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Mazembe take 2-1 CAF CC final advantage to Atteridgeville


Adama Traore of TP Mazembe

by
Bertin Basson

Sunday Nov 19, 2017. 18:10


TP Mazembe beat SuperSport United 2-1 in a 2017 CAF Confederations Cup final first leg clash, at Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi on Sunday afternoon.

The Ravens with a slender advantage heading into the reverse fixture at the Lucas Moripe Stadium next Saturday, with Sipho Mbule grabbing a crucial away goal for the South Africans.

SuperSport head coach Eric Tinkler had expressed his desire for his team to bag an away goal in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Matsatsantsa should’ve opened the scoring as early as the 12th minute, but Bradley Grobler failed to hit the target with the goal at his mercy.

Matsatsantsa were all over their hosts with Ley Matampi called into action to deny Thuso Phala, Dove Wome and Siyabonga Nhlapo in quick succession thereafter.

The defending champions, though, proved their worth and duly came up with a sucker punch through Adama Traore in the 18th minute.

Ushindi Kubanza had hit the crossbar moments before the Mali international’s goal in what was a frantic start to the game. Traore’s left-footed shot whistled past Ronwen Williams, with the SuperSport goal-minder found wanting as the ball flew right over his head.

Following what was an exciting opening half-hour, proceedings calmed down quite drastically, but SuperSport would end the stanza on a high. Grobler, though, was unable to convert from close range on two occasions with Mazembe carrying a 1-0 lead into the tunnel at the break.

Matsatsantsa leveled matters in the 47th minute through Mbule who’s rocket from range flew past Ley Matampi in the Mazembe goal. The SuperSport teenager with a memorable strike to silence the Ravens faithful, knowing the importance of an away goal.

Mazembe, though, would claim victory with Daniel Nii Adjei restoring their lead in the 67th minute of the match. His shot from the edge of the area having the beating of Williams, with the goalkeeper unable to contend with the bounce off the artificial pitch.

The hosts bossed the closing stages of the encounter, but failed to add to their scoreline as focus now turns to the second leg in South Africa.

The reverse fixture will take place at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville next Saturday, 25 November.

TP Mazembe (1) 2 (Traore 18′ Adjei 67′)

SuperSport United (0) 1 (Mbule 47′)

TP Mazembe: Matampi; Mpeko, Kimwaki, Kabaso, Kasusula, Sinkala, Adjei (Mputu 82′), Kalaba (Meschack 58′), Kubanza (Asante 61′), Malango, A.Traore.

SuperSport United: Williams; Nhlapo, Daniels, Mashamaite, Modiba, Furman, Mbule, Phala, Wome (Kekana 81′), Brockie (Lakay 73′), Grobler (Farmer 85′).



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TP Mazembe, SuperSport battle for first-leg advantage – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup


Club Africain player Oussama Darragi (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

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017. 17:30


TP Mazembe and SuperSport United will battle to take a first-leg advantage when they meet in the final of the CAF Confederation Cup this weekend. The match is set for the Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi on Sunday 19 November, kick-off at 15h30 CAT.

Mazembe, the reigning Confed Cup champions, earned the right to defend their title by finishing top of Group D before defeating Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid (7-1 on aggregate) and FUS Rabat (1-0 on aggregate) in the quarter- and semifinals respectively.

SuperSport, who are appearing in their first continental competition final, finished second in Group D before overcoming Zesco United (on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw) and Club Africain (4-2 on aggregate) in the quarter- and semifinals respectively.

The teams met twice in the group stage back in June, drawing 2-2 in Lubumbashi and 0-0 in the return game in Tshwane.

Mazembe have enjoyed intensive preparations for the Confed Cup final, first undergoing a training camp in Morocco where they played several friendlies, before defeating Ecofoot Katumbi 2-0 in their 2017/18 domestic league opener on Monday.

Club president Moise Katumbi has called on TPM fans to fill the stadium and give the Ravens huge support ahead of their clash against United.

“This season, despite the elimination in the Champions League, the club has been performing and the players have invested to reach the final of the CAF [Confederation] Cup. They deserve a really full stadium for this very important final, which is important to win at home,” Katumbi is quoted by the club’s website.

“I know that the supporters of the TPM are always able to mobilise to take their team to success. It is with the support of a large audience that our players will pull a lot of strength from the stands to defeat SuperSport. The players are waiting for everyone to show a sacred union around the team to win.”

