Break 2016 record- Hon. Minister tells Sihlangu

22 May 2019

The Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga has urged Sihlangu to better the country’s best ever finish of third place at the COSAFA Cup.

Bulunga was speaking at a farewell function held for Sihlangu at the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Technical Centre in Lobamba ahead of the team’s departure to the 2019 COSAFA Cup to be held in Durban, South Africa. Sihlangu achieved a bronze medal finish at the 2016 edition of the regional showpiece in Namibia under the guidance of the Honourable Minister who was, at the time, the side’s Head Coach.

Speaking through representative Lucky Sihlongonyane, the Director of Sports in the Ministry, Bulunga urged the side to make history in South Africa.

“I am well aware of the pressures that come with playing in the COSAFA Cup. For all our consistent participation in this regional showpiece since the late 1990’s, we have never tasted true success or even reached a single final. Now, my challenge to you coach and the entire team is to better that 3rd-place finish achieved in 2016. I have no doubt in my mind that you are capable of doing that and rewriting the Kingdom’s history in the COSAFA Cup,” he said.

Meanwhile, the team’s Head Coach Kostadin Papic said they were ready to compete at the tournament.

“We will fight as much as we can to win our matches. We will take each game as it comes. We are ready and we want to show that we have quality,” he said.

The national side will leave Eswatini by road tomorrow (Thursday) and open their campaign against Mauritius on Saturday at the King Zwelithini Stadium. Sihlangu will then face Comoros in the last Group A fixture on Monday at the same venue. For progression to the quarterfinals, where Zimbabwe await, the locals will need to win the group which has been cut to three teams by the sudden withdrawal of Angola from the tournament.

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