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South Africa beat Botswana in 2018 Women’s U17 WC qualifier


by
Staff Reporter

Saturday Dec 02, 2017. 11:00


The South African U17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana) defeated Botswana 5-1 in the first leg first round of the 2018 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifier played at the Lobatse Sports Complex on Friday, 1 December 2017.

With this being a new squad, South Africa head coach Simphiwe Dludlu gave debuts to 11 players, and they did not disappoint.

Goals from Karabo Dlamini, Thambolinye Mzoneli, Miche Minnies, Jessica Wade as well as an own goal from Tshegofatso Mosotho were enough to see South Africa take a healthy lead going into the second leg which will be played in two weeks time.

Bantwana started on a high grabbing the first goal in the first minute of play through Dlamini, before Mzoneli made it 2-0 in the 15th minute.

But a minute later the hosts pulled one back when Leungo Senwelo latched on to a defence splitting pass and pushed the ball past an advancing Kaydee Windvogel in the Bantwana goals.

Four minutes before the half time whistle, South Africa extended their lead through and own goal by Tshegofatso Mosotho – leaving the score at 3-1.

In the second stanza, Bantwana continued where they left off in the first half and increased their lead to 4-1 from a Miche Minnies goal in the 56th minute.

Five minutes later South Africa was awarded a free kick and Jessica Wade took it brilliantly to beat Atang Sedimonyane in the Botswana goals.

In the 73rd minute Bantwana captain Kaylin Jordaan was adjudged to have fouled her opponent and Botswana were awarded a penalty.

Esalenna Galekhutle stepped up to take it but Windvogel pulled off a beautiful save to keep the scored at 5-1 to Bantwana.

South Africa head coach Simphiwe Dludlu made two substitutions bringing Holweni for Mzoneli and Micaela Nunens for Wade.

Bantwana travel back to South Africa on Saturday, 2 December. The second leg will be played on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at the Dobsonville Stadium.



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Wits beat Chiefs to reach Telkom Knockout Cup final


by
Brian Lee

Saturday Nov 18, 2017. 18:00

Kaizer Chiefs lost 1-0 to Bidvest Wits in the Telkom Knockout semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Bidvest Stadium.

The Clever Boys netted their goal through striker James Keene.

Although both teams started on a cautious note, it was the Students who had a chance in the seventh minute as Amr Gamal turned Erick Mathoho in the box, but his shot was parried away by goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

Two minutes later, a brilliant display of football by Amakhosi in the Wits half saw them exchanging passes between Wiseman Meyiwa and Bernard Parker, only to see a rushed shot from Philani Zulu which went wide.

In the 27th minute, Meyiwa was shown a straight red card following a reckless foul after stepping on Daine Klate and Amakhosi were reduced to ten men.

A minute later Keene ensured the hosts were in the driving seat as he scored a fine header to beat Khune on his right corner, 1-0.

With four minutes to go to the interval, George Maluleka spotted Wits keeper Darren Keet off his line, but the midfielder’s long range shot was off target.

Coach Gavin Hunt’s men were leading at half time and coach Steve Komphela introduced Gustavo Paez as he sacrificed Daniel Cardoso.

Paez nearly punished the Clever Boys after receiving a brilliant pass from Willard Katsande, but his final pass in search of Siphiwe Tshabalala was cleared by the Wits defence in the 50th minute.

It was all Chiefs in the second stanza and substitute Dumisani Zuma nearly equalised in 65th minute when he saw his well struck shot sailing inches wide off Keet’s left post.

For the second time, Zuma managed to sneak in behind the hosts defence after a great defence splitting pass by Tshabalala,  but the substitute’s effort was blocked by Keet who came off his line in the 73rd minute.

Zuma had a big impact on the game and was on target in injury time as his effort hit the cross bar with Keen off his line.

Despite their efforts to throw everything at Wits, the Naturena-based side could not beat Keet who had an outstanding game.

Bidvest Wits: (1) 1 (Keene 28′)

Kaizer Chiefs: (0)

Bidvest Wits:  Keet, Klate (Pienaar 69′), Monare, Gamal, Hlanti, Mkhwanazi, Mlambo, Tlhone, Keene (Pelembe 84′), Frosler, Ntshangase

Kaizer Chiefs: Khune, Cardoso (Paez 47′), Mathoho, Ngezana, Zulu (Ekstein 78′), Katsande, Maluleka, Meyiwa, Tshabalala, Molangoane, Parker (Zuma 64′)



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Riyad Mahrez – Algerian coach Rabah Madjer banking on Leicester player to beat Nigeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Riyad Mahrez of Algeria battles Nigeria ‘s Etebo

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 19:00


Although Algeria are out of the race to book a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Desert Warriors will still have to protect their dignity when they meet Nigeria.

The thrilling encounter is set to be staged in Constantine on Friday as the North Africans will hope to boost their morale after a poor campaign.

Having a new coach in Rabah Madjer, the Algerians are aware that a win will ease their dismal qualifying campaign.

Madjer will lead the side for the first time after the axing of Lucas Alcaraz last month, and he wants a win to start his tenure on a high.

However, he will not make it happen alone and that is why players such as Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani must be in an uncompromising mood to down the Super Eagles.

“Our team is in crisis, it has been a difficult period for the players and that is why we have to get back to winning matches immediately (defeating Nigeria),” stressed Madjer.

Madjer will bank on the Leicester City winger as he has been impressive in the English Premier League in recent times.



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Kaizer Chiefs beat Chippa United in TKO quarter-finals


Siyabonga Ngezana of Kaizer Chiefs and Phetso Maphanga of Chippa United during the2017 Telkom Knockout game between Chippa United and Kaizer Chiefs at Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth on 05 Novemberr 2017 © Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Nov 05, 2017. 17:31


Kaizer Chiefs beat Chippa United 1-0 in a Telkom Knockout Cup quarter-final match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

As a result, Amakhosi booked their place in the semi-finals, while Chilli Boys are eliminated from the tournament.

Itumeleng Khune, the Chiefs shot-stopper, was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the early stages of the encounter.

The 30-year-old made a good save from Mpho Mvelase’s effort in the 7th minute, before denying the United winger again 17 minutes later.

But Chiefs were awarded a penalty after Chiefs winger Joseph Molangoane was fouled inside the United box a minute before the half-hour mark.

Chiefs veteran forward Bernard Parker made no mistake from the spot-kick as he scored to make it 1-0 to Chiefs.

United, who were desperate for an equalizing goal, were then awarded a free-kick in a promising area on the stroke of half-time.

However, Andile Mbenyane fired just over the crossbar and score was 1-0 to Chiefs during the half-time break.

United coach Teboho Moloi made the first change of the game five minutes after the restart with Samuel Julies replacing Lerato Manzini.

Former Mamelodi Sundowns winger Julies tried to make an immediate impact, but his long range shot was well saved by Khune in the 53rd minute.

The Chilli Boys were finding it difficult to unlock the Amakhosi defence which was marshalled by Daniel Cardoso.

