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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Bassogog – Hugo Broos to build Lions team around Cameroon star? – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


epa06049960 Christian Bassogog (R) of Cameroon and Antonio Ruediger of Germany in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 group B soccer match between Germany and Cameroon at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, 25 June 2017. EPA/ARMANDO BABANI

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 19:00


Cameroon head coach Hugo Broos has called for patience from the country’s fans ahead of their final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zambia.

The Belgian tactician included Bassogog in the squad which will take on Chipolopolo at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Saturday.

Bassogog, who inspired the Indomitable Lions to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title, has been ineffective during Cameroon’s disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign.

However, Broos has kept his faith in the 2017 AFCON Player of the Tournament as Cameroon look to defend their title in 2019 on home soil after failing to qualify for the next World Cup.

“Here in this country you don’t know the word patience,” Broos said on BBC.

“And if you want to build a good team you need to have patience,

“Accept that some games you will lose – because otherwise you will never know if that player or that way of playing is good.”

Bassogog, who was one of Henan Jianye’s star players during the 2017 Chinese Super League, definitely looks to be the future of the Indomitable Lions.

Broos is expected to build a another formidable team that can defend the AFCON title and also qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.

Bassogog, 22, is the kind of player Broos is likely to build the Cameroon team around ahead of the next continental tournament.



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Stars look to build on weekend stalemate – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Thobani Kunene of Platinum Stars challenged by Teboho Mokoena of Supersport United during 2017/18 Absa Premiership game between Supersport United and Platinum Stars at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 12 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 19, 2017. 10:47


Platinum Stars will look to get their Absa Premiership campaign back on track when they host Golden Arrows at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on 20 September 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Stars finally picked up their first point of the season by playing to a goalless draw at home to Chippa United on September 16. Despite the result, the Rustenburg side remain rooted to the bottom of the log.

Coach Roger de Sa will hope the stalemate against the Chilli Boys proves to be a turning point in their season – and they need to claim a first win in the near future if they to dispel the early notion that they are relegation candidates.

Arrows have been one of the surprise packages of the league thus far, with their impressive 4-1 Durban derby win over AmaZulu on September 17 taking them to the top of the log on goal difference.

Abafana Bes’thende have netted seven times in their last two league matches and certainly have the attacking firepower to trouble any team. Coach Clinton Larsen deserves great credit for his early-season work, but will be hoping that this is just the start for his youthful team.

In head-to-head stats, Stars and Arrows have met in 26 league matches since 2003/04. Dikwena have claimed 12 wins compared to seven for Abafana Bes’thende, while seven matches have been drawn. The Rustenburg side has won eight of their 13 home matches against their Durban counterparts, suffering just three defeats in the process.

Last season Stars completed a league ‘double’ over Arrows, winning 1-0 in Durban and 3-0 in the return game in Rustenburg. The last four league matches in which Dikwena have played host to Abafana Bes’thende have produced no less than 20 goals.

Arrows’ line-up from their 4-1 win over AmaZulu on September 17: Gumede, S. Dube, Mzava, Mngwengwe, Nkombelo, N. Cele (Sibiya 54’), Jooste, Shongwe (Molefe 27’), Mahachi, Magubane (Mutizwa 77’), Lamola.

Stars’ line-up from their 0-0 draw with Chippa on September 16: Mzimela, De Jong, Mwedihanga, Mlilo, Zulu, Mere, Mbatha, Mkhabela (Monama 57’), Nale (Kunene 46’), Ng’ambi, Ntuli (Matlakala 79’).



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Celtic look to build momentum


Deon Hotto of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Kaizer Chiefs at Free State Stadium on 20 August 2017 © Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 19, 2017. 10:45


Bloemfontein Celtic will look to build momentum in their Absa Premiership campaign when they host Baroka FC at the Free State Stadium on 20 September 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Celtic claimed their first win of the 2017/18 season – and extended their unbeaten run to three matches – with a 2-1 triumph away to Polokwane City on September 12. A brace from Ndumiso Mabena secured all three points for the Bloemfontein side, who will hope it was just the start of good things to come.

