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Chipezeze shuts out Sundowns – ABSA Premiership

Elvis Chipezeze continued his encouraged form in goal for Baroka FC as they held defending Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns to a goalless draw at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Tuesday night.

The point moves Bakgaga up to twelfth place on the log standings although Sundowns continue being in third location, 5 points behind Orlando Pirates.

Sundowns threatened early on by Hlompho Kekana in the third minute, but the Brazilians skipper was denied by Chipezeze, who carried on from in which he remaining off on the weekend.

The hosts continued to probe, but found it ever more complicated to defeat Chipezeze, who made a further superior save in the thirty fifth minute to deny Jeremy Brockie, whose rasping effort looked destined for the back again of the net.

Baroka almost hit the front against the run of play on the cusp of half-time. Jemondre Dickens carved by the Sundowns defence just before attempting a square ball to an unmarked Tebogo Sodi, but Maboe presented a well timed interception to deny the people the direct at the crack.

Chipezeze was proving a complicated to defeat once more and pulled off a further fantastic save 5 minutes into the second-50 percent to preserve out Brockie’s arrowing header.

Baroka experienced a late chance to steal all a few points in included time, but Mduduzi Mdantsane was desperately unfortunate to see his glancing header fly inches wide of goal, as both of those sides sooner or later settled for a point apiece.

Mamelodi Sundowns
Baroka FC

Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene Morena, Arendse, Madisha, Lakay, Kekana, Jali (90+2′), Maboe, Ngoma (Mahlambi 55′), Sirino (Silva 80′), Brockie.
Baroka FC: Chipezeze Semenya, Sibiya, Banda, Gebhardt, Makgaka (Kgaswane 89′), Mdantsane, Mosele, Chawaphiwa (Kgoetyane 66′), Sodi, Dickens (Makgantai 79′).

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Baroka undergo third straight loss at Athlone – ABSA Premiership 2017/eighteen

Baroka endured a 1- loss at the arms of Ajax Cape Town in an Absa Premiership match on Wednesday evening at Athlone Stadium.

In the wake of the loss, coach MacDonald Makhubedu’s men go to the 10th location on the log standings with 33 points from 28 league games.

A late goal by means of skipper Mosa Lebusa ensured the Urban Warriors handed Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele their third loss in a row.

It was a fast-paced start out by the two sides, but the most effective option fell for the hosts when Yannick Zakri saw his header punched away for a corner by Ayanda Dlamini in the 11th minute.

Baroka experienced an upper hand in terms of assaults just after the 30th minute and Mpho Kgaswane saw his set-piece sailing more than the crossbar with the hosts’ defence failing to offer with a few successive corner kicks.

With additional action going on in the coronary heart of the park, Zakri experienced a free of charge header in the fortieth minute, however, could not immediate it on concentrate on.

Irrespective of the feeling of urgency from the hosts, they could not break the sound travelling to defence as it remained goalless at 50 percent time.

Ajax came again from the tunnel with starvation as they and substitute Samuel Julies practically made a rapid impression when he compelled a high-quality save from Dlamini.

Immediately after the sixty-fifth minute, Zakri brilliantly played a cross with a header in research of Julies and the substitute’s effort and hard work was punched more than the crossbar by Dlamini for a corner.

Ajax gave Bakgaga ba Mphahlele also considerably house and Talent Chawapiwa attempted a curling shot in the 79th minute, but could not difficulties February.

With 9 minutes to go, substitute Sergio Kammies would find himself in the penalty area, he beat his marker but saw his reduced shot going extensive.

The Ajax bench could not consider it when Zakri missed another superb prospect on the still left post when he experienced all the time to decide on his location, his effort and hard work went extensively in the 86th minute.

Ajax ongoing to pile tension on the Limpopo side and it was Lebusa who found the again of the in the 91st minute from a telling cross from the right pursuing a poor managing by Dlamini.

The second win for the hosts at home sees them transferring up to the 14th location with 31 points from 28 games.

Ajax Cape Town () 1 (Lebusa 90+1’)
Baroka FC

Ajax Cape Town: February, Zwane, Nhlapo (Julies 59’), Booysen, Lebusa, Nel (Kammies 78’), Malepe (Losper 46’), Margeman, Kabwe, Morris, Zakri

Baroka FC: Dlamini, Kgoetyane, Mothupa, Madubanya, Nguzana (Soso 78’), Chawapiwa (Mahashe 90’), Kgaswane, Mabotja, Mdantsane, Makgaka (Mosele 59’), Banda

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


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

by
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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Bernard Parker not happy despite reaching milestone – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Kaizer Chiefs


Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates goal during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa on 17 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 11:00


Kaizer Chiefs forward Bernard Parker isn’t entirely satisfied despite having reached a milestone of 50 goals for Kaizer Chiefs.

The former FC Twente forward hit the half-century mark in a 1-1 draw against Free State Stars last weekend, but instead of celebrating the achievement, the 31-year-old explained that he is frustrated it took him so long to reach the mark.

“I have achieved something great. It’s a good achievement, although I am not entirely happy because with my standards and quality I would have wanted to have reached this milestone earlier,” Parker told his club’s website.

“I am now in my seventh season at Chiefs. To score 50 goals is great, but it’s not enough, especially when looking at what is the going rate of scoring in Europe, as that’s the top level and that’s where the standard is set.”

The Amakhosi have scored but 11 goals in 12 matches in what has been a largely disappointing and uneventful Absa Premiership campaign.



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Urban Warriors suffer narrow defeat to SuperSport – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Aubrey Modiba of Supersport United celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Supersport United and Ajax Cape Town at Mbombela Stadium, Mpumalanga South Africa on 29 November 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 22:08


SuperSport United held on to beat Ajax Cape Town 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Wednesday evening.

It was a game of two halves, with the Urban Warriors a different unit following a first half dominated by Matsatsantsa. Stanley Menzo’s troops, though, failed to turn dominance into goals as they slumped to defeat in the Mpumalanga province.

Following a rather cagey opening to the encounter, Matsatsantsa hit the front through Aubrey Modiba in the 25th minute.

Richard Kissi Boateng the provider with the fullback’s curling cross expertly met by Modiba who lost his marker before nodding home from close range – Jody February with no chance.

