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MBABANE – Visiting South Africa (SA) Legends proved to be too good for Uche XI as they beat the mixed elite and National First Division League players team 2-1 in an international friendly match played here yesterday.

Uche XI was headlined by former Mbabane Highlanders and Manzini Sea Birds Captain and winger Colani ‘Chocco’ Sibandze, who graduated as a soldier last Friday. He got to once again play for the same team with his former Highlanders teammate winger and goalscorer for Uche XI, Mpucuko ‘Smoothies’ Dlamini. The SA Legends paraded former Eswatini national team Sihlangu and Orlando Pirates star Dennis ‘Yuki’ Masina, former Kaizer Chiefs attacking midfielder George Lebese and local star Justice ‘Figa’ Figuareido. It was the visitors who made their intention known just a minute into the game when ‘Yuki’ received a telling pass from ‘Figa’ with all the time in the world, the ex-Manzini Wanderers player took a lame shot at goal which never gave Uche XI goalkeeper Bhekisisa Dlamini any trouble as he calmly collected the ball.


They were back again in search for the opener but Lebese’s long drive from outside the box narrowly missed the target. The first chance for the locals, who were coached by Manzini Wanderers Skipper Mlamuli ‘Mlaba’ Nkambule’s elder brother, Sibusiso ‘Styles’, came 10 minutes before half-time from Ntsika Dlamini’s set piece. However, his effort went over the bar. The teams were tied to a goalless draw at half-time in the game of 30 minutes per half. The SA Legends opened the deadlock eight minutes into the second half through Makhishi Tiyani, who connected brilliantly a corner kick by Lebese to tap home the first goal. It was former Denver Sundowns forceful winger ‘Figa’ who gave the locals’ back four a torrid time in office, no wonder they added the second goal in the 44th minute through Andile Fakude. Uche XI got the consolation goal through Ezulwini United Captain ‘Smoothies’, who benefitted from a clever pass by Green Mamba’s Mthunzi ‘Xavi’ Mkhontfo four minutes before full-time.