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Illovo FC clinch promotion to MTN PLE with dramatic win over Rangers FC

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Big Bend side, Illovo FC have secured their promotion to the MTN Premier League of Eswatini after defeating Rangers FC 2-1 at Mayaluka Stadium on Saturday.

Illovo FC finished second in the MTN National First Division with 51 points, behind champions Mbabane Citizens who had 54 points. Rangers FC ended third with 49 points.

The match was a tense affair as both teams needed a win to secure promotion. Illovo FC took the lead in the 25th minute through a header by striker Sibusiso Dlamini. Rangers FC equalized in the 40th minute with a penalty by midfielder Thabo Dlamini.

The second half was a battle of nerves as both teams created chances but failed to convert them. The decisive moment came in the 85th minute when Illovo FC midfielder Muzi Dlamini scored a stunning volley from outside the box to seal the victory and promotion for his team.

Illovo FC coach Bongani Mdluli praised his players for their performance and dedication throughout the season. He said they deserved to play in the top flight and hoped they would continue to improve and compete with the best teams in the country.

Rangers FC coach Sipho Dlamini congratulated Illovo FC for their achievement and wished them well in the MTN PLE. He said his team gave their best but were unlucky to lose. He said they would regroup and prepare for next season.

Illovo FC will join Mbabane Citizens as the two new teams in the MTN PLE for the 2023/24 season. They will replace Manzini Wanderers and Tambuti FC who were relegated from the top division.

Illovo FC. Photo Cred: Sports Updates with Phathizwe

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