However, the hosts applied some pressure on the Amakhosi defence in the closing stages of the action-packed encounter.

Amakhosi’s inspirational captain Khune got injured in stoppage time and he was replaced by Cardoso in goal as the visitors had used all their substitutes.

Chiefs held on to their slender lead in stoppage time and they emerged 1-0 winners against United.

United (0) 0

Chiefs (1) 1 (Parker 31′)

United: Akpeyi, Macheke, Okwuosa, Konqobe (Sekola 88′), Maphanga, Mako, Mdlinzo, Mabaso, Mvelase, Mbenyane (Lentjies 55′), Manzini (Julies 50′).

Chiefs: Khune , Cardoso, Mathoho, Ngezana, Zulu, Katsande, Meyiwa, Ekstein (Zuma 67′), Tshabalala (Malope 82′), Molangoane, Parker (Paez 78′).



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Chiefs beat AmaZulu to book TKO quarter-final spot


Daniel Cardoso of Kaizer Chiefs clears Mabhuti Khenyeza of AmaZulu during 2017 Telkom Knockout match between Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban South Africa on 28 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 22:26


Kaizer Chiefs overcame AmaZulu FC 3-0 in a Telkom Knockout Cup Last 16 match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

As a result, Amakhosi advance to the quarter-finals, while Usuthu are eliminated from the tournament.

Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune was kept busy by AmaZulu in the opening stages of the game and he denied AmaZulu striker Rhulani Manzini in the fifth minute.

However, the South Africa international should have been beaten in the 23rd minute, but AmaZulu striker Mabhuti Khenyeza missed the target from close range.

Chiefs then took the lead nine minutes later after the AmaZulu defence gave George Maluleka a lot of space.

The central midfielder then unleashed a shot into the top corner to make it 1-0 to Chiefs much to the delight of the Amakhosi fans.

AmaZulu tried to level matters before half-time, but Chiefs stood firm at the back and the score was 1-0 to the hosts at the interval.

Chiefs took control of the match after the restart with Willard Katsande stamping his authority in the middle of the park.

Hendrick Ekstein scored with a deflected shot to make it 2-0 to Chiefs in the 55th minute following a corner-kick.

The momentum was with the hosts and they extended their lead in the 59th minute through Siphiwe Tshabalala, who made it 3-0 from close range.

Cavin Johnson, the AmaZulu head coach, reacted by introducing Siyabonga Nomvethe a minute later as Usuthu looked to pull one back.

However, the former South Africa international was tightly marked by the Chiefs defence in the latter stages of the encounter.

AmaZulu striker Mhlengi Cele was denied by Khune at the near-post in the 87th minute and ultimately, Chiefs won 3-0 on the night.

Chiefs (1) 3 (Maluleka 32′, Ekstein 55′, Tshabalala 59′)

AmaZulu (0) 0

Chiefs: Khune, Cardoso, Mathoho, Ngezana, Zulu, Katsande, Maluleke, Ekstein (85′), Tshabalala (Moon 74′), Molangoane, Parker (Zuma 69′).

AmaZulu: Pule, Mbatha B, Sikhakhane, Gumede M, Gumede P, Darpoh, Ncube (Mnguni 83′), Ncobeni, Cele, Manzini (Ntsundwana 76′), Khenyeza (Nomvethe 60′).



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Platinum Stars beat Maritzburg United in TKO – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Mxolisi Kunene of Maritzburg United challenged by Siphiwe Mnguni of Platinum Stars during 2017 Telkom Knockout match between Maritzburg United and Platinum Stars at Harry Gwala Stadium, Pietermaritzburg South Africa on 28 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 27, 2017. 22:57


Platinum Stars overcame Maritzburg United 3-1 on penalties following a goalless draw in the Telkom Knockout Cup Last 16 match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.

The victory sees Dikwena booking their place in the quarter-finals, while the Team of Choice are eliminated from the tournament.

Stars shot-stopper Dino Visser was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first-half as he kept Maritzburg attackers at bay.

The 28-year-old made a decent save to deny Maritzburg striker Evans Rusike in the 24th minute as Maritzburg pressed for the opening goal.

The home side should have broken the deadlock just before the half-time break after the Stars defence was exposed.

However, Rusike, who represented Zimbabwe at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Gabon, missed the target.

Stars then stood firm at the back in the remaining minutes of the first-half and the score was 0-0 at the interval.

Visser was called into action a few minutes after the restart as Maritzburg continued to search for the opening goal.

The former Polokwane City shot-stopper pulled off a good save to deny Maritzburg striker Lebohang Maboe.

As the match progressed, Stars pressed Maritzburg and the visitors had a chance to break the deadlock in the 71st minute.

However, Zambian international Brian Mwila missed the target after controlling the ball very well in the Mariztburg half.

This proved to be the last chance of the match in regulation time and the game went into extra-time.

The only chance of the first-half of extra-time went to Stars full-back Siyabonga Zulu, who missed the target from a free-kick.

Rusike also missed the target from a promising positiion in the second-half of extra-time and a penalty shootout followed following a goalless draw.

Visser was the hero for Stars, who won 3-1 on penalties after the shot-stopper denied Liam Youlley and Mohau Mokate from the spot-kick.

Maritzburg (0) 0

P Stars (0) 0

Maritzburg: Ofori, Onyango (Fransman 70′), Xulu, Saal (Mekoa 69′), Sanoka, Rusike, Shandu, Makaringe, Maboe, Mokate, Kunene (Youlley 100′).

P Stars: Visser, Mnguni, Zulu, Sithole, Mwedihanga, Mere, Masalesa, Monama (De Jongh 78′), Sesinyi (Ng’ambi 54′), Otladisa, Mwila (Ntuli 88′)



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Al Ahly coach explains how easy it was to beat Etoile Sahel in Champions League – 2017 CAF Champions League


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 15:00


After a hard fought win at home in their CAF Champions League semi-final on Sunday, Al Ahly coach Hossam El Badry reveals how he beat Etoile Sportive du Sahel.

The Red Devils bagged a 6-2 win at the Borg El-Arab Stadium after a 2-1 loss in the opening leg away in Tunisia.

El Badry states that Sahel had two main problems that he exploited to achieve the win which saw them qualify to the CAF Champions League final.

AL AHLY CRUSH ETOILE SAHEL TO REACH CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL

“Before the game, we only focused on the victory and not conceding any goals from Etoile du Sahel. We initially played for the 1-0 win, but with god’s will and the players’ efforts, it became easier and we managed to score a lot more,” said El-Badry.

“We were dealing with Etoile du Sahel with their positive and negative aspects, which we studied very well before the game.

“They have two main problems: the players’ positioning and and the wide space between the midfielders and the defenders, which we managed to exploit perfectly.

“We will celebrate the win today and then start preparing for the final against Wydad Casablanca as they are a very strong and special team.”

The Egyptian giants will face Wydad Casablanca in the first leg final in Egypt on October 27 and will play the return leg in Morocco on November 4.



