that forced the encounter to dramatic penalty shoot-outs.

All the Senegalese penalty takers converted them with Eswatini missing one sudden death penalty that guaranteed Senegal a place in the semi-finals against Zambia. Eswatini’s Mzwandile Mabelesa was the only player that missed a penalty as he ballooned his shot over the cross bar. The scorers of the Eswatini penalties were; Lindo Mkhonta, Leon Manyisa, Sabelo Ndzinisa, Junior Magagula, Peter Dlamini, Sihlangu Mkhwanazi, Philani Mkhontfo, Sandanezwe Mathabela and Sikhumbuzo Magagula. Eswatini will now play against Botswana on Friday in the plate competition of the Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup 2022 at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium at 1500hrs.

ESWATINI THROUGH TO THE KNOCK OUT OF THE HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA CUP 2022

Eswatini is through to the quarter-finals of the Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup 2022 that is currently executed in Durban, South Africa. Lesotho needed a minimum of a draw to qualify to the knock-out stage of this competition. The Basotho applied a defensive approach for this fixture with the hope of salvaging the much-needed point.

It wasn’s the case as Eswatini came to them fire- blazing and the pressure was too much for the Basotho as Sandile Gamedze opened his account in this year’s edition in the 10th minute. This was after the Basotho goal keeper Sekhoane Mceerane failed to deal with a long throw by Fanelo Mamba that provided an excellent opportunity for Sandile Gamedze to tap in the ball in the Basotho net Eswatini continued to search for a second goal and Sabelo Ndzinisa was able to score it in the 18th minute which was his 8th goal of the competition. The half time score was 2-0 in favour of Eswatini.

Lesotho came with a new tactic in the second half as they were more offensive as two goals were needed for them in order to be able to gain the advantage of a possibility of qualifying. Eswatini was able to absorb the pressure till the end of the match. The Basotho finished the match with 10 men after Koparo Tseka was given his marching orders by the referee after getting a second yellow card. This was after he fouled Eswatini marks-man Sabelo Ndzinisa on 2 occasion which gave the referee no option but the give him a red card. The referee blew his final whistle with no goal scored in the second half which made the final score to be 2-0 in favour of Eswatini who will now play against Senegal on Wednesday at the King Zwelithini Stadium at 1400hrs.     

ESWATINI KEEPT IT LATE TO SALVAGE A CRUCIAL POINT AGAINS MALAWI

The never say die spirit by Eswatini paid off when the Senior Men National Team score a late equalizer against Malawi who had already counted a win in as far as this match was concerned. Malawi took the lead in the 46th minute through Khunda Myaba. It looked like Eswatini was about to pay the price for the missed chances in the first half as Sabelo Ndzinisa and Philani Mkhontfo let go two goal scoring opportunities that would have guaranteed Eswatini the lead in the first half.

Eswatini made three changes in the second half in search of the equalizer. First, Neliswa Dlamini was substituted for Bongwa Matsebula; and later a double substitution was implemented when Fanelo Mamba and Sifiso Matse were substituted for Khethokuhle Mkhontfo and Leon Manyisa. The pressure by Eswatini paid-off at stoppage time when Eswatini equalized through a penalty kick that was scored by Sabelo Ndzinisa which resulted in the match ending by 1-1. This result made Eswatini to have 4 points whilst Malawi is having a single point and out of the competition. Eswatini’s next match is on Sunday against Lesotho in a must win match in order to guarantee a place in the quarter finals against Senegal.

SIHLANGU HEAD COACH CONGRATULATES PLAYERS

The Senior Men National Team head coach has congratulated Sihlangu players for the victory over Mauritius in the opening Group B Match of the Hollywoodbet COSAFA Cup 2022 played at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban. This was after Eswatini won this match by 3-0 in a match where Eswatini dominated.

It took Eswatini only nine minutes to break the deadlock via the boot of the national team captain, Lindo Mkhonta after a head ball by a Mauritian defender. Fanelo Mamba doubled the advantage for Eswatini after unleashing a powerful shot in the 78th minute. Eswatini’s prolific striker, Sabelo Ndzinisa sealed the match for Eswatini in the 86th minute which guaranteed Eswatini maximum points.

