Times of Eswatini

Buffaloes reclaim 2nd spot


Buffaloes .............. 2

Ali 53rd , Njabulo 75th (PEN) Nsingizini ............. 0

SITEKI – Two unanswered second half goals from Ali Matse and a penalty from Njabulo Maziya steered army side Young Buffaloes to the second spot at the expense of stuttering Nsingizini Hotspurs.

After a 1-all draw with table-proppers Seven Dreams in the last outing,

Buffaloes looked to leapfrog Mbabane Swallows in yesterday’s reschedule­d MTN Premier League fixture at KaLanga Technical Centre in Siteki.

The game was a replay game after the initial fixture was abandoned at Mhlume Stadium due to heavy rains about a fortnight ago.

It was Matse who opened the deadlock for Buffaloes in the resumption of the second half in the 53rd minute of the game and deadly striker Njabulo Maziya added the second through a penalty after Matse was fouled inside the box to steer the army side back on course for the league title. The win also reduces Correction­al services side, Green Mamba lead at the top of the standings to three points going into match day 18 of the exciting MTN Premier League season.

Young Buffaloes and Nsingizini Hotspurs were evenly matched in the opening exchanges, with a Sihlangu Mkhwanazi and Sibusiso Masuku battling for control of the midfield. There were no clear cut chances, as most of the ball was played in the middle of the park.

As the game progressed, Buffaloes opted to play long balls behind the Nsingizini defence for their target man, Njabulo Maziya. However, goalkeeper Sibusiso Dlamini was always alert, as he came out to gather long balls from Matse and Fanelo ‘Order’ Mamba .

Nsingizini were awarded a free-kick at the edge of the hosts’ box after Thubelihle Mavuso was adjudged to have been fouled. Neliso Myeni’s attempt from the resultant set-piece shaved the outside of Mlungisi Nxumalo left upright. Nsingizini’s best chance of the first-half fell for Mavuso and the Nsingizini attacker ballooned his effort just wide of the Buffaloes goals and the score was 0-0 at halftime.

MBABANE – Racing against time.

This is the case of Manzini Wanderers, who resemble a casualty ward. The maroon and white outfit have been hit hard in recent weeks, with several of their key players being sidelined by injuries.

In last Sunday’s humiliatin­g 0-5 defeat to Denver Sundowns in the Manzini derby, the ‘Weslians’ played the game without their key players, who included Sihle Mkhonta, Sandile Mhlanga, Njabulo Gama, Djo Etwe and Amos Adefem.

A well informed insider within the club mentioned that the team was busy this week in the casualty ward to ensure the recovery of some of the team’s stars.

“Many players in the team are currently injured and this week the team doctors are doing their best to try and make sure that some of them are available for the game. Some of the injuries in the team include that of Sihle Mkhonto, who hurt his groin during the defeat against Tambuti. Sandile Mhlanga and Njabulo ‘Koko’ Gama got injured during our training session last week.

“Players like Amos Adefemi and Djo Etwe who were also not available on the weekend game, started training on Tuesday,” said the source.

In yesterday’s training, Wanderers reportedly the team moved to another ground and away from Malkerns Club, where they shared the venue with Swallows. Many of the players were not involved in any of the training sessions which had only around 14 players.

Some of the players like Gama were not there and Sihle Mkhonta and Sandile Mhlanga watched from the sidelines. The former still has issues with his groin, which was sustained in the game against Tambuti and Mhlanga has not recovered from last Saturday’s injury in training.

The source went on to reveal that goalkeeper Bongiswa Dlamini was bereaved.


“Our other goalkeeper, Bongiswa unfortunat­ely lost his brother and he was not available for our last game against Sundowns but he was going to be in line to make his return in the match against Mbabane Swallows which is a must win for the team,” said the source.

This will certainly be a cause of frustratio­n for Coach Mpendulo Mawelela, who is under increasing pressure to get the team back to winning ways and move out of the position they currently find themselves in.

The Wanderers head coach will need to dig deep into his reserves of courage to steer the team out of the murky waters.

The hub giants’ Public Relations Officer (PRO), Lucky ‘Majayivane’ Dlamini confirmed the latest developmen­ts when reached yesterday afternoon. “Yes it is true that the team was currently had many players in the causalty ward but the trusted team doctors were doing their best to make sure that some of the players can potentiall­y play the game on Sunday, “he said

Wanderers next have a tough MTN Premier League assignment against Caleb Ngwenya’s charges, that have since dislodged traditiona­l rivals,Mbabane Highlander­s for the third spot, after winning convincing­ly 3-1 against Madlenya FC.

 ?? pic) ?? Manzini Wanderers players after a recent MTN Premier League match. The hub giants are currently rocked with many injuries, ahead of the game against Swallows on Sunday.
pic) Manzini Wanderers players after a recent MTN Premier League match. The hub giants are currently rocked with many injuries, ahead of the game against Swallows on Sunday.

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