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Zambian Justin Shonga eyeing CAF Champions League spot with South African giants – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Orlando Pirates


Justin Shonga of Orlando Pirates challenged by Sammy Seabi of Polokwane City

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 15:00


Zambia and Orlando Pirates striker Justin Shonga believes the Soweto giants must ensure they finish at the top during this current Premier Soccer League campaign in South Africa.

The Chipolopolo hitman says they must do well this season and ensure they qualify for the CAF Champions League.

Coach Milutin Sredojevic are now sitting at number two in the Absa Premiership and will hope to challenge for the league honours.

“My priority is the team because I believe there is much more that the team can do. Recently, things have not been going well and things should not be this way,” Shonga told Soccer Laduma.

“I watched the team last season and it was not good to see them performing that way.

“This season it must be different because a team like Pirates needs to be playing in the CAF Champions League and finishing in a good position on the log standings.

“It is unacceptable for a great team like this not to win anything.”



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Internazionale eyeing Yohan Benalouane – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 26, 2017. 11:00


Italian giants Internazionale are reportedly keen on signing Leicester City’s Tunisian defender Yohan Benalouane.

The Leicester Mercury quotes Leicester manager Claude Puel as saying that he “didn’t know” if Benalouane had a future at the Foxes.

The French-born Carthage Eagles defender has yet to make a competitive senior appearance in the 2017/18 campaign.

The Sun reports that Benalouane may have a route out of the King Power Stadium, with Serie A heavyweights Inter keen to add to their defensive options.

Inter already have Milan Skriniar, Miranda and Andrea Ranocchia available in central defence, but Zinho Vanheudsen’s absence due to knee ligament damage, means they are keen to find reinforcements, and Benalouane would fit the bill.

The 30-year-old Tunisian has experience in Italian football, having played for Cesena, Parma, Atalanta and Fiorentina in his club career.



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Tunisia eyeing first World Cup return since 2006 – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Ferjani Sassi of Tunisia (l) gets away from Abdoul Razack Traore of Burkina Faso (r) during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon quarterfinal football match between Burkina Faso and Tunisia at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 28 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Nov 11, 2017. 12:00


Tunisia will be banking on their home ground advantage as they want to secure a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament when they host Libya on Saturday.

Playing at home, coach Nabil Maaloul and his charges will only need a draw to ensure they are through to the global showpiece.

The Carthage Eagles are sitting at the top of Group A table with 13 points from five matches – they have four wins, one draw and no loss yet.

A draw will be enough to secure their ticket to the global tournament, which will be their first appearance after featuring in the 2006 edition which was staged in Germany.

One of Tunisia’s stars, Youssef Msaknisaid they have done well so far in their campaign and has credited God.

“Thanks to God, our campaign has been a success until now,” Msakni said.

“Going into our final match in Rades, we need just a single point to qualify for the World Cup.

“This Tunisia team now has a lot of character, and we showed that in our last two games against Congo DR and Guinea.

“Despite trailing both times, we were able to go home with positive results that have made all the difference – we never lost faith our ability.”

However, meeting a desperate Libyan side will not be a walk in the park for the hosts.

The Mediterranean Knights will seek revenge after losing 1-0 at home in the reverse fixture.

As they have not reached the World Cup in their history, this match will be used as an opportunity to boost their morale and at least exit the campaign with two wins.

Coach Jalal Damja’s side sits at number four in the group with three points after losing four matches, with one win and no draws so far.

The Stade Olympique de Radès will host the highly anticipated encounter on Saturday at 19:30 (CAT).



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Henry Onyekuru eyeing first full international for Nigeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Dani Alves (L) of Paris Saint-Germain in action against Henry Onyekuru (R) of Anderlecht during the UEFA Champions League group B soccer match between RSC Anderlecht and Paris Saint-Germain at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Anderlecht, near Brussels, Belgium, 18 October 2017. EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 18:00


Nigerian international striker, Henry Onyekuru is delighted to have an opportunity to make his debut for the Super Eagles.