SuperSport’s preparations have been hit by an extended absence for their Bafana Bafana players – Ronwen Williams, Clayton Daniels, Dean Furman, Bradley Grobler and Morgan Gould – who were part of the national team’s trip to Dakar for their final 2018 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

Matsatsantsa midfielder Aubrey Modiba, who scored against TP Mazembe in the 2-2 draw five months ago, is looking forward to the battle.

“I have not missed a game in the Confed Cup. I am only one who has played every game and I am happy. It shows that there is something I am doing right,” Modiba told KickOff.

“I just have to keep performing consistently. Credit to the coaches for giving me the opportunity. My family has also been supporting me. It’s not only about me, but about the team as well.”

Modiba added, “We know about them. It’s not like we don’t know what to expect. They are a good side and it will be tough. It will be a different ball game because it’s a final. Everyone will want to perform.

“I was happy to score against Mazembe. It’s a big team on the continent. Not everyone gets to score in Lubumbashi.”

The match in Lubumbashi this weekend will be handled by Algerian referee Mehdi Abid Cherif. The return leg is set for the Lucas Moripe Stadium on November 25.



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Alger eye first-leg advantage against Wydad


Fabrice Nguessi Ondama (R) of Wydad Casablanca vies for the ball with Maroof Yusuf (L) of Zamalek during the African Champions League (CAF) semi-final leg soccer match between Zamalek and Wydad Casablanca at Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco, 24 September 2016. EPA/ABDELHAK SENNA

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Sep 28, 2017. 15:00


USM Alger will lock horns with Wydad Casablanca in the 2017 CAF Champions League match on Friday.

The semi-final first-leg match will be played at the Stade du 5 Juillet in the Algerian city of Algiers.

Kick-off is at 19h00 CAT.

Alger, who are the 2015 runners-up, booked their place in the last four after defeating Mozambican side Ferroviário Beira on the away goals rule.

The quarter-final tie had ended in a 1-1 stalemate on aggregate following a 0-0 draw in the second-leg clash in Algiers last weekend.

Paul Put, the Alger head coach, is likely to unleash hard-working forward Abderrahmane Meziane Bentahar against Wydad.

Meanwhile, Wydad, who won this tournament in 1992, advanced to the semi-finals after defeating South African side Mamelodi Sundowns 3-2 on penalties.

The quarter-final tie had ended in a 1-1 draw on aggregate after Wydad defeated the defending champions 1-0 in the second-leg clash in Rabat last weekend.

Wydad coach Ihoussaine Ammouta will look to exciting forward Mohammed Ounajem to lead the team’s attack.

The winner on aggregate between Alger and Wydad will face off with either Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel or Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the final.

Referee Sidi Alioum, who hails from Cameroon, will officiate the encounter between Alger and Wydad on Friday.



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MC Alger claim narrow advantage


Khaled Gourmi of MC Alger challenged by Ndumiso Ndaba of Mbabane Swallows

by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Sep 17, 2017. 00:00


MC Alger narrowly defeated Club Africain on Saturday night to hold the advantage in their CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinal tie.

The Algerian hosts won 1-0 in the teams’ first-leg clash at the Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers on Saturday night.

Tunisian side CA will have to rely on home advantage in the return game next weekend if they are to keep up their hopes of advancing in Africa’s second tier continental competition.

MCA struck the game’s decisive goal in the 10th minute through striker Hichem Nekkache and they held firm in defence to ensure they have a strong foothold in the tie.

The return match will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Rades next Sunday evening. The aggregate winners will meet either SuperSport United or Zesco United in the semifinals.



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Advantage Maritzburg in battle of the Uniteds – MTN8 2017


Deolin Mekoa of Martizburg United challenged by Grant Kekana of Supersport United during MTN8 Semifinal match between Supersport United and Maritzburg United at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville South Africa on 26 August 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Sep 07, 2017. 11:41


Maritzburg United will look to seal a place in the MTN8 final for the first time when they welcome SuperSport United to the Harry Gwala Stadium on 9 September 2017, kick-off at 20h15.

The teams’ first leg, semifinal clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in late August ended in a 1-1 draw, with Thuso Phala’s goal early in the second half cancelled out by a late equaliser for Lebohang Maboe. The Maritzburg attacker’s away goal could yet prove decisive, with the Team of Choice now in a position where a clean sheet will guarantee progression into the final.

Coach Fadlu Davids’ side have been in impressive form early in the 2017/18 season and currently sit at the top of the Absa Premiership standings alongside Cape Town City (and there’s a good chance the two teams could meet in the MTN8 final!). How they react to reassembling after the international break could well determine their fate in this semifinal tie.

