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Algeria to face South Korea in May 2018 friendly


Algerian player Yacine Brahimi (R) fights for the ball with Zambian player Enock Mwepu (L) during the World Cup 2018 qualifying football match between Algeria and Zambia in Constantine, Algeria on 05 September 2017 © BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 26, 2017. 14:00


Algeria will face South Korea in an international friendly in May 2018, according to Le Buteur.

World Cup qualifiers Korea are looking to secure matches against teams they may face in the finals in Russia.

And with three North African teams having secured passage to the global tournament – Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco – Algeria represent a team with a similar style of play.

Le Buteur reports that the match against Korea is confirmed for May, though the final details must still be buttoned down.

It is expected to be played in a European country, with the Asian side set to camp in the continent ahead of the tournament in Russia in June and July.

Panama and Costa Rica – two further 2018 qualifiers – are also keen on meeting Algeria in friendlies, though these matches could be brought forward to the international window in March.

The Fennec Foxes and coach Rabah Madjer will use the matches as preparation for the resumption of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in the second half of 2018.



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Absa Premiership midweek preview: Baroka face a test of their mettle


Letladi Madubanya of Baroka FC is challenged by Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Baroka FC on 10 May 2017 at Lucas Moripe Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 11:00


Surprise Absa Premiership leaders Baroka FC will face a test of their mettle when they battle Cape Town City tonight in the first of seven midweek league fixtures in South Africa.

Baroka have been the surprise package of the top fight thus far, holding a two-point lead at the head of the table over a chasing pack of three clubs: Golden Arrows, Cape Town City and Bloemfontein Celtic.

Benni McCarthy’s City will view the chance to leapfrog to the top of the log – temporarily at least – as all the motivation they need to build on the 1-0 win they claimed over Free State Stars prior to the international break.

The pick of Tuesday’s matches sees Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns – the two teams which battled for the title last season – looking to revive their respective campaigns.

While the Clever Boys have won just two of nine league matches, ‘Downs have seen less action due to their African commitments earlier in the season and at least know that winning all of their games in hand would propel them to the top of the log. In further bad news for hosts Wits, the Brazilians have a 100 percent away record this season.

Tuesday’s action is wrapped up by Orlando Pirates hosting Golden Arrows. The Buccaneers have yet to really get out of second gear this season, but coach Milutin Sredojevic will hope the visit of one of the league’s top-ranked teams brings the best out of his charges.

Moving onto Wednesday, the focus will fall on Kaizer Chiefs, who have a potentially tricky game away to AmaZulu. The Soweto giants suffered a dispiriting loss in the semifinals of the Telkom Knockout this past weekend and are in need of a lift against Usuthu.

TKO finalists Bloemfontein Celtic will look to keep up their momentum when they face bottom-of-the-log Platinum Stars away, Free State Stars will welcome Chippa United to Bethlehem for an early kick-off, and the meeting of Maritzburg United and Polokwane City sees two teams looking to rise back into the middle region of the log after slumps in their respective form.

The scheduled match between SuperSport United and Ajax Cape Town was postponed due to the former’s participation in the ongoing CAF Confederation Cup final.

Absa Premiership midweek fixtures

All times 19h30 CAT unless otherwise stated

Tuesday 21 November

Cape Town City v Baroka FC – 18h00 CAT

Bidvest Wits v Mamelodi Sundowns

Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows

Wednesday 22 November

Free State Stars v Chippa United – 18h00 CAT

Platinum Stars v Bloemfontein Celtic

AmaZulu v Kaizer Chiefs

Polokwane City v Maritzburg United



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Sadio Mane – The ‘Smiling Assassin’ could face his ex-Southampton bosses – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Aleksandr Samedov of Spartak Moscow in action against Sadio Mane (Front) of Liverpool during UEFA Champions League match Group stage Group E between Liverpool and Spartak Moscow at Otkrytie Arena in Moscow, Russia 26 September 2017. EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 16:00


As they return to their English Premier League schedule this weekend, Liverpool have welcomed back their star attacker in Senegal’s Sadio Mane.

The Senegal international forward was ruled out of the final Group C match of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa on Tuesday due to a recurring hamstring injury.

A statement from the club indicated that the 25-year-old was set to be monitored before returning to the field of play ahead of their match against Southampton at home.

NIGERIA’S IGHALO TELLS WILSHERE TO LEAVE ARSENAL

The Reds have since received a massive boost on Thursday after the ‘Smiling Assassin’ was cleared to take part in full training.

Although both the national team and the club feared the injury could have taken a while to heal, it seems Mane has shaken off the injury.

The winger was cleared to resume full training after two days of rehabilitation and is now in line to play on Saturday against his former club.



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Zimbabwean legends to face Barcelona legends


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 18:30


As Zimbabwean legends are set to face their Barcelona counterparts in a friendly this weekend, an ex-Warriors captain in Peter Ndlovu will feature in the match.

Ndlovu and former striker Benjani Mwaruwari are set to lead a cast of young Zimbabwean footballers in a high profile exhibition tie against the Spanish giants.

