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Merseyside derby ends in stalemate

Liverpool were left to regret two large chances by Mohamed Salah as Everton held out for a – draw in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s men now trail champions Manchester City by a point at the leading of the EPL League with 9 games remaining.

Salah was denied by Everton goalie Jordan Pickford and a very last-ditch obstacle by Michael Keane possibly side of half-time as
Liverpool dropped points for the fourth time in six league games.

Fabinho was also guilty of losing a major opportunity 21 minutes from
time as Lucas Digne cleared when the Brazilian took an age to control
Virgil van Dijk’s knockdown.

Everton remain without having a win in the Merseyside derby stretching back
to 2010, but may have accomplished ample to halt their neighborhood rivals from
successful the title for the initially time in 29 decades.

Salah has now scored just after in his earlier 6 matches and squandered by a
distance the greatest opportunity for possibly facet from the kind of predicament he completed with simplicity in a 44-goal debut season at Anfield previous 12 months.

Pickford was at fault for Liverpool’s 96th minute winner when the sides very last fulfilled in December, but the England number one went some way to
producing amends by standing tall to block as Salah bore down on goal
in advance of Seamus Coleman threw himself in the way of a adhere to-up try
from Jordan Henderson.

That was a rare glimpse of goal in a very first-half which created plenty of enjoyment and environment but minimal in the way of goalmouth
incident.

Everton have endured a disappointing season soon after expending major in the
summer season to back again Marco Silva and their deficiency of high-quality on the ball confirmed irrespective of their motivation and want to close Liverpool down.The hosts at minimum opened the second-50 percent with a little bit additional urgency, Dominic Calvert-Lewin growing to meet up with an early Lucas Digne corner, with a header that was saved easily by Alisson Becker.

At the other end, Salah spurned yet another prospect when the ball broke
his way off Kurt Zouma, but the Egyptian took a large contact and permitted
Keane to make a spectacular recovery tackle.

Klopp experienced seen plenty of by just right after the hour mark and introduced on James Milner and Roberto Firmino, recovered from his ankle
damage, in a bid to turn one point into three.

The Brazilian almost made an prompt impression, marauding ahead with
Salah, but his cross proved a small long for Sadio Mane who could only
head again throughout goal harmlessly.

Van Dijk was again peerless in his defensive responsibilities and practically set up the winner experienced Fabinho been sharper to fire home the Dutchman’s knock down.Roared on by an more and more vocal home crowd, Everton also created some late odds with a cross from substitute Richarlison coming within just
inches of obtaining the sliding Bernard.

Nevertheless, for the third time in Liverpool‘s last four matches the game
finished scoreless to hand City the initiative in the title race.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: John Obi Mikel – Nigeria skipper ends CSL season on a high – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Zunis Stopilla of Zambia challenges Obi Mikel of Nigeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 10:00


Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel completed his first season in the Chinese Super League on a high this past weekend.

The 30-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Tianjin Teda claimed a 1-0 home win over Henan Jianye on Saturday in their final match of the 2017 season.

The victory – secured by a first-half goal from Senegal’s Mbaye Diagne – saw Tianjin finish 13th on the CSL log, two places and nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Having wrapped up his club duties, Mikel will now turn his attention to the Super Eagles, who have two high-profile matches coming up.

First Nigeria will wrap up their successful 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign a final Group B match against Algerian in Constantine on November 10.

This will be followed by a friendly against Argentina in Russia four days later, as the West African begin early preparation for next year’s global tournament.

Mikel, as Nigeria’s captain and one of coach Gernot Rohr’s most trusted players, is likely to be a central figure in both matches.



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Absa Premiership wrap: Soweto derby ends 0-0, leaders Baroka suffer first loss


Daniel Cardoso of Kaizer Chiefs clears ball from Thamsanqa Gabuza of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 21 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 09:30


Baroka FC suffered their first loss in the Absa Premiership this season but continue to lead the log after another thrilling weekend round of matches.

