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GREEN MAMBA JUMP TO 3RD SPOT

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G. Mamba............................ (2) 3
Musa 40th, Mxolisi (PEN) 42nd, Solomon 84th   
Malanti.................................. (0)2 
Charles 47th, 89th (PEN)

LOBAMBA – Green Mamba shook off a hard-fighting Malanti Chiefs to jump to the third spot ahead of Manzini Wanderers on the MTN Premier League charts.


Two quick first half goals by Musa Dlamini and Mxolisi Mkhontfo, as well as a late strike by Solomon Oladele, propelled the green and white ensemble closer to the top after the feisty showdown at Somhlolo Stadium. They trailed Wanderers by two points before yesterday’s games. The latter suffered a shocking 0-2 loss to strugglers, Tambuti.


 Malanti’s strikes came via the boot of sharp shooter and leading goalscorer, Charles Molopo, who took his tally to 12.
The home side, who were buoyed by a boisterous crowd, had dominated the early exchanges, but it took them 40 minutes to break the rigid opposition defence. The veteran Green Mamba forward peeled off the defence to beat goalkeeper Ntokozo Shabangu with a low shot. Two minutes later, Mkhontfo scored the cushion goal against his former team from the penalty spot after Thembinkosi ‘Djemba’ Mayisela was adjudged to have floored Njabulo Thwala in the box. The hosts enjoyed the comfortable lead during the interval.


The deciding half was dominated by the gold and black ensemble, as they exploited the gaps in midfield and reduced the deficit in the 47th minute. Molopo headed home a Sandile Mazibuko sublime cross.
Green Mamba goalkeeper Siyabonga Simelane was twice called into action by Potego Mokoena and Molopo. Coach Caleb Ngwenya made a tactical switch to protect the lead by sacrificing the ineffective Phinda ‘Phindrix’ Dlamini upfront for defender, Siyabonga ‘Msholozi’ Mdluli.

However, Malanti remained relentless until they were punished against the run of play by an unmarked Oladele who fired a low shot past Shabangu from outside the box six minutes from time. There was still time for more drama as referee Leticia Viana awarded the visitors a penalty five minutes later as Sanele Khumalo was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Molopo coolly converted the resultant spot kick, but it was a case of too little too late as his team eventually suffered a second straight defeat after the 1-3 loss to Vovovo on Wednesday.

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