“I congratulate the players as it was a difficult match but they were able to manage the pressure from Mauritius”, said Dominic Kunene the Head Coach of Eswatini. The 2nd match for Eswatini will be against Malawi on Friday at the King Zwelithini Stadium and kick-off is at 1700 hrs.

WE HAVE A PLAN FOR MAURITIUS- DOMINIC KUNENE

One Chinese philosopher Confucius once said “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door”. It seems like the Senior Men National Head Coach, Dominic Kunene had applied this philosophy as he stated that the is a plan for the Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup 2022 match against Mauritius which will be the opening Group B match of the competition to be played on Wednesday, 6th July 2022 at the King Zwelithini Stadium.

“Our preparations went well and we have a plan for Mauritius”, Kunene said. The head coach also highlighted that all the players that made the trip to Durban are fully fit and looking forward to the match. "All the players are available for selection", Kunene said. The match will kick-off at 1400hrs.

SIHLANGU READY FOR COSAFA

The Senior Men National Team (Sihlangu) is ready for the upcoming Hollywood bets COSAFA 2022 competition to be implemented in Durban, South Africa as from the 5th – 17th July 2022. When addressing the media, the national team head coach, Domenic Kunene stated that the preparations for this competition went well.

“The preparations went well and the players are committed”, Kunene said. He also highlighted the significance of not putting the players under pressure. “We will not put the players under pressure as we will take each match as it comes”, Kunene said.

His words were echoed by the national team captain, Lindo Mkhonta who also highlighted that as players they are ready for the competition. “The spirit is high and we are ready for the competition”, Mkhonta said. The skipper also stated that as a team they have worked on previous mistakes and are now looking forward in doing better in the competition. “As players we are not happy when we concede as we know that we will definitely score”, the captain said.

The Senior Men National Team (Sihlangu) is ready for the upcoming Hollywood bets COSAFA 2022 competition to be implemented in Durban, South Africa as from the 5th – 17th July 2022. When addressing the media, the national team head coach, Domenic Kunene stated that the preparations for this competition went well.

“The preparations went well and the players are committed”, Kunene said. He also highlighted the significance of not putting the players under pressure. “We will not put the players under pressure as we will take each match as it comes”, Kunene said.

His words were echoed by the national team captain, Lindo Mkhonta who also highlighted that as players they are ready for the competition. “The spirit is high and we are ready for the competition”, Mkhonta said. The skipper also stated that as a team they have worked on previous mistakes and are now looking forward in doing better in the competition. “As players we are not happy when we concede as we know that we will definitely score”, the captain said.

SIHLANGU HEAD COACH NAME THE PROVISIONAL SQUAD IN READINESS OF THE COSAFA CUP

The senior Men National Team Head Coach Dominic Kunene has named 27 players in the provisional squad that will report for camp on Sunday, 19th June 2022 at the Technical Centre in Lobamba. This mark the commencement of the senior national team’s reparations for the upcoming COSAFA Cup 2022 competition to be implemented in Durban, South Africa as from the 5th – 17th July 2022. The players are as follows:
 
Goalkeepers
Phephisani Msibi (Royal Leopard FC), Sandanezwe Mathabela (Mbabane Swallows FC), Khanyakwezwe Shabalala (Mbabane Highlanders FC)
 
Defenders
Mlamuli Msibi (Royal Leopard FC), Sikhumbuzo Magagula (Royal Leopard FC), Lindo Mkhonta (Young Buffaloes FC), Sihlangu Mkhwanazi (Young Buffaloes FC), Siboniso Mamba (Young
Buffaloes FC), Peter Dlamini (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Mcolisi Manana (Green Mamba FC), Kwakhe Tfwala (Young Buffaloes FC), Simanga Masangane (Vovovo FC)
 
Midfielders
Mzwandile Mabelesa (Royal Leopard FC), Sifiso Matse (Royal Leopard FC), Khetho Mkhontfo (Green Mamba FC), Siboniso Ngwenya (Young Buffaloes FC), Neliso Dlamini (Manzini Wanderers FC), Philani Mkhontfo (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Junior Magagula (Royal Leopard FC), Leon Manyisa (Mbabane Swallows FC)
 
Strikers
Sabelo Ndzinisa (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Muzi Tsabedze (Manzini Sea Birds FC), Bongwa Matsebula (Young Buffaloes FC), Sandile Gamedze (Young Buffaloes FC), Fanelo Mamba
(Young Buffaloes FC), Nhlanhla Ngwenya (Mbabane Swallows FC), Mthokozisi Gwebu (Manzini Sea Birds FC)

IT’S A TOUGH DRAW- SIHLANGU HEAD COACH

The Senior Men National Team Head Coach Dominic Kunene has described the Hollywoodbet COSAFA Cup 2022 draw as a tough one. He was reacting after the implementation of this draw at the Moses Mabida Stadium on Tuesday, 14th February 2022.