The Urban Warriors shot-stopper was called into action to keep out Fagrie Lakay’s long range shot soon after, before getting down well to deny former Ajax Cape Town striker Bradley Grobler.

The forward’s rasping effort from the edge of the area looked destined for the back of the net, but February was up to the task.

Matsatsantsa 1-0 up at the interval and deservedly so.

The Urban Warriors came out firing following the break and were unlucky not to draw level in the 56th minute through Mosa Lebusa.

The Ajax Cape Town captain took it upon himself to lead his chargers in attack, but Reyaad Pieterse denied the fullback from close range.

Tashreeq Morris then saw his powerful effort saved by the SuperSport goal-minder as the Urban Warriors looked sure to get something out of the clash.

But, despite an improved showing in the second stanza, the visitors were unable to conjure a goal as SuperSport held on for all three points. Victory moves the hosts up to 10th spot – Ajax Cape Town remain in 14th place on the log standings.

SuperSport United (1) 1 (Modiba 25′)

Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

SuperSport United: Pieterse; Kekana, Gould, Egwuekwe, Boateng – Furman, Letsholonyane (Mashamaite 90+1′), Modiba – Lakay (Mbule 60′), Phala, Grobler (Brockie 79′).

Ajax Cape Town: February; Lebusa, Booysen, Nhlapo, Evans (Sasman 71′) – Pietersen, Margeman, Mzwakali (Losper 85′) – Mosadi, Phohlongo (George 41′), Morris.



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South Africa’s Gavin Hunt condemns Telkom KO final venue – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Head Coach Gavin Hunt of Bidvest Wits during 2017 Telkom Knockout Bidvest Wits Training at Stir rock Park in Braamfontein South Africa on 28 November 2017 © Aubrey Kgakatsi /BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 19:30


Ahead of the South African Telkom Knockout final against Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has lambasted the quality of the pitch at Princess Magogo Stadium.

The Clever Boys mentor believes the pitch is not in tip top quality, but hopes the weather will be suitable for a good game of football.

Hunt revealed that they sent a team representatives to inspect the pitch at the KwaMashu Stadium this week.

“Shew‚ shew‚ shew. Listen‚ it is what it is. We’ve got to concentrate on the rules and play football,” said the coach.

“But it is a bit‚ it is a bit…you know. It threw everybody a curve ball‚ didn’t it? It was like‚ ‘Yuh‚ OK’.

“The pitch has been dug up last week because there were teams training on it in the rain. So the pitch is not great.

“We saw it, we went there yesterday to have a look at it – it’s an open area. So please God the weather is good.”

The 12000-seater venue will host a major cup final for the first time on Saturday at 18:00 (CAT).



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Reneilwe Letsholonyane: Time for SuperSport to change focus – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – SuperSport Utd


Club Africain player Ibrahim Chenihi (R) fights for the ball with Supersport United FC player Reneilwe Letsholonyane (L) during the semi-final return 2017 CAF Confederations Cup game between Club Africain and Supersport United FC in Tunis, Tunisia on 22 October 2017 © BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 15:30


SuperSport United midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane says his side must move on from their CAF Confederation Cup final defeat.

The Tshwane side were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by DR Congo giants TP Mazembe across the past two weekends, in their first continental cup final.

And they have had little time to reflect on the defeat, as this evening they begin the process of catching up missed games in the Absa Premiership.

United will host Ajax Cape Town at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit and ‘Yeye’ believes they must switch focus quickly to the challenges which lie ahead of them in the domestic competition.

“We’ve recovered because we know that this game is important and the weekend chapter we have closed it,” said Letsholonyane, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“We are looking forward to the new one which is competing in the league.”

Ajax have struggled to find top gear this season, but the United midfielder is wary of underestimating them.

“They are definitely a threat because they have not been doing well and getting the results they want.

“But we know that on any given day they can upset any team, so we know that they are not a bad team. It is just they are not getting good results.

“We will be cautious and hope that we do well on the day to get maximum points at the end of the day.

“We take this game as another game that we play. It’s not really about bouncing back or anything. It’s about competing and winning the game.”



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SuperSport’s Clayton Daniels: We should be proud of CAF campaign – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Clayton Daniels of Supersport United challenged by Louis Amake Autchanga of CF Mounana during the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup match between Supersport United and CF Mounana at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville South Africa on 08 July 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 21:00


SuperSport United defender Clayton Daniels believes his team should be proud of their CAF Confederation Cup campaign despite losing to TP Mazembe in the final.

United ended runners-up in the continental competition after losing 2-1 on aggregate to the DR Congo giants, who defended the trophy they won in 2016.

With their long African campaign now at an end, Daniels believes Matsatsantsa should turn their attention to trying to win South Africa’s top flight league.

“Well we are also proud we could make it that far [in the Confed Cup],” Daniels told Kick-Off.

“We should take out all the positive out of our journey in Africa which is never easy, travelling for days back and forth, sacrificing a lot away from the family.

“But we grew stronger as a team as time went, so we are looking forward now to the league because that’s our next objective.

“We gave it our best in both games [both legs of the final]. The performance was there, the effort was there, the fight was there… not one player didn’t give it their all and we are proud as a team.”

United will begin the process of catching up missed games in the Absa premiership when they host Ajax Cape Town in Nelspruit on Wednesday evening.



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


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

by
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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Absa Premiership weekend wrap: Pirates only winners, Baroka continue to lead


Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates and Aphiwe Lubisi of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates at Dr Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein on 26 November 2017 © Frikke Kapp/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 09:30


The weekend’s Absa Premiership action produced just one winner, while Baroka FC continue to be the surprise leaders of the top flight despite going five matches without a win.

The only team to claim a win through the weekend was Orlando Pirates, who defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 away on Sunday thanks to a goal from former Phunya Sele Sele midfielder Musa Nyatama, and the result took the Buccaneers to second place on the log.

They trail Baroka FC by just one point after the Limpopo side was twice forced to come from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Platinum Stars. Bakgaga haven’t won since late September but continue to top the standings, while Dikwena have put together a five-match unbeaten run but remain second-last.

Saturday’s afternoon games saw two goalless stalemates, as Chippa United held Mamelodi Sundowns in Port Elizabeth and Maritzburg United did the same to champions Bidvest Wits in KwaZulu-Natal.