The 20-year-old is looking forward to his first official appearance for the West Africans as they prepare to face the Desert Warriors of Algeria on Friday in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

ZAMBIA AND CAMEROON TO BATTLE FOR SECOND SPOT

Onyekuru expressed his delight on Twitter after the RSC Anderlecht (on loan from Everton) forward made his first appearance in a non-competitive game against Togo in June.

He played against the Sparrow Hawks in a cameo role as the Super Eagles won 3-0, but was not been invited by coach Gernot Rohr since the outing.

However, the forward has an opportunity to impess the manager ahead of the World Cup in Russia as the 2013 African champions have already secured their place after garnering 13 points from five matches in the qualifiers.

“My first full international call up for the Nigeria National Team! God is great,” Onyekuru tweeted.

“Blessed to be able to share this moment with these guys and we will do our best to make Nigeria proud.”



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Norman Mapeza eyeing Zimbabwean PSL title


Zimbabwe national team interim coach Norman Mapeza (R) arrives for the African Nations Cup Qualifying match between Zimbabwe and Liberia played at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe, 11 June 2017. EPA/AARON UFUMELI

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 16, 2017. 12:30


Despite moving closer to their Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League title, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza says the games are becoming more difficult.

The former Warriors international guided his side to a 2-1 win over Highlanders FC and was naturally delighted that his team cut the gap between them and Dynamos.

ZAHA RELIEVED AFTER INSPIRING PALACE TO VICTORY

He also believes they can go on and win the ultimate prize, but warns it is all about perseverance and focus to win the title.

“We are still in the mix. The most important thing was for us not to be far behind in terms of points. We still have to keep pushing,” said Mapeza to News Day.

“The games are becoming difficult. I said on Sunday our life is like that of a fisherman. If you don’t catch anything it does not mean you have to lose hope.

“It’s about perseverance. We have to keep pushing; it might happen. We just have to keep believing.”

The away win against Highlanders moved Platinum to within a point of leaders Dynamos, as well as equaling Ngezi Platinum Stars’ tally of 56 points.



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KCCA coach eyeing Ugandan title defence – 2016/17 Uganda Premier League


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Sep 14, 2017. 09:30


As they prepare to defend their Ugandan Premier League crown, Kampala Capital City Authority coach Mike Mutebi says it will not be easy.

The KCCA manager was speaking to the media saying four clubs in SC Villa, Vipers SC, Uganda Revenue Authority and Express could challenge them for the title.

Although he says the four clubs can make their title defence aspirations difficult, he remains confident they will retain the title.

SOUTH AFRICA’S DANIEL BENNETT TO OFFICIATE UGANDA V GHANA WORLD CUP QUALIFIER

“Naming the four is your part,” said Mutebi to the Daily Mail website.

“All I know is that four other clubs will compete with us for the title. They have prepared well and also have good squads.

“But I have confidence in the squad at our disposal to retain the title. We have brought in at least 10 youngsters to push the existing players.

“We want to score goals and we have brought in the players for that.”



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Namibia eyeing a good run in 2017 COSAFA Cup


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 08, 2017. 11:35


Ahead of the 2017 Women’s COSAFA Cup in Zimbabwe, Namibia’s skipper Uerikondjera Mammie Kasaona hopes the team will do better than the last two editions of the Championships.

Kasaona said the tournament will be tough, but they are focusing on representing the nation and make it proud.

The Gladiators are in Group C along with neighbours South Africa‚ Lesotho and Botswana.

GROUP D STILL WIDE OPEN AFTER 2-2 DRAW IN OUAGADOUGOU

“It is going to be a tough competition and we are not turning a blind eye to that,” said the skipper.

“The group that we find ourselves in is quite competitive and strong but if we manage to beat Lesotho and Botswana, South Africa won’t be much of a problem.

“The ladies are serious about this competition and wants to prove that they can compete.

“Despite not playing competitive football or featuring in any international games, I am impressed with the fitness level of the girls.

“The only challenge we are currently encountering is that the Under 20 ladies will be competing in the World Cup Qualifiers tournament at the same time we competing and it would have been better if we used some of the matured players from that team to strengthen our team.”

