UEFA Champions League – Man United 0-1 Barcelona

All you need to have to know in 60 seconds …Barcelona are in command of their quarter-final tie against Manchester United, Luke Shaw’s early own goal providing the Blaugrana a slender 1st-leg win at Old Trafford.

Aiming to attain a 1st semi-final due to the fact they last lifted this trophy in 2015, the visitors took the lead inside of 12 minutes, Shaw deflecting Luis Suárez’s powerful back-post header into his own net.

The hosts rallied after behind and went close possibly aspect of the interval as a result of Diogo Dalot and Marcus Rashford, but had been not able to find the ending contact.

Not at their most fluent owing to an industrious United exhibit, Barcelona’s very best opportunity of the 2nd time period fell to Suárez, who shot into the side-netting, but Ernesto Valverde’s men will be self-confident of finishing the job on Tuesday.

United improved noticeably right after switching from 3 to the back again four in the to start with 50 percent, but in spite of taking pleasure in durations of sustained stress they failed to produce adequate options to haul themselves back.

After their amazing win in Paris very last month it would be silly to write them off just still as Ole Gunnar Solskjær pointed out just after their initially-leg defeat in the preceding round, mountains are there to be climbed.Man of the match: Gerard Pique.

The first minute he was pressed into service, racing back again in direction of his own goal and needing to strain every single sinew to defeat Rashford to the probability,

Piqué realized he was “home”. The place where by he “grew up” and not only made a large influence with his identity but only skipped out on development since of the Rio Ferdiand-Nemanja Vidić duopoly.

The tranquil through, the aerial battles gained, the serenity amid one thing of a red storm and then the late challenge on Anthony Martial,

Piqué gave a signature performance – class, dedication, athleticism – and a reminder to this Old Trafford crowd what they skipped out on.

Important stats1: This was the first time Barcelona had opened the scoring at Old Trafford.2: United have gained just two of their final 16 matches against Spanish clubs (D6 L8) – and none of the past 7 (D3 L4) at Old Trafford they have received only a single of the final 9 (D4 L4).4: United have experienced 4 defeats in their previous 6 European home games.

This was Barcelona’s first win in seven knockout away games (D2 L4), the Catalans acquiring scored just a single goal due to the fact a 2- victory at Arsenal in the 2015/16 spherical of 16.

Wins at Arsenal and United are their sole successes in the past nine this kind of contests, with five defeats.8: United have scored eight UEFA Champions League possess goals, less only than Sporting CP and Barcelona

Barcelona have benefited from 14 UEFA Champions League very own goals, the joint most in the competition along with Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Barça midfielder Ivan Rakitić made his 100th overall look in UEFA club opposition.

Unbeaten in a report 30 UEFA Champions League fixtures on home soil (W27),

Barcelona will be assured of ending their modern quarter-closing jinx and getting in excess of the line next 7 days to set up a very last-4 day with Liverpool or Porto. United, who can choose heart from their demonstrating soon after slipping behind and reversed a even bigger initial-leg deficit in the final 16, need to search no even more than manager Solskjær about how to pull off the ultimate Camp Nou heist.

What’s next?Man. United welcome West Ham on Saturday, just before the second leg of this tie 3 days afterwards. Solskjær’s top rated-4 chasing team then have two away games and two home games prior to the close of the domestic season, such as the pay a visit to of a certain Manchester City.

Boasting an 11-point cushion at the top rated of the Spanish Liga, Barcelona travel to Huesca on Saturday ahead of Tuesday’s next leg at Camp Nou. The Blaugrana then have 6 additional Liga fixtures ahead of the Spanish Cup remaining against Valencia in late May.

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UEFA Champions League -Tottenham 1- 0Man. City

All you need to have to know in 60 seconds …Heung-Min Son struck the only goal as Tottenham attained a narrow win to go into next week’s quarter-remaining 2nd leg at Manchester City.

Son showed excellent composure with 12 minutes remaining, holding the ball in the field of play and then stepping inside of Fabian Delph just before firing past Ederson.

But Spurs were being similarly indebted to Hugo Lloris, who denied Sergio Agüero from the penalty early on.

The only dampener for Mauricio Pochettino was the sight of Harry Kane being assisted off the pitch midway by way of the next time period.

Up stepped Son, although, to secure a memable win for Spurs in their initial UEFA Champions League outing at their new stadium.Watched from the stadium: Daniel ThackerThis was a sluggish-burner, the football at times matching the superb atmosphere produced by the Tottenham trustworthy on the very first European night time at their new home at other times building into a midfield war of attrition.

Lloris’s 13th-minute place kick save gave Spurs a system to grow into the game, in advance of Son scored late to hand Tottenham a precious gain forward of the journey north.Man of the match: Heung-Min Son

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Torricelli: Juventus can finally win the Champions League with Ronaldo

Juventus have found the lacking link in their bid for Champions League glory by including Cristiano Ronaldo to their ranks, previous defender Moreno Torricelli has claimed.

The 49-year-old, who gained the opposition in 1996, will be in attendance on Wednesday night at the Wanda Metropolitano when they face their initially major examination in the event this year by using on Atletico Madrid.

Talking at the headquarters of the Juventus Supporters Club in Zaragoza, Torricelli exhibited a renewed self esteem in their Champions League many thanks to the addition of their major summer time signing.

Juventus have a lot of odds to win the opposition, like a Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich for the reason that they are the four groups who have one thing additional than the relaxation,” he mentioned.

“With their history and players, I feel that including Cristiano this year means they can make the leap and win it.

Juve are able of beating Atletico of course. Very first, we want to win the Scudetto and then the Champions League, it would be ridiculous to win it.

Ronaldo is the most effective player in the world and for Juventus, he has been a huge signing, each for the club and Italian football.

“After the ‘90s, we have the most effective player in the world listed here once again. I hope that it is Juve’s year.”

Displaying the self esteem he had in his individual skill as a player, the 49-year-old uncovered that he would have relished the option to pit his wits against Ronaldo.

“I’d have preferred to play against Cristiano for the reason that enjoying against the most effective in the world means that you’re a fantastic player,” he ongoing.

“I had the fortune of enjoying against the most effective in the ‘90s for the reason that they ended up all there, [Marco] van Basten, [Ruud] Gulllit, Ronaldo… it was extremely awesome to play against them.”

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Juventus 1-0 Valencia: Los Che crash out of Champions League

Valencia crashed out of the Champions League after being beaten 1- by Juventus, even though Manchester United grabbed a late-gasp winner against Young Boys.

Croatian attacker Mario Mandzukic opened his Champions League account for this season as he fired past goalie Neto from close range after Cristiano Ronaldo’s move.

The home facet ended up the kinds who started out the brightest with star man, Ronaldo going close on two occasions. First with a flashing volley from outside the box prior to times later on unleashing a shot from the edge of the box after some good make up play from the Bianconeri.

Valencia needing a win below to continue to keep their hopes of going via alive went close around the fifty percent an hour mark when Danish international Daniel Wass glanced a shot inches huge of the still left post after latching on to a cross from the edge of the box.

Marcelino and his men should really have went 1 nil up on the stroke of fifty percent time when Mouctar Diakhaby rose best from the corner but for his exertion to thunderbolt the underside of the bar and brilliantly retained out by goalie Woijech Szczesny.

Equally sides made the decision to make substitutions after the split and to the surprise of many, critical attacker Rodrigo was replaced by French forward Kevin Gameiro even though Juve replaced still left back again Alex Sandro with Juan Cuadrado.

Right after the veteran attacker fired the Old Woman ahead, around the hour mark, the home facet stepped it up a gear but failed to include to the score line with some sensational shot halting from Brazilian keeper Neto.