A 30-member delegation comprising of 20 former Barca greats will fly into Harare on November 11 for a match that shall be staged at the National Sports Stadium a day after.

BAXTER: SA NEED TO PLAY SMART AGAINST SENEGAL

According to reports from Zimbabwe, ex-FIFA World Cup winner Rivaldo Ferreira and Patrick Kluivert are among players coming.

Sports and Recreation Minister, Makhosini Hlongwane said the international friendly shall serve as a major tourist attraction among outsiders.

“The visit to Zimbabwe by the Barcelona legends is set to create a pitched positive furore not only in Zimbabwe but beyond its borders internationally thereby drawing a possible large contingent of tourists to throng either Harare to catch a glimpse of the local and visiting football icons,” Hlongwane said.

“This match conveniently dovetails government’s adoption of the community sport and recreation club system which envisages the realisation the realisation of the on-going initiative of establishing eight thousand soccer clubs across the country.”

The two world greats were in the country on two separate occasions this year with Kluivert also taken to President Robert Mugabe’s Gwanda youth interface rally.



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Nigeria to face Argentina in Russia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Zunis Stopilla of Zambia challenges Obi Mikel of Nigeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Oct 22, 2017. 13:00


The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has announced that the Super Eagles will take on South American giants Argentina in an international friendly next month.

The encounter is scheduled to take place at the Krasnodar Arena Stadium in the Russian city of Krasnodar on Tuesday, 14th November 2017.

Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, the NFF General Secretary, revealed at the weekend that nearly all arrangements have been concluded with regards to the big match, subject to approval by world football – ruling body, FIFA and agreeable flight arrangements.

“We have had long and fruitful talks, and we can say that we have an agreement. We await the approval by FIFA and also, we have to agree on the flight arrangements that would be comfortable for the players and crew,” Sanusi told the NFF’s official website.

“The match will come up on 14th November, four days after the Super Eagles’ final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match away to Algeria. We had offers from teams like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Morocco but we have opted for the Argentines,” Sanusi said.

Before facing Argentina, Nigeria will take on Algeria’s Desert Foxes in their last match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group B on 10 November 2017.

The match is set to take place at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui in Constantine, Algeria. Nigeria have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup as Group B winners.



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Eric Bailly, Phil Jones face major test


Manchester United’s Eric Bailly

by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 14, 2017. 09:00


Former Manchester United defender Gary Pallister reckons Ivorian Eric Bailly and centre-back partner Phil Jones will face a major test in their match at Liverpool later today.

The Red Devils have enjoyed a strong start to the 2017/18 season, but have yet to face a testing opponent. That is set to change early this afternoon when they come up against Jurgen Klopp’s side at Anfield.

Bailly and Jones have generally been the preferred centre-back pairing for manager Jose Mourinho and they are expected to anchor the defence against the Reds, where they have to be in top form, according to Pallister.

“There were big question marks over Phil Jones over the last couple of years with injuries and his form and I think he has come back to his critics with his form this year,” Pallister told betsafe.com.

“He has been one of our best players at the start of this season, it is terrific to he him recapture his form from when he came to Old Trafford.

“Bailly loves to defend and maybe even a mould of [Nemanja] Vidic or a Steve Bruce, he is aggressive.

“He loves to defend and if I was a centre-half then I would love to play with a guy like him so I think defensively we have been pretty sound.

“We are scoring goals quite freely but we have not had a massive test, we expected more from Everton.

Liverpool is a massive test for this team, we no doubt look a better team than we did but this is a different level.”

Kick-off in the Liverpool-United match will be at 13h30 CAT.



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Egypt’s Usama Nabih would prefer to face Brazil in Russia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


epa06186696 Egyptian player Mohamed Salah (L) in action against Uganda player Joseph Ochaya (R) during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Uganda at Borg Al Arab stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 05 September 2017 EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Oct 13, 2017. 15:30


According to Egypt’s assistant coach Usama Nabih, he would prefer to face Brazil in the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stages rather than Germany or Spain.

The Pharaohs right-hand man to coach Hector Cuper claims the Selecao plays a more open game than the European giants, Spain and Germany.

Egypt made history when they booked a spot at the global tournament following a 28-year absence and will hope to do well.

IS DODGY ORANGE JUICE TO BLAME FOR GABON’S WORLD CUP FAILURE?

“Brazil plays open football that would allow us to use empty spaces in the field to make counter attacks, but Germany or Spain are more organised tactically,” Nabih told an Egyptian sports show.

“The ability to qualify for the next stage of the World Cup depends on the group opponents the draw will reveal on December 1.”

The African giants will finish their qualifying campaign by playing against Ghana away in Accra in a dead rubber after they topped Group E with 12 points.



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Ghana face must-win clash in final group encounter


Ghana’s Sadiq Ibrahim (R) gestures during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 group A soccer match between Colombia and Ghana at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, 06 October 2017. EPA/RAJAT GUPTA

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 11, 2017. 09:30


Ghana face a must-win situation in their final Group A match against India at the 2017 U-17 World Cup.

