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Super Sunday!

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Ola Seven! Ola semifinals!... and then there were FOUR! The SwaziBank Cup reach its climax this afternoon at Somhlolo Stadium in two clashes that will surely be living proof that tag favour-ites should be consigned to the dustbin in as far as this richest knockout tournament in the country is concerned.

In its seventh year, the Swazi- Bank Cup has proven that its slogans may have changed over the years but its romance, its shocks, thrills, misses, wondr-ous goals, controversial referee-ing decisions, Tsamayas, Show-me-your-number, drama, reinca-rnation of the biblical David versus Goliath story line is still very much alive.

Here is a tournament that is an embodiment of all what knockout tournaments should be.
This afternoon, thousands of soccer lovers are expected to cascade to the national stadium to witness scintillating football as the battle for the Cup final berth heats up.

Who will be the last man standing today?
Four players have the knack to decide the fate of the two clashes and below we look closely why we regard them as ‘match win-ners’.
Enjoy your reading…

(Somhlolo Stadium, 1:30pm)
MXOLISI ‘RAUL’ SIGWANE (HELLENIC)

He is the rock of Gilbrata in a solid Hellenic back four with his biting tackles and excellent reading of the game. With Mnelisi Motsa, his defensive lieutenant, they are like matadors putting on a show at a bull-ring, standing there and resisting everything thrown at them. His experience easily shines through and through as he commands the defence with aplomb.   

(Somhlolo Stadium, 3:30pm)
MUZI DLAMINI (MBABANE HIGHLANDERS)

This precocious talented striker was not even an idea when Lucky ‘Masomalenhle’ Dlamini hammered goals with regularity for Highlanders in yesteryears yet the youngster is as clinical in front of goal as the dearly departed striker.

He may not be as sensational as Lionel Messi is for Barcelona (described by Barcelona’s Daily newspaper, El Mumbo Deportivo after his exploits on Wednesday as the player, who has the left foot of Maradona, the switch of rhythm as Johan Cruyff and lethal passing of Ronaldinho) but he is like a breath of fresh air for Highlanders.

He positions himself well in the box, he is hungry and has an eye for goal – all traits needed in a good striker and his confidence far belies his age. 

DIABATE SOULEYMATE (UMBELEBELE/COSMOS)


He is wonderfully talented, supremely gifted and terrifically athletic.
The Malian striker is tactically savvy and mentally strong. With the ball at his feet, he touches the heart in a special way – he is a joy to watch.

Watching him skin Manzini Wanderers alive in the quarter final made one wonder how Jomo Cosmos owner, Jomo Sono would loan out such a good striker given the quality or lack of it at his own team. Indeed, big guns do misfire but Umbelebele have benefited in the Malian striker’s searing pace and silky skills. 

WELILE MASEKO (GREEN MAMBA)

Mbabane Swallows loss was Green Mamba’s gain. The wing wizard is Francis ‘Mkhulu’ Banda’s best buy of the season, without any iota of doubt. He has infused a new attacking dimension in the Correctional Services side where they bombard the opposition defence with pace and quick passing typical of his former team, Swallows style. He has the speed of a cheetah and tricks of a magician.

His last minute winner against Malanti Chiefs is the reason Green Mamba are in the semifinals.
 

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