MBABANE HIGHLANDERS WIN MINI-COMPETITION!

MBABANE HIGHLANDERS WIN MINI-COMPETITION!

Mbabane Highlanders’ wish has been granted! In a hard fought mini-competition that involved luck more than ability on the field, Mbabane Highlanders emerged victorious as they won ‘the battle for Malanti Chiefs’, beating all
three giant clubs in the race for the final of the Ingwenyama Cup. The Mbabane Highlanders PRO Paul ‘Magidzeludzakeni’ Masilela lit a telltale smile as his team drew Malanti Chiefs, who are considered minnows in the battle of giants. Worry marred the faces of the representatives of Mbabane Swallows and Young Buffaloes as they pondered the prospect of playing each other in the semi-final showdown scheduled for this weekend, February 2 and
3, 2019. The draw was held at Sincephetelo MVA Fund headquarters, the sponsors of Ingwenyama Cup. In our last publication, we named Malanti Chiefs as the most popular team that each of the three semi-finalists would prefer to draw. The Mbabane Highlanders’ PRO could not hide his joy immediately Mbabane Swallows was matched with Young Buffaloes. Masilela smiled with satisfaction, and was heard declaring after the draw: “Kuhambe kahle. Besifuna
loko.” (All went well. That’s what we wanted). Highlanders struggled to beat Matsapha United last weekend in the quarter-final match-up at Somhlolo National Stadium, narrowly qualifying for the semi-finals by a solitary goal. The draw against Malanti Chiefs may look good for Highlanders on paper, but the result may prove the opposite. Ingwenyama Cup PRO Nkhosilenhle Masuku, in a post-match interview, described that game as very tough. Prior to the commencement of the draw for the semi-final match-ups, there was so much tension in the room you could hear a pin drop. The first team to be drawn was Young Buffaloes, who were followed by Mbabane Highlanders and their opponents
were to be drawn on the next side. For a moment the mood swung towards the possibility of a Mbabane derby. There were mixed reactions when Swallows was drawn first, with the neutrals, who would have loved to see a derby, visibly disappointed, while both Swallows and Highlanders representatives looked very relieved; though Swallows’ joy was
short-lived as they realized they were face-to-face with a very formidable Buffaloes – a case of jumping from
the pot into the fire. Judging by the manner the games have panned out, there is no guarantee as to who will proceed to the finals. Young Buffaloes will be facing Mbabane Swallows with a score to settle after they lost to the latter in the finals of the last edition of the tournament. Mbabane Highlanders and Malanti Chiefs are finding
themselves in unfamiliar territory as the semi-finals are their highest achievement in the tournament since its commencement four years ago.

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