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XI Men like true soldiers - Sergio

Sports Section

By Ntuthuko Dlamini-10-Jun-2009

SOCCER – ELEVEN Men In Flight stand-in coach Sergio Chirime has praised his players for the good fighting spirit they displayed to beat Mbabane Highlanders by a solitary goal in a must-win game that helped them cheat relegation on Sunday at the Trade Fair

The over-excited Mozambican-born coach, interviewed shortly after the game, said they were able to frustrate the opposition and they deserved the win.

“After last weekend’s huge defeat by Mbabane Swallows, my players were not demoralised as we were able to go back to training ground to rectify our mistakes ahead of today’s (yesterday) game. They displayed good fighting spirit like true soldiers. Although we were facing an uphill battle to avoid relegation, they never gave up.

“There has been great improvement in the team in terms of play as we outclassed the opposition with ball possession. I was greatly impressed by the performance of our keeper Yeboah Kwabema between the poles as he performed extremely well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Highlanders’ coach Zonke Mawelela blamed his side’s defeat on the absence of his key players Cisse Bongouta, Mfan’fikile ‘Fash’ Ndzimandze and Banele Dlamini, who were nursing an assortment of injuries. “We were not able to play our usual game due to the injury to our key players as our combination was disturbed. “We were able to create some few chances that we failed to convert into goals to wrap up the game, more especially in the second half. Otherwise, overall I think my players did well this season.

“Another major contributing factor to our failure to win the league was that my players were getting tired mentally considering the number of games we played this season compared to the other teams,” he said.

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