The Black Starlets will tackle the host team at the Jawaharlal Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday, kick-off at 16h30 CAT.

The West Africans opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over Colombia last weekend, but on Monday they slumped to a defeat at the hands of USA, putting their hopes of advancing into the next round at risk.

Ghana come into this game placed third on the Group A log behind America (six points) and level on three points with second-placed Colombia. India, who have lost both matches thus far, are placed last.

The good news for Paa Kwesi Fabin’s side is that a win over the hosts will almost certainly put them through to the next round – either they will move into the top two (who are guaranteed progression) or surely be ranked as one of the four best third-place finishers from the six groups.

Fabin was annoyed by his team’s lack of cutting edge in the loss to USA and hopes they will put it right when they face India on Thursday.

“We played well today and had so many chances but we didn’t take them and we got punished,” the Ghana boss lamented.

“In association football when you don’t take your chance this is what happens. I hope we can learn from this game. We’ll keep working on our goal scoring and hopefully against India we’ll be able to exhibit it on the field.”

Ghana will be without defender Abdul Razak Yussif due to the head injury he suffered in the game against USA on Monday



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U17 World Cup debutants Niger face North Korea – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Ibrahim Boubacar Moussa of Niger challenged by Mohammed Iddriss of Ghana during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Ghana and Niger at the Port Gentil Stadium, Gabon on 24 May 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 15:00


Niger will take on North Korea in their first encounter of the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 16h30 CAT.

The Group D game will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, India.

Niger secured their place in the U17 World Cup after finishing fourth at the 2017 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

Soniantcha striker Ibrahim Boubacar Marou, who netted two goals at the U17 AFCON finals, will be looking to inspire Niger to victory over North Korea.

The Junior Menas are under the guidance of Ismaila Tiemoko and they are making their first appearance in the World Cup.

Meanwhile, North Korea qualified for the U17 World Cup after finishing fourth at the 2016 Asian Under-16 Championship.

Kye Tam of Pyongyang International Football School scored four goals for North Korea at the Championship and he will be hoping to help his side beat Niger.

Kim Yong-su, is the Junior Chollima coach, and the Asian side’s best performance in the U17 World Cup was in 2005 – reaching the quarter-finals.

This will be the first meeting between Niger and North Korea in the U17 World Cup.



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Algeria to face Cameroon without Mahrez & Slimani – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Islam Slimani of Algeria shoots at goal during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon football match between Algeria and Tunisia at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 19 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 12:00


Algeria will be without Riyad Mahrez, Nabil Bentaleb and Islam Slimani when they lock horns with Cameroon in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier this weekend.

This is after Algeria suffered home and away defeats against Zambia in their last qualifiers which ended their hopes of reaching next year’s finals. As a result, the Algerian Football Federation stated that they would try out new players for the last two qualifiers.

The match between Algeria and the reigning African champions Cameroon, who also saw their hopes of qualifying ending last month, will be played at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé on Saturday.

Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions and the Desert Foxes are placed third and fourth respectively on the Group B standings. Group leaders Nigeria will qualify if they beat Zambia in Uyo on Saturday.

Algeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Raïs M’Bolhi (Stade Rennes, France), Abdelkadir Salhi (CR Belouizdad, Algeria), Toufik Moussaoui (Paradou AC, Algeria).

Defenders: Mohamed Fares (Hellas Verona, Italy), Faouzi Ghoulam (SSC Napoli, Italy), Rami Bensebaini (Stade Rennes, France), Aïssa Mandi (Real Betis, Spain), Abdelkader Bedrane (ES Sétif, Algeria), Liassine Cadamuro-Bentaiba (Nîmes Olympique, France), Farouk Chafai (USM Alger, Algeria), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray SK, Turkey), Zinedine Ferhat (Le Havre AC, France).

Midfielders: Raouf Benguit (USM Alger, Algeria), Sofiane Bendebka (MC Alger, Algeria), Saphir Taider (Bologna FC, Italy), Sofiane Daham (FC Sochaux, France).

Forwards: Hilal El Arabi Soudani (GNK Dinamo Zagreb, Croatia), Rachid Ghezzal (AS Monaco, France), Abderrahmane Meziane (USM Alger, Algeria), Yacine Brahimi (FC Porto, Portugal), Sofiane Hanni (RSC Anderlecht, Belgium), Ishak Belfodil (SV Werder Bremen, Germany), Oussama Darfalou (USM Alger, Germany).



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Togo to face Iran in Tehran without star players – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Togo’s Floyd Ayite celebrates his winner against St Etienne

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 18:00


Togo will be without two key players, Emmanuel Adebayor and Floyd Ayité when they face Iran next month.

The two sides will lock horns in an international friendly match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehrān, Iran on 5 October 2017.

The Togolese Football Federation (FTF) has since announced that Adebayor and Ayite have both been withdrawn from the squad due to injuries.