The early evening game saw Chiefs finally break their goal drought as they fought back to hold Free State Stars 1-1 at Moses Mabhida Stadium, with Bernard Parker’s equaliser cancelling out a strike from Nhlanhla Vilakazi which deflected off Daniel Cardoso.

The night games produced much more excitement and featured two strong comebacks: in Durban, Cape Town City fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Golden Arrows, while AmaZulu completed the same feat in their match away to Ajax Cape Town, with former Urban Warriors favourite Mabhuti Khenyeza netting the vital equaliser deep into injury time.

The Absa Premiership will resume with a catch-up game for SuperSport United on Wednesday 29 November, when they will host Ajax at Mbombela Stadium.

Absa Premiership weekend results

Saturday 25 November

Chippa United 0-0 Mamelodi Sundowns

Maritzburg United 0-0 Bidvest Wits

Kaizer Chiefs 1-1 Free State Stars

Golden Arrows 2-2 Cape Town City

Ajax Cape Town 2-2 AmaZulu

Sunday 26 November

Baroka FC 2-2 Platinum Stars

Bloemfontein Celtic 0-1 Orlando Pirates



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Baroka fight back to deny Stars – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 26, 2017. 17:57


Platinum Stars were twice pegged back by Baroka FC as the teams played to a 2-2 draw in an entertaining Absa Premiership match at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.

Bakgaga continue to lead the top flight despite not having won a game since late September, while Dikwena move back to 15th place on goal difference and have at least put together a five-match unbeaten run.

Stars created the first half chance of the match inside the opening 10 minutes, but striker Bongi Ntuli only succeeded in hitting the side netting with an effort from a tight angle.

The teams then cancelled each other out for most of the first half, with few scoring opportunities created at either end.

However, on 35 minutes the visitors put together a fine passing move which saw Robert Ng’ambi tee up Katlego Otladisa, who showed great composure to pick his spot and stroke home a low shot to make it 1-0 to Stars.

Otladisa’s first goal in PSL football left Dikwena one up at the half-time break, but they still opted for a tactical change at the start of the second as Enocent Mkhabela replaced Raymond Monama in midfield.

Yet it was Baroka’s first substitute, Mpho Kgaswane, who made a major impact on the game, as he struck home a superb shot from outside the box on 58 minutes to draw the hosts level at 1-1.

Stars almost reclaimed the lead in the 74th minute when Ntuli beat Virgil Vries to a long ball over the top and got around the goalkeeper, but with defenders retreating to pressure him the striker wasn’t able to capitalise.

The match looked set to end 1-1, but two late goals added some further drama. First, on 87 minutes, Ng’ambi scrambled the ball home from close range after Vries couldn’t handle a cross from the right flank, but this was immediately cancelled out by a sublime volley from Robin Ngalande to leave the game locked at 2-2.

The teams will be back in league action next midweek, with Baroka away to Mamelodi Sundowns on December 5, while Stars will take on hosts Polokwane City the following day.

Baroka FC (0) 2 (Kgaswane 58’, Ngalande 89’)

Platinum Stars (1) 2 (Otladisa 35’, Ng’ambi 87’)

Baroka: Vries, Shaku, Masenamela, Chawapihwa (Macha 66’), Banda,Moeti (Kgaswane 55’), Kgoetyane, Ntshangase (Mosele 84’), Madubanya, Mdantsane, Ngalande

Stars: Visser, Mnguni, Mwedihanga, Zulu, Sithole, Msomi, Masalesa, Ng’ambi, Monama (Mkhabela 46’), Otladisa (De Jongh 90’), Ntuli



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Orlando Pirates humble Bloemfontein Celtic – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates and Aphiwe Lubisi of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates at Dr Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein on 26 November 2017 © Frikke Kapp/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Nov 26, 2017. 17:52


Orlando Pirates beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

As a result, Pirates climbed up to second place on the league table, while Celtic slip down to eighth spot on the standings.

Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb and his Pirates counterpart Jackson Mabokgwane were not seriously tested in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Tignyemb was called into action in the 16th minute and he denied Pirates midfielder Luvuyo Memela as the visitors began to press Celtic.

Pirates defender-cum-midfielder Gladwin Shitolo thought he had given his side the lead a few minutes before the half-hour mark, but he was ruled offside.

The momentum was with Celtic after the half-hour mark with Kabelo Mahlasela looking lively for the hosts.

But the Celtic attacking midfielder was contained by the Pirates defence and the two sides were locked at 0-0 at half-time.

The Buccaneers had slightly dominated the first-half, but they could not beat Cameroonian shot-stopper Tignyemb.

Pirates were forced to concede two corner-kicks by Celtic in the first five minutes of the second-half and the visitors dealt well with the set-pieces.

The home side’s defence was then caught napping and former Celtic midfielder Musa Nyatama beat Tignyemb to make it 1-0 to Pirates in the 62nd minute.

There was a defensive mix-up in the Pirates box seven minutes later, but Celtic could not punish the visitors following a cross by Deon Hotto.

The momentum was Celtic in the closing stages of the game with Pirates forced to sit back and defend.

Pirates defended very well in the dying minutes and ultimately, they ran out 1-0 winners over Celtic.

Celtic 0

Pirates (0) 1 (Nyatama 62′)

Celtic: Tignyemb, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Lubisi, Baloyi, Mashikinya (Mabaso 85′), Phalane, Letsoalo (Nyundu 60′), Mahlasela (Motshegwa 77′), Hotto, Mabena.

Pirates: Mabokgwane, Chabalala, Shitolo, Nyauza, Matlaba, Sangweni, Nyatama, Qalinge (Rakhale 57′), Memela, Makola (Sarr 71′), Gabuza (Nkosi 91’+1).



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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

by
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

Teams

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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Sundowns stutter in front of goal in goalless stalemate – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Sibusiso Vilakazi of Mamelodi Sundowns and James Okwousa of Chippa United during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Chippa United and Mamelodi Sundowns at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth on 25 November 2017 © Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

by
Brian Lee

Saturday Nov 25, 2017. 17:55


Mamelodi Sundowns stuttered in front of goal as they played to a 0-0 draw against Chippa United in their Absa Premiership match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Brazilians had the lion’s share of possession throughout the match, but they could not convert their dominance into goals and had to settle for the point.

