LOBAMBA – The country’s Big Three teams, Mbabane Highlanders, Manzini Wanderers and Mbabane Swallows all advanced to the Last 16 stage of the EswatiniBank Cup over the weekend.

Manzini Wanderers beat Rail United 4-1 in penalties after a 1-all draw in regulation time. Inspite of taking an early lead through Johnson Mensah in the 15th minute only for the hard fighting Rail United to equalise five minutes before half-time through a delightful free kick by Sanele Magagula to drag the game to penalties. Wanderers, displaying a colourless performance against the Lubombo Super League side, held their nerves to win the penalties 4-1. Highlanders, buoyed by their boisterous fans second half brilliant performance was enough to extinguish an early scare by Hawane Shooting Stars who had cancelled two goal hero Sabelo ‘Sawa’ Gamedze – his second brace in a space of a week – penalty in the 26th minute. Three goal blitz in the second stanza made the job easier for ‘Inkunzemnyama’ who are seeking their first EswatiniBank Cup glory in ten years.

Swallows, on the other hand, struggled to convert nemrous chances until defender Sifiso Mabila’s 83rd minute goal decided their tie against the tough-as-teak Sisonkhe FC.

A total of 61 goals marked the start of the tournament – five more goals than last year’s opening tally of 56 goals – and lamentably eight goals than in last year’s grand opening event. On Sunday, 10 February, 2019, the triple header saw 16 goals being netted in the grand opening with the defending champions Young Buffaloes the biggest winners in a 6-0 hammering of listless Shooting Stars.

Where records are concerned, Royal Leopard South African born signee Thabiso Mokenkoane raised his hand for the golden boot gong of the tournament by netting eight goals in the police side’s 12-0 massacre of Nsingizini Hotspurs. He is the defending the top goal scorer’s award after netting six goals in his former team Mbabane Highlanders opening round 9-0 win over hapless City Warriors on 9 February 2019. Premier league inconsistent side, Mhlume Peacemakers were the only casualty from the top division to be booted out of the tournament in the opening round, going down 3-0 to Illovo FC on Saturday.

There is no doubt, the 17th edition of the Eswatinibank Cup idlala kamnandzi!….


  1. Green Mamba
  2. Denver Sundowns
  3. Madlenya FC
  4. Moneni Pirates
  5. Milling Hotspurs
  6. Royal Leopard
  7. Tabankulu Callies
  8. Illovo FC
  9. Malanti Chiefs
  10. Pigg’s Peak Black Swallows
  11. Tambuti FC
  12. Young Buffaloes
  13. Sea Birds
  14. Manzini Wanderers
  15. Mbabane Highlanders
  16. Mbabane Swallows

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