Saturday’s feature match was the Soweto derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, though it was an entirely predictable result, as the teams played out a goalless stalemate. It was a match which only really sparked to life in the second half, but neither side did enough to earn more than a share of the spoils.

Elsewhere, on the same afternoon, Golden Arrows needed a late goal from Thomas Chideu to retain their unbeaten record, as they were held 2-2 at home by Polokwane City to record a sixth draw from nine matches this season.

The three evening games made for fascinating viewing, as AmaZulu claimed a shock win over Mamelodi Sundowns. Goals from ‘golden oldies’ Siyabonga Nomvethe and Mabhuti Khenyeza saw Usuthu hand the Brazilians a third successive home defeat this season.

Platinum Stars continue to show gradual signs of improvement as they secured a 1-1 draw away to in-form Free State Stars, while Ajax Cape Town claimed a much-needed win – 2-1 at home to Bloemfontein Celtic – thanks to goals from Bantu Mzwakali and Tashreeq Morris.

Sunday’s headline result was Bidvest Wits defeating Baroka FC 1-0 in the Limpopo province thanks to Vincent Pule’s first-half strike. It was Bakgaga’s first defeat of the season and saw the Clever Boys move out of the relegation zone.

In the Eastern Cape, Chippa United came from a goal down to beat Cape Town City 2-1 thanks to second-half goals from Abel Mabaso and Katlego Mashego. The result broke a six-match winless streak for the Clever Boys and handed the Citizens a second straight loss.

The Absa Premiership will return with a full round of matches on the midweek dates of October 31 to November 1.

Absa Premiership weekend results

Saturday 21 October

Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Orlando Pirates

Golden Arrows 2-2 Polokwane City

Mamelodi Sundowns 1-2 AmaZulu

Free State Stars 1-1 Platinum Stars

Ajax Cape Town 2-1 Bloemfontein Celtic

Sunday 22 October

Baroka 0-1 Bidvest Wits

Chippa 2-1 Cape Town City



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Basement battle ends in 0-0 draw – ABSA Premiership 2016/17


Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday May 17, 2017. 21:33


The ‘basement battle’ between Baroka FC and Highlands Park at Peter Mokaba Stadium ended in a goalless stalemate on Wednesday evening.

With fellow relegation candidates Chippa United having claimed a victory over SuperSport United, the result does neither Bakgaga nor the Lions of the North any great favours.

Baroka remain rooted to the bottom of the log on 25 points, while Highlands are just above them with 26 points.

Baroka created the first clear chance of the game in the 10th minute, with a cross from the right flank picking out Mxolisi Kunene, who blasted his shot over the crossbar and failed to trouble Tapuwa Kapini.

That proved to be one of the only major attacking highlights through the first 45 minutes, with neither side quite able to shake off their nerves enough to take control of the game and push for an opening goal.

Baroka saw plenty of the ball in the second half, with Highlands pinned back and looking to feed off scraps of possession. The visitors responded by bringing veteran Surprise Moriri off the bench to give them more of a foothold in midfield.

In the end,the teams were forced to settle for a 0-0 stalemate which leaves them both placed in the relegation zone, but still in with a chance of saving themselves as they head into the final round of the championship later this month.

Baroka will end the season with a match away to Ajax Cape Town, while Highlands will host Mamelodi Sundowns. Both fixtures, as well as the other six in Round 30, will be played on May 27 at 15h00.

Baroka FC 0

Highlands Park 0

Baroka: Masuluke, Mahashe, Kgoetyane, Shaku, Madubanya, Garcia, Mdatsane, Masenamela, Letsoalo, Kunene, Matlakala

Highlands: Kapini, Oluwafemi, Ngalo, Nhlapho,Sibande, Mvala, Ledwaba, Theron, Mbesuma (Moriri 68’), Mashumba, Shalulile



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