Grace Chingoma Harare Bureau
SWAZILAND national soccer team delayed their arrival yesterday after they encountered some problems in securing a flight for the entire delegation to Harare in the afternoon and were expected last night ahead of today’s showdown against the Warriors.
Sihlangu were originally scheduled to arrive in the afternoon but only two of their officials managed to come aboard the lunch time flight.
The rest of the delegation board was booked on the 2140hrs flight from OR International Airport.
The team left Swaziland yesterday morning by road and spent the greater part of the day at OR International Airport, with the advance party arriving aboard a lunch time flight.
They informed Zifa officials who had gone to the airport to meet the team that they were battling with flights and the team was now going to come with the last flight from Johannesburg.
Swaziland would be in the same scenario as the Warriors were in Mbabane as they only had to feel the match venue on the day.
According to reports from Swaziland the team which drew 1-1 with Zimbabwe at home is very high in confidence and believe they can turn the tables against the hosts at National Sports Stadium.
The team has been boosted by the recovery of striker Sabelo Ndzinisa who missed Good Friday’s match after getting a knock.
But the striker trained with the rest of the team on Saturday and is expected to play an important role as the log leaders seek to consolidate their top spot with an away victory against the Warriors.
Swaziland Minister of Sport, Culture and Youth Affairs David Ngcamphalala has also been quoted by the local media praising the team after the reverse match and said the team matched the better ranked Zimbabwe in every aspect.
“I’m very proud of the boys, they put up a brave fight inside the field and the game was flowing both ways.
“There wasn’t much difference between Sihlangu and them. Our players rose to the occasion and played equally with the opponents.
“We’ve seen how they play and it’ll be easy for the coach to formulate a game plan that’ll yield positive results on Monday.
“We wish the boys all the best as they go for the second leg in Zimbabwe and we believe they’ll do well,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association founding president Eddie “Mboma” Nyatanga has called on all the supporters to come out in their numbers, set aside their differences and club affiliations to rally behind the team supporting Callisto Pasuwa and his charges.
Nyatanga said this is not the time to argue about game tactics, formations and selection of players but to sing “Go Warriors Go” to all the players representing the nation.
“Pasuwa assembled the strongest team and as supporters let’s support him and give him a chance and surely he can take us to the Africa Cup of Nations. He’s the real deal.
“I’d like to urge all our fans to come out in their numbers, sing Yave Nyama Yekugocha, for there’s every reason to celebrate after we got an away point in Swaziland.
“We should remember that football has revolved in Africa and we did well by picking that point as there are no longer small teams in the continent.
“Even the other Afcon results show that it was tough business for everyone as even the so-called traditional teams met their match. So there’s no need for negative talk at the moment but to focus on the main aim.
“We just need to be patient and we’ll be on top of the log after the match,” said Nyatanga.
Nyatanga said this is the time to be united as football lovers and football should be the winner at the end of the day.
Zifa have pegged the cheapest ticket at $3 while bays 15 -18 would be going for $5. Fans wishing to sit in the VIP section will have to fork out $20.
The mother body has appealed to all soccer loving people to come and create a carnival atmosphere as they cheer the national team to victory.