By Mgcini Dube | 2023-09-18
Soccer - Madlenya Jozi Gobana! Sugar belt side Madlenya shocked capital city giants Mbabane Highlanders in the opening match of the MTN Premier League of Eswatini at Mhlume Stadium yesterday, after beating them 2-1.
Just before the end of the game Madlenya manager John Matsenjwa had to be escorted out of the stadium as Highlanders supporters were baying for his blood for muti allegations.
That was not the end of it as police were also forced to protect match officials back to the dressing room from Highlanders fans who were unhappy with Madlenya's winning goal.
Coming to the match, Highlanders will have themselves to blame as they created countless chances but failed to find the back of the net against a stubborn Madlenya.
The black and white outfit was the better side from the onset throwing everything to Madlenya but they were not harmful. Siyabonga Mkhonto got the first real chance just 10 minutes into the game but his shot went wide, and two minutes later Philani Mkhonto was back again in search of an opener but his shot went over the bar.
Madlenya capitalised on their first chance to get the opening goal, courtesy of Mpendulo Gamedze who connected well from a Lethukuthula Gamedze pass from outside the box. Despite drawing first blood they could link up enough passes which gave Highlanders the room to come at them gun blazing. Philani Mkhonto was a constant threat to Madlenya defence but still couldn’t find the target.
Highlanders continued controlling the game, leaving Madlenya chasing shadows. Clearly their defensive plan worked for them as the black bull couldn't get past the last line of defence. The match went to the break with the sugar belt one goal lead.
Highlanders continued where they left off in the opening stanza, introducing Kenneth Moloto Siyabong Mkhonto to add attacking options. His introduction made them more dangerous from the opening minutes of the second stanza.
Bonginkhosi Dlamini could not find the opener for as he failed to connect from a Moloto cut back pass in the 65th minute. Highlanders were firing in all cylinders but mother luck wasn’t on their side with Philane Mkhonto missing another scoring opportunity from a good pass from Moloto.
Madlenya had to wait for the 74th minute to double their lead through Mncedisi Magagula, who beat Khanyakwezwe Shabalala connecting well from a Gcina Dlamini defence splitting pass.
The goal did not stop Highlanders from sharing the ball around, putting pressure on Madlenya.
Late substitute Enzo Motsa finally got the back of the net 84 minutes after a defensive blunder. Moloto failed to find the equaliser in the added time, firing over the bar and the referee blew his final whistle.
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