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South Africa captain confident of 2019 AFCON qualification – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Andile Jali, Thulani Hlatshwayoand Erick Mathoho during the South Africa Senior Men Team Morning © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 13:30


South Africa captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has expressed confidence that his side will qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Bafana Bafana endured a torrid 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and finished bottom of Group D behind Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde.

Yet the team made a strong start to their 2019 AFCON preliminary group, defeating Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo back in June to put themselves in a strong position to finish in the top two of Group E, which also features Libya and Seychelles.

Hlatshwayo says Bafana will bounce back from their 2018 failure: “We know how disappointed the country is about the results and we as players take the blame,” he is quoted by Kick-Off.

“As the captain I take the blame. Unfortunately I could not play play those two games [against Senegal]. I am not saying if I was there I would have made a difference because the guys who played did well against Burkina Faso.

“We would like to urge the country to support because we don’t go into a game to lose. We are there representing our families and our communities.”

The burly central defender added, “We did well against Nigeria away from home, so that’s where we have to make sure we bring smiles to South Africans. We have to make sure we qualify for AFCON.”

He also gave his backing to coach Stuart Baxter, who has been a part of two failed World Cup qualification campaigns after also being at the helm of the team when they were unable to reach the 2006 finals.

“Yes, I have confidence in Stuart Baxter. He is our coach right now and we have to give him our all,” explained the defender.



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Namibia’s Ricardo Mannetti confident of CHAN 2018 glory


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 14:30


After discovering his opponents for the upcoming 2018 CAF African Nations Championship, Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti says they can cause an upset.

The tournament set for local-based players will be staged in Morocco with the Brave Warriors drawn in Group B against Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire and Zambia.

Although the coach believes their opponents are strong, he said they can beat them and reach the knockout stages.

“We were not going to get it any easier from pot four. I expected strong teams in our group and I’m not surprised and that still leaves us with the title of underdogs which suits me and the team. It’s our first time at the CHAN finals and we will take it one game at a time,” said Mannetti.

“If you ask me if we can be able to beat these guys I can say yes. Ivory Coast is a strong team and we will know that.

“Uganda has improved in recent years and have been very consistent and Zambia is a powerhouse and a strong football nation but it is possible for us to surprise them if we get the approach and tactics right as well as play to our strengths, we can beat them.”



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SuperSport United defender Tefu Mashamaite confident of lifting CAF Confederation Cup title


Ellesah Mensah JR of CF Mounana challenged by Tefu Mashamaite of Supersport United during the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup match between Supersport United and CF Mounana at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville South Africa on 08 July 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 14:30


SuperSport United defender Tefu Mashamaite has revealed his ambition when it comes to the CAF Confederation Cup competition.

The former Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits defender says lifting the continental trophy will be a huge achievement and says he’s looking forward to the final.

Under the guidance of coach Eric Tinkler, the Tshwane giants are set to face Congo’s TP Mazembe on Sunday in the first leg of the final.

With Morgan Gould suspended for the opening leg, ‘Masha’ will lead the club from the back together with Clayton Daniels.

“As an individual I think it will be the highest achievement. I have never been to the level where we are at with SuperSport, a continental final,” said Mashamaite to the media.

“It’s a big one. I have been with Bafana Bafana before, but I have never been to this stage, so it’s something to look forward to, history in the making.

“It’s been a great journey, starting in Madagascar right up to here. So we need to take from the confidence we have built.

“Experience is a factor. Experience is something you can add onto your game, but first you have to be part of the team.

“You have to be positive and be present on the day. We are looking forward to it. It’s another final, so we have to be positive.”



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Mathias Kigonya confident Ugandan can defend CECAFA title in Kenya – FUFA Super League 2017/18


by
Scent ition

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 15:00


Sofapaka FC and Uganadan goalkeeper Mathias Kigonya is confident that the Cranes can defend the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup to be played in Kenya next month.

The regional tournament is set to make its return after a one-year absence following lack of sponsorship in 2016.

The diminutive goalkeeper has confused many sports journalists who profile him as a Kenyan citizen due to his body physique and name which is linked to a Luhya community from the Western part of Kenya.

PRESIDENT KENYATTA CONGRATULATES NEW KENYA CHAMPS GOR MAHIA

However, the keeper is currently working hard and focusing on representing Uganda in upcoming tournaments like CECAFA and his wish is to play in Europe for Chelsea FC.

“I would really be happy to be part of Uganda Cranes team,” he said to Kawowo.

“Indeed hard work never stops paying and hope one day to play in Europe. Am focused and very positive mentally.”

The goalie featured for the CECAFA reigning champions in the 2016 CHAN finals held in Rwanda.

