A Felix Badernhost 60th minute right footer aided by a deflection off a Primeiro de Agosto defender gave Mbabane Swallows a perfect and winning home start in a Group D Match Day Two match played at Mavuso Sports Centre on Tuesday.
With both sets of players struggling with natural grass turf which saw players once in a while lose their footing due to the slippery nature, the tie was reduced to close but exciting one and it had to take a moment of brilliance to separate the two sides.
And for the Thabo Koki Vilakati coached outfit it had to take mercurial and ageless skipper Tony Thulani Tsabedze to spot a lurking Badernhost who obliged with a curling first time right footer which was deflected beyond a diving Agosto goalkeeper, Adilson Cipriano for what became the winner.
The goal sparked jubilation among the fans who immediately broke into song something that further intimidated the visitors almost back into their laurels but the Angolans rang three changes after the goal which saw an edge sitting final ten minutes.
Indeed Agosto almost stole an equalizer when Costa Paulo forced what could be the day's best save off Sandile Ginindza in the 81st minute but it was a shade too late as the home side had all but bagged the crucial three points that took their tally to four points.
Vilakati praised both teams for the good show paying dividend to the crucial goal.
It was a good match in which both teams came to the party with good football though it was littered with several missed scoring chances. I am glad it had to take that special moment between our captain Tony and Felix to craft that goal.
We take the three points but the work is not yet done. This is African football and anything can change in the next few games but we still need to work hard if we are to sail through the group stage. A special thank you also goes to our fans, said Vilakati.
Goal scorer Badernhost who took his tally to four said he was not focused on the golden boot but rather helping the team post positive results.
It is team work and anyone can score but if chances fall on me like in that particular case after receiving that beautiful pass, I have to maximize and score. It is not about the Golden Boot but winning, said Badernhorst.
Agosto coach, Zoran Maki lamented the missed opportunities.
Football is all about scoring and there is no way you can win a game when you miss you chances. Imagine how the scenario would have changed had we scored two goals from the chances. We will now have work on the negatives from the game and focus on the future games, said Maki.
The match was watched by close to 3000 fans in which the home team has to receive credit for smoothly hosting this tie away from their usual home Somhlolo National Stadium which failed to pass the CAF inspection requirements.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football