Mandzukic could have additional to his tally, minutes after scoring his initially when he sent a rebound back again in the direction of goal but for the keeper to pulling a good diving save.

The 29 year old shot stopper was on hand again, this time denying fellow South American Paulo Dybala. Argentinian forward, Dybala acquired a defence splitting move to set him via from Miralem Pjanic, but the Brazilian was on hand to finger suggestion around the post after guessing which corner the attacker was heading.

Previous Real Madrid attacker, Ronaldo was denied again after he peeled away from his marker at the back again post, but his fine header was brilliantly saved at the far post.

Valencia regrettably head out of the Champions League after only winning once in the levels of competition this season and indicating the last fixture against Manchester United is now a lifeless rubber.

Line Ups

Juventus: Szczesny Cancelo, Bonnuci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro Bentacur, Pjanic, Matuidi Mandzukic, Dybala, Ronaldo

Valencia: Neto Wass, Gabriel, Diakhaby, Gaya Coquelin, Kondogbia, Parejo, Guedes Rodrigo, Santi Mina

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Juventus win yet again as CSKA defeat Madrid, Ajax Draw Bayern – UEFA Champions League – Information

  • Dybala hat-trick earns Juve 2nd win but United heldCSKA shock Madrid as Roma hit 5 with Džeko treble
  • Metropolis score late winner, Lyon comeback denies Shakhtar
  • Extraordinary Ajax draw at Bayern, Benfica defeat AEK
  • Highlights of just about every match from 12:00CET on Wednesday
  • Future games in these teams on 23 Oct
  • Team E

    Bayern München 1-1 Ajax
    Mats Hummels gave Bayern a fourth-minute lead, heading in Arjen Robben’s cross, prior to Noussair Mazraoui levelled halfway as a result of the first 50 percent after a one-two with Dušan Tadić. Ajax threatened a 2nd goal but in the end equally groups moved on to 4 points.

    AEK Athens 2-3 Benfica
    Substitute Alfa Semedo scored with sixteen minutes left to make Benfica victory after they had seen a 2- lead vanish. Benfica appeared comfortable after Haris Seferović and Alex Grimaldo struck within the first 15 minutes. But Rúben Dias was sent off prior to half-time, and goals from Viktor Klonaridis on 53 and sixty three minutes then drew AEK amount.

    Team F

    Hoffenheim 1-2 Manchester Metropolis
    David Silva scored with 3 minutes left to get Metropolis off the mark, at the conclude of a game exactly where Hoffenheim had been celebrating just forty four seconds into their first-ever UEFA Champions League home match many thanks to Ishak Belfodil’s goal. Sergio Agüero equalised 7 minutes later on.

    Lyon 2-2 Shakhtar Donetsk
    Shakhtar arrived from behind for a 2-2 draw with Hoffenheim a fortnight back, but this time it was they that were being denied. Júnior Moraes netted for the readers just prior to half-time and additional one more early in the 2nd time period however Moussa Dembélé and Léo Dubois struck in a 3-minute spell to give Lyon a point that keeps them best.

    Team G

    CSKA Moskva 1- Real Madrid
    Nikola Vlašić’s 2nd-minute strike proved enough to safe CSKA an impressive win even with equally Casemiro and Karim Benzema hitting the post for the holders and Igor Akinfeev getting an additional-time red card. CSKA now lead the group, a point ahead of Roma and Madrid.

    Roma 5- Viktoria Plzeň
    Roma recovered from their opening-working day defeat by Madrid in some fashion as an Edin Džeko hat-trick certain they surged to victory. Cengiz Ünder and Justin Kluivert also acquired in on the scoring act.

    Team H

    Juventus 3- Younger Boys
    Paulo Dybala ensured Juve did not skip the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo as the Argentinian’s hat-trick led the Bianconeri to their 2nd win in the segment. YB’s Mohamed Ali Camara was sent off and they continue being point-much less on their group-stage debut.

    Manchester United – Valencia
    Equally groups had chances, with Marcus Rashford hitting the bar late on, but there were being no goals. Valencia as a result opened their account next their opening decline to Juventus, who now lead United by two points.

    Wednesday fixtures (21:00CET kick-off except in any other case mentioned)

    Team A: Atlético v Club Brugge, Dortmund v Monaco
    Team B: Tottenham v Barcelona
    , PSV Eindhoven v Inter
    Team C: Paris v Crvena zvezda
    (18:55CET), Napoli v Liverpool
    Team D: Lokomotiv Moskva v Schalke
    (18:55CET), Porto v Galatasaray


    Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane chase Champions League glory

    Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will chase glory in the UEFA Champions League when they face Real Madrid in the closing, set for the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev on Saturday 26 May 2018, kick-off at 20h45 CAT.

    The match will be included Live right here on

    Real are chasing a third successive European crown and a record-extending 13th general, getting claimed the trophy in 2016 and 2017.

    The Spanish side’s path to the closing noticed them complete runners-up in Group H (behind Tottenham Hotspur) ahead of defeating Paris Saint-Germain (5-2 on mixture), Juventus (4-3) and Bayern Munich (4-3) in the past 16, quarter- and semifinals respectively.

    ‘Los Blancos’ have endured a disappointing season domestically, only finishing third in La Liga behind hated rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, but if they win the Champions League yet again, then all will be forgiven for coach Zinedine Zidane.

    They occur into the game getting played to a 2-2 draw away to Villarreal in a league clash on Saturday, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale proving their physical fitness and variety by commencing and scoring a goal apiece.

    Liverpool is chasing their sixth European crown and a 1st considering that 2005 when they famously came from a few goals down to defeat Italian giants AC Milan.

    The English side’s path to the closing noticed them complete prime of Group E ahead of defeating Porto (5- on mixture), Manchester Town (5-1) and Roma (7-6) in the past 16, quarter- and semifinals respectively.

    ‘The Reds’ were passed in action on May thirteen, when they thrashed Brighton & Hove Albion 4- to safe a fourth-place complete in the Leading League. The match provided yet one more goal for Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah, who has netted an outstanding 44 times in his debut season for the club.

    In head-to-head stats, Real and Liverpool have achieved in just 5 earlier European Cup matches. The Reds have claimed a few wins in contrast to two for Los Blancos and outscored the Spanish aspect six goals to 4.

    Included in Liverpool’s victories is a 1- win in the closing of the 1981 competitiveness in Paris. It was Madrid’s past closing reduction in the European Cup and the only time an English aspect have crushed Spanish opponents in the closing.

    The teams’ most current conferences were in the team phase in 2014/fifteen, with the La Liga aspect winning each matches.

    Modern variety, all competitions, most current results 1st

    Real – DWLDD

    Liverpool – WLLDW

    Head-to-head, all competitions

    Matches played 5

    Real wins two

    Liverpool wins three


    Real goals four

    Liverpool goals 6


    KCCA go through narrow defeat to determined Rollers – 2018 CAF Champions League

    Kampala Funds City Authority (KCCA) FC commenced there in the 2018 CAF Champions League, Group A marketing campaign with a 1- defeat to Township Rollers at the National Stadium in Gaborone 

    The win can take the Botswana giants to the leading of Group A standings following match day just one, even though Uganda’s KCCA are placed fourth on the table.

    The Blues dominated the match from the start with Lemponye Tshireletso wanting perilous for the home aspect.

    he skilful forward defeat 4 KCCA defenders just before forcing goalkeeper Tom Ikara into a very good save twelve minutes into the game.

    Tshireletso then almost benefited from some miscommunication at the again concerning KCCA defenders and Ikara just before the 50 %-hour mark.

    The shot-stopper came out speeding to very clear the ball and it strikes Tshireletso, but KCCA defender Ibrahima Kizza made an important goal-line clearance.