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Mali beat Ghana to reach U17 FIFA World Cup semifinals – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Helder Ribiero

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 15:44


Mali scored through Hadji Drame and Djemmoussa Traore to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the 2017 U17 FIFA World Cup on Saturday after beating Ghana 2-1 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati in India.

The Black Starlets found the back of the net courtesy of Kudus Mohamed through a penalty.

The 12th minute saw the Malian defence failing to clear a dangerous ball in the box and the rebound fell to Eric Ayiah whose shot narrowly missed the target.

Three minutes later, the Les Aigles managed to break the deadlock through Drame. A through ball for the forward penetrated the Ghanaian defence before unleashing a powerful shot on the near post, 1-0.

The 30th minute saw coach Paa Kwesi Appiah’s troops trying to break the stubborn Malian defence, but they were not clinical upfront.

With five minutes to the half, Ghana thought they have found the back of the net when Ibrahim Sulley beat goalkeeper Youssouf Koita on his near post, but the referee called for a foul on a Malian defender.

It was 1-0 at the interval in favour of Jonas Komla’s men.

Fresh from the tunnel, Ghana upped their ante as they probed for an equaliser, but they failed to trouble the solid Malian defence.

The Les Aigles doubled their lead through Djemmoussa Traore after a silly error by the keeper. Danlad Ibrahim making it 2-0 on the hour mark.

The Black Starlets received a penalty after a foul in the box by defender, Fode Konate allowing Mohamed to convert from the spot in the 70th minute, 2-1.

It was end to end stuff in the final 15 minutes, but both sides struggled in the rainy conditions and fired blanks in the final third.

The dying stages of the encounter produced no clear cut opportunities in front of goal as Mali cruised into the semis whilst Ghana crashed out of the tournament.

Ghana: (0) 1 (Konate 70′)
Mali: (1) 2 (Drame 15′, Traore 61′)

Mali: Koita, Haidara, Traore, Konate, Camara, Drame (Camara 80′), Jiddou (Doucoure 75′), Diaby, Samake, Kane, Ndiaye

Ghana: Ibrahim, Yakubu, Ayiah, Sulley (Sadiq 55′), Mohamed, Tokou (E. Mohamed 74′), Yusuf, Leveh (Danso 62′), Mensah, Alhasan, Idriss



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Ghana U-17 coach: I believe we will beat Niger – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 14:30


Ghana U-17 coach Paa Kwesi Fabin has expressed confidence that his side will defeat Niger in their World Cup last 16 clash later today.

The Black Starlets will face the Young Menas at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, kick-off at 13h30 CAT.

Ghana were one of the more impressive teams in the pool stage, notably topping Group A head of Colombia and United States, while Niger only squeaked through as one of the best third-placed teams after finishing behind Brazil and Spain.

The teams have already met once this year, with the Black Starlets winning on penalties when the teams clashed in the semifinals of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations back in May.

“Niger are a very determined side and looking at the matches they played in the group stage, it was an improved game as compared to their performance in the AFCON U-17 in Gabon,” said Fabin, as quoted by GhanaWeb.

“It won’t be an easy game on Wednesday at all for both sides, but we have prepared well to advance to the next stage.

“We are ready for the battle, we have prepared the boys psychologically and moreover this is a knock out stage so we are approaching the game with a winning mentality.

“In an association football anything at all can happen, but I believe we will beat Niger on Wednesday.

“In Gabon we wasted chances against them before winning on penalties, but I hope we will win in regulation time this time.

“Nobody should underestimate the Nigeriens, it will be a difficult game but hopefully we shall win.”

The winners will face Mali (who defeated Iraq 5-1 in their last 16 clash on Tuesday) in the quarterfinals on Saturday.



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Wilfried Zaha: Crystal Palace can beat anyone


by
Staff Reporter

Monday Oct 16, 2017. 12:00


Crystal Palace’s Ivorian attacker Wilfried Zaha believes they can beat any team in the Premier League after defeating Chelsea 2-1 this past weekend.

Palace claimed their first points of the 2017/18 campaign when they edged the reigning champions at Selhurst Park on Saturday, with Zaha scoring the decisive goal.

The Elephants player believes the victory will spark a turnaround in Palace’s season, insisting that they now have the confidence that they can beat anyone.

“Yeah, we needed a win, I wasn’t really scared about who we played against. I feel we are a really good team and that we can beat anyone,” said Zaha in the wake of the match.

“It is hard watching the team and obviously I know how good we are, but when we are low on confidence you don’t play like you normally play, but I am just glad that everyone pulled in the same direction and got the win that we needed.”

Zaha will look to feature for Palace next weekend when they play Newcastle United away from home on Saturday 21 October.



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MTN8 FINAL: SSP United beat CT City 4-2 on penalties – As It Happened – MTN8 2017


by
Bertin Basson

Saturday Oct 14, 2017. 21:51


Good evening and welcome to AfricanFootball.com for our live coverage of the 2017 MTN8 Final between Cape Town City and SuperSport United from the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, on Saturday 14 October 2017.

Cape Town City: Walters; Seedat, Johannes, Fielies, Mkhize – Matsi (Moseamedi 90+1′), Modise (Putsche 66′), Nodada – Lakay, Masina, Majoro (Obinna 74′)

SuperSport United: Williams; Kekana, Gould, Daniels, Modiba (Myeni 79′) – Furman, Letsholonyane (Mnyamane 54′), Mokoena – Phala, Brockie (Wome 69′), Grobler

LIVE UPDATES:

SuperSport United win 4-2 on penalties. 

SuperSport United come out on top from the spot! Ronwen Williams denying Lyle Lakay and Judas Moseamedi from 12 yards. Matsatsantsa faultless from the spot with Dove Wome sealing the deal to secure R8 million in prize money for the club.

122′ Full-Time in Extra-Time: Cape Town City 1-1 SuperSport United  – PENALTIES to follow…

120′ Two minutes added.

117′ CHANCE! Late chance for Moseamedi to wrap things up, but with time and space inside the area he scuffs his shot wide of goal.

110′ Into the final 10 minutes and understandably both teams are frightened to make a mistake! Furthermore, Daniels keeps pulling up with cramp – only adding to Tinkler woes.

106′ Second stanza of extra-time is underway.

105+1′ Half-Time in Extra-Time: Cape Town City 1-1 SuperSport United

105′ Minute added to the first half of extra-time. Will there be a winner here or will the lottery of penalties decide this one?

102′ Fatigue starting to creep into the bodies of both teams, with players hitting the deck due to cramp. Nervy moments these.

99′ Role reversal since Mnyamane was forced off the pitch with SuperSport now sitting deep – welcoming pressure from the Citizens. Wome with a chance on the counter, but his turn and shot flies over the crossbar.

91′ We are underway in Extra-Time.

90+4′ Full-Time: Cape Town City 1-1 SuperSport United. Extra Time to decide the winner?

90′ Four minutes added to the half.

83′ SuperSport reduced to 10-men as Mnyamane is forced off the pitch due to injury. Having made all their subs, Matsatsantsa are forced to play the remainder of the game with a man short.

