Eswatini and Mauritius play to thrilling 2-2 draw in COSAFA Cup opener

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The coaches of both Eswatini and Mauritius were content with a draw from their opening match of the Cosafa Cup in Durban on Saturday.

The two countries played to an entertaining 2-2 scoreline at the King Zwelithini Stadium, where the islanders twice lead through Ashley Nariza’s brace.

The striker fired his side ahead after 28 minutes, only for Siboniso Mamba to level two minutes later.

Nazira again scored with 20 minutes to play, but again saw his effort cancelled out, this time by Felix Badenhorst four minutes later.

Mauritius coach Agbo Patel was satisfied with the result in Umlazi.

Patel’s men were slightly fortunate to escape with a point from a match dominated by the Swazis, who failed to make their dominance count.

They were strong in the air throughout and should have at least tested the Mauritian goalkeeper Jean Obrian more.

The first equaliser scored by Mamba was especially displeasing to Patel, who admitted that defending from set plays was one of the big areas they needed to fix ahead of their next game in Group A against Comoros on Wednesday.

Eswatini boss Papic, meanwhile, said he was happy with the result, albeit with some concerns over their lacking of cutting edge in the final third.

There were over 20 shots on goal for the Swazis and their Serb coach felt things could have gone better had they taken one of those chances.

The result does little to help either side as they both a point each in a group that only features three teams after the 11th hour withdrawal of Angola.

Eswatini’s next game in the competition will be on Monday, 27 May 2019 against Comoros.

In the meantime, Papic said he felt proud of his players for the display they put on in Durban. – Report by Thahir Asmal