post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – All eyes on Dortmund ace – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 13:00


Eyes will be fixed on Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when the German Bundesliga club welcome fierce rivals Schalke 04 to the iconic Signal Iduna Park this weekend.

The Gabon international missed the club’s 2-1 defeat away to Stuttgart after being axed from the squad due to a reported breach of team protocol, but made his return in a midweek UEFA Champions League tie.

The 28-year-old finding the back of the net in a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur as Dortmund’s struggles in Europe’s premier cup competition continued.

That, though, will be quickly forgotten with victory over the ‘Royal Blues’ in the The Revierderby on Saturday, as Dortmund aim to resurrect their season having initially gotten off to a blistering start.

FORMER CAMEROON GOALKEEPER: ALGERIA’S PROBLEM ISN’T THE COACH

Aubameyang has scored 16 goals in 18 appearances across all competitions this season, but hasn’t found the back of the net in Germany’s top-flight since mid-October.



Source link

post

Eyes on the future as Congo, Uganda clash in Brazzaville dead-rubber – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Frank Acheampong of Ghana challenges Nicholas Wadada of Uganda during the 2018 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers Russia on 07 October 2017 at Mandela Stadium, Namboole, Kampala. ©Ismail Kezaala/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Nov 11, 2017. 09:00


Congo and Uganda will have one eye on the future when they go head-to-head in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Stade Municipal de Kintélé in Brazzaville on Sunday afternoon.

Kick-off is at 15h30 local time (16h30 CAT).

The match is a mere formality with Egypt having emerged victorious in Group E – subsequently booking their place at a first World Cup since 1990.

Both Congo and Uganda were hopeful of shining on the world’s stage for the very first time, but it was not to be for either nation.

The Cranes, though, can especially hold their heads high having held Ghana to successive goalless draws, while also registering a notable 1-0 win over the Pharaohs in Kampala.

Diables Rouges have endured a tougher time, and suffered defeat in both of their previous two home matches [1-2 to Egypt] and [1-5 to Ghana], but did show great resilience in both Alexandria and Kumasi.

Despite the match being classified as a so called ‘dead-rubber’ – Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango has highlighted the importance of the clash for the Cranes.

“We need to get into the habit of winning away from home so that it helps us build a winning mentality,” Onyango added.

“It may be a so-called dead rubber, but for us it means everything,”

“We are using it to prepare for other upcoming engagements and we want to finish strong and get a better seeding and draws,” he concluded.

The reverse fixture in Kampala last year ended in a 1-0 win for the then hosts. Farouk Miya with the only goal of the game.



Source link

post

Ramadan Sobhi eyes more World Cup appearances – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Oct 11, 2017. 17:00


Egypt and Stoke City winger Ramadan Sobhi wants to reach the FIFA World Cup on a regular basis and make it a habit.

The 20-year-old Pharaohs international spoke to the KingFut website, saying he is already looking beyond the 2018 tournament in Russia to ensure Egypt re-establish themselves back on the biggest stage.

MASULUKE’S GOAL MAKES FINAL SHORT-LIST FOR FIFA AWARD

Sobhi contributed to their 2-1 win over Congo on Sunday to book a spot at the tournament for the first time since 1990.

“The match was difficult, thank god that we made it. All that mattered was the fans, we wanted to make them happy and we did,” said Sobhi.

“What the players went through is immense and showed that they are men and responsible. It won’t be our last World Cup, it will become a habit for us to qualify afterwards.

“I want to thank the fans, the ones who were in the stadium and everyone in every part of Egypt. It all happened because of everyone’s support.”



Source link

post

Samuel Eto’o eyes Major League Soccer move


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 25, 2017. 16:00


Former Cameroon international Samuel Eto’o is eager to coach Italian giants Inter Milan.

This is according to the 36-year-old striker’s close adviser George Gardi, who also stated that Eto’o wants to ply his trade in the U.S.A.

Eto’o currently plays for Turkish Super Lig side Antalyaspor where he has scored close to 40 goals since joining the club at the beginning of the 2015/16 season.

The former Chelsea FC, Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona marksman is eager to play in the Major League Soccer (MSL) like many other football legends.

“Samuel Eto’o has had two great seasons in Turkey, scoring 40 goals,” Gardi told The Sun.

“I don’t rule out the possibility of him renewing his contract for another season. Then he aims to finish his career in Major League Soccer.

“But once he has hung up his boots, he wants to become a coach. It is his desire to manage Inter Milan some day,” he concluded.

Eto’o played for Inter between 2009 and 2011, and he won the Serie A title, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, UEFA Champions League as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.



Source link

post

Nigeria’s Okpotu eyes WAFU Cup of Nations Golden Boot


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 11, 2017. 10:00


Nigerian international Anthony Okpotu is looking forward to helping the Super Eagles win the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations title in Ghana.