The skipper who has led the side from 2012 will don the armband in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe from 13-24 September as they hope to improve their 2006 and 20



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Mali eyeing redemption against Morocco in Bamako – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Molla Wague of Mali challenged by Luwaga Kizoto of Uganda during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Uganda and Mali at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 25 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 14:30


Mali will bank on their home ground advantage when they host Morocco for their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

The Eagles are under pressure to return to winning ways following an embarrassing 6-0 defeat at the hands of their visitors last week in Rabat.

The heavy defeat has left the West Africans sitting at number four in Group C standings with one point from two losses and one draw.

Coach Alain Giresse will now have to uplift the morale of his team and push them to fight for the full three points in front of their home crowd in Bamako.

Shifting focus to the Lions of the Atlas, coach Herve Renard has challenged his men to forget the 6-0 win and focus on completing the job away.

Although his side is high in confidence, they will have to guard against complacency to ensure they challenge Cote d’Ivoire at the top of the table.

The North Africans occupy the second spot with five points from one win and two draws so far in their campaign. A win will see them with eight points at the top the table, provided the Elephants lose to Gabon on the same day.

“We did well against Mali, we intimidated them into mistakes and voila!,” said Renard.

“There are still three qualifier games ahead of us, but Tuesday’s match is the most important one for me.

“We should forget about this one now and look forward a great result in Bamako.”

The match will be staged at the Stade 26 Mars in Bamako on Tuesday, getting underway 21:00 (CAT).



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Libya eyeing revenge against Guinea in Monastir – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 09:30


Libya will want to avenge the 3-2 defeat they suffered against Guinea as they host the Syli Nationale in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier on Monday.

The Mediterranean Knights fought hard to get a win in Conakry on Thursday, but it was not enough as they lost 3-2 on the day.

However at home, the mission is to go all out and secure a win in front of their home crowd although it will not be an easy affair.

The defeat on Thursday sees them sitting at the bottom of the table in Group A with zero points from three losses (including against the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tunisia).

On the other hand, coach Jalal Damjal will challenge the likes of Motasem Sabbou and Akram Zuway to find the back of the net once again in the second leg.

Looking at coach Kanfory Bangoura’s troops, Guinea remain placed at the third spot with three points and will be gunning for their second win in the group.

Bangoura is a concerned man when it comes to his leaky defence. They have now let in six goals in their campaign, but will want another win in Libya.

Having secured a win at home through goals by Naby Keita, Alkhali Bangoura and Demba Camara, it has revived their hopes of causing an upset in the group.

A win for Guinea will take them to the second spot with six points, but their fate remains on the result on the encounter between the Eagles of Carthage and the Leopards of DRC on Tuesday.

The encounter will be staged at 21:00 (CAT) at Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet in Monastir on Monday.



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Gabon eyeing first Group C win over African giants Cote d’Ivoire – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in action for Gabon.

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 13:00


Gabon will be chasing their first win in Group C in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier match against Cote d’Ivoire on Saturday.

The Panthers occupy the second spot in the group with two points from as many draws.

Fresh from two goalless draws against Mali and Morocco, the hosts will want a win to ease their concerns.

Coach Jose Antonio Camacho will be the man expected to lead the 2017 CAF African Cup of Nations hosts to their first ever appearance at the World Cup.

Should they win, Gabon will claim the number one spot with five points from three matches.

Looking at the Elephants, they will also be gunning for a win as they want to consolidate their pole position in Group C.

The 2015 AFCON champions are fresh from a 0-0 draw against Morocco, but opened their campaign with a win over the Eagles of Mali.

A victory for coach Marc Wilmots’ side means they will remain at the top of Group C with seven points.

This encounter will be staged at the Stade d’Angondjé in Libreville, getting underway at 18:00 (CAT).



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Guinea eyeing Libya scalp in Conakry – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Guinea striker Alseny Camara ‘Agogo’

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Aug 30, 2017. 17:00


Guinea will bank on their home ground advantage when they host Libya in their third 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Thursday.

The Syli Nationale will want to bag their first win in Group A after losing their first two matches to Tunisia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Losing 2-1 to the Leopards of Congo and the Eagles of Carthage has somewhat dented their hopes of reaching Russia come 2018.

However, as hosts they will want ensure they use their home advantage and retain the full three points.