    Nonetheless, Tshireletso was not to be denied in the 36th minute when he pounced on to a bad pass by the defence and he fired the previous Ikara to make it 1- to Rollers.

    The momentum was with Rollers with half-time split approaching and it must have been 2- to the hosts 7 minutes just before the split.

    Tshireletso unleashed an impressive shot which was spilt by Ikara and by some means Joel Mogotosi skipped the focus on from the rebound.

    KCCA then contained Rollers right until the match referee Ferdinand Udoh from Nigeria the half-time whistle and the score were 1- to Rollers at the interval.

    The Rubbish Collectors commenced the next-50 % very well and they came really near to levelling issues three minutes into the game.

    Muhammad Shaban strikes the crossbar with Rollers shot-stopper Keagile Kgosipula very well-overwhelmed and Rollers managed to very clear their traces.

    Nonetheless, Tshireletso continued to torment the Rubbish Collectors’ defence with his rate and ability.

    The Botswana international was unlucky not to seize his brace when he pulled the result in from selection in the seventieth minute and the ball strike the woodwork with Ikara overwhelmed.

    Nikola Kavazivoc, the Rollers coach, then made the decision to make a tactical adjust – pulling out attack-minded Motsholetsi Sikele and he launched keeping midfielder Gape Mohutsiwa

    Mohutsiwa was deployed just in front of the Rollers defence as they appeared to consist of KCCA in the closing phases of the game.

    This authorized KCCA to attack and they were awarded a free-kick in a promising area in stoppage time.

    Nonetheless, Derrick Nsibambi’s work from the resultant free-kick was finger-tipped in excess of the crossbar by Kgosipula, who ensured that the game ended in a 1- win favour of Rollers.

    Rollers (1) 1 (Tshireletso 36′)

    KCCA ()

    Rollers: Kgosipula, Mathumo, Motlhabankwe, Gaolaolwe, Ditshupo, Mogorosi (Ncenga 90’+2), Tshireletso (Matete 89′), Moyana, Sikele (Mohutsiwa 74′), Ntege, Boy.

    KCCA: Ikara, Awanyi, Kizza, Kirabira, Okello, Nunda (Nsibambi 58′), Obenchan, Shaban (Kaddu 90′), Bukenya, Musamali,


    5 good reasons Bayern Munich can even now defeat Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals

    Bayern Munich may have lost the initial struggle, but they have most undoubtedly not lost the war. The Bundesliga champions will head to Madrid with a 2-1 deficit to overturn in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-remaining against Real. And all the things readily available to make what would be a historic evening occur to fruition. has picked out 5 of them that point to Bayern becoming destined to occur out winners and access the Kyiv remaining…

    On home at Bayern from Real Madrid, James supplies the most interesting sub-plot to this tie, amid a welter of backstories. The Colombian’s reportedly fraught romantic relationship with Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will no question occur below the pre-match Marca microscope, and whilst the perception is that the Frenchman was happy for James to go away, his fellow players appeared fewer enamoured with the determination. As recently as November, Cristiano Ronaldo pointed to the playmaker’s departure as a personal purpose for Madrid’s up-and-down sort this phrase.

    You can recognize why: James, whose goals and assists have been crucial to Bayern’s sixth successive domestic title, has settled seamlessly into existence in Bavaria and – enjoying in a further midfield purpose – is maybe a much more complete footballer than at any time. Certainly, obtaining spoken brazenly about his need to win the treble this season, that Madrid stands for the next obstacle on Bayern’s three-pronged route to glory is a person of the much more amusing jokes destiny has performed. James will be champing at the little bit to demonstrate Zidane and the Madrid fans rather why it was a miscalculation to enable him to depart – and if something is missing from his Bayern CV to date, it can be a statement efficiency in Europe. Don’t wager against that coming in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    two) The ex-variable element two: Jupp Heynckes

    Couple Germans, Toni Kroos and Paul Breitner maybe apart, know the internal workings of Real Madrid greater than Heynckes, who led Los Blancos to European glory in 1997/98 and is to date the only German coach in the Spanish club’s storied heritage. Appropriately, a couple of Germans know rather as effectively how to beat Madrid in Europe – as Heynckes has currently carried out after in 2012 when he led Bayern past Los Merengues on penalties in the semi-finals (obtaining performed the initial leg at home).

    Remarkably, Heynckes has ever not reached the Champions League remaining as a coach – Bayern’s 2012 defeat to Chelsea was his second the Bavarians’ win against Dortmund the subsequent year the third – a run that commenced when in the cost of Madrid again in 1998. When he may be gunning to do away with them this year, the veteran tactician stays assured of his place in Real heritage after guiding the club past Juventus in 1998 remaining for a seventh European Cup, and initially in 32 several years.

    3) Heritage: La Bestia Negra

    For all their recent success – and there has been loads – Real ordinarily battle against German opposition, most notably Bayern, who are recognised in the Spanish money as La Bestia Negra – the black beast. As Sid Lowe place it in the Guardian in 2012, “this may effectively be the only real, cross-border rivalry in Europe”. Like most rivalries, the superpowers have much more infrequent than they treatment to acknowledge: the two are dominant domestically, the two hoover up the best young talent and the two aspire to stand for a little something bigger than by themselves.

    If any a person club can declare to have Madrid’s number, nonetheless, then it can be Bayern: of the six semi-finals amongst the sides (the teams have never ever fulfilled outside the European Cup, their twenty-five encounters in the level of competition the most of any pair), the Bavarians have occurred out on prime in four.

    When the rivalry has cooled off the field in recent several years – the absence of Oliver Kahn, who made an interest of spitting barbs in Madrid’s route, has assisted to that conclude – it has intensified on it. The twelve-time winners have triumphed in the sides’ two most recent two-legged ties, manufacturing a ferocious display of counter-attacking football to win 4- at the Allianz Arena in the 2014 semi-finals, right before a victory in extra-time in very last season’s quarter-finals.

    four) Revenge: a plate of Weißwurst best served chilly

    The mere mention of that quarter-remaining is generally more than enough to rile Bayern fans – it can be secure to say the club felt tough carried out by after very last season’s elimination at the arms of Madrid. It undoubtedly even now rankles with Joshua Kimmich, who spoke right before the draw of “seeking revenge” Arturo Vidal echoed his sentiments, tweeting later on that “revenge is a dish best served chilly”.

    Time for a brief recap as to why it was this kind of an agonizing exit for Bayern: shorn of Robert Lewandowski in the initial leg, Carlo Ancelotti’s facet went in advance on home turf when Vidal nodded past Keylor Navas. When Bayern have been awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time, the Chilean stepped up but fired in excess of. It proved the turning point: Ronaldo equalised after half-time, Javi Martinez has dismissed and the Portuguese additional a second in the closing levels. Tie in excess of? Not even shut.The teams fulfilled a week afterwards in Madrid. Lewandowski places Bayern in advance from the location early in the second fifty percent, but after Ronaldo equalised, Sergio Ramos place via his possess net to restore parity in the tie. With extra-time imminent, Vidal was sent off in controversial situations and Madrid capitalised ruthlessly, Ronaldo finishing his hat-trick to place Madrid via a 6-3 aggregate winner, in the process ending Xabi Alonso’s and Philipp Lahm’s European occupations.

    5) The Lewandowski outcome

    Of course, of course, Madrid have a particular report goalscorer of their possess, but Lewandowski is not fifty percent-undesirable, possibly. In reality, had it not been for Ronaldo, the Pole would probably be regarded as the finest out-and-out goalscorer in Europe – he is undoubtedly the best pure striker.

    His report against Real Madrid, in unique, is greater than most other folks: in seven UEFA Champions League games (W3 D1 L3) against Los Blancos, the 29-year-aged has hit the net six times, four of those coming in a person exceptional game for Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 semi-finals.