However, despite the draw Sundowns have temporarily moved up to second on the league table with 16 points from nine games, two points behind leaders Baroka who have played 11 games.

The home side started the better of the two teams and had the first shot on goal in the 11th minute when Abel Mabaso’s shot from the edge of the box strike the post before bouncing away from danger.

Sundowns’ first reals scoring chance came ten minutes later when Percy Tau curled a 24-yard free-kick inches over the target.

The next decent scoring opportunity only came in the 29th minute when Tiyani Mabunda drove forward from the midfield before unleashing a 30-yard thunderbolt which deflected just wide of the Maritzburg goal.

The half ended all-square.

The Brazilians continued to dictate matters at the start of the second half with Mabunda shooting narrowly wide of the target five minutes into the stanza.

Chippa, though, were not to be outdone and came close to scoring in the 54th minute when Paseka Mako broke through on goal, but he was superbly denied in a one-on-one with Denis Onyango.

In the 68th minute Chippa suffered a bit of a set-back when goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi had to leave the field injured and was replace by Brighton Mhlongo.

There was a large delay to the match as Akpeyi was stretchered off and that seemed to kill the mood of the game.

Both teams struggled to create any significant chances on goal after that and the match ended all-square as a result.

The draw for Chippa also moves them up the table temporarily as they occupy fifth spot after 12 games played on 16 points as well, but an inferior goal difference to Sundowns.

Chippa United (0) 0

Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 0

Teams

Chippa: Akpeyi (Mhlongo 68’), Macheke, Okwuosa, Konqobe, Maphanga, Mvelase, Mabaso, Mdlinzo, Mako, Lentjies (Julies 61’), Sekola (Mashego 55’).

Sundowns: Onyango, Langerman, Soumahoro, Ngcongca, Madisha, Billiat (Zakri 85’), Kekana (Zwane 74’), Mabunda, Vilakazi (Laffor 74’), Manyisa, Tau.



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Chippa’s unbeaten run to be tested by ‘Downs – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Thapelo Morena of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Andile Mbenyane of Chippa United during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa United at Loftus Stadium, South Africa on 28 February 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 19:30


Chippa United’s unbeaten run in the Absa Premiership will be put to the test by Mamelodi Sundowns at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 25 November 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

Chippa have gone eight league matches without defeat following a 1-1 draw away to Free State Stars on November 22. The Eastern Cape side had to fight back from a goal down to claim a share of the spoils in Bethlehem.

The Chilli Boys have performed respectably at home so far this season, with two wins, two draws and just one defeat from five turns as hosts. Their last home match was a 2-1 win over Cape Town City just over a month ago.

Sundowns claimed a second successive league win when they defeated Bidvest Wits 2-0 in Johannesburg, courtesy of two second-half strikes from Khama Billiat. Coach Pitso Mosimane will hope this sparks a run of form which brings his side back to the top of the league standings.

And the good news for the Brazilians, ahead of this trip to the Eastern Cape, is that they boast a 100 percent away record this season: five games on the road, five victories. In fact, all of their 15 log points have been claimed from away matches.

In head-to-head stats, Chippa and Sundowns have met in eight league matches since 2012/13. The Brazilians boast an unbeaten record in the sequence, with four wins and four draws recorded. The Chilli Boys have managed three draws and one loss from their four home league matches against ‘Downs.

Last season the teams cancelled each other out in their two league meetings, drawing 1-1 in the Eastern Cape in the first half of the campaign, followed by a goalless stalemate in the return in Tshwane.

Chippa’s line-up from their 1-1 draw with Stars on November 22: Akpeyi, Macheke, Okwuosa, Bergman, Maphanga, Mvelase, Mabaso (Zuke 61’), Mdlinzo, Mako, Lentjies (Sekola 65’), Julies (Masuku 81’).

Sundowns’ line-up from their 2-0 win over Wits on November 21: Onyango, Morena (Billiat 56′), Langerman, Soumahoro, Ngcongca (Laffor 85′), Madisha, Kekana, Mabunda, Manyisa, Tau, Vilakazi (Zwane 81′).



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Orlando Pirates unaware Foster underwent trials at AS Monaco – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Lyle Foster of Orlando Pirates during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City at Soccer City, Johannesburg on 19 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 17:00


Orlando Pirates administrative manager Floyd Mbele is unaware of media reports stating that Lyle Foster underwent trials at AS Monaco.

On Thursday, reports coming of South Africa stated that the Bucs striker went for a two-week assessment at the French Ligue 1 giants.

However, Bucs club official Mbele insisted that he was not aware of the news when speaking to Goal South Africa.

“I don’t know what you are talking about. Honestly, I’m not aware that he went to Monaco for an assessment,” Mbele told Goal.

“It’s the first time I’m hearing this. I’m not aware of any assessment the player went through abroad.”

Foster, who is a South African Under-20 international, was promoted to the Bucs first team this season.

He has since made four appearances in the Absa Premiership for the Buccaneers.



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Chiefs target return to winning form – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Polokwane City and Kaizer Chiefs at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 31 October 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 16:30


Kaizer Chiefs will look for a return to winning form in the Absa Premiership when they host Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida Stadium on 25 November 2017, kick-off at 18h00.

Chiefs played to a third successive draw when they were held 0-0 at AmaZulu on November 22. The Soweto side has managed just three wins so far this season and will need to accumulate points at a quicker rate if they are to challenge for top honours.

The Amakhosi are still in search of their first home win in 2017/18, having claimed just three points from five turns as hosts. Their last home game was a goalless draw against arch rivals Orlando Pirates last month.

Stars have gone three league matches without a win after they were held 1-1 at home by Chippa United on November 22. The Free State side last claimed a three-pointer when they beat Ajax Cape Town 2-0 at home in mid-October.

Ea Lla Koto have claimed six points from five away matches so far this season, though their last match on the road was a 1-0 defeat at Cape Town City prior to the last international break.

In head-to-head stats, Chiefs and Stars have met in 35 league matches since 1996. The Amakhosi have claimed 23 wins compared to just three for Ea Lla Koto, while nine matches have been drawn. The Soweto side has claimed 13 wins and suffered just one defeat in their 18 home matches against the Free State side.

