Eric Tinkler is ready for a big Confed Cup fight against Africain in Tunis – 2017 CAF Confederation 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

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Oct 22, 2017. 10:00

Ahead of the CAF Confederation Cup semifinal clash against Club Africain, SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler says they are ready for a big fight.

United are fresh from lifting the MTN8 Cup in the South African domestic season last weekend and Tinkler is hoping to continue with his fairy tale.


Although the South Africans travel to Tunisia slightly on the back foot after allowing the Tunisians to get an away goal in a 1-1 draw played at home last month, Tinkler banks on his players to succeed.

“I have told my players that we need to become addicted to winning like it’s some drug,” said Tinkler to CAF website

“We have to want it all the time and we need to have that mentality.

“We are bracing ourselves for a big fight but I believe in my players’ abilities and they have shown that they can thrive when put under pressure.

“Such competitions are where you judge yourself against the best and we need to step up.

“This is a trophy that I want to win as a coach and I almost did it with (Orlando) Pirates.”

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Big guns evade each other in TKO Draw

Cape Town City celebrates winning the Cup during the Telkom Knockout Cup Final match between Cape Town City and Supersport United 10 December 2016 at Peter Mokaba StadiumPic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Bertin Basson

Monday Oct 16, 2017. 16:00

The title sponsors will be smiling following the 2017 Telkom Knockout draw, hosted at Wanderers Club in Johannesburg on Monday afternoon.

With all of the so called ‘big guns’ having evaded one another in the Round of 16 draw, there is more chance of a marque final.

With Orlando Pirates having finished outside the top eight last season, there was a good chance that the Buccaneers and Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs would be paired against each other, but it was not to be.

Instead, eight rather low-key matches will take place later this month with defending champions Cape Town City, who lost in the final of the MTN8 this past weekend, to travel to the Limpopo province for a clash against Baroka FC.

Absa Premiership holders Bidvest Wits will host perennial bogey team Free State Stars with the Amakhosi – the most successful team in South Africa’s version of the League Cup – to host AmaZulu.

Full Draw:

Baroka FC vs Cape Town City

Chippa United vs Mamelodi Sundowns

Bloemfontein Celtic vs SuperSport United

Polokwane City vs Ajax Cape Town

Kaizer Chiefs vs AmaZulu

Bidvest Wits vs Free State Stars

Maritzburg United vs Platinum Stars

Golden Arrows vs Orlando Pirates

Times and Venues for above mentioned fixtures are yet to be confirmed.

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MTN8 bonuses a big motivation – Lyle Lakay

Lyle Lakay of Cape Town City shields ball from Rheece Evans of Ajax Cape Town during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 30 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 14, 2017. 13:00

Cape Town City winger Lyle Lakay says the prospect of big bonuses for winning the MTN8 final later today will be a big motivation.

City will face SuperSport United in the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban this evening, with the first trophy in South Africa’s 2017/18 top flight season up for grabs.

The prize money on offer for the winners is R8million, with at least half of that set to be pocketed by the City players if they prevail.

“Obviously there is going to be bonuses, that’s what also motivates us,” Lakay told Kick-Off.

“I mean, today’s football is all about making money. Besides the fact of winning trophies it is also about making money, that’s one of the biggest motivations for teams.”

Lakay is no stranger to cup finals, having helped Bloemfontein Celtic win the 2012 Telkom Knockout.

“It’s my second one, I’ve been in the Telkom final with Celtic a few years ago against [Mamelodi] Sundowns. It was also at Moses Mabhida.

“It’s a great feeling. Some of the guys in the team were joking about it. Vincent Kobola was like, ‘last year you were fighting relegation and now you are in the cup final’.

“Ja, it’s a great feeling and I think anyone would feel that way. You’ve just moved into a new team and after a few months you are playing a final, you can win your first trophy with the team.

“So for me it’s a great feeling, not only to be in the final but also to be part of such a great team. It’s one big happy family.

