Going to the TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifier match that was played on Friday in Morocco, the Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu SeMnikati were underdogs on paper with Burkina Faso parading players who play in top European leagues. Sihlangu was equal to the challenge as they played to a barren draw against the Stallions as the Burkina Faso Senior Men’s National Team is affectionately known.
The Eswatini national team head coach made several changes in as far as the national team camp was concerned which included the inclusion of Moneni Pirates player, Samkeliso Ginindza who got his initial full cap. He played very well at the heart of the defence together with Sibongakonkhe Silenge who got his 6th cap and was as solid as a rock. They were able to stop the Burkinabé strikers together with the other defenders who were Kwakhe Tfwala and Mlamuli Msibi. Khanyakwezwe Shabalala who got his 2nd cap played a game of his life as he made crucial saves and commanded his 18-area box very well. Sifiso Matse the captain and Mzwandile Mabelesa won many battles in the middle of the park. Their experience was evident through out the match. Bongwa Matsebula’s creativity created goal scoring opportunities for the national team unfortunately Mxolisi Mkhontfo could not convert them into goal.
According to the head coach, Dominic Kunene, the players did very well and Samkelo Ginindza fitted very well in the team regardless that it was his first full cap. “The players did very well and I am happy with the way Samkelo Ginindza fitted in the team even though it was his first full cap. You could hardly tell that it was his first time for him to play for the national team,” Kunene said.
As part of preparing Samkelo Ginindza for this mammoth task, the head coach highlighted that as a technical bench, they prepared the player psychologically and told him that he must play his normal game and go all out to represent his country very well. “We prepared the player psychologically and told him to play his normal game and represent his country very well”, Kunene said. In such a situation, the head coach highlighted that it is vital to prepare the player (s) psychologically. Going forward, he stated that it is important to maintain the team.