Last season Chiefs claimed a league ‘double’ over Stars, winning 2-0 in the Free State in the first half of the campaign and 3-1 in the return game in Soweto. The Amakhosi have not lost a league match against Ea Lla Koto since the first half of the 2010/11 season.

Chiefs’ line-up from their 0-0 draw with AmaZulu on November 22: Khune, Cardoso, Hadebe, Ngezana, Zulu, Katsande, Maluleka, Ekstein (Tshabalala 66′), Molangoane, Páez (Zuma 83′), Parker (Jayiya 88′).

Stars’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Chippa on November 22: Sangare, Mobbie, Keita, Mbhele, Phungwayo, Masehe, Mokhuoane, Jantjie, Maphakisa, Dlamini, Anas.



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Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela concerned by shooting stats – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Head coach Steve Komphela of Kaizer Chiefs during 2017 Macufe Cup game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Kaizer Chiefs at Free State Stadium on 08 October [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 17:30


Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela has admitted that he is concerned at learning that his team took more than an hour to register their first shot on target against AmaZulu yesterday.

The Amakhosi played to a goalless draw away to Usuthu at Princess Magogo Stadium, having offered little threat through the match. Their first shot on target only arrived from a header by Gustavo Paez in the 66th minute – and they had only one more in the remainder of the game.

The hosts, by contrast, were ‘trigger happy’ and hit eight shots on target, only to find Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune in superb form, as he even kept out a penalty kick.

“Someone asked me that after the match. I still have to go back and look,” Komphela told reporters after the match, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“Looking at how the match unfolded, how many did AmaZulu have? How many? I’m trying to draw a comparison and then without defending us, because if you say at the 60th minute we got nothing and AmaZulu was 14 shots on target then there’s really cause for concern… we have to look at that.

“If it’s 60 minutes Chiefs zero, AmaZulu zero, one or two, then it points at the match. The conditions just didn’t make it easy but that doesn’t have to come out with excuses.

“I wish I knew how many AmaZulu had after 60 minutes, then I’ll respond with a little bit more relevance. But we need to create chances and goalmouth action, but again when you are playing a team that is pressing that is not going to be easy.”

Komphela added, “In the first half I thought they did better and we got to grips in the second half.

“They missed the penalty, we were lucky to survive but congratulations again must go to Itu, who read the situation and stood his ground, made the save.

“We also had a couple of chances. I thought we should’ve won the match. There’s a number of maybe calls that we should’ve done better with in terms of our defensive line.

“In the final third we were a bit desperate in terms of taking chances. On any given day or under other circumstances we could’ve taken those chances even the [Siphiwe Tshabalala] ‘Shabba’ one in the last minute.”



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South African team ropes in ex-Ugandan keeper Posnett Omony as coach – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Posnett Omony formerly of Black Leopards FC and Humphrey Khoza from Black Leopards FC and Joel Mogorosi from Bloemfontein Celtic FC. during the Absa Premiership match between between Bloemfontein Celtic FC and Black Leopards FC at the Free State Stadium on 19 De

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 12:30


Ex-Ugandan national team goalkeeper Posnett Omony has landed a job in the South African Premier Soccer League as Chippa United‘s goalkeeper coach.

The club confirmed the appointment of the former glove man at the start of this week, and he was on the bench in their fixture against Free State Stars on Wednesday.

Before his appointment the former Black Leopards and Bloemfontein Celtic keeper was training keepers in the South African National First Division with Mthatha Bucks.

Over a year ago Omony became a fully trained and qualified goalkeeper coach after completing a goalkeeping course organised by the South Africa Football Association (SAFA).

Omony featured 11 times for the Cranes and also represented South African sides such as Vasco Da Gama and lately Roses United Football Club before calling it quits in 2014.

The 34-year-old will now work with coach Teboho Moloi’s bench at the Chilli Boys and will train the likes of Brighton Mhlongo and Daniel Akpeyi.



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Rise and Shine held to 0-0 draw in Polokwane – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Evans Rusike of Maritzburg Utd

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 22:04


Polokwane City and Maritzburg United played to a goalless stalemate in an Absa Premiership clash at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Wednesday night.

The result extending the Team of Choice’s winless run in the league to seven matches, as they remain in 13th spot on the log standings. A third successive draw takes Rise and Shine up one spot to 11th.

The game struggled to kick into gear with neither side showing any real impetus in the opening half-hour, with nothing to write home about as the two teams failed to create any noteworthy attempts at goal.

Maritzburg finally conjured something notable in the 39th minute, but Evans Rusike was unable to convert following good work down the flank by Mxolisi Kunene.

Either side tried their luck from range in the closing exchanges of the half, but neither could find the back of the net before the break.

Rise and Shine, nor their Premiership counterparts were willing to take a leap of faith as the same tempo continued following the interval.

The game threatened to finally spark into life in the final 10 minutes, but it was not to be as both teams ultimately settled for a point apiece in what was a largely uneventful evening in the Limpopo province.

Polokwane City (0) 0

Maritzburg United (0) 0

Polokwane City: Chigova; Semenya, Ravhuhali, Tshilo, Maponyane, Seabi, Tlolane (Phiri 82′) [Musona 90+2′], W.Maluleke, J.Maluleke (Mngomezulu 87′), Ramagalela, Ndou.

Maritzburg United: Ofori; Sanoka, Xulu, Fransman, Makaringe, Rusike (Ntshangase 85′), Weidlich, Kunene (Shandu 90′), Maboe, Ndlovu, Mekoa.



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Platinum Stars draw at home but move to 15th spot – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Roggert Nyundu of Bloemfontein Celtic challenged by Katlego Otladisa of Platinum Stars during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Platinum Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg South Africa on 22 November 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 21:58

Platinum Stars failed to grab their second Absa Premiership win when they drew 0-0 against Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday night at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

Despite the stalemate, the Rustenburg-based side now sit at the 15th spot on the log standings with eight points from 11 matches so far.

Although Dikwena had a bright start in the opening five minutes, Brian Mwila could not beat Patrick Tignyemb who made a save in the box at the second attempt.

With chances few and far between, towards the 20th minute Celtic’s Lantshene Phalane tried to beat Mbongeni Mzimela from a distance, but the keeper was equal to the task in the 27th minute.

