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MANZINI – And then there were four.

A ‘red carpet will be rolled out’ for soccer fans in the semi-finals of the Ingwenyama Cup, as all four ‘big guns’ have advanced.  Forceful three-time champions (2016-2018) Mbabane Swallows made light work of National First Division side Pigg’s Peak Rangers with a resounding 4-0 victory to march closer to their fourth title before a sizeable crowd at Mavuso Sports Centre yesterday. That was before a dramatic clash between 2019 and 2020 runners-up Mbabane Highlanders and Ezulwini United. After the latter drew first blood, Highlanders were in danger of elimination before a dramatic comeback deep into stoppage time to force the game into penalties, where they prevailed 4-3.


Two other former winners, in Green Mamba (2020) and Young Buffaloes (2019), had set the tone for a flawless outing for the giants when they marched to the Last 4 a day earlier in interesting match-ups at Mayaluka Stadium in Big Bend. Holders Green Mamba needed to dig deep into their reserves of courage to shake off a stubborn Nsingizini Hotspurs with a lone strike. Buffaloes had hoodoo side Madlenya standing in their way but two unanswered goals were enough to propel the army side closer to their second title.

With the semi-final line-up completed, the tournament is reaching boiling point. Known for the flawless blending of football and culture, competition in the latter category begins in earnest next Saturday (February 24), with the first eliminations in Shiselweni. With lucrative prizes of up to E75 000 in some of the culture categories, the competition for silverware promises to be equally fierce. The culture competition will begin with regional draws this week before the real battle starts next week. The great spectacle will be at Somhlolo National Stadium during the final of the soccer tournament on a date to be confirmed. In true Ingwenyama Cup style, fans again had a dose of some of the cultural dances in yesterday’s festivities, with the performers leaving the over 3 000 fans eating out of the palms of their hands.

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: Exam questions
Should exam questions be in both English and siSwati?