Sporting Regards,



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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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Dean Furman confident of victory in Ndola


Dean Furman of Supersport United ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 14:00


SuperSport United captain Dean Furman is confident that his troops can overcome the odds in Ndola and subsequently book their place in the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup semifinals.

Matsatsantsa head to Zambia for the second-leg quarterfinal showdown against ZESCO United following a goalless draw in Atteridgeville last weekend.

As a result, the odds are stacked in the Zambians favour, but the 29-year-old is not willing to throw in the towel just yet with SuperSport boasting a strong away record in the African competition.

ESPERANCE LOOK SHOCK AL AHLY

“Our chancres are strong‚” Furman is quoted as saying.

“We know the team we’ve got and we can score goals. We know that the game is probably going to be a little more open.

He added: “We know that they are going to come at us because it’s their home game and they will want to score.But we are confident we can score away goals.

“In the majority of the away games we’ve played in the competition up to this point we have scored an away goal.

“We are going there full of confidence after the first leg where in the first-half we felt we really dominated the game,” the Bafana Bafana midfielder concluded.



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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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Booth confident that Coetzee will live his European dream – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


by
Staff Reporter

Wednesday Sep 06, 2017. 19:00


Former Bafana Bafana defender Matthew Booth remains hopeful that Rivaldo Coetzee will earn a move to Europe in the foreseeable future, despite failure to do so in the recent transfer window.

Coetzee, 20, was on the verge of joining Scottish champions Glasgow Celtic from Ajax Cape Town, but saw his dreams crushed after he failed a medical in Johannesburg due to a reported foot injury.

This, though, didn’t hinder a subsequent move to Mamelodi Sundowns with the Brazilians said to have coughed up around R12-million to secure the services of the South Africa international.

Coetzee follows in the footsteps of Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly in making the switch to Chloorkop form the Urban Warriors, and will be hoping to replicate Dolly’s rise by also moving to Europe.

Booth strongly believes that Coetzee has all the credentials to prosper on the world’s biggest stage:

“It was very sad what happened because I would have liked for him to go abroad. I hope in future Downs will not stand in his way when an offer from overseas comes,” Booth told the Sowetan. “He is an exceptional talent. I see him playing in the top leagues in Europe.

“He is comfortable on the ball and is able to pass the ball from the back, which is what is taught at Ajax,” he concluded.



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Gernot Rohr confident Nigeria will reach Russia in 2018 – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 06, 2017. 14:30


Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says they have one foot in the door of Russia after their 1-1 draw against Cameroon in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Monday.

The stalemate in Yaounde followed a 4-0 win at home last Friday, and the German manager says he is happy with their progress.

A goal from Moses Simon handed the Super Eagles the lead, but Vincent Aboubakar stepped up to beat Ikechukwu Ezenwa from the spot after the goalkeeper’s error 15 minutes from time.

STUART BAXTER RUBBISHES CLAIMS OF SUPERSPORT BIAS

“I am very happy that we are on the verge of qualification to the FIFA World Cup in Russia,” Rohr told reporters.

“There is joy in my heart for coaching this set of players who gave their best for the entire 90 minutes to grab a point. Now we have a foot at the Mundial.

“It was a different Cameroon team. After losing 4-0 to us last Friday, they came out and gave us a good game.

“Our target was to grab four points over the two legs. For us we achieved our objective. It was mission accomplished us.

”We should all be happy now that we are on the verge of qualification although we know that we made mistakes that we will work on fixing in the upcoming period.”

In the wake of the draw, the Super Eagles now need a draw at home against Zambia to reach the 2018 World Cup.



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John Obi Mikel confident of booking a spot in Russia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 09:00


Nigeria national team skipper John Obi Mikel is confident they will successfully reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The Super Eagles midfielder says they must win their upcoming Group B match against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to boost their chances.

Speaking to FIFA.com, the Tianjin Teda midfielder remains upbeat about their chances to make it to the biggest football tournament in the world.

Gernot Rohr’s men are already four points clear of second-placed Cameroon and five ahead of Zambia and Algeria, heading to the third round of qualifying at the end of this month.

NIGERIAN STARLET AWONIYI LEAVES LIVERPOOL ON LOAN

The former Chelsea star whose wife is Russian, revealed that there is pressure from his family friends to qualify for the global showpiece.

“We are in a very good position in our group,” Mikel said to FIFA.com.

“We have two wins from two games, and in our last game we beat Algeria at home. We have a very good young team and the players play good football.

“If we can win our next match (at home to Cameroon on 31 August) it will edge us closer to qualification. I think we can go through.

“They (friends and wife) are all expecting Nigeria to qualify for the next World Cup. I think they will kill me if I fail them.”