    Whereas Lewandowski missed out on very last season’s initially leg because of to a shoulder personal injury (and Vidal blasted the penalty that the striker would have taken in excess of the bar), the winter season arrival of Sandro Wagner has eased the burden on the Bayern talisman, who obtaining missed out on scoring in the initially leg very last week, is fit and firing for the match on Tuesday. Real Madrid needs no second introduction to Bayern’s pretty possesses report man.


    South African champions Bidvest Wits want Cameroonian striker Epoupa – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


    South African champions Bidvest Wits want Cameroonian striker Epoupa

    Gavin Hunt, coach of Bidvest Wits ©Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

    Austin Ditlhobolo

    Saturday Dec 02, 2017. 13:00

    South African side Bidvest Wits are said to have shown interest in Christian Epoupa.

    The Cameroonian striker is currently on the books of Dynamos, who are campaigning in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League (ZPSL).

    The highly-rated player has been linked with South African club Ajax Cape Town in the past.

    Wits and another South African side Polokwane City are also believed to be keen to sign the attacker.

    Dynamos chairman Keni Mubaiwa has been quoted as confirming talks for the forward with clubs in South Africa.

    “A number of clubs from South Africa have made contact with Christian,” he told News Day.

    “Some were here in the past few days for negotiations and others have been talking to us on the phone.

    “We have not agreed with anyone because of the price. We have put our value on the player, which the teams are saying they cannot meet,” he continued.

    “The good thing on our part is that we are not desperate to sell, so we will try to get the full value of what we think our player is worth.

    Epoupa scored 12 goals in the ZPSL this past season.


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    Zambian Justin Shonga eyeing CAF Champions League spot with South African giants – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Orlando Pirates


    Zambian Justin Shonga eyeing CAF Champions League spot with South African giants

    Justin Shonga of Orlando Pirates challenged by Sammy Seabi of Polokwane City

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 15:00

    Zambia and Orlando Pirates striker Justin Shonga believes the Soweto giants must ensure they finish at the top during this current Premier Soccer League campaign in South Africa.

    The Chipolopolo hitman says they must do well this season and ensure they qualify for the CAF Champions League.

    Coach Milutin Sredojevic are now sitting at number two in the Absa Premiership and will hope to challenge for the league honours.

    “My priority is the team because I believe there is much more that the team can do. Recently, things have not been going well and things should not be this way,” Shonga told Soccer Laduma.

    “I watched the team last season and it was not good to see them performing that way.

    “This season it must be different because a team like Pirates needs to be playing in the CAF Champions League and finishing in a good position on the log standings.

    “It is unacceptable for a great team like this not to win anything.”


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    FC Platinum wins Zimbabwean PSL title and qualify for CAF Champions League


    Scent ition

    Monday Nov 27, 2017. 12:30

    Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League side, FC Platinum have been crowned as new league champions this past weekend.

    Platinum were crowned after beating Chapungu 2-0 away from home on Saturday at Ascot Stadium in Gweru.


    Coach Norman Mapeza’s men became the first side in the modern era of the league, outside of Harare and Bulawayo, to win the coveted title.

    Mapeza has now lifted his second league title after he won with the now defunct Monomotapa in 2008 and said he was under pressure to bring glory to the club.

    “We have been waiting for this day. We needed to get early goals. After getting them we needed to concentrate. It’s always difficult to take what people say, when you sign players,” Mapeza said to CAF.

    “I was under pressure to bring glory to the club when I joined and today we did it.”

    Mapeza now joins a league of achievers who have won two or more league titles along with Rahman Gumbo, Sunday Chidzambwa and Kalisto Pasuwa who won four in a row with Dynamos from 2011 to 2014.

    The new champions will now represent the Southern African nation in next year’s Total CAF Champions League.


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    Absa Premiership Champions continued to struggle


    Absa Premiership Champions continued to struggle

    Amr Gamal of Bidvest Wits challenged by Punch Masenamela of Baroka during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Baroka and Bidvest Wits at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 22 October 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

    Brian Lee

    Saturday Nov 25, 2017. 18:00

    Defending Absa Premiership champions Bidvest Wits continue to struggle in the league after playing to a goalless draw against Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

    The result continues to see Wits hover in around the relegation zone where they temporarily occupy 14th place with nine points from 11 games, only a point above 15th place Ajax Cape Town (who have played nine games) and last placed Platinum Stars.

    The first half really failed to produce any fireworks with chances on goal few and far between.

    Both teams were poor in the final third and often gifted possession back to their opponents with horrible passing or bad decision making.

    The only significant chance of the half went the way of Maritzburg in the 22nd minute when Bevan Fransman met a cross with a strong header, but his effort came off the crossbar.

    That was about as exciting as it got in the opening half as the teams entered the break locked at 0-0.

    Martizburg started the second half positively and came close to scoring two minutes in when Yazid Atouba met a loose clearance with a powerful 18-yard volley, but Darren Keet made a spectacular save to deny him.

    The next chance on goal only came in the 68th minute when Wits’ Eleazar Rodgers rose highest to meet a pin-point cross, but his header came off the woodwork.

    Both teams pushed players forward in the final 20 minutes of the match, but they were both poor in the final third yet again and unable to create scoring chances.

    The match ended 0-0 with the result seeing Maritzburg temporarily up to 11th place with 11 points after ten games.

    Maritzburg United (0) 0

    Bidvest Wits (0) 0


    Maritzburg: Ofori, Sanoka, Xulu, Fransman, Shandu, Rusike (Ntshangase 80’), Weidlich, Kunene (Mokate 71’), Atouba (Maboe 73’), Ndlovu, Mekoa.

    Wits: Keet, Allie, Hlatshwayo, Klate (Claasen 75’), Monare, Rodgers (Keene 87’), Hlanti, Mkhwanazi, Pienaar (Pule 61’), Phiri, Ntshangase.


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    Wydad boss targets FIFA Club World Cup final – 2017 CAF Champions League


    Wydad boss targets FIFA Club World Cup final

    Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amoutta

    Bertin Basson

    Friday Nov 24, 2017. 15:00

    Wydad Casablanca head coach Lhoussaine Ammouta has expressed his club’s desire to reach the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup final.

    The CAF Champions League holders qualified for the world showpiece for the very first time following victory of Al Ahly – on aggregate – in the final of Africa’s premier cup competition.

    Ammouta now hopes that his troops can set up a meeting with Real Madrid in a fight for silverware at the upcoming tournament, set to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates starting early next month.


    “We’re targeting the final,” Ammouta told

    “We can’t afford to make too many mistakes because the minor details make all the difference in football. Our players acquired lots of experience in the Champions League and now hope to sign for clubs abroad.

    “They [the Wydad players] can show what they’re capable of in this competition and catch the eye of the big European teams. Their desire to progress ought to help us get good results in the Emirates.”

    The Moroccan club kick-off their campaign with a clash against CONCACAF champions Pachuca on the 9th of December in Abu Dhabi.


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    PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita – Gets the nod in the UEFA Champions League Best XI – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


    PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita – Gets the nod in the UEFA Champions League Best XI

    Naby Keita celebrates his winner against Borussia Dortmund

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 16:00

    Guinea and RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita has been included in the UEFA Champions League XI of the group stages.

    The Syli Nationale anchorman makes the cut as one of the best midfielders in Europe’s biggest club competition.

    Keita has been a crucial member of the squad, especially in their quest to become one of the biggest sides in the European game.

    The German Bundesliga outfit recently shocked French champions AS Monaco on Tuesday as they cruised to a 4-1 win.


    Keita scored their fourth goal with a neat and a calm finish whilst giving Liverpool fans a glimpse of what to expect next year.

