Antunes: Cape Verde will complete a double over SA – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Lucio Antunes head coach of Cape Verde during football match between Morocco and Cape Verde 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Finals at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban , January 23 , 2013 © Sabelo Mngoma/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 14:00

Cape Verde head coach Lúcio Antunes is confident that his charges will defeat South Africa again on Tuesday.

The Blue Sharks stunned Bafana Bafana 2-1 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at the Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia on Friday.

As a result, Cape Verde recorded their maiden victory in Group D and they also defeated South Africa for the first time in history.

Cape Verdean tactician Antunes believes that fourth-placed Blue Sharks can qualify for next year’s World Cup finals.

“Our campaign is back on track and we will be in contention for a place in Russia,” Antunes told the media after the match.

“I thought we played well and we are going to Durban to get three more points.”

Cape Verde are two points behind Group D leaders Burkina Faso, who held Senegal to a goalless stalemate in Dakar on Saturday.

There are three matches left and only the group winners will advance to the 2018 finals.

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Mahrez given blessing to leave Algeria and complete transfer – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Aug 31, 2017. 15:00

Algeria have given Riyad Mahrez permission to leave the national team training camp and fly back to Europe to complete a transfer away from Leicester City.

The Fennec Foxes winger has expressed a desire to leave the King Power Stadium, and with the transfer window set to close tonight he has been given the blessing of the national team to complete a move to an unnamed club.

Algeria are busy preparing for back-to-back 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Zambia.

A statement on the Algerian Football Federation website read: “Leicester City’s Algerian international Riyad Mahrez, who is currently with the national team in Sidi Moussa to prepare for the double confrontation against Zambia for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, was authorised by the national coach Lucas Alcaraz and the Algerian Football Federation to make an express trip to Europe to formalise on Thursday his transfer to his new club.

“The national team will fly without him on Thursday morning to Lusaka to face Zambia on Saturday.”

The identity of Mahrez’s suitors is unknown, though he has been linked with Roma, Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester United during the European summer.

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Andy Yiadom to be left out until Huddersfield saga is complete – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Aug 15, 2017. 17:00

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom says he will not consider Andy Yiadom for his team until the Ghanaian player’s transfer saga with Huddersfield Town is complete.

The 25-year-old Black Stars defender started Barnsley’s first two matches of the 2017/18 season, but was left out of Saturday’s home loss to Ipswich.

Talks have been ongoing between the Tykes and Premier League newcomers Huddersfield over a transfer for Yiadom.

“In my eyes I don’t have Yids until I’m told different,” Heckingbottom told BBC Radio Sheffield.

“It wasn’t right for me to involve Yids in the game on Saturday and if it is still the same, it won’t be Tuesday [Barnsley host Nottingham Forest] because it is not fair on the other players.

“We are all preparing for our game and obviously Yids is in limbo at the minute.

“Until it is resolved one way or another and I’m told, I’m not considering him.”

Heckingbottom added that negotiations “can’t go much longer” he “expects” Yiadom’s future to be known by Thursday.

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Benik Afobe ready to complete with Jermain Defoe

Benik Afobe, Bournemouth v Stoke

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Aug 05, 2017. 12:00

DR Congo international Benik Afobe is confident of cementing his place in the AFC Bournemouth starting line-up.

The 24-year-old striker is competing with Jermain Defoe, Callum Wilson, Joshua King and Lys Mousset for a place in the English Premier League (EPL) club’s starting line-up.

Afobe has netted 10 goals in 46 English Premier League (EPL) games since joining the club from Wolvehampton Wanderers midway through the 2015/16 season.

“Everywhere you go there is going to be competition, whether it is League Two or the Premier League,” Afobe told the Daily Echo.

“We have got great players and have got ability in all positions, not just the strikers. For me, all I can do is score goals, enjoy my football, walk around with a smile on my face, keep working hard and be the best player I can be.

“If that’s good enough, hopefully, I can get a chance. If not, I will keep working hard and it’s a long season, I found that out last season and whenever I am on the pitch I want to score goals.”

Afobe and his Bournemouth teammates have been busy preparing for the 2017/18 campaign which starts next weekend.

Bournemouth’s first league game will be against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, 12 August 2017.

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Mauritania look to complete double over Liberia

Sarr Sally of Mauritania is challenged by Thamsanqa Gabuza of South Africa during the AFCON Qualifier match between South Africa and Mauritania 02 September 2016 at Mbombela Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jul 21, 2017. 10:00

Mauritania will square off with Liberia in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 19h00 CAT.

The Zone West A second-leg match will take place at the Stade Municipal Zouérate in one of Mauritania’s main cities, Zouérat.

Les Mourabitones brushed aside Liberia 2-0 in the first-leg clash at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia last weekend.

Mohammed Yaly Dellahi scored in the first-half for Mauritania, before Boubacar Bagili sealed the victory in the second-half.

Mauritania will now be confident of defeating the Lone Stars at home and advance to the next stage of qualification.

Liberia have never reached the CHAN finals, while Les Mourabitones participated in the 2014 finals.

The winner on aggregate between Mauritania and Liberia will take on either Mali or Gambia in the third round.

Gambia managed to hold Mali to a goalless stalemate in the first-leg encounter in Bakau last weekend.

Referee Boubou Traore, who is from Mali, will officiate the encounter between Mauritania and Liberia.

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Aubameyang suitors have two weeks to complete a transfer – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 13, 2017. 13:00

Suitors of Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have two weeks to try and sign the Gabonese attacker.

The German club’s chiefs have confirmed that they are open to selling the Panthers attacker – for a steep price – but want the transfer completed before their team begins preseason under new coach Peter Bosz in two weeks.

Chelsea and AC Milan are the European clubs said to be most interested in signing Aubameyang, while the player has a big-money offer from Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian on the table.

Yet Sky Deutschland reports that Dortmund have yet to receive a concrete offer from a fellow European club and want clubs to either step up and submit or a bid, or for the speculation around their prize asset to end.

BVB director Michael Zorc revealed: “For now, we assume that Aubameyang remains. We agreed with him that we will remain open to discussions, but only up to a certain amount of time will we wait.”

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AC Milan complete signing of Ivorian star Franck Kessie

New AC Milan signing Franck Kessie

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jun 03, 2017. 15:30

AC Milan have completed the signing of Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie on an initial two-year loan deal.

The Elephants player is the Rossoneri’s second transfer ahead of the 2017/18 season (following the signing of Argentinian defender Mateo Musacchio) and the club has an ‘obligation’ to buy him outright at the end of the loan spell.

“AC Milan announces the signing of Franck Kessie from Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio, through to 2019,” the Italian giants said in an official statement.

“The contract implies the player will join the club on a two year loan period with obligation to buy.”

Milan’s mandatory option to buy Kessie is reportedly fixed at €28-million.

The 20-year-old player has established himself as one of Serie A’s most promising midfielders and has often been described as the ‘New Yaya Toure’.

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