“Injured in their respective clubs, Emmanuel Adebayor (Basaksehir) and Floyd Ayité (Fulham) have declared forfeit,” a statement read.

Adebayor, the Togo captain and striker, who is playing for İstanbul Başakşehir in the Turkish Super Lig, has been out nursing an injury.

Togo midfielder Ayite plies his trade in the English Championship for Fulham and he was substituted in the 42nd minute against Middlesbrough last weekend due to injury.

It remains to be seen whether the FTF will call up replacements before the match.



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Duarte: Burkina Faso’s Malo won’t face South Africa – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Patrick Malo of Burkina Faso

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 25, 2017. 14:00


Burkina Faso head coach Paulo Duarte has explained why Patrick Malo won’t face South Africa on 7 October 2017.

The two nations will clash in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group D match at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Duarte reportedly stated that Malo forgot his playing jersey in the locker room when he was told to replace Issouf Paro during the clash with Senegal in Dakar earlier this month.

An injured Paro had to stay five more minutes on the pitch, before he was replaced by Egypt-based central defender Malo at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor.

“Everybody makes mistakes,” Duarte was quoted on Star Africa.

“But Malo does too much. But there is one thing I do not tolerate. Not taking the country’s dream seriously. Laughing at the investment of the country. Make fun of my work.

“Malo is the player with whom I do most individual meetings. I communicate with him. One hour, two hours before the game, I insist, no risk, no tackle, no dangerous pass in defense,” Duarte continued.

“I will tell you one thing, it will be difficult for Malo to come back with me. I never say that. It will be difficult.”

Burkina Faso are sitting at the top Group D with two games left. Only the Group winners will qualify for the finals.



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Black Starlets to face Mali, UAE ahead of U-17 World Cup – Ghana Premier League 2017


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Sep 20, 2017. 14:00


Ahead of their participation in the U-17 World Cup next month, Ghana have lined up friendlies against Mali and the United Arab Emirates.

Ghana are currently camping in the UAE as they prepare for the tournament in India.

The Black Starlets are set to face their fellow West Africans at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Sports Stadium in Abu Dhabi today [Wednesday], with a match against the UAE set for Dubai on Sunday 24 September.

The U-17 World Cup kicks off on October 6 and runs until the 28th of the month.

Ghana will play in the opening game against Group A opponents Colombia before facing the United States and hosts India on October 9 and 12 respectively.



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Egypt face Morocco in historic clash


epa05630302 Egyptian players celebrate after Abdealah Allsaeed (C) scores a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Ghana at Borg Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 13 November 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Aug 11, 2017. 18:00


Egypt will take on Morocco in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 19h00 CAT.

The Northern Zone first-leg match will be played at the Alexandria Stadium in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

The Pharoahs have never taken part in the qualifiers of this tournament since its inception in 2009.

Egypt will look to qualify for the CHAN finals in their maiden appearance in the qualifiers.

Hamada Sedki will be in charge of the Pharoahs as the head coach during their clashes with Morocco.

Meanwhile, Morocco have participated in the last two CHAN finals (in 2014 and 2016).

The Atlas Lions have reached the knockout stages once. They were defeated in the quarter-finals in 2014.

Jamal Salami is the man, who is in charge of the Morocco team, ahead of the encounters with Egypt.

Referee Mohamed Ragab Omar, who hails from Libya, will officiate the game between Egypt and Morocco.

The second-leg match will take place at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in the capital city of Morocco, Rabat.

The winner on aggregate between the two North African giants will advance to the finals.



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Rohr: Nigeria’s Balogun fit to face Cameroon – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Aug 10, 2017. 19:00


Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr is pleased to see Leon Balogun regain his full fitness ahead of two clashes with their rivals Cameroon.

The two West African nations will clash in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers which will take place in Uyo, Nigeria on 31 August 2017 and Yaounde, Cameroon on 4 September 2017.

German tactician Rohr has also revealed that Nigeria and 1.FSV Mainz 05 defender Balogun has regained his full fitness.

“Balogun is also fit,” Rohr told Own Goal Nigeria.

The 64-year-old coach also explained that frontman Odion Ighalo, who is on the books of Chinese club Changchun Yatai, could be called up.

“He is experienced and we have also some strikers with a little more experience, Odion Ighalo also not only him,” he added.

“There are also other ones. So I think in the next week we will monitor all of them to be sure, we can take the best ones for these big games against Cameroon.”

Nigeria and Cameroon are in Group B along with Zambia and Algeria. Only the group winners will secure their place in the finals.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria are sitting at the top of group table with six points with four games left, while second-placed Cameroon have two points.



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Stuart Baxter names Bafana squad to face Zambia – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Aug 01, 2017. 13:00


Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has already began with preparations for their 2018 CAF African Nations Championship qualifier against Zambia.

The South Africans are aware that they have to beat the Chipolopolo in the third round of the qualifiers.

The two Southern African giants will meet in the first leg clash of the third and final round which will take place on Saturday, 12 August 2017 at a venue still to be announced.