80′ GOAL! Grobler with a superb through ball to set Mnyamane free on goal and the forward makes no mistake to pull the two teams level.

73′ Nervy moment at the back for Daniels and Williams, but again, City fail to capitalize. Game of very fine margins, especially in the final few minutes.

70′ Into the final 20 minutes we go and Cape Town City are still holding onto their narrow lead. Matsatsantsa becoming more and more desperate.

65′ Chance at the other end of the pitch now as Williams is forced into a good save to deny Majoro once more. Chances coming at a rapid pace.

63′ SHOT! Mnyamane fires a fierce left-footed shot just wide of goal. Game starting to open up!

60′ CHANCE! Great chance for Majoro to double City’s lead but the former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates forward guides his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

57′ SHOT! Brockie finally registers his first shot in anger – powering a fierce effort straight at Walters. But it is easy for Walters  as the ball is straight at him.

53′ Thabo Mnyamane set to come on for SuperSport. Could he provide the spark missing  from Eric Tinkler’s troops. Looks like Yeye will be sacrificed – City done well to limit the former Bafana Bafana midfielder.

49′ Good start to the half by SuperSport, but one feels that City will be happy to absorb some early pressure as they did in the first half.

46′ The second half is underway on South Africa’s East Coast.

45+1′ Half-Time: Cape Town City 1-0 SuperSport United

45′ One minute added to the half.

44′ Grobler is the first into the referee’s book as we approach the interval. Matsatsantsa forced to do all the playing with City happy to play on the counter.

37′ SAVE! Good stop at the other end of the pitch by Williams to deny Lakay at the other end of the pitch. Things heating up in Durban.

34′ CHANCE! Great chance for SuperSport following a mistake by Walters, but Seedat spares the goal-minder’s blushes with an incredible last ditch clearance to deny Grobler from close range.

30′ Half-hour played in Durban and it’s Cape Town City who lead. Matsatsantsa with all the early pressure, but the Citizens made good use of their chance.

23′ GOAL! Masina opens the scoring against the run of play for the Citizens! Seedat feeding the attacker who finishes with aplomb from a tight angle, 1-0.

18′ More pressure applied by Matsatsantsa from successive set-pieces, but City defend well as SuperSport continue to ramp up the pressure on South Africa’s East Coast.

13′ SAVE! Chance for the Citizens as Masina finds space down the right flank, but Williams is quick off his line to save at Majoro’s feet.

11′ Fast start to the game as both teams go in search of an early goal. SuperSport have looked the better team with Walters called into frequent action.

7′ Walters quick off his line to gather at Grobler’s head. SuperSport pose a huge threat on transition and that was quite noticeable just then.

5′ Early corner-kick for SuperSport United whipped in from the far side of the pitch, but it is too easy for Walters who plucks the ball from the air.

3′ Pitch not in the best condition – but considering the amount of rain on the East Coast over the past few days, the ground staff have done a stellar job!

1′ Kick-off!

– Cold, wet and windy in Durban this evening – similar to the scenes in the final between Orlando Pirates and Platinum Stars in 2013.

– For SuperSport United it is a third successive domestic final, having clinched success in the Nedbank Cup at the very same venue a few months ago.

– Inching ever closer to kick-off in what is a repeat of last season’s Telkom Knockout Final – the Citizens emerging 2-1 winners in December last year.



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Late goals help Senegal beat Cape Verde – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Keita Balde of Senegal during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon football match between Senegal and Zimbabwe at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 19 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 21:53


Senegal defeated Cape Verde 2-0 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group D match at the Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde on Saturday.

As a result, Senegal move to the top of the group standings, while Cape Verde are placed third on the table.

Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha and Senegal shot-stopper Khadim Ndiaye were both called into action in the first few minutes of the game.

Vozinha made a comfortable save from Idrissa Gueye’s free-kick, before Ndiaye pulled off a great save to deny Garry Rodrigues.

Senegal striker Diafra Sakho then tried to beat Vozinha from range, but the West Ham United player’s effort went over the crossbar.

Caper Verde captain Marco Soares and Senegal striker Balde Keita Diao both had their long range shots saved by Ndiaye and Vozinha respectively.

The two WAFU teams were locked at 0-0 during the half-time break in Praia, the capital city of Cape Verde.

Vozinha had to produce two good saves to deny Papa Ndiaye and Diao after the restart as Senegal searched for the opening goal.

Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes reacted by introducing Nuno Rocha, who inspired his nation to a 2-1 home win over South Africa last month, in the 65th minute.

However, the visitors continued to dominate the match and they scored through Diafra Sakho, who beat Vozinha from close range in the 82nd minute to making it 1-0 to Senegal.

Senegal’s 2-0 victory was sealed by second-half substitute Cheikh Ndoye, who netted with a long range effort in stoppage-time.

Cape Verde (0) 0

Senegal (0) 2 (Sakho 82′, Ndoye 90+2′)

Cape Verde XI: Vozinha, Stopira, Varela, Babanco, Soares (Olivera 85′), Heldon (Rocha 65′), Rodrigues (Gomes 78′), Perreira, Ponck, Mendes, Almeida.

Senegal XI: Ndiaye; Wague, Mbodj, Koulibaly, Mbengue; Gueye, Kouyaté, P.Ndiaye (Niang 62′); Keita Baldé (Guette 82′), Sakho, Mané (Ndoye 89′).



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Cameroon beat Algeria in Group B dead-rubber – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Cameroon forward Clinton N’jie

by
Bertin Basson

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 20:49


Algeria suffered a fourth defeat in succession as Cameroon claimed all three points in a 2018 FIFA World Cup (CAF) qualifier at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé in on Saturday, for their maiden win of the campaign.

Clinton Njié and Franck Pangop on target for the reigning African champions, in a tussle that was purely a formality with both teams playing for pride and nothing else.

It has been a dire qualifying campaign for two of Africa’s big guns and the result painted another gloomy picture for the Fennec Foxes, who boast a mere point from five matches.

El Arabi Soudani had a day to forget for the visitors, with the North African’s without Leicester City duo Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez after they were axed from the squad.

Njié – back for Cameroon – had a more memorable outing and opened the scoring after 25 minutes, pouncing on a defensive error to give the hosts the lead.

Pangop made sure of all three points on the cusp of full-time, as he found the back of the net a minute after emerging off the bench in place of French-based Njié.

In Uyo, Nigeria confirmed their place at next year’s showpiece in Russia following a 1-0 win over Zambia. Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi with the only goal of the encounter.

Cameroon (1) 2 (Njié 25′ Pangop 88′)

Algeria (0) 0

Cameroon: Ondoa; Zambo Anguissa, Teikeu, Ngadeu Ngadjui, Siani, Olinga (Ngamaleu 82′), Fai, Leuko, Bassogog (Mandjecl 73′), Aboubakar, Njie (Pangop 87′)

Algeria: Mbolhi; Mandi, Cadamuro, Taider (Bennacer 60′), Hanni (Ferhat 71′), Feghouli (Ghezzal 75′), Fares, Benguit, Bensebaini, Soudani, Belfodil



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Ghana beat Colombia in U17 World Cup opener – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 00:00


Ghana defeated Colombia 1-0 in the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup Group A match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Friday.

