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MBABANE – Can Felix Badenhorst set a new record in the MTN Premier League top goal scorer’s charts?

With four games to go, he is now only six goals shy of last season’s new record of 26 goals by Young Buffaloes and national team Sihlangu star Sandile ‘Saviola’ Gamedze who was followed by former Mbabane Highlanders and now Green Mamba forward, Sabelo ‘Sikhali’ Ndzinisa with 23 goals. Badenhorst scored a hat-trick yesterday as his team cruised to a 6-0 drubbing of Callies in front of their excited and colourful supporters. He is yet to play Highlanders who they face next weekend and with him in such devastating form, he will be one man to watch especially as he also had a goal denied in the reverse fixture.

The lanky former Eswatini international, who played for AS Vita in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) before joining South Africa’s Mbombela United and TS Galaxy, is on fire amid an inexplicable omission from Sihlangu recently by the coach Dominic Kunene. He was once again up for to the task at the tiny venue, netting his first six minutes into the lukewarm match before bagging the latter two five minutes before the hour mark and nine minutes from time respectively. Also on target for the red and white Umkhonto KaShaka was Bashir Mutanda right at the death of half-time, Kwakhe Thwala in the 51st minute before Sizolwethu ‘Nunu’ Shabalala stoppage time goal.

Callies finished with a man down after Mazwi Sihlongonyane was shown a red card for dissent just after the hour mark, but the damage had already been done as only two more goals were added after this. The Callies rout helped Swallows march closer to the top two teams, leaders Young Buffaloes and Green Mamba. However, the latter have their match against rookies Madlenya this afternoon and now under pressure to win it to retain the summit after surrendering it yesterday to the army side, which they are yet to face in the second round clash and potential title decider. Swallows are now three points short of leaders Buffaloes, after an equal 22 games played but two points behind second-placed Green Mamba who are a game short. Badenhorst found space inside the box to net from close range his first from a Kwakhe cross. The visitors never made an attempt at goal for the better part of the first stanza and it was the home team who made it 2-0 going into the half-time break through Mutanda with another finish from close range.

The second half saw Swallows continuing where they had left off with the goals despite not playing the best of football for the fans to enjoy. Badenhorst made it two for himself and three for Swallows when he finished off brilliantly after having been set-up by the impressive Ayanda Gadlela. Four minutes later, the blazing hot Badenhorst completed his hat-trick with a header after combining well with second half substitute Nhlanhla Ngwenya and Nunu who crossed for him. The latter, a Swallows development product, marked his return from a long injury layoff with late goal in stoppage time which made it 6-0. He rose highest to nod home, much to the excitement of their supporters. Swallows have an ambition to return to the CAF Champions League, but winning the league is not in their own hands but depends on Green Mamba and Buffaloes results. The result saw Umkhonto KaShaka taking their points tally to 47, while Callies remain second from the basement with 14 points in only four games before the season is over.