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MBABANE – He is among the best five players to watch for.

That is Mbabane Highlanders and Sihlangu marksman Sabelo ‘Sikhali’ Ndzinisa, who has been listed as one of the ‘dangerous’ players to watch during the 25th edition Hollywood Bets COSAFA Cup. The tournament will be played in Durban, South Africa from this coming Wednesday until July 17. Eswatini will start their encounter against Mauritius on Wednesday, and the game will be played at King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban, starting at 2pm. The Dominic Kunene-led charges will play their second game against Malawi on Friday at the same venue at 2pm.

Ndzinisa has been handpicked by South African IOL Sport that he could be one of the players to give defenders sleepless nights. He has been mentioned alongside Malawian former Orlando Pirates forward Gabadinho Mhango, Ricky Banda of Red Arrows from Zambia, Stellenbosch FC’s Antonio Van Wyk and Boitumelo Radiopane, who are both from South Africa.
Sikhali has been described by IOL Sport South Africa as one player coach Dominic Kunene has his hopes on.


“Eswatini coach Dominic Kunene and his charges are taking this tournament incredibly seriously and have named the best 23-man squad available to him - one that includes 30-year-old Sabelo Ndzinisa. The Mbabane Highlanders number 10 has been one of a few bright sparks for the national team in recent years. He has scored in the last two AFCON Qualifying matches for his country,” reads the analysis from IOL. Efforts to get the Ndzinisa to comment were futile as he could not be reached immediately. “He has been through a lot since 2020. He bounced back with perseverance, passion and discipline. Hard works pays. He will carry  the nation’s hopes,” said Eswatini’s FIFA-accredited agent Dingane Maduma.

Meanwhile, Mhango of the Flames of Malawi is described as one player who could carry them on his shoulder. “The 29-year-old forward seems to come alive in the colours of the Flames and this was evident when he spearheaded Malawi’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Cameroon and scored three goals in as many matches;  one of those goals is a strong contender for goal of the tournament. It’s no debate that the former Golden Arrows man could be a force to be reckoned with under the right mentorship and Malawi coach Mario Marinica seems to be just that for Mhango,” reads another part of the report.


For the hosts, South Africa, two players could prove decisive in their COSAFA Cup campaign and as highlighted above. These are Stellenbosch FC’s Antonio Van Wyk and Boitumelo Radiopane. While it was pointed that Ethan Brooks and Athenkosi Mcaba are arguably the most experienced members of the Bafana Bafana 23-man squad, Van Wyk, it was pointed out, has all the potential to carry Helman Mkhelele’s side to their second consecutive triumph. It was reported that the Stellenbosch FC man had a breakthrough season in the DStv Premiership and also played an important role in the club’s juniors capture of the DStv Diski Challenge. The 14-team tournament, composed mostly of Southern African nations, has been a platform for the unearthing of stars for a number of years now - 25 years to be precise-and besides the five mentioned there could more players that shine. Under Eswatini, Royal Leopard’s Junior Magagula, Young Buffaloes duo of Kwakhe Thwala and Sandile ‘Saviola’ Gamedze are other players that could be on the spotlight if they bring their ‘A’ game.

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