The victory takes Ghana’s Black Starlets to the top of the Group A standings, while the Junior Coffee Growers are placed fourth on the table.

The match got off to a lively start with Ghana striker Eric Ayiah’s effort narrowly missing the target just 11 minutes into the game.

Jaminton Campaz, the Colombia forward, also had a chance to score two mininutes later, but he was denied by Ghana goalkeeper Ibrahim Danlad.

Sadiq Ibrahim thought he had handed Ghana the lead in the 25th minute, but the midfielder was ruled offside.

However, the Sadiq did break the deadlock in the 39th minute – beating Colombia keeper Kevin Mier to make it 1-0 to Ghana.

The 2017 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) runners-up Ghana then contained Colombia in the remaining minutes of the first-half and they were leading 1-0 at half-time.

Colombia coach Orlando Restrepo made the first change of the game at the interval – introducing Deiber Caicedo for Brayan Gomez.

However, Ghana continue to attack with Mohammed Kudus unleashing a long-rang effort which missed the target in the 58th minute.

Issac Gyamfi, an attack-minded player, was introduced by Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin in the 75th minute as the African side looked to double their lead.

Colombia, who finished fourth in the 2017 South American Under-17 Championship, could not beat Ghana keeper Danlad in the closing stages.

As a result, the 1991 and 1995 U17 World Cup champions Ghana secured a 1-0 victory over Colombia on the day.

Colombia (0) 0

Ghana (1) 1 (Sadiq 39′)

Colombia: Mier; Cifuentes, Gutierrez (C), Perea, Campaz, Gomez (Caicedo 46′), Penaloza, Mejia, Meneses, Cortes (Barrero 68′ Vidal 87′), Martinez.

Ghana: Danlad, Yakubu, Rashid Alhassan, Abdul Yusif, Gideon Mensah, Iddriss (Gyamfi 75′), Ibrahim Sadiq, Kudus, Ayiah, Toku (Arko-Mensah 88′), Aminu (Leveh 82′).



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Kalusha Bwalya is admant Zambia can beat Nigeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 15:30



Zambian football legend Kalusha Bwalya reckons the current generation of Chipolopolo has the capacity to upset the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

The former Football Association of Zambia president says he respects the West Africans, but Wedson Nyirenda’s men can come back with a win.

Zambia are on the road this weekend to Nigeria hoping to register a victory as they meet for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo.

PAULO DUARTE SURPRISINGLY RECALLS ERRATIC MALO FOR BAFANA CLASH

Bwalya says he feel that Zambia has done exceptionally well especially in the last two games against Algeria and this game will be a high pressure.

“This Saturday game will be a high pressure match and i feel playing at home Nigeria will be more under pressure which can work to Zambia’s advantage,” said Bwalya to Lusaka Times.

“I have always had great respect for the Super Eagles and it’s array of world class players but, if there is a team that can beat Nigeria in Nigeria it’s Chipolopolo.

“This is a last throw of the dice. It is a must win match. The team has done exceptionally well.

“The result against Algeria was a big psychological win and Zambia always rises to the occasion,when needed most.

“Notwithstanding, it is important to acknowledge the value of the Nigeria encounter and that it is the most important game Zambia will play in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.”



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Nigeria will beat Zambia to qualify, says confident Mikel – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Nigeria skipper Mikel vs Tanzania

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 13:00


Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel is confident that the Super Eagles will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals next month.

The Super Eagles are scheduled to host Zambia’s Chipolopolo in the World Cup qualification Group B match in Uyo, Nigeria on Satuday, October 7.

A victory for current Group B leaders Nigeria will see them win the group and qualify for the finals which will be hosted by Russia next year.

Mikel, who currently plies his trade in China for Tianjin TEDA, praised second-placed Chipolopolo, but he believes that the Super Eagles deserve to qualify.

The former Chelsea FC central midfielder was speaking to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) official website.

“I must admit that I applaud the resurgence of the Zambians this late in the qualifiers. Beating Algeria home and away is no mean feat,” he said.

“We will take them very serious on 7th October because they clearly have a new spirit. It is time we wrap this up,” he continued.

“We have all shown professionalism, dedication and determination to be at the pole position in a group tagged ‘Group of Death’.

“Commendations must go to the entire team and the Coach, but we must finish it up in Uyo and secure our ticket right there.”

The match will be played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.



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SuperSport’s Eric Tinkler explains how he beat Zesco in Confed Cup – 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup


Head coach Eric Tinkler of Supersport United 2017 Caf Confederations Cup game between Supersport United and Zesco United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 14 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 27, 2017. 14:30


SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler has explained how he reached the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals after overcoming Zesco United on the away goals last Saturday.

Following a 0-0 draw in the quarter-final first leg, Thuso Phala scored a brace to ensure they draw 2-2 against the Zambian side in the second leg.

John Ching’andu and David Owino scored for the hosts at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium last Saturday.

“We knew that we need to come here (Ndola) and not necessarily win but to get a scoring draw and we would go through, and that is precisely what we achieved,” Tinkler said.

“I explained to the players that we basically had 90 minutes in order to achieve that irrespective of whether we conceded or not but that shouldn’t change the fact that we are breaking the tie and that is exactly what we did.

“What we count as very important is what you do away from home rather than what you actually do at home.”

SuperSport will now face Tunisia’s Club Africain in the last four with the first leg of the semi-final set to be held on September 30 in Pretoria.



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Wits beat Pirates to claim first league win – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Gerald Phiri of Bidvest Wits (r) celebrates goal during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 23 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Sep 23, 2017. 21:14


Orlando Pirates suffered their first 2017/18 Absa premiership defeat when they lost 1-0 to Bidvest Wits on Saturday evening at Bidvest Stadium.

The loss for the Buccaneers means they now occupy the third spot on the log table with 11 points from six games.

However for the hosts, Gerald Phiri Junior scored to ensure the reigning league champions claimed their first win in this season’s campaign.

As early as the fifth minute, Phiri Junior converted with a powerful shot in the box after Pirates defence failed to clear a diagonal ball from the right wing.

Both giants had a bright start and three minutes later, Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs was saved by his cross bar after Thabo Qalinge rattled the woodwork.

In the 12th minute, the hosts protested for a penalty after Happy Jele fouled Amr Gamal in the box, but their call fell on referee Luthando Ndzandzeka’s deaf ears.

With 15 minutes to go the interval, coach Gavin Hunt’s men pushed forward and Reeve Frosler cut inside and smashed a left-footed effort, but it went wide off the upright.

At half time, it was the reigning league champions who went to the tunnel enjoying the lead.

Upon their return, Thabo Matlaba nearly found an equaliser after a brilliant pass from Thamsanqa Gabuza and the left-footed player saw his well-struck shot fantastically saved by Josephs.

Sredojevic introduced Mpho Makol towards the 60th minute and they upped their attacking prowess, but Matlaba missed after a great set up by the former.

