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MBABANE – The country’s Total CAF Confederation Cup envoys Young Buffaloes begin their journey in Africa’s second biggest inter-club tournament when they welcome South Africa’s Cape Town City at Somhlolo National Stadium.

Dominic Kunene’s troops return to continental football for the first time in seven years since losing to Zambia’s Zesco United by 7-0 on aggregate in the CAF Champions League in April 2011.
Standing in their way are fellow CAF Confederation Cup debutants Cape Town City, who qualified for the tournament by ranking third in South Africa’s Absa Premiership in the past year. The home side may have been conspicuously missing in continental assignments, but most of the players boast experience in playing international matches for Sihlangu.

They include shot-stopper Nhlanhla Gwebu, midfielder Wandile ‘Skosh’ Shabangu, and lanky striker Phiwa Dlamini. The return of burly forward Ndoda Mtsetfwa, who was doubtful due to an injury, is also a major boost for the local side.
Midfielder Nkosingiphile ‘Nyandoro’ Tsabedze and Ndoda Mthethwa are two ‘survivors’ in the squad that did duty for Buffaloes in the last CAF outing. Current coach Kunene was assistant of late Zambia-born gaffer George Chikokola.

The security forces ensemble have an advantage of watching their opponents consistently as Cape Town City’s matches are broadcast on pay-per-view channel, SuperSport, among other channels.
The ‘Citizens’, as the Benni McCarthy-led Cape Town City are known, are also upbeat ahead of their first-ever CAF match. The outfit, who are ranked 63rd in Africa, are equally adventurous.

Their coach is a fan of the high-pressure style of play. They may be minus injured crowd favourite Teko Modise, who once starred for Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, but have other seasoned campaigners in their arsenal. They include towering defender and skipper Robyn Johannes, and the gifted quartet of Tshepo Gumede, Lyle Lakay, Ayanda Patosi and Kwanda Mngonyana.

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