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President Kenyatta congratulates new Kenya champs GOR Mahia

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 11:00


Kenya State President Uhuru Kenyatta has congratulated newly crowned Kenyan champions GOR Mahia.

GOR Mahia secured a 1-0 win over Ulinzi thanks to Rwandese international Meddie Kagere’s goal at the Kericho Green Stadium on Saturday.

As a result, K’Ogalo cliniched the 2017 SportPesa Kenyan Premier League title and they also qualified for next year’s CAF Champions League.

This was the Nairobi-based giants’ 16th Premier League title and they are the most decorated Kenyan club in the history of the competition.

Kenyatta took to his facebook page to congratulate the newly crowned champions.

“Congratulations GOR Mahia FC on winning the 2017 (and a record 16th) Kenyan Premier League title with four games left to play in the season,” a statement read.

GOR Mahia are under the guidance of British coach Dylan Kerr.

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Niger look to stun European champs Spain – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Oct 09, 2017. 18:00


Niger will square off with Spain in their second game at the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup on Tuesday.

Kick-off is at 13h30 CAT.

The Group D encounter will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the Indian city of Kochi.

The Junior Menas secured a 1-0 win over North Korea in their first match which was played in Kochi on Saturday.

The victory left the tournament-debutants placed second on the Group D standings with three points. They are only behind the leaders Brazil on goal-difference.

Salim Abdourahmane, who scored Niger’s goal against North Korea, will be keen to inspire the 2017 U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) fourth-placed finishers to victory over Spain.

Meanwhile, Spain suffered a 2-1 defeat to Brazil in their maiden game which was played in Kochi on Saturday.

As a result, the Junior Red Fury are placed third on the Group D table without a single point. They are only ahead of fourth-placed North Korea on goal-difference.

The 2017 U17 European Championship winners will look to their inspirational captain Abel Ruiz when they take on Niger.

Referee Enrique Cáceres, who hails from Paraguay, will be in charge of the game between Niger and Spain.

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Komphela: Macufe Cup champs Chiefs need to improve – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Oct 09, 2017. 16:00


South African heavyweights Kaizer Chiefs emerged 4-2 winners over Bloemfontein Celtic in the 2017 Macufe Cup on Sunday.

However, Chiefs head coach Steve Komphela was not happy with how his team defended in the friendly match at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Victor Letsoalo netted twice for Celtic, while Chiefs’ four goals were scored by Dumisani Zuma, Siyabonga Ngezena, Bernard Parker and Ryan Moon.

“That’s one thing we need to be working on, we can’t be conceding like that,” Komphela told SABC TV.

“Even when we played Baroka we conceded on a set-play. We have to get that right.

However, Komphela praised Chiefs’ 17-year-old midfielder Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, who was promoted to the first team from the club’s academy, prior to the current season.

“I’m happy for guys like Ngcobo, the crowd helped him today,” he continued.

“He’s no longer the young kid we knew yesterday, but he’s a bit wiser today.”

Chiefs will take on Mamelodi Sundowns in their next Absa Premiership match in Pretoria on 17 October 2017.

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Al Ahly qualify for Champs League semis

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Al Ahly qualify for Champs League semis

Al Ahly player Abdalla El Said

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Sep 24, 2017. 00:03


Al Ahly overcame Esperance de Tunis 2-1 in the 2017 CAF Champions League encounter quarter-final second-leg match at the Stade Olympique de Radès on Saturday night.

The win sees the Egypt’s A Ahly qualify for the semi-finals after winning the tie 4-3 on aggregate, while Tunisian giants Esperance bow out of the tournament.

Esperance broke the deadlock after they were awarded a penalty six minutes before the half-time break.

Taha Yassine Khenissi hit the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Esperance much to the delight of the home crowd.

The score was 1-0 to Esperance at half-time and they were leading 3-2 on aggregate against the Red Devils.

Ali Maaloul tapped into an empty net to make it 1-1 for Al Ahly five minutes after the restart.

The Red Devils were dominating and Nigerian Junior Ajayi headed past Esperance gpalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia to make it 2-0 to Al Ahly.

Al Ahly defended very well in the closing stages and they emerged 2-1 winners over Esperance.

