Eswatini Daily News
Mbabane Swallows’ Sifiso Mabila and Rangers’ Sambulo Simelane tussling for the ball during the MTN Premier league match played at King Sobhuza II Stadium on Saturday. Swallows won 2-1.

By Sibusiso Masilela

Rangers……………………………………. (1)1
Sandile Mhlanga 18th
Mbabane Swallows………………… ….(0)2
Felix Badenhorst 63rd, Ayanda Gadlela 84th

Mbabane Swallows were off to a perfect start into the new campaign as they saw off a resilient Rangers by 2-1 at King Sobhuza II Stadium on Saturday.

The capital city giants came from behind to stun the returnees with a spirited second-half performance through Felix ‘ Fela’ Badenhorst and Ayanda Gadlela goals. This was a stab in the heart for the youthful side as they gave the much-fancied opponents a run for their money during the first half.

The Mthunzi Ginindza-led side showed no respect for the opponents from the onset with their fluid attacking moves. The home side drew first blood 18 minutes into the contest through a deflected shot from Sandile Mbingo outside the box beating Swallows goalkeeper Sandanezwe Mathabela hands down.

Swallows tried to respond afterward but they were not clicking in the final third. The capital city giants striker Sizolwethu, ‘ Nunu’ Shabalala rasping shot was saved by Rangers goalkeeper Mduduzi Mngometulu before the half-hour mark. The match went to the break with the home side enjoying a slender lead.

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Swallows made changes during the recess bringing in Felix ‘ Fela’ Badenhorst and Leon Bombo for Nhlanhla Ngwenya and Mancoba Vilakati respectively. The changes paid dividends after the hour mark as Badenhorst levelled matters with a close-range rebound.

This was after Rangers goalkeeper Mduduzi Mngometulu, failed to handle a Bombo dipping shot which hit the crossbar and fell on the path of Badenhorst, who made no mistake score with the helpless goalkeeper sprawling on the turf.

Rangers’ striker Sambulo’ Masoso’ Simelane missed a sitter in the 70th minute when he directed his effort straight into the hands of Mathabela from a break attack.

The Shiselweni-based side were punished for their poor finishing in the 84th minute when Ayanda Gadlela scored a winner with a sublime finish from outside the box much to the delight of Swallows fans within the over 400 fans present in the stadium.

Other results
Highlanders                     1 – 2      Madlenya
Royal Leopard                 1- 0       Ezulwini United

Saturday
Mbabane Highlanders  1 – 2        Madlenya
Green Mamba                2 – 2       Young Buffaloes
Denver Sundowns         0 – 0       Illovo

Fixture
Sunday
King Sobhuza II Stadium
Manzini Sea Birds vs Moneni Pirates 3.30pm

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