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SITEKI – Dramatic!

This best describes the scene during the 3-all draw between title challengers, Mbabane Highlanders and relegation-threatened Malanti Chiefs yesterday during the MTN Premier League clash played here yesterday. Three goals were scored in the last two minutes of the match, while two gunshots were fired by a police officer to disperse the crowd after ‘Bull’ Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mandla Madonsela was assaulted at the final whistle by a marshal.


The replay match was full of action from start to finish. Week 26 of the MTN Premier League was abandoned last Sunday at the same venue with the score at 1-all draw due to bad weather. It was Malanti Chiefs who drew first blood, much to the shock of the over 200 supporters in the 10th minute. Malanti Chiefs’ striker, Godslove Gabriel shot outside the 18 area and beat Highlanders goalkeeper Khanyankwezwe Shabalala who could have done better to stop the shot. Highlanders did create chances in an attempt to find an equaliser, but it was until the stroke of half time when Philani Mkhontfo found space and went straight face-to-face with the Malanti Chiefs goalkeeper Xolani Gama and he beat him with a ground shot to the far left corner and the game went to the break with the score at 1-all draw.

The second half started on a high note with both teams eager to take the lead and it was until four minutes after the hour-mark when Godslove finished off after a scramble inside the 18 area with Malanti Chiefs hitting the post two times before the ball went in. Malanti Chiefs goalkeeper, Xolani Gama made the best save of the game when he cleared Sabelo ‘Sikhali’ Ndzinisa deflected shot right at the goal line to keep them in the game. The drama then unfolded two minutes from full-time when Malanti Chiefs thought they had finished off Highlanders when substituted Nkosingiphile Dlamini’s ground shot found the back of the net with Khanyakwezwe Shabalala beaten but it was not the case. Some of Highlanders supporters had enough and left the arena and it was at the stroke of full time when Philani Mkhontfo struck again to complete his brace, finishing off from six yards to  make it 3-2.


While everyone was awaiting the referee, Thulani Sibandze to blow the final whistle, the unthinkable happened. Highlanders Kenneth Moloto fired shot from inside the 18 area and it went straight into the net with Xolani Gama beaten and sending Highlanders to big celebrations. While the team was celebrating and waiting for the final whistle, a scuffle ensued after their Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mandla Madonsela was assaulted and the police fired two warning shots. However, the game  was concluded with both teams at level-pegging.
Highlanders will now have to win against Royal Leopard, who are now two points, on Sunday to keep their hopes of winning the title alive, while it is not good looking for Malanti Chiefs as they are second from the bottom with four games remaining.

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