Not many would have predicted the result that came from Somhlolo Stadium at the weekend when Mbabane Swallows hosted their more erstwhile Zambian opponents, Nkana FC in the first leg preliminary round of 2014 Orange CAF Champions League.
The Swazi side coached by Zambian Chris Tembo beat Nkana 2-0 before an appreciative crowd with goals from Zimbabwean Kudzanai Matanda and Swaziland international Felix Badenhorst. The win gave Swallows their first win on home soil from past three attempts in this competition.
Swaziland’s Royal Prince Majaha led the plaudits describing Mbabane Swallows as good ambassadors for the Kingdom. According to the Swazi Observer media outlet, The prince was in the stadium along with among others Deputy Prime Minister Paul Dlamini and Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs David Ngcamphalala. “I feel that it was a good game and Swallows represented the country very well.
We wish them all the best going to the second leg and urge them to hoist the country’s flag high by advancing to the next round. Actually, I would not like to see them crashing out of the tournament until they meet South African giants- Kaizer Chiefs,” the Prince said.
Zambia champions will have their work cut out to overturn the deficit in Kitwe this coming weekend in the return leg. Nkana coach Masauso Mwale told Swazi media after the defeat that his side was capable of winning at home and reach the first round “It is possible to overcome the score in Nkana and all we have to do is work on the lapses in concentration at the back. During the second leg it will be a completely different ball game, especially since my players will be playing on a pitch they are used to,” said Mwale.
Swaziland national coach Harries Bulunga who watched the match said Mbabane Swallows is capable of winning away in Zambia and to progress to the next round of the competition. “Nkana hardly threatened Swallows but were outplayed and l thought Swallows could have scored a few more goals going by the chances they created” said Bulunga. In the return match Swallows will be boosted by the availability of Sabelo Ndzinisa and Ghanaian Mike Mohamed, two of their strikers who missed Saturday’s game due to injury. The return leg is scheduled for Kitwe’s Arthur Davies Stadium at the weekend.