Esperance (1) 1 (Khenissi 40′)

Al Ahly (0) 2 (Maaloul 50′, Ajayi 62′)

Esperance: Ben Cherifia, Chemmam (Errabei 70′), M’barki, Dhaouadi, Machani, Kom (Sassi 67′), Bguir, Coulibaly, Chalali, Badri (Ben Youssef 84′), Khenissi.

Al Ahly: Ekramy; Fathi, Rabia, Nagiub, Maaloul; Ashour, El-Sulaya; Moamen (Ajayi 46′), Abdallah, Walid (Hesham 82′), Azarou (Hany 92′).

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USM Alger book Champs League semi-final spot

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USM Alger book Champs League semi-final spot

USM Alger player Hammar Ziri

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Sep 23, 2017. 23:17


USM Alger and Ferroviário Beira drew 0-0 in the 2017 CAF Champions League quarter-final second-leg match at the Stade du 5 Juillet on Saturday night.

The win sees the Algerian club qualify for the semi-finals after winning the tie on the away goals rule following a 1-1 draw on aggregate.

Mozambican side Beira bow out of the tournament.

The first-leg match had ended in a 1-1 draw in Mozambique last weekend and Alger were targeting a home victory.

Alger’s dangerman Oussama Darfalou was tightly marked by the visitors, who were also looking to take the lead.

However, the score was 0-0 at half-time with coach Paul Put’s Alger charges having failed to score.

Fabrice Kanda, who had netted for Beira in the first-leg match, was closely watched by Rafik-Chafai, the Alger defender.

Beira were unable to score in the second-half and the match ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

Alger (0) 0

Beira (0) 0

Alger: Zemmamouche, Meftah, Benmoussa, Chafaï, Abdellaoui, Benkhemassa, Hammar (Hamzaoui 78′) Koudri, Darfalou, Beldjilali (Sayoud 74′), Meziane (Sidibe 92′).

Beira: Manyatera, Nyirenda, Amorim, Edson Morais, Abrao Jose Cufa, Agy, Manuel (Andro 87′), Ugwu (Omar 72′), Kanda, Maninho, Dayo.

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Wydad look to stun defending champs Sundowns

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Wydad look to stun defending champs Sundowns

Sibusiso Vilakazi of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Salaheddine Saidi of Wydad Athletic during 2017 Caf Champions League game between Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad AC at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 17 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 13:00


Wydad Casablanca will battle with Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2017 CAF Champions League match on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 22h00 CAT.

The quarter-final second-leg encounter will be played at the Stade Mohamed V in the Moroccan city of Casablanca.

The first-leg match was won 1-0 by Sundowns at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa last weekend.

Brahim Nakach is the Wydad club captain and he will be keen to use his experience to help the team overcome Sundowns, and qualify for the semi-finals.

The Moroccan giants have won this tournament once (in 1992) and they are hoping to clinch it for the second time this year.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Sundowns forward Yannick Zakri, who scored the winning goal in the first-leg game. He will be looking to inspire his side to another victory.

The South African giants are the defending champions of this tournament and they are hoping to become one of the few clubs that have successfully defended it.

The winner on aggregate will face off with either Algerian outfit USM Alger or Mozambican club Ferroviário Beira in the semi-finals.

Referee Ali Lemghaifry, who hails from Mauritania, will be in charge of the encounter between Wydad and Sundowns on Saturday.

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USM Alger eye Caf Champs League semis

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USM Alger eye Caf Champs League semis

Mozambique’s Ferroviario Beira are one of 16 teams through to the group stage of the CAF Champions League

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Sep 21, 2017. 12:30


USM Alger will square off with Ferroviário Beira in the 2017 CAF Champions League match on Saturday.

The quarter-final second-leg game will be played at the Stade du 5 Juillet in the Algerian city of Algiers.

Kick-off is at 19h30 CAT.

The first-leg encounter ended in a 1-1 stalemate at the Estádio do Chiveve in Beira, Mozambique last weekend.

Fabrice Kanda, who grabbed a late equalizer for Beira, is one of the dangermen for the team and he will be keen to help his side win in Algeria.