“Like you know, I had the option of going to Wits. Coming to City I think I’ve chosen the right team and made the right choice.

“We are all excited but I still say even though it is a cup final we will still approach the game like any other game.

“Yes, it’s a big game and the way we planned might sound different, but it’s not different to any other game we look to win. Preparations went well and we are looking forward to the match.”

Kick-off in the MTN8 final is set for 19h00 CAT and you can follow live coverage of the match here on AfricanFootball.

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Gavin Hunt: Time for our big players to step up – MTN8 2017

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Sep 09, 2017. 14:00

Bidvest Wits’ ‘big players’ must step up for today’s MTN8 semifinal, second leg clash against Cape Town City, according to coach Gavin Hunt.

Wits, the reigning MTN8 champs, are looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit after losing the first leg in Cape Town last month.

The Clever Boys, who also won the Absa Premiership title last season, have had a tough start to the 2017/18 campaign, with teams looking to claim their scalp.

“Any game we play teams will want to [try and outplay us]… I mean, we played Golden Arrows and they were unbelievable, Free State Stars were like men possessed,” Hunt said at the club’s media day earlier in the week.

“That’s what we’re going to get. When you play against a team that has won the league, people will have extra motivation.

“But once we start settling in, and we start playing two to three games a week, I think we’ll see a lot of things happening. Then teams can’t keep that intensity up every game.”

Hunt added that he welcomes the new demands on his team and hopes to see a response from them, starting with today’s match.

“There’s definitely [added pressure on us], it’s always like that and so it should be. You want that pressure, don’t you? We want that,” he added.

“We’ve got big players who can handle the situation, it’s a matter of the big players stepping up a little more and that’s pretty much what it’s about.”

The Wits v City match at Bidvest Stadium will kick-off at 15h00 CAT.

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Gradel would have been a big signing for Sunderland AFC – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Bournemouth defender Steve Cook and Max Gradel

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 21, 2017. 10:00

English Championship club Sunderland AFC have revealed that they were in the race to sign new Toulouse FC signing Max Gradel.

AFC Bournemouth, who are campaigning in the English Premier League (EPL), recently shipped out the Ivorian international to French Ligue 1 side Toulouse on a season-long loan deal.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson has since disclosed that they had reached an agreement with Bournemouth regarding Gradel’s services, but the player was keen to return to France.

“We spoke to Max and he eventually decided to go back to France,” Grayson told The Northern Echo.

“We had agreed something with Bournemouth and ultimately he is a good player that I wanted to bring to the club.

“It shows you where we are as a club with the players that we are looking at,” he continued.

“That would have been a big signing for us if we had managed to do it, but he just felt his family wanted to go back to France.

“And that was a disappointment for us, but that is part and parcel of the transfer window.”

The 29-year-old winger is back in the Ligue 1 having turned out for Saint-Etienne in the French top-flight league between 2011 and 2015.

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Muzamiru Mutyaba brace hands Uganda big advantage over Rwanda

Erisa Ssekisambu and Muzamiru Mutyaba of Uganda

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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Bayern boss: Mohamed Salah a big loss for Roma – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Aug 08, 2017. 13:00

Roma will suffer for not having Mohamed Salah in their team in the upcoming Serie A season, according to Bayern Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti.

The Egyptian moved to Liverpool in a big-money deal earlier in the transfer window and Ancelotti reckons the Giallorossi will struggle without him.

“Roma? I find it a bit hard to work them out. They’ve changed coach and I’ve followed [Eusebio] Di Francesco for some time,” said the Bayern boss in evaluating the Serie A title contenders.

“I thought he did very well with Sassuolo, but the loss of [Mohamed] Salah, I believe, will be felt.

“We’ll also see how their first season will be without a monument like [Francesco] Totti in the dressing room,” he added.

Ancelotti added that Juventus remain the favourites to win the Italian championship, though he has noted AC Milan’s impressive work in the transfer market.