Coach Kanfory Bangoura’s troops now occupy the third spot in the group with zero points, having conceded four goals.

On the other hand, the Mediterranean Knights are also under pressure to claim their maiden win in their qualifying campaign.

They are fresh from a 4-0 loss against Florent Ibenge’s DRC and a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia, but will now want to stun their hosts.

Sitting at the bottom of the table means coach Jalal Damja’s men have a tough assignment heading to Conakry.

The encounter will be staged at the Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry, getting underway at 19:00 (CAT) on Thursday.



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Ronwen Williams eyeing a solid Bafana career – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Aug 29, 2017. 15:30


South African national team goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams says he wants to do well for Bafana Bafana as they meet Cape Verde in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Bafana are on the road this weekend to visit the Blue Sharks in Praia and the SuperSport United keeper says he can do better for the national team.

This comes after Kaizer Chiefs skipper and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and Bidvest Wits’ Darren Keet pulled out due to a chest infection and injuries respectively.

Williams is seen as a favourite to start ahead of Orlando Pirates’ Wayne Sandilands and his SuperSport teammate Reyaad Pieterse.

“I haven’t had the best Bafana career so far, so I would like to turn that around. Hopefully I can do this for my country,” said Williams to the Sowetan.

“This is an opportunity for all three goalkeepers that are there right now, so I just want to do my best if given a chance.”

Bafana will face the Islanders at the Estadio Nacional on Friday at 20.30 (CAT) and the return leg will be staged at the Moses Msbhida Stadium on Tuesday 05 September.

Meanwhile, this will be the fourth meeting between the two sides. Bafana enjoy a record of two wins and one draw.



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Matlakala eyeing success with Dikwena in PSL – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Platinum Stars


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Aug 10, 2017. 16:30


New Platinum Stars striker Maboke Matlakala is confident the club will do well in the upcoming 2017/18 Premier Soccer League term.

The former Baroka FC forward has settled down in Rustenburg and is looking forward to a successful stay with the side.

Matlakala is adapting to new methods of training under the watchful eye of coach Peter Butler and says he is happy in Phokeng.

“From the first day everyone has been happy to have me here and they have been helpful. It’s a different setup from where I am come from,” he tells the club’s website.

“So far I am happy here and I am honoured to be a part of Platinum Stars. They are a good team, they have been doing fairly well in the league and I am looking forward to helping the team achieve our goals for future.

“There are a few things that I have never done before and I am doing them here. I see this as a great opportunity for me because before it was all about scoring goals and just being that player upfront.

“Now I am learning to play around outside the box and working well with the team.

“I am ready. I want to grow and I see this as a new challenge. It you look at the players that I will be competing with for a place in the team, it’s not going to be easy for me.”

Dikwena will open their Absa Premiership account against Maritzburg United on Sunday afternoon, August 20 at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.



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Mohamed Salah eyeing a good EPL start with Liverpool – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 11:00


Egypt and new Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah says they are doing well in their pre-season ahead of the new 2017/18 English Premier League campaign.

In the wake of their win over German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, Salah revealed his satisfaction with the Reds’ pre-season form.

The former Chelsea and AS Roma winger switched to Anfield Stadium for a club-record €42 million and has settled in nicely since his arrival.

He has netted four goals in their pre-season so far and has received rave reviews from manager Jurgen Klopp.

ANDREW AYEW DELIGHTED TO PLAY ALONGSIDE MEXICAN INTERNATIONAL JAVIER HERNANDEZ

The 24-year-old Pharaohs international said he cannot choose Klopp or former Roma coach Luciano Spalletti’s style, but enjoys winning games.

“Thank God, we are playing good and we are clearly improving every game, which is the most important thing for the pre-season friendlies to get us ready for the Premier League which is kicking off very soon,” Salah told ONSport.

“Everybody on the field is doing his best job, we are all following a certain style of play and thank God we are all working well as a team.

“Every coach has a different style of play, I cannot choose a preference, all what I can do is adapt.

“I had a great run with (Luciano) Spalletti and won lots of games and until now I am winning with Klopp and this is the important thing.”

The Reds are set to open their 2017/18 EPL campaign against Watford away on August 12 at Vicarage Stadium.



