Thursday 2017-10-19

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‘BIRDS’, MATSAPHA UNITED IN SCINTILLATING DRAW

By Qondile Ntiwane | 2017-10-12

Matsapha United………… (0)0

Mbabane Swallows……… (0)0

SOCCER - What a game!

The MTN Premier League encounter pitting rookies Matsapha United against defending champions Mbabane Swallows just gave that adrenaline rush as the teams gave each other a run inside the field of play.

The tension-filled encounter played at the Mavuso Sports Centre last night was a game of two halves as  Matsapha controlled the first before the Mbabane giants dominated the last stanza.

The clash attracted over 6 000 supporters, something that resulted in the match starting an hour late in a bid to accommodate the masses that were still outside the venue by the scheduled time.

The match started on a high with both team coming hard at each other.  Mbabane Swallows could have opened the score sheet 14 minutes into the game but goalkeeper Khanyakwezwe Shabalala denied Wonder ‘Samba Jive’ Nhleko when he tipped his shot over the bar for a fruitless corner.

Matsapha United striker Sidumo Shongwe was unfortunate when his shot bounced off the bar before landing on Sibonelo Dlamini, who was, however, ruled offside by referee Leticia Viena.

provided

An end-to-end first half provided no goals as the ‘Deep Blue Ocean’ and the ‘Beautiful Birds’ went into the half time break tied at 0-0.

The red and white side could have wrapped the game up in the second stanza but squandered numerous opportunities.

Swallows could have scored four minutes into the second half but Sandile Hlatshwako just failed to come to the party when he directed a shot to the upright while inside the box. The striker was handed the chance on the silver platter following a blunder by defender Sibonelo, who failed to clear the ball inside the 18th area

Swallows captain fantastic Tony ‘TT’ Tsabedze tried but in vain to take control of the match as he was let down by poor finishing despite making brilliant passes towards goal.

The 66th minute of the game saw Matsapha squander a sitter and it was Sidumo, who while inside the box, failed to just tap into the net a shot by Mthobisi Mdluli but instead directed it past the net.

In the end both teams settled for a goalless draw which was the first since the start of the new season.

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