    Although Leipzig are yet to cement their place in the knockout stages as they are facing Turkish side Besiktas at home in their last match in the group, he will hope to score again.

    They have seven points at number three in the group whilst the Turkish side top the standings with 11 points from five matches.

    Media speculation doing the rounds in Europe is that should Leipzig fail to reach the knockout stages, Keita could be allowed to move to Anfield in January.

    In the UEFA’s Best XI team: Igor Akinfeev (GK – CSKA Moscow), Michael Lang (FC Basel), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Bas Dost (Sporting Lisbon), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain).


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    Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy unhappy with criticism after Champions League final loss


    Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy unhappy with criticism after Champions League final loss

    Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 17:30

    Despite their CAF Champions League loss to Wydad Casablanca, Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy refuses to take the blame directed to the team from the fans.

    The Red Devils fans were disappointed to lose the continental trophy in Morocco on a 2-1 aggregate margin after a 1-1 draw in the first leg at home.

    Ekramy took to his official Twitter account, saying that criticism from fans after the match was not objective and not fair.


    “We’re used in Egypt to the attribution of any success or failure in football to individuals only, although everyone knows that it is a shared responsibility,” he said on Twitter.

    “The problem in the case of loss is that there is always an attempt to blame certain players or to find a scapegoat.

    “In 48 games since the start of the season, we had more than 30 clean sheets.

    “Our goalkeeping and defence were named the best according to statistics and numbers.

    “Apart from local statistics, Al Ahly is one of the world’s best teams in terms of keeping a clean sheet in 2017.

    “Attacking or criticizing a player after any loss by the media or the fans is normal and that’s the tough side of football.

    “We understand our fans’ sadness due to the loss, our fans are always our number one supporters. We lost an important championship that’s true but it is more important to start focusing on what’s coming next.”


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    Al Ahly president to protest following Champions League final loss to Wydad


    Al Ahly president to protest following Champions League final loss to Wydad

    Al Ahly’s player Saad Samir (L) in action against Wydad Casablanca’s player Ismail Haddad (R)

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Monday Nov 06, 2017. 16:30

    Following their CAF Champions League loss to Wydad Casablanca, Al Ahly president Mahmoud Taher revealed that his club will file a complaint about the CAF referee, Bakary Gassama.

    The Club of the Century suffered a 2-1 loss to Wydad on aggregate as they failed to fly back to Egypt with the most prestigious continental accolade.

    Following the defeat in Morocco, Taher says Gassama made a number of mistakes in the match and they will approach CAF regarding this issue.

    “We have a number of motives to file a complaint because of what happened in the final match,” Mahmoud Taher told the club’s official website.


    “The referee made huge mistakes whether through taking wrong decisions or because of not adding enough stoppage time after smoke emerged in the pitch and blocked view which forced him to stop the match for a few minutes.”

    Taher added that Gassama did not take the smoke on the pitch, caused by Wydad fans, into consideration when adding only three minutes of stoppage time and that he didn’t care about complaints made about the smoke from Al Ahly players.

    “We faced clear and obvious challenges in our recent African matches from referees which made it look like Al Ahly facing a team and a referee each match, something that we should not stay silent about anymore,” he added.

    “That’s why the club is obliged to submit this complaint that includes all the needed documents and pictures that strengths our position.”


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    Wydad Casablanca claim Champions League crown


    Wydad Casablanca claim Champions League crown

    Al Ahly’s player Saad Samir (L) in action against Wydad Casablanca’s player Ismail Haddad (R)

    Graeme Jackson

    Sunday Nov 05, 2017. 00:02

    Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca beat Egyptian giants Al Ahly 1-0 at the Stade Mohamed V Stadium on Saturday night to claim the 2017 CAF Champions League title.

    Wydad won the final 2-1 on aggregate, with the first leg in Alexandria last weekend ending in a 1-1 draw. This match in Casablanca was decided by a goal from Walid El Karti midway through the second half, with the hosts side claiming just their second African crown and a first since 1992.

    Al Ahly looked the more dangerous side in the opening 20 minutes and had a good chance fairly early on through Abdallah El-Said, who cut inside from the right and tested Zouhair Laaroubi with an awkward shot.

    Wydad struggled to put attacking moves together, but they almost claimed the lead against the run of play in the 30th minute, with forward Abdeladim Khadrouf seeing his shot deflect off a defender and crash into the crossbar.

    Ahly had a great chance of their own a couple of minutes later when they sprang away on a counter attack which handed Moemen Zakareya a one-on-one opportuity, but he was denied by a fine save from Laaroubi.

    The Egyptian side continued to look strong in the second stanza, with Wydad happy to sit back and look to hit on the counter attack. The risky approach from the hosts paid dividends just past the midway point of the half.

    Achraf Bencharki, who scored the away goal in the first leg, turned provider this time around as his deflected cross from the right fell perfectly for Walid El Karti, who powered home a header to put his side 1-0 up on the night and 2-1 on aggregate.

    Wydad were in full control of the game from that moment onward, and nearly doubled their advantage on the night when the excellent Bencharki teed up Khadrouf, but he was denied by a fine save.

    Wydad Casablanca (0) 1 (El Karti 69’) – Wydad won 2-1 on aggregate

    Al Ahly 0

    Wydad: Zouhair Laaroubi, Youssef Rabeh, Amine Atouchi, Abdellatif Noussir, Salaheddine Saidi, Walid El Karti, Brahim Nakach, Badr Gaddarine, Achraf Bencharki, Ismail El Haddad (Mouhamed Ouattara 90+3’), Abdeladim Khadrouf (Zakaria El Hachimi 86’)

    Ahly: Sherif Ekramy, Mohamed Hani, Saad Samir, Rami Rabia, Hussein El-Sayed (Walid Soliman 77’), Amr El-Sulaya, Ahmed Fathi (Emad Moteab 72’), Moemen Zakareya, Abdallah El-Said, Junior Ajayi, Walid Azaro (Ahmed Hamoudi 61’)


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    2017 CAF Champions League: Wydad Casablanca 1-0 Al Ahly – As it happened – 2017 CAF Champions League


    Graeme Jackson

    Saturday Nov 04, 2017. 23:50

    Welcome to coverage of the 2017 CAF Champions League final, second-leg match between Wydad Casablanca and Al Ahly from the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca.

    All times CAT

    90+5′ – Full time – Done and dusted, Wydad Casablanca are the new kings of Africa! They won 1-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate to claim their second CAF Champions League title!

    90+3′ – Substitution – El Haddad makes way for Mouhamed Ouattara.

    90+1′ – There will be three minutes of added time.

    89′ – Great work from Bencharki to spring the offside trap and earn his side a corner kick. Wydad are just trying to run down the clock now.

    87′ – Zakareya with a great attacking chance for Ahly, but he shoots into the side netting when his teammates were crying out for a square pass across the box…

    86′ – Substitution – Zakaria El Hachimi replaces Khadrouf.

    85′ – Ahly have five minutes to find a goal and send the final to penalties…

    84′ – A brave block to close down Said as he looks to fire in a shot, but the offside flag is up anyway.

    83′ – Yellow card – Khadrouf booked for time wasting.

    80’ – Bencharki free down the right again, he squares for Khadrouf, who is denied by a brave save from Ekramy!

    77 – Yellow card – El Sulaya booked for a clumsy challenge on El Haddad.

    77’ – Substitution – Walid Soliman replaces El-Sayed.

    76’ – Zakareya shoots from long range, but it’s high and wide.

    74’ – A pushing match breaks out on the far side of the field… emotions running high in Casablanca.

    72’ – Substitution – Another change for Ahly as Emad Moteab replaces Fathi.

    70’ – Wydad now lead 2-1 on aggregate. It doesn’t really change things for Al Ahly – they needed to score a goal before, and it’s still the case.

