Swallows stun Zanaco as the bankers suffer defeat
Striker Felix Nyaende missed a stoppage time penalty as Mbabane Swallows scored a late goal to pick a surprise 2 – 1 away against Zanaco in the 2018 CAF Champions League 1st round 1st leg match played at Nkoloma stadium.
It was a lacklustre display by the Zambian champions who went in the match as favourites to win.
Swallows sat back in the first half showing very little in attack but doing enough to shut down the attacking threat of Charles Zulu and Ernest Mbewe on the flanks forcing Zanaco to try to go through the centre.
Once industrious Rusike had managed to release Zulu on the left, the pacey winger found Chavda Maisha with a cross into the box but he saw his header come off the upright.
Zanaco went up in the 40th minute when a long ball from Boyd Musonda found the head of Martin Phiri whose flick fell kindly for Maisha and he made no mistake in burying the ball.
It looked like Zanaco would go for the kill after the restart but a half-hearted aerial challenge by Musonda near the centre circle saw him lose the ball with Swallows going straight in attack. Taonga Bwembya was skinned at right back by the Swazi skipper who found Felix Badernhost at the back post to head home as Zimiseleni Moyo desperately tried to clear off the line in the 56th minute.
Coach Numba Mumamba rang the changes with Souleyman coming on for Musonda, Guily Manziba for Mbewe and Nyaende for Martin Phiri.
The changes did not help as the ‘Bankers’ looked disjoint in midfield and the visitors looked more confident.
Their calmness paid with a well worked go that saw an otherwise brilliant Toaster Nsabata beaten by some good footwork from striker McCreesh with four minutes to play.
There was more drama when the hosts were awarded a penalty in the last minute but Nyaende ballooned his effort over the bar.
Swallows will carry a vital lead into the second leg to be played in Mbabane in 10 days.
Zanaco XI v Mbabane Swallows
Toaster Nsabata – Taonga Bwembya, Zimiseleni Moyo, George Chilufya, Didi Kitumbo, Boyd Musonda (Souleyman), Ernest Mbewe (Guily Manziba), Rusike, Chavda Maisha, Martin Phiri (Felix Nyaende), Charles Zulu
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