The Mozambican side are making their debut appearance in the last eight and they are hoping to advance to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Oussama Darfalou opened the scoring for Alger in the first-leg match and he will look to inspire his side to victory at home.

The Algerian side have never won this tournament and they are eager to reach the final for the second time in two years.

The winner on aggregate will face either South African side Mamelodi Sundowns or Moroccan outfit Wydad Casablanca in the semi-finals.

Referee Bakary Gassama, who is from Gambia, will be in charge of the match between Alger and Beira on Saturday.

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Former champs Libya travel to Constantine for CHAN showdown – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers

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Former champs Libya travel to Constantine for CHAN showdown

Amir Bensebaini of Algeria during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Tunisia on the 19 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Aug 11, 2017. 15:30



Former African Nations Championship (CHAN) champions Libya will go head-to-head with Algeria for a place at the 2018 edition, with the first-leg to take place at
Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui in Constantine on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 21h45 CAT.

The Fennec Foxes have qualified for the continental competition on one previous occasion, ending fourth at the 2011 tournament hosted in Sudan.

As for Libya, the 2014 champions who lifted the title following victory over Ghana in the final, will be hoping to book their place at a third showpiece having missed out on qualification for the 2016 edition in Rwanda.

Whoever comes out top over two legs will automatically book their place at the 2018 showpiece to be hosted in Kenya . Egypt and Morocco cross-swords in the other Northern Zone clash.

Algeria currently occupy 48th place in the latest world rankings while The Mediterranean Knights sit in 83rd.

In 18 previous meetings, Algeria have come out tops on 14 previous occasions with Libya winning two matches against this weekend’s opponents.

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

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USM Alger ease into CAF Champs League last eight

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USM Alger ease into CAF Champs League last eight

Chafal Farouk (C) of USM Alger

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Jul 09, 2017. 23:14


USM Alger defeated CAPS United 4-1 in the 2017 CAF Champions League Group B match at the Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers on Sunday.

As a result, the Algerian club advance to the quarter-finals following their emphatic home win, while Zimbabwe’s United are out of this year’s competition.

Alger dominated the match from the start with Okacha Hamzaoui and Hamza Koudri missing good chances from close range in the opening five minutes.

But the Green Machine came very close to breaking the deadlock in the 35th minute and Ronald Pfumbidzai was the man, who nearly opened the scoring.

The left-footed full-back’s curling effort from a corner-kick beat Alger goalkeeper Mohamed-Amine Zemmamouche, but the ball hit the crossbar.

Almost immediately at the other end, Alger took the lead through Ziri Hammar, whose thunderous effort beat United keeper Prosper Chigumba to make it 1-0 to Alger.

The Red and Blacks were in control of the match as the half-time break approached, with the Green Machine defence panicking.

Hamzaoui scored just before the half-time break to make it 2-0 to Alger with Hammar grabbing an assist and the home side were 2-0 up at the interval.

United head coach Lloyd Chitembwe made a double substitution prior to the second-half as the Green Machine looked to change the complexion of the match.

Dominic Chungwa, a centre forward by trade, joined Brian Amidu upfront as the visitors changed their formation from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2.

However, the Green Machine attackers were struggling to penetrate the Red and Blacks defence which was led by Ayoub Abdellaoui.

Paul Put, the Alger head coach, made a change in the 72nd minute with Mohamed Benkablia replacing Hamzaoui as the home side looked to extend their lead.

The Red and Blacks did extend their lead in the 78th minute when Oussama Darfalou headed home Mohamed Mefta’s corner-kick to make it 3-0 to Alger.

However, Amidu was able to score for United with a powerful curling shot from range two minutes later, but the goal proved to be a consolation goal.

Darfalou then sealed Alger’s 4-1 victory when he scored with an easy tap in following a parried save from United keeper Chigumba in the 88th minute.

Alger (2) 4 (Hammar 36′, Hamzaoui 44′, Darfalou 78′, 88′)

United (0) 1 (Amidu 80′)

Alger XI: Zemmamouche, Meftah, Chafai, Abdellaoui, Bemoussa (Khoualed 83′), Benguit, Koudri, Hammar (Benkhemassa 60′), Meziane, Hamzaoui (Benkablia 72′), Darfalou.