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Steven Pienaar eyeing South African Absa Premiership crown – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Aug 02, 2017. 17:00


New Bidvest Wits midfielder Steven Pienaar says he wants to help the club defend their Absa Premiership crown.

The former Bafana Bafana midfielder was speaking to the media on Tuesday during the club’s unveiling of their new 2017/18 home and away jersey in Johannesburg.

Wits managed to lift the South African league trophy for the first time in 96 years when they dethroned Mamelodi Sundowns last season.

‘Schillo’ was unveiled by the Clever Boys together with Daylon Classen, Kobamelo Kodisang, Bokang Tlhone as well as Slavko Damjanovic from Montenegro.

SLIMANI TO FACE ALBION DESPITE FREAK ACCIDENT

“My goal is to win the league – that’s why I joined the club. It’s going to be tough but we’re going to fight every game to make sure we win as many as we can, and fight for every trophy available,” said Pienaar.

“My main goal, though, is to win the league and just enjoy playing football back home, while also trying to help the young players coming through.

“It’s an interesting process because there’s a lot of talent – like ‘Kobamelo Kodisang’ (KK), who, when I saw for the first time in training, I thought ‘wow’! That’s something that will push me as a player as well.

“I need to be on my toes so that I can push him and make sure he goes in the right direction, so it’s good to have all the talent and young, gifted players in the squad.

“It’s also good for the coach because I think he’s going to have a lot of headaches this season.”

Coach Gavin hunt will want to hit the ground running when they face Golden Arrows in the MTN8 Cup quarter-final on Friday, 11 August at Bidvest Stadium.



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Parker: Kaizer Chiefs eyeing major trophies – ABSA Premiership 2016/17


Kaizer Chiefs defeated Orlando Pirates 1-0 in the 2017 Carling Black Label Champion Cup clash at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Jul 30, 2017. 12:00


Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker was pleased with how they played against their Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

The forward’s solitary goal helped Chiefs defend the Carling Black Label Champion Cup at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“It was a boost for us on the field and I’m happy that we came out with a win,” Parker told SuperSport TV.

“With my frontline, we created a lot of chances, we tried to break quick and we did.

Amakhosi will be hoping to win one or two major trophies during the upcoming 2017/18 campaign.

“But as we got into the final third we can be a little bit more ruthless, just 10 percent more and we would come out with a lot of goals,” he added.

“But other than that, it’s a learning curve for us, we are looking good and looking solid. This year we want to achieve our goals.”

Chiefs have now won the pre-season tournament title three times, while Pirates have win lifted it four times.



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Huddersfield eyeing Ghanaian Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu for £4.5million – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Jul 27, 2017. 15:00


Information from England is that new English Premier League club Huddersfield Town FC are weighing their options on signing Ghanaian midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu for £4.5million.

Reports indicate that the club’s manager, David Wagner has been impressed by the Black Stars international who plays for Italian Serie A side, Udinese.

According to The Sun, the Terriers boss is determined to make Badu his 10th signing since the side won promotion to the English Premier League two months ago.

The Ghanaian strong man reportedly caught the attention of the German tactician after watching the midfielder during Udinese’s pre-season friendly.

It is also mentioned that Huddersfield are looking for some steel in the middle of the park, and the Ghanaian could fit the bill as they are set to make their EPL entry.

Agyemang-Badu is tipped as the right man for the job considering his ball-winning ability and hunger for a move to England after spending seven years at the Italian side.

Furthermore, the 76-time capped Ghana international is likely to move to the EPL because of his ambitions to play in England.



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Keagan Buchanan eyeing regular spot with South African giants – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Kaizer Chiefs


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Jul 26, 2017. 10:00


Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Keagan Buchanan says that he wants to repay the faith shown by the South African club’s chairman, Kaizer Motaung.

The former Bloemfontein Celtic playmaker joined Amakhosi last season, but is yet to cement a regular place in coach Steve Komphela’s starting eleven.

However, speaking ahead of the new 2017/18 Premier Soccer League season, Buchanan says they have a competitive midfield and he wants to claim a spot in the team

Chiefs are set to renew their rivalry against fellow Soweto giants, Orlando Pirates this weekend in the Carling Black Label Champion Cup at FNB Stadium.