Phunya Sele Sele and coach Veselin Jelusic will aim for a more convincing home performance this time around, having been held 1-1 by Kaizer Chiefs in their only previous turn as hosts so far in the new campaign.

Baroka, meanwhile, claimed a 1-0 home win over Free State Stars on September 16. The Limpopo side is unbeaten so far this season and enter this set of midweek games as co-leaders of the log standings with eight points.

Bakgaga’s two away matches so far this season have brought them four points: a goalless draw at Polokwane City and an impressive 3-1 win at Chippa United last midweek. Coach Kgoloko Thobejane will look for another positive result on the road.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Baroka have met in just two previous league matches. Both of those encounters took place last season, with Phunya Sele Sele winning 2-1 in Bloemfontein, while the return game in Polokwane ended in a 1-1 draw.

Baroka’s line-up from their 1-0 win over Stars on September 16: Vries, Kgoetyane, Shaku, Banda, Mothupa, Moeti, Madubanya, Mdantsane, Chawapiwa (Ngalande 53′), Ntshangase (Motupa 55′), Nguzana (Kgaswane 67′).

Celtic’s line-up from their 2-1 win over Polokwane on September 12: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Mabena, Letsoalo (Nyundu 64′), Lubisi, Baloyi, Hotto, Phalane, Motshegwa.



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Pirates look to build on solid start – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Thamsanqa Gabuza of Orlando Pirates challenged by Travis Graham of Ajax Cape Town during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 football match between Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town at Orlando Stadium, Cape Town on 17 May 2017 ©Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 11, 2017. 09:30


Orlando Pirates will look to build on their solid start to the Absa Premiership season when they host Ajax Cape Town at Orlando Stadium on 12 September 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Pirates have claimed four points from their opening two matches of the league campaign, with a 1-0 home win over Chippa United followed by a 1-1 draw away to Baroka just before the international break.

Coach Milutin Sredojevic hasn’t got the Buccaneers to ‘click’ quite as he would like, but already the Soweto giants look a far more formidable team than at any point in their disastrous 2016/17 campaign which ended with then finishing outside the top eight for the first time in PSL history.

Ajax have endured a difficult start to the season, opening with a 1-1 draw at home to Golden Arrows before slumping to a 2-0 defeat away to log leaders Maritzburg United.

The international break may have come as a relief for coach Stanley Menzo as he looks to get his side back on track. The Urban Warriors will target a quick return to winning form, but will have to up their game from the defeat to the Team of Choice last month.

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Ajax have clashed in 36 league matches since 1999/2000. The Soweto side has generally dominated the rivalry, claiming 20 wins and suffering just six defeats in the teams’ rivalry. That is reflected in the Buccaneers’ home record against the Urban Warriors: 13 wins and just two defeats from 18 matches hosted.

Last season Pirates took four points off Ajax: they won 2-1 in Cape Town thanks to a brace from Tendai Ndoro (who had a stunning run of goal scoring form early in the campaign), while the return game in Soweto ended in a goalless stalemate. The results extended Bucs’ unbeaten record against the Warriors to 12 league matches, with the Cape side’s last win in the rivalry arriving in the second half of the 2010/11 season.

Pirates’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Baroka on 22 August: Sandilands, Shitolo, Nyauza, Matlaba, Maela, Mobara (Nkosi 82′), Makola, Nyatama, Memela (Rakhale 59′), Qalinge (Kutumela 80′), Gabuza.

Ajax’s line-up from their 2-0 loss to Maritzburg on 23 August: Petersen; Isaacs, Nhlapo (Sait 14′), Chipeta, Lebusa, Mdabuka (Nxumalo 70′), Margeman, Mosadi, Kabwe, Mzwakali, Morris (George 78′).



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