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‘BIRDS’ ‘SWIM’ TO 1-ALL DRAW WITH MATSAPHA

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Swallows ..............................(0) 1,
Tony 65th
Matsapha .............................(1) 1,
Vusumuzi 9th

LOBAMBA – Reigning MTN Premier League champions Mbabane Swallows might not have crossed the ‘Mzimnene River’ but remain unbeaten in 38 league matches now.


And they are also back on top albeit on alphabetical order after the 1-all draw with Matsapha United yesterday in a tension-filled encounter at Somhlolo National Stadium.
It was a game of two halves - the rookies Matsapha owned the first half while Swallows should have won the game in the last stanza.


It was United, the ‘Deep Blue Ocean’ which Swallows had called Mzimnene River prior to the clash, that opened the scoring in the 9th minute through midfielder and captain Vusumuzi Zungu who converted from the spot kick. Swallows defender Siphamandla Ndlangamandla was guilty of committing a needless foul inside the box when he held Siphamandla Dlamini from behind.
Striker Mthobisi Mngomezulu nearly increased their tally but shot over the bar from a Mthobisi Mdluli cross two minutes later.


In the 23rd, winger Mthobisi Mdluli saw his low cross cut across goal with no finisher in sight despite keeper Sandile ‘Nkomishi’ Ginindza misjudging it.
Then in the 29th minute, Swallows defender Mandla Palma’s attempted back pass was miscued which allowed winger Mthobisi Mdluli to steal the ball but shot wide with Ginindza out of his goal.
The second half was all for Swallows who created all the chances and only got rewarded in the 65th.


It took captain Tony ‘TT’ Tsabedze, who nodded into the far corner from a Banele ‘Pupu’ Sikhondze corner.
After the goal, Swallows pressed hard but could not find the winner, the referee Mbongeni Shongwe and the first assistant were also guilty of denying Swallows what appeared to be a clear foul on Wonder ‘Samba Jive’ Nhleko inside the box.


He also broke free after beating last defender Sabelo ‘Sawa’ Gamedze but just when he had the keeper to beat, the referee gave Matsapha a foul which saw a water bottle thrown into the pitch from the Swallows grandstand.
Tony and a Matsapha defender also exchanged blows but escaped with yellow cards while Palma also got booked for a tackle on the rampaging Siphamandla Dlamini on the right wing.


In the end, it was a draw which keeps Matsapha above Swallows in terms of head-to-head clashes as they won 1-0 in SwaziBank Cup before playing to a goalless draw in the first round.

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