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Big spenders Chippa United unveil 11 new signings – ABSA Premiership 2016/17

James Okwuosa of Chippa United challenged by Evans Rusike of Maritzburg United during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Maritzburg United and Chippa United at Harry Gwala Stadium, Pietermaritzburg South Africa on 29 Nomvember 2016 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Jul 25, 2017. 15:00

Chippa United have announced 11 new signings as they get ready for their 2017/18 Premier Soccer League campaign in South Africa.

Coach Dan Malesela and his technical team will want to lead the side to a decent finish as they survived the relegation axe in their last term.

In a statement on their Twitter page, the Chilli Boys have signed Nigerian defender James Okwuosa from Orlando Pirates whilst they also unveiled players such as Kurt Lentjies from Maritzburg United.

On the other hand, Highlands Park striker Moeketsi Sekola joins on loan as well as Mamelodi Sundowns’ Samuel Julies.

Among the new faces is Phetso Maphanga, Stanley Makgoka, Xolani Maholo from the MultiChoice Diski Challenge side and Zitha Macheke.

Meanwhile, former Platinum Stars winger Mahlatse Makudubela has also joined the Port Elizabeth-based outfit on loan from the Sea Robbers.

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Ethiopia claim big win in Djibouti

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jul 15, 2017. 17:23

Ethiopia have moved to within touching distance of the third round of Central-East Zone qualifiers for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) after they defeated hosts Djibouti 5-1 on Saturday.

The Wayla Antelopes’ victory at the El Hadj Hassan Gouled Aptidon Stadium in Djibouti City has all but confirmed that they will progress into the final phase of qualification and face Burundi (who advanced automatically after Sudan’s disqualification).

Getaneh Kebede opened the scoring late in the first half to put Ethiopia 1-0 up, while the second half saw the visitors add a further four goals – with only one in reply from Djibouti.

The return leg will be held at the Hawassa International Stadium in Ethiopia next weekend.

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Big Elephant Cheick Tiote dies in China

Brian Lee

Monday Jun 05, 2017. 19:08

Cote d’Ivoire international Cheick Tiote has passed away after collapsing during a training session at Chinese second-tier side Beijing Enterprises on Monday.

The 30-year-old defensive midfielder has died after reportedly suffering a heart attack.

Tiote began his career in his homeland with FC Bibo before moving to Anderlecht as a teenager. He also played under Steve McClaren at FC Twente in the Netherlands before joining Newcastle in 2010 for £3.5m, going on to make almost 150 appearances.

Tiote was also part of the Ivorian squad that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Ivory Coast international joined Chinese Super League side Beijing Enterprises in January having spent seven years at St James’s Park with Newcastle United in the English Premier League.

The player’s agent Emanuele Palladino has confirmed the passing of the 30-year-old who is survived by his two children and his wife Madah (who is currently pregnant and expecting their third child later this week).

“It is with deep sadness that I confirm that my client Cheick Tiote sadly passed away earlier today after collapsing in training with his club Beijing Enterprises. We cannot say any more at the moment and we request that his family’s privacy be respected at this difficult time,” said Palladino.

A statement from Beijing Enterprises added: “During a routine training session at 6pm today, Ivory Coast player Cheik Tioté suddenly fainted and the club immediately rushed him to hospital, but unfortunately efforts to save him failed and he passed away at 7pm.

“The player’s relatives have been informed. Beijing Enterprises football club expresses its deep sorrow and profound condolences for Mr Tiote’s untimely death.”

Newcastle manager Rafa Benítez has also shared his condolences: “It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick’s death.

“In the all the time that I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated and above all, a great man. Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time.”

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Ziyech making big mistake to shun Morocco says Renard – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Hakim Ziyech (L) of Ajax Amsterdam fights for the ball with Ryan Koolwijk of Excelsior Rotterdam

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jun 02, 2017. 12:30

Morocco national team coach Herve Renard says Ajax Amsterdam’s Hakim Ziyech is making a big mistake to reject the national team call-up.

