Outstanding Ridle Baku outshines Naby Keita on Bundesliga debut

Mainz midfielder Ridle Baku enjoyed an aspiration Bundesliga debut on Matchday 32, scoring for the 05ers as they boosted their survival hopes with a very important 3- win in excess of European hopefuls RB Leipzig.

The 20-year-old had only made 1 senior look this season, in a 3-1 DFB Cup win in excess of VfB Stuttgart just ahead of Xmas. He was basically on his way to Freiburg to play for the reserves when he was hauled off the team bus and rerouted to the Opel Arena on Sunday, to be thrown in at the deep end against final season’s Bundesliga runners-up.

“I found out at a motorway provider station that I ought to get off the bus,” Baku uncovered to Sky Deutschland. “It took me forty-five minutes to do the job out the place I was, but in the close, I got there and the fans were being satisfied, my teammates were being satisfied, I was satisfied.”

On a day when the world’s most effective cars were charging around the streets of the Azerbaijani capital, it was possibly fitting that Mainz unveiled a Formulation 1 of their individual in the condition of Baku. The turbo-charged midfielder finished up owning a considerably higher impact on the game than his illustrious reverse number, Naby Keita, who was sent off in stoppage time.

Baku covered more floor than any of his teammates – seven miles – and completed a team-large 21 passes. He also clocked 86 operates – thirty more than Keita – and 34 sprints. A lot more importantly, he capped off a great top-flight debut by firing in Mainz’s third goal late on.

“An extended ball came ahead, I went for the 2nd ball and took it with me properly,” Baku stated to “I got earlier Upamecano with an additional touch and then set it in the far corner, just as I would in instruction!”

The Mainz indigenous, who has been on the club’s books because of 2007, moved up to the reserves final summer season – and his remarkable performances in the Regionalliga before long caught the eye of first-team head coach Sandro Schwarz. While he is of Congolese origin, the diminutive (5’9″) midfielder has previously represented Germany at U18 and U19 stage.

A central midfielder by trade, Baku has demonstrated his versatility this season by actively playing out huge, as a defensive midfielder and even at suitable-again. It was from the latter position that he scored his first goal for the reserves – against Kickers Offenbach – but his effort against Leipzig is probably to have a considerably higher ripple impact.

“I will not definitely know what to say!’ he admitted after the remaining whistle. “It is really unbelievable. Currently couldn’t have long gone greater for me.”

Indeed, if his first Bundesliga game is anything at all to go by, you have not listened to the final of Ridle Baku.


Phakamani Mahlambi makes official debut for Al Ahly

Ramadan Suliman of Sudan challenged by Phakamani Mahlambi of South Africa during the 2017 Total Zambia U-20 African Cup of Nations match between Sudan and South Africa at Heroes National Stadium, Lusaka Zambia on 05 March 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 12:00

South African forward Phakamani Mahlambi made his official debut for Egyptian giants Al Ahly in a 2-0 win over Ismaily on Monday night.

The 20-year-old signed for the Red Devils from Bidvest Wits back in September but has had to bide his time on the sidelines, especially with the club’s runners-up finish in the CAF Champions League – a competition he was not registered for.

However, in an Egyptian Premier League clash at the Borg El Arab Stadium last night, Mahlambi came off the bench for the last 27 minutes and helped Ahly record a 2-0 away win over log leaders Ismaily.

It was his first competitive game since turning out for Wits in a 3-1 loss to Free State Stars back in May.

The victory took Ahly up to seventh place on the log, seven points adrift of Ismaily. Yet they have four games in hand as they begin to catch up games following their exploits in the Champions League.

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Nigerian keeper Francis Uzoho delights in Spanish La Liga debut – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 17:30

Following his debut for Spanish giants Deportivo La Coruna, ex-Nigerian U17 goalkeeper Francis Uzohois delighted after his debut.

Uzoho played for his club and kept a clean sheet in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Eibar as he produced four crucial saves to help Deportivo claim a point.

The 18-year-old arrived at the club from Qatar’s Aspire Academy in January and said the day will not fade from his memory.

“A day that will never disappear from my memory – my debut – thanks all for the support,” he said on Twitter.