Despite enjoying the ball possession, Pirates continued to fire blanks in front of goal as the Clever Boys managed to claim their first win in the league.

In the wake of the victory, Wits now sit at number 13 on the log standings with five points from six matches.

Bidvest Wits: (1) 1 (Phiri 5′)

Orlando Pirates: (0)

Bidvest Wits: Josephs, Khumalo, Ntshangase, Hlanti, Phiri Jnr (Rodgers 69′), Keene (Scott 66′), Damjanovic, Motshwari, Monare, Frosler, Gamal (Klate 79′)

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Maela, Nyauza, Matlaba, Dube, Jele, Nyatama, Lorch (Makola 57′), Qalinge (Morrison 71′) , Foster (Kutumela 52′), Gabuza



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Cape Town City beat stubborn Polokwane City – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Lehlohonolo Majoro of Cape Town City

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 22:12


Cape Town City defeated Polokwane City 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday night.

As a result, the Citizens climb up to fourth spot on the league standings, while Rise and Shine remain 14th on the log.

The visitors threatened first through Salulani Phiri, whose effort forced City goalkeeper Sage Stephens into a comfortable save just nine minutes into the match.

The Citizens were able to keep possession well, but they were struggling to unlock the Rise and Shine defence which was led by the experienced Thapelo Tshilo.

Stephens was also called into action in the 22nd minute and he pulled off a decent save to deny Polokwane full-back Ndivhuwo Ravhuhali’s free-kick.

With seven minutes left before half-time, Lehlohonolo Majoro found some space outside the Polokwane box and he hit the upright.

Nevertheless, the score was 0-0 at half-time between City and Polokwane.

An action-packed second-half followed as the home side took control of the match with Lyle Lakay narrowly missing the target.

His City team-mate Majoro also came close in the 71st minute with curling shot missing the Polokwane goal-posts.

Majoro thought he had snatched a late winner in the 88th minute, but the goal was disallowed as the striker was ruled offside.

However, the striker did score the winning goal in stoppage time as he converted from the spot-kick after City were awarded a late penalty.

City ran out 1-0 winners over Polokwane after containing the visitors in the closing stages of the encounter.

CT City (0) 1 (Majoro 98′)

Polokwane (0) 0

CT City: Stephens, Mkhize, Gumede (Fielies 53′), Johannes, Seedat, Nodada, Matsi, Obinna (Akosah-Bempah 79′), Lakay, Patosi (Martin 68′), Majoro.

Polokwane: Ndlovu, Semenya, Maponyane, Ravhuhali, Tshilo, Seabi, Phiri, W. Maluleke (J.Maluleke 63′), Mngomezulu (Ndou 94′), Musona (Klaas 63′), Ramagalela.



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Ten-man AmaZulu beat PSL champions – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


AmaZulu’s Rhulani Manzini

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Wednesday Sep 20, 2017. 21:46


AmaZulu thrashed Bidvest Wits 3-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday.

As a result, Usuthu climb up to seventh spot on the league standings, while Clever Boys drop down to 15th spot on the table.

The match got off to a lively start with both sides launching attacks in search of a early goal in the opening stages.

It was hosts who broke the deallock through central defensive midfielder Michael Morton, who had pushed forward.

The hardman found some space outside the box and he fired home a curling shot from range to make it 1-0 to AmaZulu in the 11th minute.

The defending league champions then took control of the match as they searched for the equalizing goal, but AmaZulu looked dangerous on transition.

Rhulani Manzini had a chance to make it 2-0 to AmaZulu in the 27th minute, but he was denied by Wits goalkeeper Moeeneb Josephs.

Wits hardman Granwald Scott was then booked for a lunging challenge in the midfield as AmaZulu continued to frustrate the visitors.

AmaZulu were leading 1-0 at the interval following an action-packed first-half in the city of Durban.

Cavin Johnson’s side started the second-half like a house on fire as they piled pressure on the visitors and they extended their lead.

Wits full-back Phumlani Ntshangase handled the ball in the box and AmaZulu were given a penalty which was scored by Rhulani Manzini to make it 2-0.

Usuthu continued their dominance over the Clever Boys and Manzini made it 3-0 with a powerful low shot two minutes later.

But the home side lost Morton, who received a straight red card in the 71st minute after he pushed Wits striker Frank Mhango to the ground.

AmaZulu were reduced to ten men, but they managed to defend very well in the closing stages of the entertaining encounter.

Tapelo Nyongo and his Usuthu troops were able to contain Wits and they secured a 3-0 win.

AmaZulu (1) 3 (Morton 11′, Manzini 60′, 62′)

Wits (0) 0

AmaZulu: Mbatha S, Gumede M, Mtsweni, Nyongo, Ouro-Akoriko, Morton, Ncube (Mnguni 66′), Dlamini S, Ncobeni (Nomvethe 79′), Cele, Manzini (Mbatha 78′).

Wits: Josephs, Hlatshwayo, Khumalo, Hlanti, Scott, Motshwari, Ntshangase, Pule (Kodisang 66′), Claasen (Mhango 46′), Pienaar (Klate 46′), Gamal.



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Maduka: We want to beat another Limpopo side – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


John Maduka, of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 football match between Cape Town City FC and Bloemfontein Celtic at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 2 November 2016 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 20, 2017. 13:30


Ahead of their crucial encounter against Baroka FC, Bloemfontein Celtic are out to dispatch another Limpopo side in less than two weeks.

Siwelele are fresh from a 2-1 win over Polokwane City in their third Absa Premiership clash last week and will now host Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele hoping to bag their second win.

According to assistant coach, John Maduka, the match will give them an opportunity to bag their first win at home and says the boys are ready.

“Yes, the mission is to bag another win and to beat another Limpopo side will be good for the confidence of the team and the fans,” said Maduka.

“We are looking forward to the game and we know this won’t be easy to be honest because they have just won two games so far.

“Baroka are doing well, they have two wins in succession over Chippa United and Free State Stars, they will come here looking for the three points.

“However, we know what we have to do. We are at home and the boys have trained hard preparing for this match.

“We want to register our first win at home as we drew 1-1 against Kaizer Chiefs in our first match at home.

“We call on our supporters to cheer up the boys and ensure we retain the full three points.”

The encounter will be staged at the Free State Stadium on Wednesday night at 19:30 (CAT).



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Ahly’s Ayoub confident they can beat Esperance


Al Ahly player Abdalla El Said soccer his goal during the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup game between Espérance Sportive and Al Ahly at Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt on 16 September 2017

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 20, 2017. 11:00


Al Ahly assistant coach Ahmed Ayoub remains defiant that they will reach the semifinals of the CAF Champions ahead of their clash against Tunisia’s Esperance.

The Red Devils blew an opportunity to put their foot in the semis after drawing 2-2 against Esperance at home last weekend.

However, Ayoub believes they have what it takes to reach the next stage of the continental club competition.

AL AHLY HELD 2-2 AT HOME BY ESPERANCE

“We didn’t speak about the first leg as we are totally focused on the preparation for the next game,” Ayoub said.