Kaizer Chiefs goal minder Bruce Bvuma, who was in the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup squad, returns after missing out on the two-legged qualifier against Botswana.

SAFA TO PROBE FNB INCIDENT WHICH LEFT TWO DEAD

In defence, Malebogo Modise and Junaid Sait make way for Supersport United‘s Denwin Farmer and Ayabulela Konqobe of Amazulu.

Supersport United midfielder, Teboho Mokoena returns to the side after he was withdrawn before the second leg of the the Zebras tie at Moruleng Stadium.

Bafana are set to go into camp on Sunday, 6 August 2017 and the return leg will be played in Zambia on the weekend of 18-20 August 2017.

Goalkeepers:

Boalefa Pule, Steven Hoffman, Bruce Bvuma

Defenders:

Siyabonga Nhlapo, Sphiwe Mnguni, Sandile Mthethwa, Tercious Malepe, Mothobi Mvala, Mario Booysen, Denwin Farmer, Ayabulela Konqobe

Midfielders:

Cole Alexander, Tebogo Mokoena, Sipho Mbule, Sibusiso Khumalo, Tshegofatso Mabaso, Dumisani Zuma, Michael Morton, Riyaad Norodien, Siphelele Ntshangase

Strikers:

Bongi Ntuli, Masilakhe Phohlongo, Ryan Moon, Gift Motupa



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Slimani to face Albion despite freak accident – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Leicester City‘s Islam Slimani (right) battles for the ball with Sunderland’s Lamine Kone (left) during the Premier League match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Jul 31, 2017. 20:00


Leicester City‘s Algeria international Leicester City’s Algeria international Islam Slimani is expected to make a speedy recovery ahead of the club’s clash with Burton Albion in a friendly match on Tuesday.
i is expected to make a speedy recovery ahead of the club’s clash with Burton Albion in a friendly match on Tuesday.

This is despite having sustained a deep cut behind his knee during City’s 1-0 defeat to fellow English side Wolverhampton Wanderers in a friendly match on Saturday.

Leicester City assistant coach, Mike Stowell says they are hopeful that the 29-year-old hitman will be ready for their clash with English outfit Burton.

“It was a very nasty cut,” Stowell told Leicester Mercury.

“It was a freak accident and the blade of the boot has cut him right at the back of his knee.

“There was no way he was going back out there so he had to be stitched up in the dressing room,” he added.

“Hopefully, he’ll be back out there against Burton.”

Slimani and his City teammates are scheduled to face Arsenal in their first 2017/18 English Premier League game on Friday, 11 August 2017.



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Djibouti face a monster uphill battle in Ethiopia


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Jul 20, 2017. 14:30


Djibouti will want to avenge their massive defeat at home when they visit Ethiopia for the second leg of their 2018 CAF African Championships qualifier on Sunday.

The Shoremen of the Red Sea failed to ignite at home and are now under pressure to bag a win in the second leg.

A 5-1 drubbing at home was not a result they wanted, but they will now hope to find their scoring boots and overturn the result.

Although it will not be easy, coach Noureddine Gharsalli has to uplift the morale of his players and ensure they get a win at all costs.

Shifting focus to the Walia Ibex, as hosts they have an added advantage coming to this encounter as they have a massive goal advantage.

Scoring five away goals has bascially secured their passage into the next round of qualifying, but they still have to remain disciplined at the back to ensure they do not concede.

The winner of the two leg affair will set up a thriller against Burundi or Sudan on 11 August 2017 in the next round of CHAN qualifiers.

The encounter will be staged at Hawassa Stadium in Ethiopia at 18:00 (CAT).



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Minnows Mauritius face Angola in CHAN qualifier


Yamikani Chestero of Angola challenged by Stanley Sanudi of Malawi during the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Malawi and Angola at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg South Africa on 29 June 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Jul 14, 2017. 10:30


Mauritius will look to upset Angola when the teams meet in the first leg of their 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) Southern Zone, second round qualifier on Sunday afternoon at Stade Anjalay in Belle Vue Maurel.

Mauritius, known as Club M or the Dodos, have never qualified for the CHAN, with their attempt to reach the last edition in 2016 ending in the preliminary round when they were beaten 5-0 on aggregate by South Africa.

Club M were last in action at the 2017 Cosafa Cup in South Africa, where they were eliminated in the group stage after failing to win any of their three matches.

Angola, known as the Sable Antelopes, have appeared at two CHAN tournaments, finishing as runners-up to Tunisia in 2011 and exiting in the group stage of the 2016 edition.

The Sable Antelopes were also in action at the 2017 Cosafa Cup in South Africa, and they were also eliminated in the group stage after failing to win any of their three matches.

Mauritius and Angola have met in six previous matches, according to FIFA statistics, with the latter claiming three wins compared to two for the former. The teams’ most recent clash was in the 2017 Cosafa Cup, with the Sable Antelopes winning 1-0 in Rustenburg on June 25.

The return leg will be staged in Luanda next weekend. The aggregate winners will face Madagascar or Mozambique in the third round.