    69’ – GOAL! Wydad 1-0 Al Ahly – Bencharki with great work down the right, his deflected cross is met by a great header from El Karti to find the back of the net!

    67’ – Yellow card – Zakareya booked for simulation.

    64’ – Wydad look to have pace on the counter attack, but they’re playing a dangerous game by sitting back like this.

    61′ – Substitution – Ahmed Hamoudi replaces Azaro in Ahly’s first change.

    60′ – Rabeh with a great defensive clearance from an Al Ahly corner kick. The Egyptian side is dominating at the moment.

    57′ – Fathi with a good ball into the box, Azaro pulls it back from the by-line, but it doesn’t quite come together for Ahly.

    54′ – El Sayed clears from central defence as Wydad push forward. Plenty of cut and thrust, this game just needs a goal to really ignite it.

    51′ – Strong play from Ajayi to win a free kick in the middle of the park. Ahly will need that running power to penetrate Wydad’s defence.

    49′ – In fact the referee has paused the game while we wait for the worst of the smoke to clear…

    48′ – Plenty of smoke from the flares in the crowd drifting across the field. Shouldn’t affect the players too much.

    46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

    45+1′ – Half time – Goalless at the break, Wydad are halfway to their second CAF Champions League title as things stand, but you get the feeling there’s drama in store in the second stanza.

    45′ – There will be one minute of added time.

    43′ – Closing in on half time, Wydad will be happy with proceedings so far but the tie remains on a knife edge.

    40′ – Fathi floats a free kick into the Wydad box, but it passes through for a goal kick to the hosts.

    39′ – Yellow cards – Both Ahly’s Fathi and Wydad’s Rabeh are booked in quick succession.

    35′ – At the other end it’s El Haddad with a low shot which skids just wide of Ekramy’s left-hand post!

    34′ – Al Ahly hit through the middle on a quick counter, Zakareya has a one-on-one chance but sees his effort well saved by Laaroubi!

    30′ – Wydad on the  counter attack and Khadrouf sees his deflected shot rebound off the crossbar! The hosts’ first real attacking highlight.

    29′ – From a free kick to a corner kick for the visitors, but Wydad defend well.

    28′ – Azaro earns a free kick out on the left flank, Al Ahly are making all the running now.

    26′ – Said with an in-swinging cross from the left, but it’s easily claimed by goalkeeper Laaroubi.

    23′ – Midway through the first half, still goalless on the night and 1-1 on aggregate. It remains in favour of Wydad on the away goals rule.

    22′ – Yellow card – Ahly’s Ajayi is booked for repeated fouls.

    19′ – Bencharki plays in a low cross from the right by-line, but Wydad have no one in the middle to take advantage.

    18′ – Wydad captain Nakach goes down under a challenge and looks a little sore getting to his feet, but he should be fine to continue.

    15′ – Ahly’s Said has had a couple of dangerous corner deliveries so far. Set pieces certainly look like an avenue back into the tie for the Egyptian side.

    14′ – Wydad defender Atouchi makes a vital challenge as Ahly look to break free down their right flank.

    12′ – Zakareya cuts inside from the right and shoots on goal, Laaroubi makes an awkward save and the rebound almost falls for Azaro, who would have had a tap-in! So close for Al Ahly…

    10′  – There’s no room to breathe in midfield, both teams closing down space in the engine room very quickly.

    8′ – Slick passing from Wydad, but the ball ends up safely in the hands of Ahly goalkeeper Ekramy.

    5′ – Azaro looks to get onto a cross from Zakareya and goes down under a challenge, but there’s no real call for a penalty from the referee.

    3′ – Al Ahly looking full of intent in the early minutes, as they try to catch out the hosts before the match settles down.

    1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Casablanca! Wydad wear all-white with red trim, while Al Ahly are in all-blue.

    21h55 – The players have made their way out onto the pitch at a packed Stade Mohamed V Stadium.

    21h45 – A reminder that Wydad are looking to win their second CAF Champions League title and a first since 1992, while Al Ahly are chasing a record-extending ninth African crown, having won their eighth back in 2013.

    21h30 – Thirty minutes to kick-off. A reminder that the first leg at the Borg El Arab Stadium outside of Alexandria last weekend ended in a 1-1 draw, giving Wydad the advantage of an away goal.

    Here are the line-ups ahead of the match:

    Al Ahly: Sherif Ekramy, Mohamed Hani, Saad Samir, Rami Rabia, Hussein El-Sayed, Amr El-Sulaya, Ahmed Fathi, Moemen Zakareya, Abdallah El-Said, Junior Ajayi, Walid Azaro

    Wydad: Zouhair Laaroubi, Youssef Rabeh, Amine Atouchi, Abdellatif Noussir, Salaheddine Saidi, Walid El Karti, Brahim Nakach, Badr Gaddarine, Achraf Bencharki, Ismail El Haddad, Abdeladim Khadrouf


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    Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta to change game plan for Champions League final


    Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta to change game plan for Champions League final

    Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amoutta

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Friday Nov 03, 2017. 17:00

    Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amoutta reveals they will employ a different approach against Al Ahly in the second leg of their CAF Champions League final on Saturday.

    The two giants are fresh from a 1-1 draw in the first leg last week in Alexandria where the Egyptians scored through Moamen Zakaria, but Wydad equalised courtesy of Achraf Bencharki.

    Whilst Wydad are playing their third final, winning once and losing in 2011, Ahly will be making their 11th appearance at the final after tasting defeat twice in 1983 and 2007.

    “We are going to apply a totally different approach,” said Amoutta.


    “Of course holding Al Ahly away is a good result, but we have won nothing yet. It’s a totally different match now and we have to prepare well as we’re facing a team with great history and experience.”

    The encounter will be staged at the 60,000 capacity venue, Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca and the 48-year old coach will want to be victorious.

    Amoutta previously led FUS Rabat to CAF Confederation Cup glory in 2010 and looks poised to add another feat to his career.

    The winner will walk away with a cash reward of 2,500,000 US Dollars and a ticket to represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup in December in Abu Dhabi.


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    Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry unfazed by Wydad test in Champions League final – 2017 CAF Champions League


    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Friday Nov 03, 2017. 12:30

    Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry insists they have been through tough situations before as they prepare to face Wydad Casablanca in the second leg of their CAF Champions League final on Saturday.

    El Badry will want to bag the continental trophy as he also led the Red Devils to glory in 2012 and he remains upbeat ahead of the clash.

    The over 60 000 capacity Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca will be the venue for the second leg final after both sides settled for a 1-1 draw last weekend in Alexandria.


    “We have passed this situation many times in the past. We know what the stakes are,” El Badry told reporters.

    “We will give all it takes to win this title, and I’m positive my boys can do it.”

    Both sides will be without some key players through injury for the decisive match, with Wydad’s talented winger Mohamed Ounajem having a strained his thigh during the first leg.

    On the other hand, Ahly duo of Tunisian left back Ali Maaloul and midfielder Hossam Ashour are also out with groin injuries.

    The winner will walk away with a cash reward of 2,500,000 US Dollars and a ticket to represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup in December in Abu Dhabi.


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    Al Ahly suffer massive blow ahead of the second leg of the Champions League final – 2017 CAF Champions League


    Al Ahly suffer massive blow ahead of the second leg of the Champions League final

    Al Ahly’s Hossam Ashour in continental action against Orlando Pirates

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 12:00

    Al Ahly have received a huge blow ahead of the second leg of the CAF Champions League final away in Morocco against Wydad Casablanca.

    The clash will be staged on Saturday after last weekend’s 1-1 draw, but the Red Devils will be without experienced midfielder Hossam Ashour.