“Esperance is a big team but we are confident that we can beat them and reach the semifinal.

“Morale will be a key factor in the coming match. We have some experienced players while others haven’t been under such pressure, but in general the whole team is able to pass this situation.

“I hope that we wouldn’t concede any goals as this will make our task more difficult. Our game needs to be balanced.

“The mission is difficult but not impossible and we won in different occasions before in Rades.”

The Cairo giants are in a must-win situation in the return match in Tunisia next Saturday as they continue their quest for a first continental title since 2013.



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Al Ahli fail to beat 10-man Sahel


Al Ahly Tripoli player Mohamed Al Ghanodi (C) in action against Etoile Sportive player Zied Boughattas (R) and Aymen Sfaxi (L)

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Sep 17, 2017. 22:21


Al Ahli Tripoli and Etoile du Sahel drew 0-0 in the 2017 CAF Champions League quarter-final first-leg match at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Egypt on Sunday.

Tunisia’s Sahel are scheduled to welcome Libyan giants Al Ahli in the second-leg match at the Stade Olympique de Sousse on Sunday, September 24.

The first-half was full of action with Sahel having adopted an aggressive approach against Al Ahli, who are not allowed to host their home matches in Libya due to security concerns.

Sahel defender Mohamed Konate was booked on the half-hour mark by Algerian referee Mehdi Abid Charef.

The visitors were then reduced to 10 men seven minutes before the half-time break.

Sahel’s Brazilian centre forward Diogo Acosta, who had been lively for the visitors, was given a straight red card by Charef.

Al Ahli were unable to capitalize on their numerical superiority over Sahel and the score was 0-0 at half-time.

Muaid Ellafi, who has scored six goals for Al Ahli in this year’s tournament, kept the Sahel defence very busy.

But the home could not seriously test veteran goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi in the Sahel goal-posts.

Saleh Al Taher, who was introduced in the second-half, had a chance to grab a late goal for A Ahli, but he missed the target.

Al Ahli were unable to score in the closing stages of the game and the match ended in a goalless stalemate.

Al Ahli (0) 0

Sahel (0) 0

Al Ahli: Nashnoush, Salama, Abboud, Ramadan, Mabidé, Aleyat, Ahmed, Khalleefah (Al Taher 53′), Al Ghanodi, Ablou (Salih Ali 77′), Ellafi.

Sahel: Mathlouthi, Abderrazzak (Lahmar 23′), Konaté, Brigui, Boughattas, Nagguez, Msakni (Marei 90′) Trabelsi, Ben Amor, Acosta, Bangoura (Sfaxi 77′).



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Ugbade: Nigeria the team to beat at WAFU Cup of Nations


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Sep 12, 2017. 16:00


Former Nigerian international Nduka Ugbade says the Super Eagles are the team to beat at the ongoing 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations in Ghana.

The Super Eagles defeated Sierra Leone 2-0 in their first match of the tournament thanks to two goals from Moses Okoro and Moses Peter at Cape Coast Stadium on Monday.

Ugbade feels that Nigeria’s recent performance in their 4-0 victory over Cameroon in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo was enough boost to the Super Eagles squad at the WAFU Cup of Nations.

“Defeating Cameroon in Nigeria 4-0 and drawing them 1-1 in Yaoundé is enough boost for the team, it shows the team is good,” Ugbade said on Vanguardngr.com.

“Again, such a feat is capable of putting fear in any of the teams in West Africa because everyone knows the strength of Cameroon in football.”

The Super Eagles have qualified for the tournament’s group stage contest that will see eight teams divided into two groups of four teams.

Nigeria won the 2010 WAFU Cup of Nations title as tournament hosts. They defeated Senegal 2-0 in the final at the MKO Abiola Stadium.



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Cape Verde beat SA to go top of Group D – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Dean Furman of South Africa challenges Garry Rodrigues of Cape Verde during the World Cup Qualifier match between South Africa and Cape Verde on the 05 September 2017 at Moses Mabhida Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 21:18


Cape Verde beat South Africa 2-1 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group D match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in on Tuesday.

As a result, the Blue Sharks completed a double over Bafana Bafana and they moved to the top of Group D table, while Bafana Bafana slip down to position four.

The first real chance of the encounter fell for Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie nine minutes into the encounter.

However, the Turkey-based marksman placed his effort wide of the target without troubling Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha.

South Africa shot-stopper Wayne Sandilands was called into action four minutes before the half-hour mark.

The 34-year-old made an easy save to deny Cape Verde’s talisman Ryan Mendes as the visitors looked to break the deadlock.

The Blue Sharks defence was then exposed in the 42nd minute, but Bradley Grobler fired straight into Vozinha’s hands.

The score was 0-0 between South Africa and Cape Verde at half-time following a tightly contested first-half in the city of Durban.

An entertaining second-half followed and the visitors broke the deadlock six minutes into the second-half.

Garry Rodrigues scored with a powerful shot from a free-kick – beating Sandilands hands down – making it 1-0 to Cape Verde in the process.

It was soon 2-0 to Cape Verde six minutes after the hour-mark following a good move by the visitors.

Galatasary midfielder Rodrigues beat his marker and he unleashed a long range effort which beat Sandilands to double his side’s lead.

South Africa dominated in the closing stages of the match and they managed to pull one back through Andile Jali’s low shot.

But Cape Verde stood firm in the closing stages of the match and they secured a 2-1 win over South Africa.

South Africa (0) 1 (Jali 89′)

Cape Verde (0) 2 (Rodrigues 51′, 66′)

South Africa XI: Sandilands, Gould, Hlatshwayo, Hlanti, Mphahlele, Furman, Kekana (Tau 77′), Zwane (Manyama 56′), Dolly, Grobler (Jali 65′), Rantie.

Cape Verde XI: Dias, Tiago, Pereira, Santos, Da Cruz, Rodrigues (Admar 94′), Soares, Rocha, Carlos, Mendes (Totti 85′), Tavares (Platini 77′).



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Gervinho: We needed to be patient to beat Gabon – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 13:00


Ivory Coast needed to show patience in their 3-0 win over Gabon this past weekend, according to veteran attacker and captain Gervinho.

The Elephants claimed a comfortable win in Libreville to take a step closer to qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Marc Wilmots’ side had to wait until eight minutes into the second half to break the deadlock through Max Gradel, before a late brace from Seydou Doumbia secured the three points.

“We had a very good first period. We just missed goals and we stayed patient until they arrived,” explained Gervinho in the wake of the win.

“We are a team that plays football, and we need a lot of space. As soon as there was the first goal, everything was settled.

“We took pleasure offensively, we defended together. That was the most important thing.

“After that there was no fear in attack, because we have many qualities at this level.”

Gervinho is set to lead the Elephants again when they host Gabon for the return match in Bouake on Tuesday evening.



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Nigeria captain Mikel: We can beat anyone in Africa – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Sep 02, 2017. 13:00


Nigeria are capable of beating any team in Africa following their 4-0 destruction of Cameroon, according to team captain John Obi Mikel.