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Ethiopia face Djibouti challenge – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers


Asrat Gobena of Ethiopia challenged by Carlain Manga Mba of Cameroon during the 2016 CHAN Rwanda, match between Cameroon and Ethiopia at the Huye Stadium in Butare, Rwanda on 21 January 2016 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Jul 12, 2017. 12:30


Ethiopia will tackle Djibouti in the first leg of their 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) Central-east Zone, second round qualifier on Saturday afternoon at El Hadji Hassan Stadium.

Ethiopia, known as the Wayla Antelopes, have qualified for the last two CHAN tournaments in 2014 and 2016, exiting both in the group stage. They will be aiming for a hat-trick of successful qualification campaigns.

The Wayla Antelopes were last in action in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers last month, suffering a heavy 5-0 defeat at the hands of West African giants Ghana.

Djibouti, known as the Shoremen of the Red Sea, have never qualified for the CHAN, with their attempt to reach the last edition in 2016 ending in the preliminary round when they were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by Burundi.

The minnows have not been in action since they were beaten 6-0 by in the second leg of a 2019 AFCON qualifying tie by South Sudan back in March.

Ethiopia have won all four of the teams’ previous meetings, according to FIFA statistics. Their last clash was in Nairobi in November 2009, with the Wayla Antelopes claiming a 5-0 win.

The return leg will be held in Awasa next weekend. The aggregate winners will face Burundi in the third round.



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Zambia coach Wedson Nyirenda names CHAN squad to face Swaziland – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Jul 12, 2017. 12:00


After their loss at the hands of Zimbabwe in the 2017 COSAFA Cup on Sunday, Zambia coach Wedson Nyirenda says their trip was a success.

Fresh from South Africa for the regional tournament, Chipolopolo are now setting their sights on Swaziland in their 2018 CAF African Championships Qualifiers.

The two nations will lock horns for the first leg on Sunday in Swaziland and will renew rivalries next weekend in Zambia.

Although he praised his men during the regional tournament, Nyirenda bemoaned the absence of Zesco United and Zanaco players.

KAIZER CHIEFS’ NEW ZIMBABWEAN RECRUIT MUST WORK HARD SAYS NENGOMASHA

“Our trip to here (South Africa) was very successful. We came here with local players only who we wanted to see and we are happy with what we saw,” Nyirenda said to the Daily Mail.

“Our philosophy is working well and if we continue with this, then the Chipolopolo will be back to where they are supposed to be.

“We did not come with players from Zanaco and Zesco, who are the majority of the team. We have 12 or 13 players from these teams but all the same I am happy with the performance of the boys.”

The full squad:

Goalkeepers: Kelvin Malunga (Nkana), Allan Chibwe (Power Dynamos), Toaster Nsabata (Zanaco)

Defenders: Taonga Bwembya, Ziyo Tembo (both Zanaco), Donashano Malama (Nkana), Adrian Chama (Buffaloes), Solomon Sakala (Napsa ), Isaac Shamujompa (Rangers), Fackson Kapumbu, Simon Silwimba (both Zesco)

Midfielders: Jackson Chirwa (Buffaloes), Dick Ngwenya, (Power), Muchindu Muchindu (Nkana), Kondwani Mtonga, John Chin’gandu (both Zesco), Clatous Chama (Lusaka Dynamos), Augustine Mulenga, Ernest Mbewe (both Zanaco)

Strikers: Brian Mwila (Buffaloes), Justin Shonga (Nkwazi), Lubinda Mundia (Arrows), Jackson Mwanza, Dave Daka (both Zesco) and Martin Phiri (Power)



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Everton new signing Wayne Rooney to face Gor Mahia


Everton boss Ronald Koeman

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Jul 12, 2017. 09:21


Information landing through to AfricanFootball.com is that England and Everton international striker Wayne Rooney will face Kenyan side Gor Mahia.

The former Manchester United forward has completed his switch to his former club, Everton and will be included in the trip to Kenya.

It is reported that the new Toffees striker will face Gor Mahia on Thursday in a pre-season friendly match at the Tanzania National Stadium in Dar Es Salaam.

Betting giants SportPesa confirmed through a tweet on Monday, with the 31-year-old set to face the 15-time Kenyan champions.

CARL IKEME READY FOR NEW ERA AS HE BATTLES LEUKAEMIA

Rooney reported for his first day of training at USM Finch Farm on Monday and will be part of the travelling party to East Africa later this week as manager Ronald Koeman prepares for a maiden meeting with K’Ogalo.

Meanwhile, the trip is set to celebrate Everton’s Club-record partnership with gaming giant SportPesa.

“I’m looking forward to it – it should be a good trip. It’ll be nice and hopefully I’ll get on the pitch and get some game-time,” Rooney told EvertonTV on Monday.

“It’s good when you go away with the team. It’s good to be around the hotel with the players, spend more time with them and get to know them more.

“I’ve never been to Tanzania before, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

On the other hand, it is announced that coach Dylan Kerr’s outfit will jet off out of the country on Tuesday morning en route to Tanzania.



