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MANZINI - Very painful exit for Eswatini - Serbian coach Kostadin Papic did not even know how to put it.

It was out of respect that he made it to the post-match press conference otherwise the media would not know how he felt about the shattering exit to a country that knows nothing or very little about winning an international match.

“First of all before you even ask me anything, it is out of respect for you and the nation that I came otherwise I am too hurt and out of words to describe this defeat.

“My heart is bleeding and I am in tears. It’s very painful,” he said.


He told the media that while some people may have their views on the team, all the players are in the squad and form the national team.
However, he conceded that the second half effort was better than first half.

“I would be better and congratulate Djibouti coach if we lost to a quality team but they don’t have the quality we have right now and it’s sad because we wanted to show the world the wealth of talent in this country,” he said.

He also decried Djibouti’s tactics saying they only came here to ruin the game as they did not have intentions to play. He was obviously referring to their diving tactics and feigning injuries.

“I am not here to make any promise but work and I work with this team. The difference is there but you grow slowly and the World Cup games are good for exposure but Djibouti came through and we’re out.

The players have a lot of must-win games and it comes with pressure. In two weeks it’s Zambia in a must-win match but we’ll continue working,” he explained when asked about a way forward.

He likened the sad exit to a chess professional losing to a player from the street.
His counterpart was jubilant.

“The feeling is very difficult to describe. It’s a big and historic win for me, the players and the country. It wasn’t easy as Eswatini didn’t allow us to press as they are fast and physically stronger than us,” he said.

Questioned on the delaying tactics, he said everything they had planned didn’t work against a good Sihlangu and they were always ready to throw more, even diving and faking the injuries.

“That is what we came here for as much as we weren’t 100 per cent but we got what we needed against a better rival than in the first leg,” he said.
He also thanked the support they received on the net ahead of the match at Mavuso Sports Centre yesterday.

Sihlangu drew 0-0 and crashed out of the World Cup 2022 qualifiers on a 2-1 aggregate.

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