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MBABANE – Sihlangu’s journey to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals to be staged in Ivory Coast next year continues when they square up against Burkina Faso’s Stallions in their second qualifier today at 3pm.

Due to the documented challenges of venue, Dominic Kunene’s troops are hosing the top-of-table-clash away from home at South Africa’s iconic FNB stadium in Johannesburg. Both teams have made decent starts to their qualifying campaigns and will be looking to pick up where they left off last time out. Eswatini opened their qualifying journey with a 2-2 draw against ‘The Sparrowhawks’ of Togo in  this past Friday’s meeting at the Stade de Kégué in Lomé. Burkina Faso, on the other hand, saw off the threat of a highly-spirited Cape Verde side in a 2-0 victory later on the day. Consequently, Les Etalons (The Stallions)  have now snapped a four-game losing streak since beating Tunisia 1-0 in the quarter-finals of the AFCON back in January.

The West Africans have also started their journey to be in the hat for next year’s continental event on a good note as they currently sit top of their qualifying group. Dominic Kunene’s men trailed on two separate occasions to strikes from Meme Placca and Kodjo Laba but marksman Sabelo ‘Sikhali’ Ndzinisa and Siboniso ‘Gaxa’ Ngwenya were also on target to force a share of the spoils. Sihlangu sit second in Group B, as it stands and a victory in their next outing would see them claim top spot in the group.

However, today’s hosts head into the clash seeking their first win in this fixture having lost both of the previous two meetings against the away side by a combined score of 8-1. Eswatini are unbeaten in their last five games on ‘home turf’, so they are expected to put up a good fight to stay in hunt of a place in the finals. Burkina Faso, on the other hand, boasts a more experienced crop of players and are undoubtedly favourites on paper heading to this fixture.

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