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Al Ahly face Coton Sport in must-win match


Al Ahly’s player Mossad Awad (L) in action against Bidvest Wits player Gabadinho Mhango (R) during the African Champions League (CAF) match

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jul 07, 2017. 13:30


Al Ahly will square off with Coton Sport in the 2017 CAF Champions League Group D match at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 21h00 CAT.

The Egyptian giants were held to a goalless draw by Zambian side Zanaco in their previous group match which was played in Lusaka last weekend.

The draw left Al Ahly placed third on the Group D standings with eight points. They are three points behind the group leaders Zanaco.

A victory over Coton Sport in their final group match will be enough to send Al Ahly to the knockout stages if the other result goes their way.

Meanwhile, Coton Sport were defeated 2-0 by Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca in their previous group match in Garoua last weekend.

As a result, the Cameroonian giants, who are still winless, remained at the bottom of Group D standings without a single point from five matches.

Coton Sport have already been eliminated from this year’s tournament, but they will look to bow out on a winning note against Al Ahly.

Referee Ferdinand Udoh, who hails from Nigeria, will be in charge of the encounter between Al Ahly and Coton Sport.



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Plate Final: SA face rejuvenated Namibia in plate final


Ndunduzo Sibiya of South Africa challenged by Lemponye Tshireletso of Botswana during 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Botswana and South Africa at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on 04 July 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Jul 06, 2017. 19:00


Tanzania will face off with Lesotho in the 2017 COSAFA Cup third-place play-off at the Moruleng Stadium in Moruleng on Friday.

Kick-off is at 19h30 CAT.

The Taifa Stars were beaten 4-2 by Zambia in the semi-final encounter which was played at the Moruleng Stadium on Tuesday.

Salum Mayanga, the Tanzania head coach, will be looking to mastermind a victory over Lesotho in order to secure a third place finish in the tournament.

Erasto Nyoni, who hit the back of the net for the Taifa Stars against Zambia, is one of Tanzania’s dangermen and he will be keen to inspire his side to victory.

Meanwhile, Lesotho were narrowly defeated 4-3 by Zimbabwe in the semi-final clash which was played at the Moruleng Stadium on Tuesday.

Likuena head coach Moses Maliehe will be hoping to ensure that his side end their 2017 COSAFA Cup campaign on a winning note and finish fifth in the competition.

Mabuti Potloane, who was on the scoresheet against Zimbabwe, will be eager to score and help Likuena overcome Tanzania.

Tanzania and Lesotho met in the 2015 COSAFA Cup in Moruleng. Likuena overcame the Taifa Stars 1-0 a Group B match.



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Cameroon face tough opener in Confederations Cup – 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup


Christian Bassogog of Cameroon (r) celebrates goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jun 15, 2017. 09:00


Cameroon will open their Group B campaign in the FIFA Confederations Cup when they face Chile at the Otkrytiye Stadium in Moscow on Sunday evening, kick-off at 20h00 CAT.

The match will mark an emotional return to the tournament for the Indomitable Lions, whose last appearance in 2003 saw them finish as runners-up (Africa’s best showing in the competition) but was overshadowed by the tragic death of midfielder Marc Vivien Foe.

Cameroon, who claimed the trophy at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year to earn their spot at the tournament in Russia, come into the match licking their wounds after a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Colombia in a friendly on Tuesday night.

However, it must be noted that coach Hugo Broos made sweeping changes to the team that defeated Morocco in a 2019 AFCON qualifier just three days prior, so don’t read too much into their result.

The same can be said for Chile, who were beaten 3-2 by Romania in a friendly on Tuesday night, but defeated Burkina Faso (3-0) and drew with Russia (1-1) in games earlier this month.

La Roja are the reigning South American champions and coach Juan Antonio Pizzi can call on some serious talent for their tournament debut, including Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez and Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal.

Cameroon and Chile have met in just one previous match, a 1-1 draw in a group stage encounter at the 1998 World Cup in France.



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Tunisia face Egypt in North African Derby


Ramadan Sobhi of Egypt gets away from Denis Iguma of Uganda during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Egypt and Uganda at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 21 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jun 09, 2017. 18:30


Tunisia will square off with Egypt in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier at the Stade Olympique de Rades in Rades on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 00h00 CAT.

The Eagles of Carthage have clinched the AFCON title once (in 2004). They were knocked out of the 2017 finals in the quarter-finals.

Tunisia took on Morocco in an international friendly last week Wednesday. Morocco emerged 1-0 winners over Tunisia in Marrakech.

Wahbi Khazri is the Eagles of Carthage’s dangerman and he will be eager to inspire Tunisia to victory over Egypt in a Group J encounter.

Meanwhile, Egypt are the most decorated team in the history of AFCON – having won seven titles. They were the runners-up at the 2017 finals.

The Pharaohs locked horns with Libya in an international friendly on Monday. Egypt ran out 1-0 winners over Libya in Cairo.