The Super Eagles handed the reigning African champions a football lesson in their 2018 World Cup qualifying clash in Uyo, with Odion Ighalo, Mikel, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho all finding the back of the net.

The result leaves Nigeria on the cusp of qualifying for the 2018 finals. One more win from their remaining three Group B matches will probably be enough for Gernot Rohr’s side to book a flight to Russia.

“We have a very young team, obviously I have been here for a long time and now I am the captain of the team,” said a proud Mikel at the post-match press conference.

“I feel I have responsibility every time I step on the pitch to play. This team needs experience, this team needs guidance. The players are very good players, quick players.

”Sometimes they need someone they listen to, someone who can direct them to make sure we have balance and know exactly what we are doing and that’s what we did today.”

Mikel added : “I will do my best, I will carry this team same way I did in the Olympics.

“I want to make sure we go the World Cup and also qualify for the Nations Cup. If we continue playing this way, I think we can beat anybody in Africa.”

Mikel will lead Nigeria when they face Cameroon in the return match in Yaounde on Monday evening.



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Tunisia beat DR Congo to go top of Group A – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Tunisia players celebrate

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Sep 02, 2017. 00:25


Tunisia defeated Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 2-1 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group A match at the Stade Olympique de Rades on Friday.

As a result, the Carthage Eagles climbed to the top of Group A table, while the Leopards dropped down to the second spot ahead of the return leg match which will be played in Kinshasa on Tuesday.

It took 18 minutes for the Carthage Eagles to take lead from the spot-kick after they were awarded a penalty when Fakhreddine Ben Youssef was fouled in the box.

Tunisia defender Yassine Meriah made no mistake from the spot-kick as he fired past DRC goalkeeper Ley Matampi to make it 1-0 to the home side.

However, the visitors managed to level matters through Cedric Bakambu, who beat Tunisia keeper Aymen Mathlouthi in the 43rd minute to make it 1-1.

The score was 1-1 during the half-time break after the DRC fought back and punished the Tunisian defence, who were caught ball watching.

DRC were unable to contain Tunisia in the opening stages of the second-half as the Carthage Eagles pressed the Leopards in search of the second goal.

The pressure paid off as Esperance de Tunis midfielder Chailene Chaalali hit the back of the net from close range in the 47th minute to make it 2-1 to Tunisia.

The Leopards then pushed for the equalizing goal, but they found it difficult to unlock the Carthage Eagles which was led by goalscorer Meriah.

The home side stood firm in the dying minutes of the match and Tunisia recorded a hard-fought 2-1 victory over DRC on the night.

Tunisia (1) 2 (Meriah 18′, Chaalali 47′)

DR Congo (1) 1 (Bakambu 43′)

Tunisia: Mathlouthi, Ben Youssef, Maaloul, Bedoul, Sliti (Sliti 85′), Meriah, Ben Amor, Chalali, Msakni, Khenissi (Touzghar 90′), Ben Youssef (Badri 68′).

DR Congo: Matampi, Zakuani, Ikoko (Ngonda 69′), Mbemba, Issama, Bompunga, Bokadi, Kakuta, Bakambu, Kabananga, Mubele (Afobe 61′).



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Angola beat Madagascar to reach CHAN finals


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Aug 19, 2017. 20:42


Angola defeated Madagascar 1-0 in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers on Saturday.

The victory sees Palancas Negras book their place in the 2018 CHAN finals after winning the tie 1-0 on aggregate.

The Southern Zone second-leg match was played at the Estádio 11 de Novembro in the capital city of Angola, Luanda.

The two sides were unable to find the back of the net in the first-half and the score was 0-0 during the half-time break.

The deadlock was finally broken after the hour-mark and it was Dani Massunguna, who scored to make it 1-0 to Angola.

Beto Bianchi’s side managed to hold on to their slender lead in the closing stages of the match and they won 1-0.

Angola will now take part in the CHAN finals for the third time since the inception of the tournament in 2009.



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Baxter: Why SA can beat Chipolopolo in Zambia – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers


SA coach Stuart Baxter directs his players

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 14, 2017. 18:00


South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter believes that they can beat Zambia away following their 2-2 draw at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Saturday.

Gift Motupa and Mario Booysen both netted for the home side in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier first-leg clash.

“The boys played well and made the most of what they got and I think at 2-0 up I couldn’t see a way back for Zambia because they weren’t creating chances. 2-1 came out of the blue as I thought we were dangerous on the breaks as they were on attack, it really came as a damp squib,” Baxter told SAFA.net.

“I thought, do I change things a bit, do I lock up? And then Tercious gets sent off so I can’t lock up, instead I have to go 4-4-1. And then comes the last throw in, and the last kick of match the ball ends up in the back of our net.

“I don’t think the boys threw it away, but they were just unlucky. The way they battled for their jersey was very admirable and this tie is certainly far from over. I don’t now how much more Zambia has got because they played that way against us the last time we met, and I think they will play that way again when we meet,” the Englishman added.

Bafana Bafana will now face Chipolopolo in the second-leg game in Ndola, Zambia on Saturday, 19 August 2017. The winner on aggregate will qualify for next year’s CHAN finals in Kenya.

“It’s not a great result, giving away two goals at home means they can get through on 0-0, or even 1-1. The hype before the game was that we had no chance, they are a strong side – well they certainly didn’t do that and now we are going to their place and they know that we can play them,” Baxter stressed.

“I know as a coach that it’s a difficult one for them – do they go for nil-nil or 1-1 or have a full go at us, and if they opt for the latter we can beat them on the transition then it’s 1-0 and they are shaking. So it is not easy even for them.

“What seems to them as a good result at the moment, the closer you get to the game, the more reality sinks in and they ask themselves what if they score?”

Baxter was, however, impressed with the performance of his players despite the result, although some things will have to fixed,” he explained.

“I just think our general play should have been better and we should have put one of our chances away but I think the boys did as well as anybody could expect. Gift was outstanding, he ran their backline ragged, a couple of the young ones too – Meyiwa came in when Khumalo got injured and he did a great job.

“The captain Mario (Booysen) and Sandile (Mthethwa) were solid. They all should get a pat on the back for that. Now they will have to lick their wounds, sharpen their swords, fasten their seatbelts and go to Zambia and get a result – and that is not impossible. I am confident Zambia will have a tough game and they know it.”

According to the SAFA website the Bafana squad is set to lose players who are returning to their clubs – and won’t be part of the second leg fixture – Menzi Masuku (Chippa United), Shane Thompson (Mthatha Bucks), Tshepo Mabua, Keegan Pool (both Stellenbosch FC) and Gift Motupa (Baroka FC).

Tercious Malepe is not eligible to play as he was red-carded against Zambia in the first leg while Asavela Mbekile has a family bereavement.

“Maybe Kumalo can’t play too because of his injury, which we are monitoring, so it’s going to be mission impossible again – but then again it was mission impossible today and they nearly pulled it off. Let’s rather talk about the players that will stay because they will have to do the job for us,” Baxter concluded.



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