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Leicester City confident of signing Kelechi Iheanacho – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City fires in a shot during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: December 3rd, 2016. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage via PA Images

by
Bertin Basson

Monday Jul 24, 2017. 13:00


Leicester City vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has revealed that if the club are to complete the signing of Kelechi Iheanacho, it will be “soon”.

The Foxes have been strongly linked with the Nigerian international with Pep Guardiola having deemed the forward surplus to requirements.

Iheanacho, 20, has done exceptionally well in his short period with the Citizens despite playing second fiddle for most of his stay at the Etihad Stadium.

The City youth graduate, who joined the club from Taye Academy Owerri three years ago following his eye-catching performances at the 2013 U17 World Cup, has scored 21 goals in 64 games for the Sky Blues.

Gabriel Jesus’ arrival in Manchester, though, has pushed Iheanacho further down the pecking order with a move to the Foxes imminent for the Super Eagles forward.

“Yes, we have interest in him,” Srivaddhanaprabha is reported as saying according to Manchester Evening News.

“But we have to wait for Manchester City’s stance on this, as they are still in their pre-season as well. If it happens, it will be soon.”



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SAFA’s Kujane confident of homework for Nigeria clash – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Percy Tau of South Africa celebrates a goal with teammates

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday May 31, 2017. 09:00


According to Bafana Bafana’s team manager, Barney Kujane, the South African senior national team has prepared well ahead of their clash against Nigeria next month.

Bafana are set to travel to Nigeria for their 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier under new coach Stuart Baxter on June 10.

However, Kujane says he does not like surprises, insisting he is well prepared for whatever happens when the national team faces the Super Eagles.

According to the Sowetan, Kujane travelled to the West African country in an aim to inspect facilities before the encounter.

ZAMBIA TAKE ON GERMANY FOR QUARTER-FINAL BERTH

Although Bafana are yet to beat Nigeria in an official match, Kujane promised that everything has been done to ensure that preparations run as smoothly as possible.

‘‘If you leave South Africa and you have not done your homework‚ a surprise in Nigeria can cause complete disarray to the coach’s plans and to the players‚” Kujane said to the Sowetan.

‘‘When you are the national team manager‚ you have got to make sure that there are no surprises for the coach.

‘‘I do not like surprises. This is the first game for the coach and our first game in the 2019 Afcon qualifiers. So we cannot afford to start the qualifiers on the back foot.”

It is reported that the manager visited Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo State as he informed Baxter about the grass which is similar to the FNB Stadium.

Furthermore, Baxter will now take his charges through their paces at the Soccer City from Sunday, 04 June, until they jet off to Nigeria next Wednesday.



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Baxter confident of succeeding as Bafana Bafana coach – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday May 16, 2017. 19:00


New South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter says with the wealth of talent in the country they can qualify for major tournaments.

The British tactician was officially unveiled at a press conference in Johannesburg on Monday and he discussed his plans for Bafana Bafana.

This is the 63-year-old Baxter’s second stint as Bafana coach having coached the national team between 2004 and 2005.

“I am back in this seat because I have belief – I believe that with the wealth of talent in this country we can qualify for things,” Baxter told SAFA Media.

“While I know that this position goes with a lot of criticism, I also believe that if we work together as a country and take out all the negativity we can get somewhere.

“So my appeal is, with your support this national team can be great again – criticise if you must, but support is crucial,” he added.

“This is not an easy task I am going into, but I have confidence that we will overcome.”

His first competitive match in charge of Bafana will be against Nigeria in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Uyo on the 10th of June 2017.



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KCCA’s skipper remains confident in CAF Confederation Cup – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday May 16, 2017. 14:00


Despite their 3-0 loss at the hands of FUS Rabat, Ugandan side Kampala Capital City Authority remain confident of their progress in the CAF Confederation Cup.

The Ugandan Premier League champions had a rude awakening in their CAF Confederation Cup opening group stage match on Saturday. However, skipper Habib Kavuma remains positive despite the setback, saying they will have to capitalise on their home games.

DIAWARA HANDS CRD LIBOLO LATE WIN

“The first game in the group is never easy. So we tried to work hard but lost the game. Now we have to work on our mistakes which we made yesterday so that we can win our other games,” said the skipper.

“The first game at home, we have to capitalize. The team (FUS Rabat) was good and learnt a lot from them and hope when we go back home, we will improve on our mistakes.”

According to defensive midfielder, Isaac Kirabira, he said it was never an easy assignment facing a tough team such as Rabat.

“It was never an easy game and knew nothing about how they play. It was the first group game and somehow, we were also nervous,” adds Kirabira.

“But it was big learning curve and we hope to rectify our mistakes for the upcoming games and collect points that can enable us qualify from the group.”

Mike Mutebi’s men are the first Ugandan side to play at the group stage of the continental competition and will now host Tunisia’s Club Africain in their second game on Wednesday, May 24.



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