    The 31-year-old, who sustained a groin injury in Ahly’s 4-1 win over Ragaa in an Egyptian Premier League game early October, also missed the first-leg of the CAFChampions League final and is set to miss the second leg as well.

    “Ashour is still undergoing rehabilitation due to his groin muscle strain. He is very unlikely to play on Saturday,” Ahly Doctor Khaled Mahmoud said on the club’s official website.

    Ashour’s absence deepens Ahly’s troubles as left-winger Ali Maaloul and defender Rami Rabia are also doubtful for the game due to injuries.

    Coach Hossam El-Badry and his troops will need to score an away goal to stand a chance of lifting their first Champions League trophy since 2013.


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    Al Ahly with a mountain to climb in CAF CL final – 2017 CAF Champions League


    Al Ahly with a mountain to climb in CAF CL final

    Al Ahly’s player Emad Meteb (L) in action against Wydad Casablanca’s player Abdelatif Noussir (R) during the African Champions League

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 18:00

    Al Ahly have a mountain to climb heading into the second leg of the CAF Champions League final against hosts Wydad Casablanca on Saturday night.

    The Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca will be the venue for the match, with kick-off set for 22h00 CAT. You will be able to follow LIVE Play-By-Play coverage of the match right here on AfricanFootball.

    The first leg in Alexandria last weekend ended 1-1, with Ahly’s early goal from Moamen Zakaria cancelled out within the opening 20 minutes by Wydad’s Achraf Bencharki.

    The aggregate score of 1-1 very much favours the Moroccan side, who have home advantage for the decisive leg and need only keep a clean sheet to ensure they pick up their second Champions League title.

    The Egyptian giants, meanwhile, must at least match Wydad’s away goal if they are to have a shot at winning a record-extending ninth African crown.

    Wydad coach Hussein Amotta will be without the services of injured winger Mohamed Ounajem, but was delighted with the first-leg result and believes his side is capable of triumphing on home soil.

    “We achieved a milestone leaving Alexandria with a draw under these circumstances,” said Amotta after the match at the Borg El Arab Stadium.

    “With all these fans, and against one of Africa’s finest most experienced clubs, a draw was a great result.”

    He added, “It [the return leg] won’t be an easy game, but we will be more relaxed and we will have to work on scoring first this Saturday.

    “Al Ahly have one of the best front lines in Africa, so it would be illogical to sit back and defend against them.

    “Now that we know the flaws in Al Ahly’s defence, we will put pressure on them from the start. Yet at the same time we need to leave them no space for counter-attacks at the back.

    “It is a great pleasure for me to coach Wydad and lead them up to this stage, but I cannot wait till Saturday when I become the happiest man in Morocco and all of Africa.”

    Al Ahly have their own injury absentee in the shape of captain Hossam Ashour, and coach Hossam El Badry is under pressure to turn the tie around in Casablanca.

    “I knew it [the first leg] was going to be a tough match, and we didn’t exploit the chances that we had during the game. We weren’t lucky [in the match] too,” the Al Ahly coach explained.

    He added, “However, we put in an overall strong performance and I believe in the players’ abilities. We’ll fight to achieve victory in the second leg to claim the title.”

    Gambian referee Bakary Gassama will take charge of the match in Casablanca on Saturday night. The winners will qualify for both the 2017 Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in December, and the 2018 CAF Super Cup against the winners of the Confederation Cup final (either SuperSport United or TP Mazembe).


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    Champions League: Wydad coach Hussein Amotta wants to put pressure on Al Ahly defence


    Champions League: Wydad coach Hussein Amotta wants to put pressure on Al Ahly defence

    Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 11:30

    After playing to a 1-1 draw against Al Ahly in the first leg of the CAF Champions League final on Saturday, Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta expects a tough second leg clash against the Red Devils.

    Amotta said he is planning to turn the tables by putting all the pressure on the Egyptian giants in the return fixture this weekend.

    “We achieved a milestone leaving Alexandria with a draw under these circumstances,” said Amotta.


    “With all these fans, and against one of Africa’s finest most experienced clubs, a draw was a great result.

    “It won’t be an easy game, but we will be more relaxed and we will have to work on scoring first this Saturday.

    “Al Ahly have one of the best front lines in Africa, so it would be illogical to sit back and defend against them.

    “Now that we know the flaws in Al Ahly’s defence, we will put pressure on them from the start. Yet at the same time we need to leave them no space for counter-attacks at the back.”

    The return leg will be staged on Saturday, November 4 at Complexe Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca.


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    Africans in UEFA Champions League action, Tuesday 31 October – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


    Africans in UEFA Champions League action, Tuesday 31 October

    Manchester United’s Eric Bailly

    Graeme Jackson

    Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 10:00

    Eric Bailly’s Manchester United will look to book a place in the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League when they host Benfica at Old Trafford in one of eight Matchday 4 fixtures tonight.

    Bailly made a return to the Red Devils’ line-up this past weekend and helped the team record a 1-0 home win over Tottenham Hotspur. If Jose Mourinho’s charges can get the better of their Portuguese opponents and Group A rivals Basel avoid defeat at home to CSKA Moscow, then United will be safely through to the last 16.

    Elsewhere, Thomas Partey’s Atletico Madrid are in need of a home win over Azerbaijani side Qarabag, having failed to win away to the minnows in Baku earlier this month, while Victor Moses remains sidelined for Chelsea ahead of their trip to Italy to face Roma.

    In Group B, Henry Onyekuru and Kara Mbodji’s Anderlecht are staring down the barrel of a fourth successive defeat when they face French giants Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes, while the other match sees Celtic looking to get revenge against Bayern Munich after a 0-3 loss in Germany last time out.

    Seydou Doumbia will look to inspire Sporting Lisbon to a home win over Juventus in Group D, with the other match from the pool a clash between Emmanuel Emenike’s Olympiakos and Spanish giants Barcelona.

    UEFA Champions League, Matchday 4 fixtures – 31 October

    All kick-off times 21h45 CAT

    Group A

    Basel v CSKA Moscow

    Manchester United v Benfica

    Group B

    Paris Saint-Germain v Anderlecht

    Celtic v Bayern Munich

    Group C

    Atletico Madrid v Qarabag

    Roma v Chelsea

    Group D

    Sporting v Juventus

    Olympiacos v Barcelona


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    South African Absa Premiership champions striker, Gabadinho Mhango issues apology for spitting incident – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


    South African Absa Premiership champions striker, Gabadinho Mhango issues apology for spitting incident

    Gabadinho Mhango of Bidvest Wits celebrates a goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits on 15 February 2017 at Orlando Stadium ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Monday Oct 30, 2017. 18:00

    Bidvest Wits striker Gabadinho Mhango has issued an apology after an incident which involved him spitting at AmaZulu midfielder Michael Morton.

    The Malawian forward says he deeply regrets the incident and is currently awaiting the Premier Soccer League’s verdict after he was captured on camera appearing to spit at Morton.

    Usuthu went on to win the league encounter 3-1 on September 20 at the Princess Magogo Stadium and the former Bloemfontein Celtic striker expressed regret in a statement.

    “I was involved in an incident that should have not happened in the beautiful game of football. I offended Michael Morton and AmaZulu FC,” Mhango wrote in a self-issued statement.

    “I also disrespected my club, and above all, I disrespected the beautiful game of football. To all, I apologise unequivocally.

    “The spitting incident should not have happened. Because of disciplinary action pending against me by both my club and the PSL, I was advised not to make any statements until such time as these processes were concluded.

    “I have taken full responsibility for my actions in both disciplinary processes and now that they have been concluded, I can finally speak publicly about it.

    “I have also met with Michael Morton, spoken to him about the incident and offered my heartfelt apologies to him and for provoking his reaction.