Uzoho is the youngest foreign goalkeeper to ever play in La Liga and at 18 years, 11 months and 17 days, he becomes the second youngest player in La Liga this season.

He is behind Real Madrid‘s Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi who made his debut at 18 years, 10 months and 27 days earlier this month.

Uzoho follows in the footsteps of Wilfred Agbonavbare and Peter Rufai as Nigerian goalkeepers to have played in the Spanish top flight.

After regular first-choice goalkeeper Ruben had suffered a finger injury, Deportivo boss Pepe Mel opted for the Nigerian ahead of the experienced Costel Pantilimon and was impressed by the youngster.

“A coach has to act according to the things he sees in training,” Mel said.

“He is only 18 and he can barely speak Spanish but I know what he can offer this club.”

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Champions League debut delights Eric Bailly – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Eric Bailly (L) of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League match

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Sep 28, 2017. 17:00

After making his UEFA Champions League debut last night, Ivory Coast star Eric Bailly has expressed his joy at a new landmark in his career.

The Elephants defender helped Manchester United record a comfortable 4-1 away win over Russia’s CSKA Moscow at the VEB Arena on Wednesday.

The English team were in control of the match from early on when Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

Anthony Martial added a second from the penalty spot in the 18th minute and then provided another assist for Lukaku to make it 3-0 inside the opening half hour.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan made it 4-0 in the second half, but United were unable to keep a clean sheet as they allowed Konstantin Kuchaev to net a consolation goal in the 90th minute.

Bailly, who missed United’s first Champions League match earlier in the month due to suspension, had a relatively easy time on debut, with CSKA offering little threat in attack.

The 23-year-old Ivorian took to Twitter to express his joy at appearing in the world’s premier club competition for the first time in his career.

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Egwuekwe clear to make SuperSport debut – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Bertin Basson

Wednesday Sep 06, 2017. 19:00

Nigeria international Azubuike Egwuekwe could make his SuperSport United debut this weekend, after receiving his work permit, the defender confirmed.

In conversation with, the 28-year-old revealed that he is available for selection as Matsatsantsa prepare to take on Maritzburg United in a MTN8 second-leg semifinal clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium this Saturday.

The first-leg in Atteridgeville ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

Egwuekwe, who joined Matsatsantsa from Finnish outfit KuPS last month, made his unofficial debut for the club in a 2-1 win over the Nedbank Ke Yona team in Tembisa last Sunday.

“Yes, my papers are now okay,” said the centre-back.

“I am very excited to join a big team like SuperSport United and am looking forward to giving my best for the club,” the towering Super Eagles defender told

Egwuekwe forms part of an experienced centre-back unit at SuperSport United that also includes Bafana Bafana internationals Clayton Daniels, Morgan Gould and Tefu Mashamaite

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Ola Aina clear to make Nigeria debut – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Staff Reporter

Sunday Sep 03, 2017. 15:30

Ola Aina is set to make his Nigerian debut against Cameroon in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Monday.

It was confirmed on Saturday that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) had received clearance from FIFA for the England-born defender to make his debut for the Super Eagles.

Nigeria made it three wins from three with a commanding 4-0 thumping of the African Champions in Uyo on Friday, and know that victory in the reverse fixture in Yaoundé could book their ticket to Russia.

Aina represented the Three Lions at junior level, but pledged his alliance to Nigeria earlier this year, and is now set to make his debut for the West African nation.

The 20-year-old is currently on-loan at Hull City from English Premier League champions Chelsea.

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Sierra Leone’s George Davies makes debut in Austria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Staff Reporter

Friday Aug 25, 2017. 16:00

As his countrymen are preparing to participate at the 2017 WAFU tournament in Ghana next month, Sierra Leone midfielder George Davies made his debut for St. Pölten.

The Leone Stars’ international came on in the second half of their 5-1 defeat against Red Bull Salzburg last weekend in the Austrian Football Bundesliga.

The 20-year-old, who was granted his work permit last week, featured for 35 minutes after head coach Jochen Fallmann gave him a run.

Although Davies impressed as an impact player after his introduction, he was unable to save his team from the heavy defeat.

Having signed on a free transfer from German second league side, SpVgg Greuther Fürth on a three-year deal last month, the player will want to make his mark in Austria.