Despite dominance by Roger De Sa’s men, their lack of sharpness in the final third meant the scores remained level at half time at 0-0.

In the second half, the hosts found the back of the net through Mwila’s header from a set piece, but it was disallowed as he came from an offside position.

However, it was Siwelele that looked threatening after the hour mark as they utitlised their wingers, yet Mzimela showed his aerial quality.

The 70th minute saw Stars’ skipper Vuyo Mere coming close to beating Tignyemb after a long pass found him behind Celtic’s defence, he showed a wonderful first touch but missed the target with the keeper to beat.

After introducing Kabelo Mahlasela and Tshegofatso Mabaso, Veselin Jelusic’s men upped the ante and the latter saw his effort saved by Mzimela, who conceded a corner in the 79th minute.

As both sides were running against time, Mere picked out an unmarked Robert Ng’ambi with a sublime pass, but the Malawian blasted his effort off target two minutes later.

With both camps fighting for a goal, their efforts in the dying minutes could not yield the desired results and it ended in a dull draw.

The stalemate elevates Phunya Sele Sele to the fourth spot with 16 points from 11 games.

Platinum Stars 0

Bloemfontein Celtic 0

Platinum Stars: Mzimela, Mnguni, Sithole, Zulu, Mere, Otladisa (Matlakala 80′), N’gambi, Mwila (Links 63′) , Nwedihanga, Msomi, Masalesa

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Jembula (Letsoalo 69′), Motshegwa (Mahlasela 55′), Letlabika, Baloyi, Hotto, Nyundu (Mabaso 63′), Phalane



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Unlucky AmaZulu held by Chiefs – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Mbongeni Gumede of AmaZulu

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 21:48


Kaizer Chiefs held AmaZulu to a 0-0 draw in an Absa Premiership match at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday night.

As a result, AmaZulu climb up to ninth spot on the league table, while Chiefs move up to sixth spot.

Chiefs shot-stopper Itumeleng Khune was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first-half as the hosts searched for the opening goal.

Siyethemba Mnguni tried his luck from range in the sixth minute and Khune made a decent save to deny the AmaZulu midfielder.

Usuthu were in control of the match with Amakhosi under pressure, but the hosts could not get their shots on target.

Mhlengi Cele had a chance to make it 1-0 to AmaZulu in the 20th minute and the striker fired wide of the target.

Khune, who was having a good game, produced two back-to-back saves with seven minutes left before half-time.

The South African international denied Mbongeni Gumede and Phumlani Gumede within a minute.

The score was 0-0 at the interval following a first-half which was dominated by AmaZulu, but they could not beat Chiefs captain Khune.

Usuthu had a chance to break the deadlock eight minutes into the second-half after they were awarded a penalty.

However, Khune came to Chiefs’ rescue once again as he made a good save to deny Manzini from the spot-kick.

Usuthu continued to launch attacks and Mhlengi Cele placed his effort over the crossbar in the 64th minute.

Boalefa Pule, Usuthu’s shot-stopper, then produced a great save to deny Gustavo Paez two minutes later as Chiefs searched for the opening goal.

The former South Africa youth international also denied Chiefs striker Bernard Parker in the latter stages of the game.

AmaZulu defender Phumlani Gumede received a red card in the dying minutes of the match and ultimately, the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

AmaZulu 0

Chiefs 0

AmaZulu: Pule B, Gumede P, Gumede M, Mtsweni, Sikhakhane, Morton, Ncube, Mnguni, Ncobeni (Karuru 60′), Cele (Daporh 90’+1), Manzini (Ntsundwana 82′).

Chiefs: Khune, Cardoso, Hadebe, Ngezana, Zulu, Katsande, Maluleka, Ekstein (Tshabalala 66′), Molangoane, Páez (Zuma 83′), Parker (Jayiya 88′).



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Chippa held 1-1 by Stars – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Edward Manqele of Free State Stars

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 20:25


Chippa United were held to a 1-1 draw by hosts Free State Stars at Goble Park in the early Absa Premiership match on Wednesday evening.

Both goals arrived late in the game, with the hosts taking a lead against the run of play thanks to a strike from Edward Manqele, while the visitors quickly equalised through James Okwuosa.

The result sees both teams rise up the log, temporarily at least: Ea Lla Koto are up one spot to ninth with 12 points from 10 matches, while the Chilli Boys go up three positions to fifth with 15 points from 11 outings in the league.

Chippa enjoyed the early possession but struggled to create clear-cut chances. Their best effort at goal in the opening half hour came via a 24th-minute free kick from Kurt Lentjies which flew just over the crossbar.

Stars gradually claimed a foothold in the game and on 38 minutes they nearly claimed the lead, with winger Sinethemba Jantjie denied at close range by a superb save from Chippa goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.

Ea Lla Koto also created the first chance of the second half, with skipper Paulus Masehe getting on the end of a corner kick, only to see his effort travel over the target without troubling the ‘keeper.

Masehe had another go at goal – this time from long range – a few minutes later, but Akpeyi pulled off a good save, while shortly thereafter Chippa put Paseka Mako clean through, but he was unable to get the better of Badra Ali Sangare one-on-one.

On 64 minutes the Chilli Boys had another good opportunity when Phetso Maphanga teed up Lentjies, but he was unable to get the better of Sangare and was soon replaced by Moeketsi Sekola.

Sekola and the lively Mpho Mvelase continued to put Stars’ defence under pressure, but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock through substitute Edward Manqele in the 84th minute, with the striker coolly taking advantage of some slack defending.

Yet Ea Lla Koto’s lead was short lived, with the Chilli Boys equalising in the 86th minute: Menzi Masuku’s corner kick was headed home by defender James Okwuosa to see the match end 1-1.

Both teams will be in action again this weekend, with Stars away to Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa at home to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Free State Stars (0) 1 (Manqele 84’)

Chippa United (0) 1 (Okwuosa 86’)

Stars: Sangare, Mobbie, Keita, Mbhele, Phungwayo, Masehe, Mokhuoane, Jantjie, Maphakisa, Dlamini, Anas

Chippa: Akpeyi, Macheke, Okwuosa, Bergman, Maphanga, Mvelase, Mabaso (Zuke 61’), Mdlinzo, Mako, Lentjies (Sekola 65’), Julies (Masuku 81’)



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Billiat, Castro to leave Sundowns – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Leonardo Castro of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 18:30


Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro will both leave Mamelodi Sundowns at the end of the 2017-18 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season, head coach Pitso Mosimane has confirmed.

