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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Khalid Boutaib – Moroccan striker eager to prove a point in Russia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Khalid Boutaib - Moroccan striker eager to prove a point in Russia

Khalid Boutaib of Morocco

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 10:00


Having successfully booked their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Morocco are desperate to prove their worth in Russia according to star forward Khalid Boutaib.

The Atlas Lions enjoyed an almost flawless qualifying campaign, having gone all six games without conceding a goal. They run included three wins and three draws, but the North African’s truly flexed their muscles with a 2-0 win over the Ivory Coast in Abidjan.

Victory over the defending African Cup of Nations holders booked their place at the world showpiece for the first time in 20 years, having last featured at a World Cup in 1998.

NIGERIA’S LEON BALOGUN STRUGGLED BECAUSE OF FITNESS AGAINST ARGENTINA

“We will do our best in the upcoming World Cup,” Boutaib told France Football.

“We have to prove our worth in Russia. The players will not head there to make tourism but to prove that we deserve to be in Russia,” he concluded.

The Turkey-based striker played an integral part in Morocco reaching the world showpiece, netting four goals in four games, including a hat-trick in a 3-0 thumping of Gabon in Casablanca.

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Ngele eager to contribute to Sundowns’ success

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by
Staff Reporter

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017. 14:00


Botswana international Mogakolodi Ngele says he is looking forward to contributing to the success of his South African club Mamelodi Sundowns.

The forward returned to Sundowns following a successful season-long loan stint at Bidvest Wits where he won the Absa Premiership title and MTN8 Cup with the Johannesburg side.

“The most important thing is to win as a team, especially when you contribute, not watching from the stand. You must also contribute in the success of the team. There’s always competition everywhere. All I need to do is work hard,” Ngele told The Star.

The 27-year-old, who has been linked with South African clubs SuperSport United, Platinum Stars as well as Orlando Pirates, is not thinking about leaving Sundowns.

“No comment. I am still left with one year plus an option to extend with Sundowns. For me what is more important is to play. If I’m not playing there’s no use for me to stay. I have to find a place somewhere I can play. Let us wait and see. My focus is still here at Sundowns,” he added.

Ngele, who played for Uniao Flamengo Santos and Township Rollers in the Botswana Premier League (BPL), is pleased to have sorted his work permit issues in South Africa.

”I have been waiting for my work permit, now it is sorted and I have to find a way in to the team. It has been difficult because I have been out of action for four months,” Ngele explained.

The former Botswana youth international captained Sundowns’ reserve team against SuperSport United in a Multichoice Diski Challenge (MDC) encounter on Saturday.

“It was the coach’s (Pitso Mosimane) instruction for me to play 60 minutes (at the MDC Festival). I’m tired now. I was also cramping but I will get there as time goes on,” Ngele concluded.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Cedric Bakambu – The Congolese hitman eager to see DRC coach stay – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 13, 2017. 16:00


The prolific forward was born in Vitry-sur-Seine, France to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) parents and he decided to play for the European country’s youth national teams.

Bakambu represented France up to under-20 level, totalling 8 goals in 38 games and winning the 2010 UEFA European Championship for the under-19s between 2009, and 2011.

In 2015, the Congolese Association Football Federation and DRC head coach Florent Ibenge convinced Bakambu to switch his international allegiance to the Central African side.

Bakambu has since estabslished himself as one of DRC’s key players having scored seven goals in 16 appearances for Ibenge’s side to date.

According to Jeune Afrique, Ibenge’s contract with the Congolese Association Football Federation is set to expire in December 2017.

“Yes, we are aware. We’ll see. It’s not us who decides,” Bakambu told the publication.

“This will be played out at the level of the Federation. Florent Ibenge called me in selection.

“I became one of the executives. It’s a status I’m assuming,” he continued.

“But as far as the coach’s question is concerned, it’s not for me to talk about that.”

Bakambu, 26, scored twice during DRC’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

He has also scored two goals in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

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Bertrand Traore eager to add to Bafana Bafana’s woes – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Bertin Basson

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 09:00


Bertrand Traore is hopeful that Burkina Faso can add to South Africa’s recent woes when the two teams lock horns at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.

The Stallions currently lead the way in Group D, with six points from four 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and have subsequently set their sights on a first ever appearance at a world showpiece.

Traore, 22, revealed that he was surprised by Bafana Bafana’s failure to pick up a single point from back-to-back games against Cape Verde, but is delighted that the results have played to his country’s favour.

The reverse fixture between South Africa and Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou last year ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

“The South African team that played against us was a strong team,” Traore is quoted as saying.

“They had the most possession and they dominated the game. It was quite difficult for us. I was surprised to see them dropping points against Cape Verde. It’s strange. I don’t know what happened.

“But that’s good for us, because we also didn’t take as many points as we should have from Senegal. We are still in the running to qualify for the World Cup. We have to focus on the job at hand. I hope they play like they did against Cape Verde. That would be good for us,” he concluded.

Moreover, the Lyon ace highlighted his desire to reach next year’s World Cup in Russia, having narrowly missed out on ending their hiatus three years ago.

“It’s a dream for all of us to go to the World Cup,” Traore added. “Burkina Faso have never played in a World Cup. We were nearly there in 2014. We failed in the last game. We have a chance to make amends for that so we have to take it,” he concluded.

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Cameroon coach Broos eager to stay on beyond 2018 – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 15:00


Cameroon head coach Hugo Broos wants to defend the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title.

The Indomitable Lions have failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals after recording a defeat and a draw against Nigeria.

Broos’ side are left with two matches in the Group B (qualifying group), but the Belgian tactician is looking beyond these two games.

“I want to stay with Cameroon,” Broos, whose contract with Cameroon expires in February, 2018, told Vanguard.

