Thursday 2018-07-19

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THE RECORD BREAKERS

By Mphikeleli Msibi Sports Editor | 2018-05-16

HEAVYWEIGHTS Mbabane Swallows continue to rewrite the country's football history pages in spectacular fashion. 

Celebrations of the incredible feat of finishing two seasons unbeaten had hardly died down when the ‘Beautiful Birds’ yesterday became the first local team to beat an Angolan side.

The Mavuso Sports Centre hosted the CAF Champions League Group Stage clash and Swallows, who are becoming continental monsters with each passing game, were full value of this historical win in front of their throngs of passionate supporters.

Amazingly the dreaded African jungle is becoming Swallows favourite hunting ground. They are now topping the charts in their group with four points after two matches played.

It was once again a much disciplined performance by the red and white outfit, which matched their much fancied opponents pound for pound. There is no denying the fact that the Angolan side entered this phase of the competition as one of two favourites to advance to the quarterfinals.

Yesterday, however, they were made to look like an ordinary side by the resolute locals that are obviously eager to impress and make a name for themselves in this competition.

Swallows are no longer pushovers in this dog-eat-dog affair. They seem to have mastered the art of grinding a positive result despite the odds. They seem to fly even through the storm.

This Swallows side is certainly the greatest football team in the country – ever.

The ‘Beautiful Birds’ under the Chairmanship of late boss Victor ‘Maradona’ Gamedze (may his soul rest in eternal peace) have, for years, been building their brand and, as one of the biggest teams in the country, they have become serious candidates to challenge for honours year in and year out, not only locally but continentally.

En route to their successes, the team’s players have signed their names into the history books at Swallows.

On May 15, 2016 Swallows were beaten 1 - 3 by Royal Leopard in the last MTN Premier League match of that season.  Leopard were chasing the title with Mbabane Highlanders hot on their heels. Facing a depleted Swallows, who had rested several stars, Leopard won 3-1 to win the title.

Two years on and Swallows haven't lost a single league match since. It’s now 48 matches unbeaten and counting. Yesterday, it was exactly two years to that day when the Birds suffered their last league defeat.

They celebrated that milestone in style, beating Angolan side Primeiro de Agosto 1-0 courtesy of a Felix Badenhorst second half strike to record the country first ever victory in the Champions League group stages.

Swallows have had a phenomenal campaign, starting with a record winning streak that turned into a record unbeaten run and eventually winning the league.

The red and while ensemble has become a real force to be reckoned with, winning 10 domestic trophies in his three seasons, including two MTN Premier League titles.

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