Once an integral part of the Brazilians unit, Castro has only started seven games in the last 12 months with the once famous ‘CBD’ trio set to all ply their trade elsewhere come the start of next season.

Keagan Dolly is currently at Montpellier in France, and Billiat could well join the Bafana Bafana attacker in Europe in the near future.

The Zimbabwe international proved his worth off the bench as Sundowns beat Bidvest Wits 2-0 in an Absa Premiership clash on Tuesday evening. The former Ajax Cape Town man with both goals.

“Khama is leaving, Leo is leaving,” Mosimane told KickOff.com. “The CBD is gone hey, so we have to start something [new]. CBD is gone – Keagan is gone, Leo is going, Khama is going, so we need to change the team.”

Tiyani Mabunda is also yet to pen a new deal with the club, but Mosimane is confident the midfielder will remain at Chloorkop.



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Orlando Pirates continue winless run in Absa Premiership


Thabo Qalinge of Orlando Pirates tackled by Limbikani Mzava and Nkanyiso Cele of Golden Arrows during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium, Soweto South Africa on 21 November 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 21:43


Orlando Pirates have gone six matches without a win in the Absa Premiership after a 0-0 draw against Golden Arrows on Wednesday night at Orlando Stadium.

The hosts had a number of chances upfront, but now sit at sixth spot in the league with 15 points from 11 matches in their campaign.

Despite good touches from the hosts in the early stages of the contest, they could not test Arrows goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede in the first 10 minutes.

However, three minutes later Thabo Matlaba had his powerful left-footed effort saved by Gumede.

In the 27th minute Thabo Qalinge dribbled past four Arrows defenders into the box, but was let down by his final shot at goal which went straight at Gumede who cleared the danger.

Just after the half-hour mark Pirates lost the ball in the midfield and allowed Kudakwashe Mahachi to make a dangerous run into the box, only to see his final touch swallowed by keeper Jackson Mabokgwane.

Arrows resorted to long range efforts and Mabokgwane was called to produce a fine save to deny Zolani Nkombelo in the 41st minute.

It was 0-0 at half time.

With both sides coming from the tunnel energised, it was Clinton Larsen’s men who wasted a glorious chance to score when Mutizwa’s shot was saved by Mabokgwane after beating his marker in the box.

In the 62nd minute, Pirates intensified their probe for a goal and saw a Musa Nyatama effort saved by Gumede – the rebound fell for an unmarked Justice Chabalala whose effort sailed over the cross bar from close range.

The Soweto giants tried to pull out all their tricks in search of a winner, but were unable to break the deadlock.

For the visitors, Arrows now sit at the second spot on the log table with 16 points after 11 games in the league.

Orlando Pirates: 0

Golden Arrows: 0

Orlando Pirates: Mabokgwane, Chabalala, Shitolo, Van Heerden (Memela 69′), Nyauza, Matlaba, Nyatama, Qalinge (Morrison 79′), Lorch, Makola, Gabuza (Kutumela 54′)

Golden Arrows: Gumede, Mngwengwe, Mzava, S. Dube, Nkombelo, Cele, Shongwe (Bilankulu 58′), Sibiya (Fikizolo 46′), Mahachi (Lamola 71′), Magubane, Mutizwa



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Gavin Hunt praises Pitso Mosimane ahead of Wits-Sundowns showdown – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


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

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 14:00


Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has praised Mamelodi Sundowns counterpart Pitso Mosimane ahead of tonight’s Absa Premiership showdown between the teams.

The Clever Boys will host the Brazilians for the pick of three league clashes tonight. Wits come into the game having eliminated Kaizer Chiefs from the Telkom Knockout this past weekend, while Sundowns have had an extended period to prepare.

Hunt admits that he would have preferred points on the board rather than a strong cup run, following his team’s poor start to the defence of their league title, but reckons winning games is a good sign regardless.

“As I’ve said, [from] all these cup games you’d want to have league points, wouldn’t you? It will help us, but football is what it is and hopefully we can just get a little bit [of points] this week and have a smile about the place,” said Hunt.

“We know the task on Tuesday, against a very good side – a good squad of players. Pitso has done well there. We know what we’re up against and we’re just going to have to battle through this period with what we’ve got.”

The Wits coach also believes it’s a tough period for his side, who played Chiefs last Saturday, face Sundowns tonight and will then travel to the KwaZulu-Natal for a third game within a week when they take on Maritzburg United.

“Obviously the problem is you’re playing against Sundowns on Tuesday and we played [on Saturday] – that makes a big difference,” he explained.

“By the time you play your third game in a week, that team has only played their second game and, with our squad the way it is – with nothing coming back [from injury], it’s a problem.”



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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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Pirates, Arrows looking to bounce back – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Orlando Pirates celebrates their first goal during 2017 Telkom Knockout match between Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates at Princess Magogo Stadium in Kwa Mashu in Durban South Africa on 28 October 2017 © Aubrey Kgakatsi /BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 10:30


Both Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows will be looking to bounce back from Absa Premiership defeats when they face off at the Orlando Stadium on 21 November 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Pirates suffered their first home defeat of the season when they were beaten 3-1 by Mamelodi Sundowns on November 1. The Soweto side had claimed 10 points from a possible 12 as hosts until the Brazilians came to visit.

The Buccaneers’ coach Milutin Sredojevic will be concerned that his team has gone five league matches without picking up a win – their last three-pointer was a 1-0 victory over Cape Town City back in mid September.

Arrows suffered their first league defeat of the season when they were beaten 3-0 at SuperSport United on October 31. The Durban side has gone five league matches without a win and coach Clinton Larsen will be concerned with their dip in form.

Abafana Bes’thende have claimed nine points from six away matches so far this season, while two of their three league victories have been on the road – 3-1 at Bidvest Wits and 1-0 at Platinum Stars.

