- ‘Birds’, ‘Buffs’ contest 2nd sport in MTN Premier League
Mbabane – It’s still wide open.That is how best the MTN Premier League can be analysed with just three games to spare before the current campaign comes to an end. Mbabane Highlanders and Royal Leopard remain the favourites to clinch the title following their 1-all stalemates at Mavuso Sports Centre, courtesy of a Lindokuhle ‘Ntolo’ Fakudze and Thabiso Mokenkoane strikes for the ‘Black Bull’ and police outfit respectively.
Mbabane Swallows who are third on the log and Young Buffaloes who are forth can also not be ruled out but it appears as if they now look at finishing second considering the current run and form of the quartet.
Highlanders let slip a chance to take the summit as captain and goal poacher Sabelo ‘Sikhali’ Ndzinisa, who is on 21 goals, missed from the spot kick in the 50th minute when his team was 1-0 up from the first half. Troublesome South Africa-born winger Tony ‘Ben 10’ Machacha won the penalty after he was fouled by defender Mancoba Maseko in the 48th minute.It was a match the capital giants could have wrapped up if the penalty went in.
On the other hand, the tension in the match between Swallows and ‘Amathole’ was high. It was a game of half chances but Buffaloes were the more threatening in the opening half with industrial winger Fanelo ‘Order’ Mamba trying one from a distance which was well saved by Swallows goalie Sandanezwe Mathabela. The red and white glamour boys’ best chance of the game fell for defender Kingu Pemba who shot over the woodwork after being set-up by Seidou ‘Keita’ Blandja from a Banele ‘Pupu’ Sikhondze corner kick.
Immediately after that, Sandile ‘Saviola’ Gamedze had a sneak opportunity at goal but his shot sailed over the cross bar with three Swallows men all on the block. Second half substitute Sandile Hlatshwako thought he had won it for Swallows later on when he raced on a Vukile Khumalo long ball to loop over the advancing Nhlanhla Gwebu but the goal was ruled offside.
Spoils were shared in the end in this tension filled game and the clubs have nine points to play for to wrestle the MTN Premier League crown now.
MTN Premier League
Rangers 2-1 Malanti’
Swallows 0-0 Y. Buffaloes
Tambuti 2-0 D. Sundowns
G. Mamba 1-1 Sea Birds
Tinyosi 1-2 Callies
Wanderers 1-1 M. Hot Spurs
Pirates 2-1 Vovovo
Highlanders 1-1 Leopard