St. Pölten are still searching for their maiden win of the season as they occupy the bottom of the table after four defeats and a draw in their opening five league games.

The Leone Stars will face the Super Eagles of Nigeria on September 09 at 18:00 (CAT) in their WAFU, Zone A opening encounter.

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McCarthy’s City hand him debut victory

Sibusiso Masina of Cape Town City FC evades challenge from Sammy Seabi of Polokwane City during the 2017 MTN 8 quarter final football match between Cape Town City FC and Polokwane City at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 12 August 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Aug 12, 2017. 17:05

Benni McCarthy’s first official match in charge of Cape Town City ended in victory on Saturday afternoon as they defeated Polokwane City 1-0.

The MTN8 quarterfinal match at the Cape Town Stadium was settled by Sibusiso Mbonani’s own goal in the first half.

The hosts suffered a blow before the match even kicked off, with Teko Modise – who was originally named in their starting XI – ruled out due to an injury sustained in the warm-up. He was replaced by Thabo Nodada.

Cape Town settled into early dominance and created the first clear chance of the game when Lebogang Manyama put Lehlohonolo Majoro in on goal in the 15th minute, but the striker couldn’t get the better of goalkeeper George Chigova.

Just over 10 minutes later the team in blue and yellow were denied an opening goal when Majoro tapped home Lyle Lakay’s low cross from close range but was adjudged offside. Television replays suggested it was a marginal call from the linesman.

The home side’s pressure finally paid off in the 38th minute when a corner kick resulted in Polokwane defender Sibusiso Mbonani looking to cushion a header back into his goalkeeper’s hands, but he only succeeded in putting a looping effort over Chigova to break the deadlock with an unfortunate own goal.

Rise and Shine created a couple of chances for Puleng Tlolane early in the second half, both of which forced Shu-Aib Walters into relatively straightforward saves but gave the hosts notice that their opponents still posed a notable attacking threat.

Yet CT City should have been awarded a penalty just before the midway point of the second half, with Thapelo Tshilo clearly handling Manyama’s goal-bound shot in the process of making a block. The referee waved away the hosts’ appeals.

CTC went on to create an array of further promising attacking situations which they failed to capitalise on, but Rise and Shine were unable to punish the hosts’ profligacy and the match finished 1-0 to see McCarthy claim a victory on his coaching debut.

The Citizens join defending champions Bidvest Wits in tomorrow’s semifinal draw, which will be completed by the winners of the matches between Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United, as well as Mamelodi Sundowns and Maritzburg United.

Cape Town City (1) 1 (Mbonani og 38’)

Polokwane City 0

CTC: Walters, Mkhize, Johannes, Gumede, Dove, Masina (Patosi 66’), Putsche, Nodada, Lakay, Manyama (Seedat 90+1’), Majoro (Matsi 83’)

Polokwane: Chigova, Semenya, Mbonani, Tshilo, Hlongwane, J. Maluleke, Seabi (W. Maluleke 80’), Phiri (Vilakazi 56’), Mngomezulu, Ramagalela, Tlolane (Mncwango 78’)

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Ayanda Patosi ready for PSL debut – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Cape Town City FC

Thulani Serero and Ayanda Patosi during the South Africa Mens Senior National team training session

Bertin Basson

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 18:00

Cape Town City attacker Ayanda Patosi has revealed that it has been easy for him to adapt to training at the club, as his Premier Soccer League (PSL) debut edges ever closer.

Patosi, 24, hails from Khayelitsha but is yet to play top-flight football in South Africa having moved to Belgium straight from the ASD Academy in 2011.


Following six years at KSC Lokeren, Patosi is now set to make his South African top-flight debut with an ambitious Citizens outfit. Cape Town City open their MTN8 account at home to Polokwane City before taking on Bidvest Wits in the Absa Premiership curtain-raise on the 18th of August.

“It doesn’t feel weird – I come from Khayelitsha,” Patosi told

“They say South Africans like to play using a lot of touches, and I grew up playing those kind of games, so it’s been easy to adapt at training. I know a few of the guys from the national team as well, and know the culture already from there.

“In Belgium it’s more physical. There the play is very direct, while here it’s different – the players play, and there are more touches. Here the entire team can play football as opposed to there,” Patosi concluded.

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