“We want to make the chairman happy. The supporters deserve something in the new season. A trophy is a must, because all of us are feeling the pain,” Buchanan told the Sowetan.

“It’s not nice to go so long without a trophy for a team of our calibre. We have a competitive midfield, but I believe there’s a place for me in there. I can bring in something different, a new dimension.

“I was out for 10 months – that’s a long time. It took me some time to heal. But this time I have had full pre-season with the team, no injuries. So definitely I should get more game time than I did in my first season.”

Buchanan will hope to make his mark this coming term and will also hope to play a major role this Saturday at the Calabash at 15:30 (CAT).



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Uganda Cranes’ Kabugo eyeing South Sudan scalp – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers


Andre Ayew of Ghana and Savio Kabugo of Uganda run for the ball during the 2014 African Nations Cup Qualifiers on 15 November 2014 at Mandela Stadium, Namboole, Kampala.

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Jul 19, 2017. 11:00


Ugandan national team defender Savio Kabugo says he is confident they are capable of beating South Sudan this coming weekend.

The Cranes defender was speaking to the Federation of Ugandan Football Association’s website regarding the second leg of the qualifier.

Coming from a 0-0 draw last Friday, the hosts will now head to this clash hoping for a win to book a spot in Kenya next year.

It is reported that the team has conducted day three of non residential training since return from South Sudan on Saturday at the Star Times Stadium, Lugogo.

“I have confidence that we will eliminate South Sudan and get to the next stage of the qualifiers because players are well determined and motivated for the challenge” Kabugo said.

Kabugo added that amidst the challenge faced by some players at the artificial turf, they have now trained at the Star Times Stadium for them to acclimatize to it.



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Liberia eyeing redemption against Mauritania


Chris Jones of Liberia battles with Sepiriti Malefawe of Lesotho during the 2015 African Cup of Nations Qualifier match between Lesotho and Liberia at Setsoto Stadium, Maseru, Lesotho on the 01 June 2014

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jul 14, 2017. 17:00


Liberia are out to return to winning ways when they clash against Mauritania in their opening 2018 CAF African Champions qualifier on Sunday.

Getting a win as early as the opening leg allows the hosts to raise their hopes of reaching Kenya for the CHAN tournament next year.

Although they are fresh from a 3-0 loss against Zimbabwe in the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Harare, they will be boosted by their home crowd.

Coach James Debbah led the Lone Stars to a 1-0 win over Sierra Leone in an international friendly last month at home and will also want to win this encounter on Sunday.

For the visitors, the Les Mourabitones failed to start 2017 with a win as they registered a 1-0 loss against Lesotho in a friendly in June.

However, they managed to bounce back with a 1-0 win over the Zebras of Botswana in a crucial AFCON qualifier in Gaborone.

Coming to this clash in Monrovia, they will be in high morale to cause an upset in front of an intimidating home crowd.

Coach Corentin Martins Da Silva will want to ensure his charges claim a victory in their first ever meeting against Liberia.

The match will be staged at Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia at 18:00 (CAT).



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Togo eyeing a win over Benin in Lome


Neeskens Kebano of DR Congo battles for the ball with Ortega Dakonam Djene of Togo (l) and Lalawele Atakora of Togo (r) during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Togo and DR Congo at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 24 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Jul 13, 2017. 16:30


Togo are out to start their 2018 CAF African Championships qualifying campaign on a high note when they meet Benin on Sunday.

The Sparrow Hawks are out to ensure they return to winning ways at home to book a spot in Kenya next year.

Coach Claude Leroy is aware that a win is important for his charges to erase their loss at the hands of Algeria during their 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last month.

Prior to that loss, they were beaten 2-0 by Comoros in an international friendly in June and are under pressure to claim a win.

Looking at the visitors, Benin will hope to continue winning their matches but heading to Lome means they will have to box smart.

Fresh from a win over Gambia in the AFCON Qualifiers in June and a 1-1 draw against Cote d’Ivoire in May, means they will be confident going into this clash.