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Arrows have met in 32 league matches since 2000/01. The Buccaneers have claimed 18 wins compared to six for Abafana Bes’thende, while eight matches have been drawn. The Soweto side has won 10 of their 16 home league matches against their Durban counterparts, suffering just two defeats in the process.

Last season Pirates claimed a 3-1 home win in the first half of the campaign, but the return game in Durban saw Arrows claim a 2-1 win on the final day of the season. These teams have not played to a draw in a league meeting since the first half of the 2009/10 season.

Pirates’ line-up from their 3-1 loss to Sundowns on November 1: Sandilands, Mobara, Chabalala, Maela (Nyatama 34′), Van Heerden, Matlaba, Sarr, Qalinge, Lorch (Morrison 73′), Makola, Kutumela (Gabuza 23′).

Arrows’ line-up from their 3-0 loss to SuperSport United on October 31: Gumede, Nkombelo, Mzava, Mngwengwe, Dube, Bilankulu, Magubane (Shongwe 57′), Mahachi, Sibiya (Chideu 46′ [Lamola 74′]), Jooste, Mutizwa.



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Wits, Sundowns renew their rivalry – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Granwald Scott of Bidvest Wits challenges Khama Billiat of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Bidbest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns on 01 May 2017 at Bidvest Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 09:30


Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns will renew their rivalry in the Absa Premiership when they meet at the Bidvest Stadium on 21 November 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Wits hit a new low in the defence of their title as they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Chippa United on November 1. It was the Johannesburg side’s fifth loss in just nine league matches this season.

Three of those defeats have come at home, with the Clever Boys unable to turn Bidvest Stadium into a fortress like they did last season. However, Wits did manage a home win against Orlando Pirates in September and the visit of another league heavyweight may inspire them to up their game.

Sundowns bounced back from two straight defeats by handing Orlando Pirates a 3-1 beating in Soweto on November 1, with Hlompho Kekana scoring a brace of goals – one of which was a ‘goal of the season’ contender.

The Brazilians have had a similar problem to Wits in terms of home form (they have lost all three matches as hosts this season), but when it comes to their travels, Pitso Mosimane’s side have been peerless, claiming four wins from as many games on the road.

In head-to-head stats, Wits and Sundowns have met in 63 league matches since 1985. The Brazilians have claimed 34 wins compared to 17 for the Clever Boys, while 12 matches have been drawn. The Johannesburg side has won 13 of their 32 home league matches against their Tshwane counterparts, suffering 15 defeats in the process.

Last season ‘Downs claimed a 2-0 home win in the first half of the campaign, but Wits replied with a 1-0 triumph in Johannesburg in the return game – the result sealed their first Absa Premiership title. The Clever Boys’ last three home league matches against the Brazilians have produced just three goals.

Wits’ line-up from their 2-0 loss to Chippa on November 1: Keet, Allie, Khumalo, Hlatshwayo, Hlanti, Pelembe (Keene 82’), Scott, Mlambo (Pienaar 63’), Klate, Pule (Phiri 75’), Gamal.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 3-1 win over Pirates on November 1: Onyango, Langerman, Soumahoro, Morena, Madisha, Ngcongca, Kekana (T. Zwane 75′), Mabunda, Vilakazi (Laffor 79′), Manyisa, Tau (Billiat 69′).



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Polokwane crash out of Telkom Knockout after penalties – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Patrick Tignyemb of Bloemfontein Celtic celebrates teammates goal during the 2017 Telkom Knockout semifinal football match between Polokwane City and Bloemfontein Celtic at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 19 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Brian Lee

Sunday Nov 19, 2017. 18:35


Polokwane City crashed out of the Telkom Knockout after losing 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after their semifinal match against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon ended 1-1.

Celtic will now take on Wits in the final of the TKO after they beat Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 on Saturday in the cup competition’s other semifinal.

On Sunday regular time ended goalless between Polokwane and Celtic, but we saw two goals in extra time courtesy of strikes from Tshegofatso Mabaso and Rendani Ndou respectively which saw 120 minutes of play end 1-1.

The away side started the better of the teams with Kabelo Mahlasela firing a low 18-yard shot just inches wide of the Polokwane goal in the tenth minute.

In the 21st minute Rise and Shine mounted their first real attack when Salulani Phiri created some space inside the box, but he saw his 16-yard effort brilliantly saved by the Celtic keeper.

On the half hour mark we came close to the opening goal when Celtic’s Alfred Ndengane met a cross with a strong header, but his ten-yard effort skimmed the wrong side of the post.

The half ended 0-0.

Celtic started the second half as they ended the opening stanza and went close to scoring again on the hour mark when Mbhazima Rikhotso met a cross into the box with a powerful header, but the Polokwane keeper made a great fingertip save to deny him.

In the 75th minute Rendani Ndou had Polokwane first real chance in the second half when his 20-yard shot went narrowly wide of the target with the Celtic keeper well beaten.

Neither team could find a winning goal in the last 15 minutes of regular time as the match ended all-square and consequently went into extra-time.

Thirteen minutes into extra-time Celtic finally broke the deadlock on the day when Tshegofatso Mabaso found the back of the net from 14-yards out after a well-worked free-kick to give Phunya Sele Sele a 1-0 lead going into half-time of extra-time.

City threw numbers forward in the second half of extra-time and managed to find an equaliser in the 115th minute when Rendani Ndou headed home a corner-kick as the game ended 1-1, and entered the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

Celtic came out victorious after winning the penalty shoot-out 4-3.

Polokwane City (0) 1 (Ndou 115’)

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 1 (Moabaso 103’)

*Celtic won 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out

Penalty sequence:

Maponyane scores, Rikhotso scores, Ramagalela misses target, Lelabika scores, Maluleke penalty is saved, Nyondo scores, Tlolane scores, Baloyi penalty is saved, Mbonani scores, Mabaso scores.

Teams

Polokwane: Chigova, Semenya, Ravhuhali (Hlongwane 110’), Mbonani, Maponyane, Seabi, Musona (Tlolane 89’), Ramagalela, J. Maluleke, Ndou, Phiri (Mngomezulu 105’).

Celtic: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Mabena (Nyondo 113’), Mahlasela (Mabaso 90’), Letlabika, Baloyi, Hotto, Nyundu (Motshegwa 82’), Phalane.



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