“I have ambitions – one of which is to win a second Nations Cup, in 2019 in Cameroon.”

“I have never resigned. I am not someone who runs away when things go badly.”

The Indomitable Lions will face Algeria and Zambia in their next two World Cup Group B qualifiers.

Broos guided Cameroon to the 2017 AFCON title in Libreville, Gabon.

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Fosu-Mensah eager to repay De Boer’s faith

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Fosu-Mensah eager to repay De Boer's faith

Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah

by
Bertin Basson

Saturday Aug 12, 2017. 09:00


New Crystal Palace signing Timothy Fosu-Mensah is eager to repay the faith shown in him by head coach Frank de Boer.

Fosu-Mensah joined the Eagles on a season-long loan deal earlier this week, with the 19-year-old forced to look elsewhere for regular game time following the arrival of Victor Lindelof from Benfica.

The Dutch-born Ghana linked utility player, who has represented the Netherlands at junior level, broke into the Red Devils first team during the 2015-16 season and his featured 14 times in total for the club.

“The manager spoke to me about coming down to join Crystal Palace and it was clear that he wanted me to be part of his squad which as a player gives you a great feeling straight away,” Fosu-Mensah told Crystal Palace’s official website. “I must now repay that back by putting in some good performances for the club.

“I am only 19 years old and still have a lot to learn and therefore getting the opportunity to play more games on a regular basis will help my development.”

De Boer, who is in his first season at Selhurst Park, spoke highly of his fellow Dutchman.

“Timothy is a player who has great pace and incredible physical ability,” De Boer added. “In today‘s game you need players with strength and speed and is a player who can also play in midfield.

“I am seeing him in our system as a right centre back but he can also play full back in a 4-3-3,” he concluded.

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Lesotho eager to bounce back in CHAN qualifiers

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Lesotho eager to bounce back in CHAN qualifiers

Tsoanelo Koetle of Lesotho challenged by Salmin Hoza of Tanzania during 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Tanzania and Lesotho at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on 07 July 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Jul 21, 2017. 15:00


Lesotho will need to showcase their bounce back ability when they welcome Comoros in a Southern Zone 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier second leg, second round fixture this Sunday afternoon.

Kick-off at the Setsotso Stadium is scheduled for 15h00 CAT.

Likuena suffered a 2-0 defeat at the Stade de Moroni in the first-leg and will as a result have to be at their brilliant best if they are to secure victory and subsequently book their place in the next round.

Mohamed Youssouf and Raidou Boina Bacar found the back of the net for Les Coelecantes’ who will be aiming to book their place at a CHAN tournament for the first time.

The winner on aggregate will face either Namibia or Zimbabwe in the final qualifying phase.

Andofetra Rakotojaona of Madagascar will take charge of the clash in Maseru.

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Al Ahly veteran Moteab eager to continue playing – 2017 CAF Champions League

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Jul 20, 2017. 16:00


Legendary Egyptian striker Emad Moteab will soon discuss his future with the Al Ahly coach Hossam El Badry.

The 34-year-old marksman is one of the longest serving players in the current Ahly squad having made his debut for the club in 2004.

“Sure, I want to retire at Ahly. It is my home and I owe this place a lot. I can’t imagine retiring at another club after spending 22 years at Ahly,,” Meteb told Sada El-Balad TV station.

The marksman was part of Ahly side that won dozens of trophies, including three CAF Champions Leagues, three CAF Super Cups, one CAF Confederation Cup and nine Egyptian Premier League titles.

“I don’t think about announcing my retirement now, because I believe that I still have something to offer. I just need to appear in matches to assess my fitness and also to see whether to continue playing or not,” he said.

“This season is the strangest of my career, because I played just 180 minutes, and despite this limited time I was always lucky on the pitch.

“Look to tennis star Roger Federer, 36, who returned to top form despite remaining on the sidelines for months due to injury. I will keep fighting to get my chance. There will be a meeting with my coach soon to decide my future with the team.”

Moteab won three Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) titles with Egypt.

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Katsvairo eager to shine for Kaizer Chiefs – ABSA Premiership 2016/17

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Katsvairo eager to shine for Kaizer Chiefs

Michelle Katsvairo of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Paulus Masehe of Free State Stars during the 2016 Telkom Knockout match between Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban South Africa on 06 Nomvember 2016 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Jul 11, 2017. 16:00


Kaizer Chiefs forward Mitchelle Katsvairo is says he needs to man up and fight for his place in the Amakhosi starting line-up.

The Zimbabwean attacker was transfer-listed by Chiefs last month and he’s available on loan according to the South African giants.

However, Katsvairo, who joined Chiefs from Zimbabwean club Chicken Inn prior to the 2016/17 season, wants to prove himself to the Amakhosi technical team.

“As far as I am concerned‚ I am still a Kaizer Chiefs player‚” Katsvairo told The Sowetan.

“As a footballer‚ a lot of things are said about you‚ you just have to stay strong and stand your ground. As I striker‚ I didn’t do my best at Chiefs,” he said.

Katsvairo, who helped Zimbabwe win the 2017 COSAFA Cup in North West, South Africa, will be hoping to feature for Amakhosi at the 2017 Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup in Orkney, this Saturday.

“I was still gelling in. I am going to go back to Naturena and work hard to play again,” he continued.

“I want to remain at Chiefs because they are a big team and I have been dreaming of playing there‚” Katsvairo added.

“I am going to fight hard to play for that team again. I think that I deserve to be at Chiefs. I have to man up and fight for my place,” he concluded.

Chiefs will face Botswana side Township Rollers in the Maize Cup semi-finals, and the winner will face Free State Stars or Platinum Stars in the final.

All matches will take place at the James Motlatsi Stadium on Saturday.

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