Coach Oumar Tchomogo has a task to select the best players for the mission as they want to make their mark in Kenya come 2018.

As both sides will battle it out for the first time in a competitive encounter, both teams will want to head to the second leg with a win.

This encounter will be staged at 17:00 (CAT) at the Stade de Kégué in Lomé and the return leg will take place a week later on July 23 in Cotonou.



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Ajax and Celtic eyeing Ugandan international keeper


Robert Odongkara claims ball ahead Patrick Wleh of Liberia during 2014 Fifa World Cup Qualifier football match between Uganda and Liberia at the Mandela Stadium, Namboole, Kampala on 08 June 2013

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Jul 11, 2017. 11:30


Media reports in Uganda indicate that the Cranes national team goalkeeper Robert Odongkara is set to move to the South African Premier Soccer League.

Based in Ethiopia with St. George, the big net minder has been linked with a move to Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein Celtic.

The 25-year-old shot-stopper was part of the national team squad for the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and has spent five seasons with the Addis Ababa-based club.

According to the Kawowo Sports website, Siwelele and the Urban Warriors have for a long time been interested in the Odongkara.

SAINT GEORGE EXIT CAF CL WITH A HEAVY LOSS IN SFAX

The two Absa Premiership clubs are reported to be in talks with St. George since the shot-stopper remains contracted with the Addis Ababa based club.

Odongkara could not deny or confirm the talks, but rather hailed the level of professionalism, respect and love he has been accorded in Ethiopia over the years since he left Uganda Revenue Authority FC in early 2012.

“I am still a committed St. George Football Club player with a valid running contract,” said the keeper to Kawowo Sports.

“As a player, you can never predict your final destiny but life here (in Ethiopia) has been good given the professional technical staff, friendly and passionate fans.”

The Ugandan international featured for Kidus Giorgis in their final CAF Champions League, Group C match against Esperance on Sunday as they lost 4-0 in Sfax.



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Sfaxien eyeing revenge against MC Alger


Hachoud Abdrmimane of MC Alger

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Jul 07, 2017. 17:30


The final battle of CAF Confederation Cup, Group B giants takes the centre stage when CS Sfaxien take on MC Alger on Saturday.

With both giants having already qualified for the knockout stages, the match remains a thriller set for Sfax in Tunisia.

Sfaxien occupy the second spot in the group as they have 10 points from five matches and their mission is to challenge the log leaders, MC Alger.

Fresh from a 3-1 drubbing of Mbabane Swallows in Swaziland, Sfaxien are out to challenge the Algerians as they want to finish top of the group.

However, Alger will be boosted by their 2-1 win in the opening round as they claimed the full three points, but this match will be a different ball game.

To the visitors, Alger are also in high spirits after a deserved 2-0 win over South African side Platinum Stars at home last Friday.

Alger occupy the top spot with 11 points from five games and even though they are away, they will bank on their confidence to win the match.

A spot for them in the knockout stages is already secured, but this match will present coach Kamel Mouassa (Alger) and coach Jorge Costa with a chance to use their fringe players.

The encounter will be hosted at Stade Taïeb Mhiri in Sfax on Saturday at 19:00 (CAT).



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Horoya eyeing SuperSport scalp – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup


Grant Kekana of Supersport United celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup match between CF Mounana and Supersport United at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 23 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jun 30, 2017. 12:30


CAF Confederation Cup Group D log leaders, Athletique Club Horoya will be hoping to retain the full three points when they host SuperSport United on Saturday.

The Guinean side has had a good run in the competition as they sit at the top of the log table with eight points so far.

After five matches in the campaign, Horoya have eight points from two wins and two draws.

Their biggest asset is their solid defending as they have conceded only three goals.

The previous meeting between these two sides in South Africa produced a 2-2 draw.

Coming to the second-placed United, the Pretoria-based side will want to claim a win and also maximise their chances of making it to the next stage.

This match comes after their triumph in the Nedbank Cup final last weekend over Soweto giants Orlando Pirates and their morale is high.

However, United only have one win to show for their efforts in Group B coupled with three draws – they have six points.

The encounter is set to be staged at Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry on Saturday, 01 July at 17:00 (CAT).



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