The French manager expressed shock after Ziyech’s absence from the Atlas Lions camp as they prepare for their 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this month.

However, before the qualifier against Cameroon on June 10, they play the Netherlands in an international friendly on Wednesday.

Media reports suggest that the Ajax midfielder was handed a recall despite saying he would never play under Renard again.

“He deserved a call-up from Morocco based on his Europa League performances. But he’s not here and I can’t tell you why,” Renard said to the BBC.

“If you wish to know why he doesn’t want to work with me, you will have to ask him directly. I am not going to talk about it in the media.

“I respect Hakim’s decision to reject this latest call-up but I do believe he is making a very big mistake. The ball is now in his court.”

The 24-year-old was surprisingly left out of Morocco’s preliminary squad for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and later rejected an inclusion as replacement for the injured Younes Belhanda.

Moreover, the coach insists Ziyech, who scored 12 goals in 42 appearances this season and reached the Europa League final, deserves another chance.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set for big PSG move

Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Graeme Jackson

Monday May 29, 2017. 15:00

Gabonese star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks set to make a big-money move from Borussia Dortmund to Paris Saint-Germain, according to BeIN Sports.

The 27-year-old Panthers striker has been one of Europe’s most-wanted players in the past two years, having scored 120 goals in 189 appearances for BVB since his move to Germany in 2013.

Aubameyang has reportedly put in a request for a transfer and Europe’s biggest clubs are circling.

Yet BeIN insists that PSG have the upper hand and are preparing a lucrative offer for the player, with hopes that the deal will be concluded within the next week.

The Gabon striker was the Bundesliga’s leading marksman this season with 31 goals, while his match-winning penalty in the DFB Pokal final against Eintracht Frankfurt this past weekend saw him bring up 40 goals across all competitions.

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Botswana FA want big crowd for Zebras-Mauritania encounter

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday May 26, 2017. 15:00

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has announced that tickets for the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier are on sale.

Botswana are scheduled to host Mauritania in their first Group I match and the encounter will take place at the Francistown Stadium on the 10th of June 2017.

Tumo Mpatane, the BFA’s marketing and communication officer, says they have rolled out a campaign to get as many people to the game as possible.

The match tickets are already on sale ahead of the encounter. Tickets are $7.80 grand stand and $2.90 elsewhere.

“This is the first time the tickets are made available early,” Mpatane told Mmegi.

“This is to try and avoid last minute buying of tickets and it is a strategy to reach as many people as possible to go to the game.”

Burkina Faso and Angola are also part of Group I. The former will host Palancas Negras in Ouagadougou on the 10th of June 2

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USMA’s Paul Put happy to record big win over Al Ahly Tripoli – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Beldjilali Rafik (R) of USM Alger vies for the ball with Saltou Anis (L) of Al Ahly Tripoli during the CAF Champions League match between USM Alger and Al Ahly Tripoli in Algiers, Algeria, 12 May 2017

Graeme Jackson

Monday May 15, 2017. 14:00

Paul Put, the coach of Algerian side USMA, was happy to see his charges cruise to a 3-0 win over Al Ahly Tripoli in the CAF Champions League this past weekend.

Put’s side claimed top spot in Group B on goal difference ahead of Zamalek (who beat CAPS United 2-0) thanks to goals from Farouk Chafai, Carolus Andriamatsinoro and Oussama Darfalou in Algiers.

“You have to know that we started the game with a lot of pressure on the players, who were a little lost on the field, then we were able to come back creating opportunities to score, unfortunately we did not succeed in making them happen,” Put told his post match press conference, as quoted by Le Buteur.

“Fortunately, later we were able to recover by scoring a first goal, this gave us confidence, and a second at a very important time.

“I would say that was the ideal scenario for us to win. The ascendancy we had after the second goal allowed the players to wake up.

“Overall, I am satisfied because we achieved the most important aim in winning our first game and the three points bodes well for us.”

USMA will be in Champions League action again on May 24 when they face CAPS in Harare.

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