Matsatsantsa coach Eric Tinkler, meanwhile, claimed he was thankful for the break to work on his team’s fitness and tactics. The Tshwane side are very much alive in the tie and will fancy their chances of reaching the MTN8 final for the first time since 2012, when they were beaten by Moroka Swallows.

The 1-1 draw between the two Uniteds was their third cup clash – the previous two were outright wins for SuperSport in the quarterfinals of both the 2012 Telkom Knockout and the 2013 Nedbank Cup. Overall, the teams have clashed in 25 matches since 2005/06, with Matsatsantsa claiming 14 wins compared to just two for the Team of Choice.

The aggregate winners will face either Bidvest Wits or Cape Town City in the 2017 MTN8 final. The latter leads 1-0 ahead of the teams’ second leg clash in Johannesburg on September 10.



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Advantage Morocco heading into Rabat tussle


Nabil Dirar of Morocco evades tackle from Mahmoud Abdelmoneim Kahraba of Egypt during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football Quarter Final match between Egypt and Morocco at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 29 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Aug 18, 2017. 10:30


It is advantage Morocco heading into their 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) Northern Zone second-leg qualifier against Egypt at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat on Friday evening.

Kick-off is at 21h00 CAT.

The Atlas Lions held their rivals to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture hosted in Alexandria last weekend, with the visitors building on their impressive record against the mighty Egyptians.

Ahmed El Sheikh handed the hosts an early lead from the penalty spot, but Morocco hit back through Badr Banoun following the break to secure a favourable result.

Despite their dominance in Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Tournaments over the years, Egypt have yet to qualify for a single CHAN tournament in their history.

Morocco have qualified for two previous CHAN tournaments, with their best showing coming in South Africa three years ago as they reached the quarterfinals.

In 28 previous meetings – as per FIFA.com – Morocco have come out on top on 13 occasions compared to three wins for their opponents. 12 fixtures ended all square.

The aggregate winner will book their place at next year’s showpiece in Kenya.



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Sudan have the advantage over Ethiopia


Omer Mahmoud Kosti of Sudan

by
Brian Lee

Sunday Aug 13, 2017. 17:07


Ethiopia and Sudan played to a 1-1 draw in a first leg, third round African Nations Championship qualifier at the Hawassa International Stadium in Awasa on Sunday.

The first half was a rather dull affair with both teams poor in the final third of the field and consequently decent goal scoring chances were few and far between.

Neither side could penetrate the others defence as the first half ended 0-0.

The second half was a more entertaining affair with the away side taking control of the match.

Sudan made their pressure tell and scored the opening goal in 75th minute courtesy of a strike from Saif Malik, 1-0.

Ethiopia, though, were not going to go down without a fight and managed to level matters ten minutes later when Abdurhamn Mubark found the back of the net, 1-1.

Neither side could find a winning goal on the day as the game ended 1-1.

Sudan will be the happier of the two teams with the result heading into their home tie of the return leg of this third round match next weekend.



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Advantage Libya heading to Sfax


by
Bertin Basson

Sunday Aug 13, 2017. 00:07


Libya will be slight favourites to book their ticket to the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament heading into their second-leg Northern Zone qualifier against Algeria next week.

This following a 2-1 win over their North African rivals at Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui in Constantine on Saturday evening.

The Fennec Foxes opened the scoring as early as the first minute with Oussama Darfalou finding the back of the net after just 31 seconds of play.

The hosts off to the perfect start, but their lead would only last five minutes as Muaid Ellafi pulled the visitors level following a defensive mistake.

Libya, who won the CHAN title on South African soil three years ago, would take the lead three minutes after the break with Ellafi completing his brace as The Mediterranean Knights held on for a memorable win.

The second-leg will take place in Sfax, Tunisia next week with political turmoil forcing Libya to take their home matches elsewhere.



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Muzamiru Mutyaba brace hands Uganda big advantage over Rwanda


Erisa Ssekisambu and Muzamiru Mutyaba of Uganda

by
Brian Lee

Saturday Aug 12, 2017. 17:21


A brace from Muzamiru Mutyaba helped Uganda to an impressive 3-0 win over Rwanda in a first leg, third round African Nations Championship qualifier at the St Mary’s Stadium in Kampala on Saturday afternoon.

Uganda controlled the flow of play from the onset and opened the scoring in the 14th minute courtesy of a penalty strike from Muzamiru Mutyaba, 1-0.

The home side continued to pile on the pressure and added to the scoreline ten minutes later when Muzamiru Mutyaba found his second goal of the game, 2-0.