Mohamed Salah is the player to watch out for in the Egypt team and the winger will be hoping to score and help his nation beat Tunisia in a Group J clash.

Niger and Swaziland are also part of Group J, and the two sides will square off at the Stade General-Seyni-Kountche in Niamey on Saturday.



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Coton Sport face must-win clash in Lusaka – 2017 CAF Champions League


by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jun 03, 2017. 12:00


Coton Sport face a must-win match in Group D of the CAF Champions League when they face hosts Zanaco in Lusaka on Saturday. Kick-off at the National Heroes Stadium is set for 15h00 CAT.

The Cameroonian visitors have had a tough time of things in the group phase thus far, suffering back-to-back defeats against Wydad Casablanca and Al Ahly to leave them at the bottom of the standings.

Zanaco, by contrast, are unbeaten thus far and have yet to concede a goal, having played to a 0-0 draw away to Ahly before claiming a 1-0 win over Wydad last time out. They are level with the Egyptian giants on four points at the top of the group.

This is crunch game for Coton Sport, who need a positive result in Lusaka to keep alive their hopes of progressing into the quarterfinals. Anything less and they will have nothing to play for in the remainder of their African campaign.

Yet Mumamba Numba, coach of Zanaco, will hope to exploit the weaknesses the Cameroonians have shown in their past two Champions League clashes. Zanaco’s defensive stability will provide the foundation for them to use their pace and athleticism in attack.

This will be the first of a double-header between Zanaco and Coton Sport, with the return game in Garoua scheduled to take place on June 21.

Ivorian referee Abou Coulibaly will take charge of the match in Lusaka. The other Group D match sees Al Ahly hosting Wydad Casablanca in Alexandria on Sunday night.



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Ghana face Mali in 2017 U17 AFCON final


Ibrahim Sulley of Ghana challenged by Aguibou Camara of Guinea during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Guinea and Ghana at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 20 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday May 27, 2017. 14:00


Ghana and Mali will square off in the 2017 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final at the Stade de I’Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 19h30 CAT.

The Black Starlets reached the final after defeating Niger 6-5 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in a semi-final clash at the Stade de Porti-Gentil on Wednesday.

They won Group A after accumulating seven points from three matches. Ghana are yet to concede in this tournament and they have scored nine goals.

The player to watch out for in the Ghana team is Eric Ayiah, who is the joint tournament top goalscorer with four goals.

Black Starlets have won this tournament twice. The West African side were crowned champions in 1995 and 1999. They were runners-up in 2005.

Meanwhile, Mali advanced to the final following their 2-0 win on penalties over Guinea after a goalless draw in a semi-final clash Libreville on Wednesday.

The Junior Eagles won Group B after collecting seven points. They have conceded two goals and scored eight goals in this tournament.

Hadji Drame is the dangerman for the Junior Eagles – having hit the back of the net three times for his side in this competition.

Mali are the defending champions – having won the 2015 U17 AFCON title. It was their first title and the West African side also finished second in 1997.



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Angola U17 face must-win game against Mali U17


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday May 21, 2017. 13:00


Mali and Angola will meet in the 2017 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group B match at the Stade de l’Amitié Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 19h30 CAT.

The Junior Eagles of Mali, who are the defending champions, defeated Niger 2-1 in their second group match on Thursday night.

The victory sees Mali remain second on Group B with four points from two matches. They are only behind the leaders Tanzania on goal difference.

Mohamed Camara, who scored for the Junior Eagles against Niger, will look to score again and help his side advance to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Angola’s Junior Palancas Negras are coming off a 2-1 defeat to Tanzania in their previous group match on Thursday afternoon.

The defeat sees Angola slip down to the bottom of Group B with one point from two games. They are three points behind group leaders Tanzania.

Francisco Chilumbo, who netted against Tanzania, will be out to inspire his side to victory over Mali in order for them to stand a chance to advance to the last four.

Hassan Mohamed Hagi, a Somalian referee, will be the man in charge of the match between Mali and Angola.



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Chelsea defender Aina could face Bafana Bafana – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Ola Aina in action for Chelsea

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday May 12, 2017. 14:00


The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has reportedly assured that Ola Aina will be cleared by FIFA before the Super Eagles and South Africa.

The Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana are scheduled to lock horns in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Nigeria on the 10th of June 2017.

Chelsea defender Aina Aina represented England at various youth level, but switched allegiance to Nigeria last month after talks with head coach Gernot Rohr.

But his international switch is yet to be approved by FIFA, but an unnamed member of the NFF has hinted that it will be sorted out before the clash with Bafana.

”Aina won’t play against Corsica due to club duties, but he will join the team after the game,” the NFF official told Own Goal Nigeria.

“All things been equal he should play in the friendly game we are trying to arrange after the game against Corsica.

”For the game against South Africa, you know his switch requires clearance from FIFA,” the official added.

“We (NFF) have started the process and hopefully it will be sorted out before the South Africa game. As a matter of fact it should work.”

The 20-year-old promising player has featured in two English Premier League (EPL) matches for Chelsea thus far this season.



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