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Injury delays Matthews Sibale’s debut

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A serious left leg injury has delayed the debut of the 2017 TNM Super League Golden Boot awardee, Matthews Sibale, in Mozambique’s top-flight league.

The league for the neighbouring country kicked off last weekend when Chawanangwa Kawonga and Sibale’s Costa do Sol drew 0-0 against Maxaquene.

In separate telephone interviews from Maputo yesterday, the former Silver Strikers players confirmed the development.

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“I broke my leg after being tackled from behind during training while at Silver, with four games to go before the end of the 2017 season. I wanted to go for treatment before I left for Mozambique, but Costa officials thought I was merely playing delaying tactics, so I obliged and came here while carrying the injury.

“At first, it seemed like a minor injury but further scans revealed that the bone was broken. I have not kicked the ball since January when I came here. I underwent surgery and I am in the last phase of recovery. I am back in training and I should make a debut soon. The coach wanted me to play tomorrow [in today’s Caf Confederation Cup home match against Cape Town City] but I felt it was premature,” Sibale said.

Nonetheless, Sibale, who scored 16 goals to claim the Super League award, hopes to return to action in time and transfer his Malawi form to Mozambique. Silver sold Sibale to Costa at K18 million.

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Kawonga yesterday confirmed that Sibale has been ruled out of today’s Confederation Cup first-round first-leg encounter against the South African side in Maputo.

“In the game against Maxaquene, I played as a second striker behind Isac. Hopefully, Sibale will join us in the forthcoming games when he recovers,” he said.

In other continental football assignments, Malawians, Charles Swini and Frank Banda, are away to the Democratic Republic of Congo for a Champions League first-round, first-leg match between their Mozambique champions, UD Songo, and hosts, TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi.

“It would, obviously, be a difficult task but we go there believing that, in football, anything is possible. We are not even going there for a draw, but a win,” Banda said in a telephone interview.

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