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Eswatini fight back twice to stun Togo with draw in Lomé

Togolese supporters left devastated at the end of their team’s 2-2 draw against Eswatini at the Stade de Kégué on Friday in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. The visitors held on tight just to stay within reach but three goals in the final ten minutes, two of them scored by Eswatini, gave the underdogs a rare road point after Siboniso Ngwenya’s long range blast went in off the crossbar in the fifth minute second half stoppage time. Togo will next travel to Marrakech, Morocco for a road fixture against Cape Verde and Eswatini will host Burkina Faso in Johannesburg.

The hosts came into the match expecting a comfortable victory and the first half made it appear that would be the case. Les Éperviers dominated the ball and attacking opportunities as Eswatini played hopeful long balls and put players behind the ball. After a couple of close calls Togo opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Euloge Placca Fessou delivered a hard curling free kick from 25 yards out to beat Eswatini keeper Mathabela Sandanezwe.

Eswatini managed to keep the match close by halftime and after Togolese star striker Kodjo Laba fired a low shot into the side netting in the 51st minute, concerning signs for Togolese supporters started to indicate that the match was not over. The visitors had more of the ball and when an equalizer arrived in the 85th minute it was not particularly shocking. Eswatini substitute Philani Mkhontfo got down the right flank and sent in a cross that was headed in from six yards out by Sabelo Ndzinisa after Togo center back Kennedy Boateng missed his attempt at a clearing header.

Togo fought back to restore their lead only two minutes later when a corner kick from substitute Floyd Ayité found Laba, who beat Sandanezwe to the ball to head into the net. However, with Togo unable to keep the ball and bunkered down, it was the visitors who provided an inspired moment to shock the Sparrow Hawks supporters. A throw-in on the right wing found Sandile Gamedze at the edge of the penalty area who held off a defender to lay the ball off to Ngwenya for a shot that roared by Togo keeper Malcolm Barcola before bouncing in off the crossbar.

Scroll down for video of the goals.

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