United XI: Chigumba, Zvirekwi, Pfumbidzai, Muzambwa, Jangano, Bamusi (Kambanje 67′), Taitamba, Muchenje (Kamhapa 46′), Rusike (Chungwa 46′), Chitiyo, B.Amidu.

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Omeruo: Nigeria are as good as 2017 AFCON champs Cameroon – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

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Omeruo: Nigeria are as good as 2017 AFCON champs Cameroon

Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Jun 29, 2017. 17:00


Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo says Nigeria are as good as Cameroon ahead of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Group B match in Uyo in September 2017.

The Super Eagles are sitting at the top of Group B standings with six points, while the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions Cameroon are placed second with two points.

The Nigeria international caught up with Complete Sports Nigeria and he discussed his plans and ambition ahead of the 2017/18 football season in Europe.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Preparations for the new season will begin in July at various clubs, what are your plans for new campaign, and ahead of the World Cup qualifiers?


Omeruo: I will be rejoining Chelsea for pre-season and there everything will be much clearer if I will be going out on loan again or staying at the club to be actively involved. I just want to play more games as much as I can and stay fully fit to represent my club and country.

I have always had that dream to play football at the highest level, and when the opportunity came for me to join Chelsea I didn’t hesitate.

But since I joined the club, I have played on loan and each team I joined always wanted me to stay on at the club. But it has been a good experience for me and I just want to build on them this coming season. As regards my future, no decision has been made yet.

Complete Sports Nigeria: You were dropped from the Super Eagles starting lineup in the match against South Africa in Uyo which Nigeria lost 2-0. It was the Super Eagles’firstloss to Bafana in a ccompetitive match. What really went wrong?


Omeruo: It was an unexpected defeat, but it won’t derail our dreams of qualifying for the AFCON. We had a new set of players playing for the first time and that affected the team in a way, but I believe as a team, we have learnt from that defeat and will bounce back to qualify for the 2019 AFCFON in Cameroon.

We have five games left to play. Anything can still happen. All we need to do is to get wins in our remaining games which is possible though tough.

I wasn’t that disappointed that I was dropped from the starting lineup. It’s the coach’s decision. We win as a team just as we lose as a team.

Those players who started the game got total support from the ones watching on the bench, so the bond will get better and we will bounce back again. The new players have to adapt to a new style of football with the Eagles, which isn’t easy.

Sometimes you struggle a bit, but for me, I’m confident we will bounce back. My commitment and loyalty has been there on and off the pitch from day-one – that’s why I was not disappointed.

Complete Sports Nigeria: But how would you rate the new boys in the Eagles now?


Omeruo: They are great players who need time to blend well with the experienced ones. The competition will be tougher but it will be for the good of the team and Nigeria having so many options.

Complete Sports Nigeria: You face Cameroon in another crucial World Cup qualifier in August.They seem to be in a better shape than the Eagles right now. What you you think?

Omeruo: I disagree. We are equally good too. It’s going to be an important game for us. We know this and we have learnt from that defeat to South Africa. With some friendlies lined up and the other players returning, we will have a great squad to select match lineup from.

Complete Sports Nigeria: You have played in three different leagues in Europe; Belgium, England, Holland, and in Turkey. What is the difference compared to the Nigeria Professional Football League where you started your career?


Omeruo: A lot of difference, even among those leagues. But it’s a great step for me and I’m happy with the progression.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Any preference for the league you would love to play in this season if you were to be sent out on loan again by Chelsea?


Omeruo: Playing in the English Premier League will be great, but it will be down to the kind of offers I get.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Who was the toughest attacker you have faced?


Omeruo: Emmanuel Emenike was physically the hardest. I played against him last season and we both wanted to prove a point (Laughs). It was fun. He still has it within him.

Robin Van Persie and some other forwards were tough as well. But I deal with attackers differently. I play my own game against everyone.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Many believe your partnership with Godfrey Oboabona remains the best for the Eagles. What was it like when you played with him?


Oboabona is very matured. He is a very strong character. I have very happy memories of playing with him. I wish he gets his chance angain too. It’s almost unfair to be comparing teammates, but everyone have their qualities.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Your greatest influence in your career?


Omeruo: That has to be my mother. She helped me a lot.

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