Most Swazi fans thought that Highlanders would have it easy against the struggers, however the Msunduza based ensemble came out with guns blazing, matching the log leaders pound for pound in what the Swaziland Times described as an ‘ill-tempered match’.
Umbelebele, like their South African brothers at Ezenkosi, were ready to mix it physically and in the end, were able to frustrate Highlanders.
The result, obviously a spanner to Highlanders’ title quest, was all Inkiliva, as Umbelebele are nicknamed by their supporters, needed to boost their confidence in this season’s dog-eat-dog league affair.
Umbelebele’s game plan was quite simple. For starters, they never showed Highlanders any respect. They were always first on the ball, always had more men behind the ball, closed down Highlanders in the middle of the park and in the process, rendered the giants’ machinery useless.
It was an effective strategy, as Highlanders struggled for the duration of the game in front of goal despite enjoying the better ball possession.
Umbelebele’s diminutive defensive midfielder Mzwandile Dlamini was named man of the match as he overshadowed the likes of Highlanders Vuyani Mazibuko and Mphile Tsabedze.