TS Galaxy winger Justice Figuaredo is out of Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers due to an injury.
Eswatini will have to battle it out without their speedy winger Figuaredo who was ruled out because of an ankle injury.
The Eswatini national football team, nicknamed Sihlangu Semnikati (King’s Shield) will lock horns with Congo away tomorrow, with the return leg on Monday.
Sihlangu Semnikati are currently at the bottom of Group I without a single point as they suffered two defeats in the hands of the log leaders Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, who sit second in the group.
Figuaredo joined the Mpumalanga-based side from Mbombela United at the beginning of the 2020/21 season.
The 22-year-old hasn’t featured for the Rockets in the current season due to the ankle injury that has been bothering him since the start of the DSTV Premiership.
“I couldn’t go to the national team because I’m still nursing an ankle injury. Yes, I did receive a call-up but I explained my situation to the national team coach and he understood. He also stated that he doesn’t want me to aggravate it. As a result, we took a decision that I’m going to pull out of the camp. We all came into an amicable agreement that he will call me in the next camp when I’ve fully recovered,” Figuaredo told TS Galaxy’s official website.
The Eswatini international sent his teammates in the national team a message of encouragement ahead of their clash with Congo.
“Every game that you play, it is like a cup final when you wear the national team colours. Wearing those colours comes with huge expectations. I wish them all the best even though I’m not with them but my spirit is with them,” he said.
When he was asked if he believes that one day they will defy the odds and qualify for the Afcon, he said: “It is a dream. In life, it is important to dream big to avoid being average. TS Galaxy proved last year in the Nedbank Cup final against Kaizer Chiefs that anything is possible. So, everything is possible. You may never know, when God says yes, nobody can say no. I’m ready for anything and I will always give my best. I want to be the best version of myself.”
By Mauwane Raophala