    “I apologise to all that I have offended with my actions, and I pray and hope that you will all understand that whilst I was wrong, I am only human, and that you can all forgive me for my actions.”


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    Wydad Casablanca’s captain Ibrahim Nakach says they will frustrate Al Ahly – 2017 CAF Champions League


    Wydad Casablanca's captain Ibrahim Nakach says they will frustrate Al Ahly

    epa05444319 Al-Ahly’s Ahmed Fathi (Blue) vies for the ball with Wydad’s Brahim nakach (Red) during their CAF Champions League group A stage football match between Egypt’s Al-Ahly and Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco, on 27 July 2016. Al-Ahly won 1-0. EPA/ABDELHAK SENNA

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Monday Oct 30, 2017. 15:30

    Wydad Casablanca’s captain Ibrahim Nakach says they will continue to cause all sorts of headaches for Al Ahly ahead of the second leg of their CAF Champions League final.

    The two North African sides will meet on Saturday in Casablanca to determine this year’s continental winner following a 1-1 draw last weekend.

    Nakach said they are training to block the frontline of the Cairo giants in the second leg next Saturday and secure the title.

    Ahly failed to take a first-leg home advantage despite their territorial dominance, losing the lead to settle for a 1-1 draw this past Saturday.

    “We know Ahly will arrive in Morocco to score, but we are able to handle our home game,” Nakach said.

    “We will train well to block Ahly’s efforts to score, and we will score to secure the title. We studied Ahly’s tactics well and we managed to stop their wingers from reaching our goal.

    “We will repeat what we achieved here in Egypt when we play the second leg in Morocco.”


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    Baroka progress in TKO at expense of champions – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


    Baroka progress in TKO at expense of champions

    Sibusiso Masina of Cape Town City FC challenged by Mzwanele Mahashe, Matome Kgoetyane and Olaleng Shaku of Baroka during the 2017 Telkom Knockout football match between Baroka and Cape Town City at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 29 October 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

    Brian Lee

    Sunday Oct 29, 2017. 17:42

    Defending champions Cape Town City suffered an early exit in the Telkom Knockout as they lost 1-0 to Baroka FC on Sunday afternoon at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

    Baroka handed the Citizens their third straight loss in all competitions after a single goal from Talent Chawapihwa.

    The Cape Town-based side had a bright start, but it was goalkeeper Sage Stephens who produced a fine save in the eighth minute to keep the scores at 0-0 to deny Mzwanele Mahashe from close range.

    However, Baorka’s Virgil Vries also showed his quality two minutes later to punch Ayanda Patosi’s long range effort over the cross bar for a corner.

    The Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele displayed good moves to break the deadlock as Chawapiwa produced a thunderous left-footed shot on the edge of the area to beat Stephens in the 16th minute.

    Baroka nearly doubled their lead when Mahashe was denied by the woodwork in the 22nd minute after a well-drilled header which came from a corner kick.

    Despite their dominance towards the final stages of the encounter, the defeding champions could not utilise their chances upfront and it was 1-0 at half time.

    City emerged from the tunnel with more purpose, yet they could not penetrate the hosts defence.

    Substitute Robin Ngalande nearly made an immediate impact in the 64th minute when he received a pass in the box, but the Malawian could not lower his effort.

    Gift Motupa showed his class as he beat Robyn Johannes on the right flank shortly after that, only to waste a brilliant effort in the box with only Stephens to beat

    With three minutes to go, coach Kgoloko Thobejane’s side was put under pressure when Obinna broke free in the box, yet his shot went straight to Vries who held on.

    Despite intensifying their search for a goal, Benni McCarthy’s side was not clinical upfront and exited the tournament at the first hurdle.

    In the wake of the win the Polokwane-based outfit joins Platinum Stars, Bidvest Wits, Polokwane City, Bloemfontein Celtic, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Chippa United in the quarterfinals.

    Baroka FC: (1) 1 (Chawapihwa 16′)

    Cape Town City: (0)

    Baroka: Vries, Mahashe, Motupa, Kgoetyane, Madubanya, Mothupa, Chawapihwa (Matloga 78′), Shaku, Moeti, Sidumo (Ngalande 62′), Mdantsane

    Cape Town City: Stephens, Mkhize, Gumede , Johannes, Edmilson, Nodada, Putsche (Martin 70′), Patosi (Fielies 81′), Masina (Modise 58′), Lakay, Obinna


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    All Ahly’s El-Badry bemoans poor refereeing in first leg of Champions League final – 2017 CAF Champions League


    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Sunday Oct 29, 2017. 10:30

    In the wake of their CAF Champions League, first-leg 1-1 draw in the final against Wydad Casablanca, Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry has lashed out at the referee.

    El-Badry believes his side should have been awarded a penalty against Wydad Casablanca on Saturday at the Borg El-Arab Stadium.

    Goals through Momen Zakaria and Achraf Bencharki saw the two North African sides playing to a draw.


    However, El-Badry bemoaned the Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa’s failure to give his side a penalty in the second half.

    The 56-year-old coach believes his side deserved a penalty when Moroccan striker Walid Azaro was fouled inside the box by defender Badr Gaddarin just before the hour-mark.

    “The referee denied us a legitimate penalty after Azaro was fouled inside the box,” El-Badry said.

    “I knew it was going to be a tough match, and we didn’t exploit the chances that we had during the game. We weren’t lucky today too.

    “The difference between the Etoile du Sahal game and today’s game is that against Etoile we were lucky and scored from all that the chances we got.”

    The Red Devils will travel to Morocco for the second leg next Saturday and a victory or a 2-2 draw would secure Al Ahly their ninth title, while a goalless draw would earn Wydad their second title in history.


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    All Ahly coach insists they’ll lift the CAF Champions League title


    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Friday Oct 27, 2017. 17:30

    Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry says their mission in the CAF Champions League was to lift the trophy and nothing will change when they meet Wydad Casablanca.

    The two North African giants are set to meet in the first leg of the CAF Champions League final on Sunday in Egypt and the Red Devils coach has emphasised their need to win.

    “Since the competition started, our target has been clear, nothing but the trophy,” El Badry told

    “Our focus is to win every game, and it will remain same for the coming final matches.

    “I believe we deserve this title. We’ve done everything in the right way till now. Wydad is a very good team. Both sides know everything about each other having played in the same group.

    “We respect them, but we fear no one. The sky is our limit.”

    The winner in the two-legged final will bag a reward of 2,500,000 US Dollars and a ticket to represent the African continent at the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in December in the United Arab Emirates.


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    Wydad Casablanca’s Mohammad Ounnajem out to stun Al Ahly in CAF Champions League final – 2017 CAF Champions League


    Wydad Casablanca's Mohammad Ounnajem out to stun Al Ahly in CAF Champions League final

    Mohammed Ounnajem (C) of Wydad Casablanca

    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Friday Oct 27, 2017. 16:30

    Wydad Casablanca’s playmaker Mohammad Ounnajem says they cannot afford to concede in Egypt as they visit Al Ahly for the first leg of their CAF Champions League final.

    Ounnajem says their primary target is to do their best and ensure they wrap up the encounter at home next weekend.


    Coach Hossam El-Badry’s men are buoyed by an impressive 6-2 thrashing of Tunisia’s Etoile Sportive du Sahel at home in the second leg of the semifinal last weekend.

    “We will focus on avoiding a repeat of what happened last year against Zamalek. We will do our best to get a positive result in Alexandria and not leak any goals,” Ounnajem told a Moroccan television channel.

    “In the second leg, we will have the advantage of playing before our hugely supportive fans.

    “It will not be easy against Ahly; our group stage meetings were very tough.”

    The Borg El-Arab Stadium will host the encounter at 19:00 (CAT) on Saturday, October 28.


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