“It’s a tough draw considering that the teams know each other very well and also the fact that only one team will qualify for the next phase of the competition”, Kunene said. He made an example of Lesotho who have played against Eswatini on numerous occasions and the fact that they have a new coach also makes the players to put more effort in their game as they want to win the coach’s trust in them. “As an example, we have played against Lesotho on numerous occasions and also with a new coach in the national team set up, the players want to grab this opportunity to win his trust in them which will also make the players to even work harder in their game”, Kunene said.

Having said that, he also stated that the only secret for the national team to succeed in this competition is hard work. “The only secret for the national team to perform very well in this competition is hard work”. Kunene concluded.

In phase 1 of the competition, Eswatini is in Group B together with Lesotho, Malawi and Mauritius and the winner of both Group A and B will proceed to phase II of the competition and join Madagascar, Zambia, South Africa, Senegal, Namibia and Mozambique. This competition will be implemented in Durban, South Africa from the 5th -17th July 2022.

SIHLANGU HEAD COACH NAME HIS PROVISIONAL SQUAD FOR THE TWO TOTALENERGIES AFCON QUALIFIERS’ MATCHES TO BE PLAYED IN JUNE

The Senior Men National Team’s Head Coach Domenic Kunene has named twenty-six (26) players for the camp in preparation of the upcoming TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifier matches between Togo and Burkina Faso to be played on the 3rd and 7th June 2022 respectively. The players are as follows:

 GOAL KEEPERS

Sandanezwe Mathabela (Mbabane Swallows FC), Khanyakwezwe Shabalala (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Phephisani Msibi (Royal Leopard FC)

 DEFENDERS

Mlamuli Msibi (Royal Leopard FC), Sikhumbuzo Magagula (Royal Leopard FC), Machawe Dlamini (Royal Leopard FC), Lindo Mkhonta (Young Buffaloes FC), Sihlangu Mkhwanazi (Young Buffaloes FC), Siboniso Mamba (Young Buffaloes FC), Kwakhe Tfwala (Young Buffaloes FC),

Peter Dlamini (Mbabane Highlanders FC)

 MIDFIELDERS

Mzwandile Mabelesa (Royal Leopard FC), Sifiso Matse (Royal Leopard FC), Junior Magagula (Royal Leopard FC), Siboniso Ngwenya (Young Buffaloes FC), Khetho Mkhontfo (Green Mamba FC), Leon Manyisa (Mbabane Swallows FC), Philani Mkhontfo (Mbabane Highlanders FC)

Neliso Dlamini (Manzini Wanderers FC)

 STRIKERS

Sandile Gamedze (Young Buffaloes FC), Fanelo Mamba (Young Buffaloes FC), Muzi Tsabedze (Manzini Sea Birds FC), Sabelo Ndzinisa (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Justice Figareido (Cape Town All Stars FC), Bonginkosi Dlamini (G.D. Sagrada Esperanca FC)

EFA DRESSES UP REFEREES

Walter M. Schirra, Sr. once said “You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes”. This is the spirit that Eswatini the Football Association (EFA) has demonstrated to the Eswatini Referees Association (ERA) as it sponsored the organisation with a uniform to be used by the referees as they execute their duties.

When presenting this uniform on behalf of the EFA, the organisation’s General Secretary (GS) Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu highlighted the significance of enhancing the image of refereeing in the country. “Image is very important in football, thus the significance of enhancing the image of referees in particular in the execution of elite competitions.”, Mngomezulu said. The EFA has made it a norm to sponsor the ERA with a uniform on a yearly basis as an input towards the development of football in the country.

In acknowledging this kind gesture by the EFA, the ERA’s Chairman Mr. Jabulani Motsa voiced out the association’s appreciation for being the recipients of this beautiful uniform. “As ERA we thank EFA for this uniform and also promise that we will keep it in good condition”, Motsa said.

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