Eswatini Daily News
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Mayhem as ‘Bull’ beat ‘Birds’ 2-1

By Lwazi Dlamini
(At Mavuso Sports Centre)

Referee Thembinkosi Dlamini and his assistants, Zamane Simelane and Gcina Mamba had to run for dear life after being attacked by blood-thirsty Mbabane Swallows hooligans in the aftermath of the Mbabane Big derby, which Mbabane Highlanders won by 2-1. 

No sooner than after the referee had blown his final whistle, Swallows fans were enraged by a decision by first assistant referee Zamane Simelane for flagging for off-side on what looked like a legitimate goal headed by lanky striker Felix Badenhorst three minutes before full-time. The enraged like a Spanish bull Swallows fans stormed onto the pitch.

Despite police escorting the match officials, the assistant referee Simelane sped away with the pace of a Cheetah on steroids to the near police Casspier with about five Swallows fans in hot pursuit. He finally found a place of safety in one of the police kombis with the fans being stopped dead in their tracks by a battalion of armed police officers.

Swallows fans, like misguided missiles, also engaged in several fistfights with their Highlanders counterparts in a free-for-all chaotic situation frenzy that lasted for about ten minutes. Similar scenes were witnessed on November 27 when Mbabane Highlanders’ hooligans attacked referee Mbongeni Shongwe after a controversial loss to Manzini Sea Birds.

The despicable scenes of violence erupted at the end of a bruising derby match which attracted more than 4 000 fans to the modest Mavuso Sports Centre. Highlanders were first to draw blood on the stroke of halftime when South African wing wizard, Kenneth Moloto scored a wonderous goal, hitting the roof of the net after outpacing defender Kingu Pemba.

Highlanders added the second goal ten minutes into the second half from the boot of Delisa Gama but Swallows pulled one back ten minutes before full-time when Felix Badenhorst’s deflected free-kick beat Highlanders goalkeeper Khanyakwezwe Shabalala.

Badenhorst thought he had scored his ninth goal of the season when he headed home a Banele ‘Pupu’ Sikhondze cross three minutes before full-time only for first assistant referee Zamane Simelane to rule it off-side, sparking another soccer mayhem barely a fortnight after the
same despicable scenes were witnessed at the same venue.

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