Rwanda tried to find their way back into the game before the break, but they were unable to sustain any period of possession and consequently were unable to create goal scoring chances.

Uganda took a two goal lead into the break.

The second half started much similar to the first with Uganda finding their third goal in the 51st minute thanks to Bernard Muwanga who found the back of the net with a clinical finish, 3-0.

Uganda took their foot off the pedal after that and cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win.

Rwanda will have a lot to do in the return leg of this third round tie which will be held at the Stade Régional Nyamirambo in Kigali next Saturday, August 19.

The winner of this two-leg qualifier will take part in CHAN 2019 in Kenya.



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South Africa grab first leg advantage


Gift Motupa of South Africa

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Jul 15, 2017. 17:40


South Africa brushed aside Botswana 2-0 in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier Southern Zone first-leg match at the Francistown on Saturday.

The two sides are scheduled to meet again the second-leg in Moruleng, South Africa next weekend and the winner on aggregate will face either Swaziland or Zambia in the third round.

Bafana Bafana started the match brightly and they were awarded a free-kick in a promising area just six minutes into the encounter.

Teboho Mokoena then stepped up and forced Botswana goalkeeper Mwampule Masule, who was well-positioned, into a comfortable save.

The Zebras then took control of the match pressing Bafana, but they were finding it difficult to penetrate the visitors’ defence.

The deadlock was broken two minutes before the half-hour mark after the Botswana defence was exposed and it was Ryan Moon, who scored for Bafana.

The striker beat his marker, before firing past Masule to make it 1-0 to South Africa and Moon became one of the few players, who have scored for Bafana on debut.

Botswana had to find a way to respond with a goal and in the 36th minute, Thero Setsile’s header narrowly missed South Africa keeper Boafela Pule’s goal-posts.

Pressure was mounting on the Bafana defence and Pule produced two good saves in the closing stages of the first-half and the score was 1-0 to South Africa at half-time.

David Bright, the Botswana coach, made two changes in the first 10 minutes of the second-half with Lemponye Tshireletso and Thabang Sesinyi coming on.

However, the Zebras struggled to penetrate the Bafana defence and Gift Motupa nearly doubled the visitors’ lead just after the hour-mark.

The midfielder-cum-striker turned well, before unleashing a shot which narrowly missed the target as the South Africans pressed the home side.

Motupa made amends in the 72nd minute when he scored to make it 2-0 to South Africa with Cole Alexander grabbing an assist with a great pass.

The momentum was with the visitors in the closing stages of the match and Bafana captain Mario Booysen’s header narrowly missed the target in the 79th minute.

Masule was called into action six minutes later and he made a good save to deny Motupa, who was looking for his second goal of the encounter.

South Africa held on to their lead in the dying minutes of the encounter and they ran out 2-0 winners over Botswana on the day.

Botswana (0)

SA (1) 2 (Moon 28′, Motupa 72′)

Botswana: Masule, Leinanyane, Kgaswane, Mathumo, Leririma, Gaolaolwe, Legwaila, Seakanyeng, Moyo (Sesinyi 51′), Setsile (Tshireletso 54′), Orebonye.

SA: Pule, Nhlapo, Malepe, Mvala, Booysen, Khumalo, Mokoena, Alexander, Norodien (Modise 81′, Ntshangase 88′), Motupa, Moon (Webber 65′).



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Botswana out to grab first leg advantage


Thabo Cele of South Africa challenged by Tumisang Orebonye 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

Friday Jul 14, 2017. 13:30


Botswana will take on South Africa in the 2018 African Nations Championship qualifier Southern Zone first-leg match at the Francistown on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 15h30 CAT.

The Zebras have never qualified for the CHAN finals and the Southern African side will be keen to make history by booking their place in the 2018 finals.

Botswana participated in the recent 2017 COSAFA Cup in South Africa were they lost to Zambia and South Africa.

Newly appointed Zebras head coach David Bright will be looking to mastermind a home victory over South Africa.

Meanwhile, South Africa have participated in two CHAN finals (in 2011 and 2014). Their best finish was when they were knocked out of the quarterfinals in 2011.

Bafana Bafana hosted the recent 2017 COSAFA Cup and they finished fifth after beating Namibia in the plate final.

Stuart Baxter, the Bafana coach, will hoping to mastermind another victory over the Zebras in Botswana ahead of the second-leg clash.

The winner on aggregate between Botswana and South Africa will take on either Swaziland or Zambia in the final round of the qualifying campaign.

Refreee Willengton Kaoma, who hails from Zambia, will be in charge of the encounter between Botswana and South Africa in Francistown.



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