Okpotu, who plays for Lobi Stars, won the Goal King of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) on the last day of the season after scoring 19 goals.

However, the marksman says he’s not targeting the Cup of Nations Golden Boot award as his top priority is to help the Super Eagles win the tournament.

“I am not targeting the highest goal scorer in the WAFU tournament,” Okpotu told ScoreNigeria.

“I would prefer the team won the cup than for me to be the highest goal scorer.

“But if along the line the opportunity comes for me to be top scorer, I will grab it and make it a double – the cup and the award.”

Nigeria, who are under the guidance of coach Salisu Yusuf, will open their campaign in the West African competition on Monday against Sierra Leone.

The encounter will be played at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in the city of Cape Coast.

For more details and news on the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations visit the official website at www.wafucup.com



Source link

post

Burkina Faso coach Duarte eyes victory over Senegal – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 12:00


Burkina Faso head coach Paulo Duarte is plotting Senegal’s downfall following Saturday’s goalless stalemate between the two West African nations.

The Stallions held Senegal to a 0-0 draw in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar.

“Over the whole game, we can say that it is a fair result, a result just because both teams have had opportunities,” Duarte said on Sen360.fr.

“We put in place a strategy that worked because we knew that we were facing a big team like Senegal. We should not leave spaces.

The return leg match between Burkina Faso and the Lions of Teranga will take place at the Stade du 4 Aout in Ouagadougou on Tuesday.

“Against Senegal, who have many players quality, it was necessary to put in place a strategy,” the Portuguese tactician continued.

“But we know that this team in spite of the quality of its team, does not make results.

“The first leg is over and we will play our cards thoroughly at the return against a great team that has not yet said its last word. But we too.”

The draw left Burkina Faso placed at the top of Group D standings with five points. Senegal are placed second with four points with three matches left.



Source link

post

New Galatasaray winger Feghouli eyes Turkish title – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Aug 15, 2017. 10:00


New Galatasaray midfielder Sofiane Feghouli says he wants to win the Turkish Super Lig title with the club after joining them from West Ham United.

The Algerian international had been repeatedly linked with a move to Galatasaray since last month and he has finally joined the club.

“Obviously, I had expected to sign for Galatasaray for some time now,” Feghouli told the club’s official website.

“But conditions can sometimes be like that. I am very happy to join the club, which has such a big following.

“Today, I came to Turk Telekom Stadium for the first time; A very beautiful stadium and a spectacular one,” he continued.

“I came here to be a champion; I want the championship title. I have to work hard.”

The former Valencia midfielder has signed a five-year deal with the 20-time Super Lig champions.

A club statement read: “Sofiane Feghouli, who signed a five-year contract with Galatasaray, was born in Levallois-Perret on December 26, 1989, in the north-west of Paris.”

Feghouli played 21 English Premier League (EPL) games and netted three goals for West Ham last season after joining the club from Spanish La Liga outfit Valencia.



Source link

post

Iheanacho eyes a lot of success with Leicester – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 13:00


Leicester City have announced that Nigeria international Kelechi Iheanacho has joined the club on a five-year deal from Manchester City.

The 20-year-old striker will wear the squad no.8 and he joins fellow Nigeria internationals Wilfred Ndidi and Ahmed Musa at the English Premier League (EPL) outfit.

The promising frontman spoke to LCFC TV after signing a long-term deal with the 2015/16 EPL champions.

“It feels good and I’m happy to be part of this team. I know the ambition of the team and speaking with the manager, he let me know what I need to do – to help the team achieve what they want. I was convinced and I’m happy to be here,” he said.

“I was happy speaking with the manager, knowing what the team wants. It gives me more confidence that I will fit in this team and hopefully I’ll achieve a lot.”

City manager Craig Shakespeare backed Iheanacho, who impressively netted 12 goals in 12 league starts for the Citizens during his three-year stint with the club.

“It’s a great signing for us. Kelechi is an enormously talented player that has shown a huge amount of promise at every level in which he’s played,” Shakespeare said.

“We’ve tracked his progress for some time, so we know how much quality he’ll bring to the squad. He’s young, he’s hungry, he’s ready for the next stage of his development and I’m delighted that will be with Leicester City.”



Source link

post

Willard Katsande eyes consistency – ABSA Premiership 2016/17


Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns at the FNB Stadium, South Africa on 01 April 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Jul 28, 2017. 13:30


Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Willard Katsande has admitted that the Soweto giants lacked consistency last season, as they ended another campaign without silverware.

The Amakhosi were guilty of dropping valuable points throughout the campaign, most notable conceding a catalogue of late goals as they eventually ended the 2016-17 season 10 points behind champions Bidvest Wits.

ARSENAL TOP RACE FOR JEAN SERI’S SIGNATURE

In an interview with KickOff.com, Katsande revealed that he and his teammates will be eyeing more consistency in the new season.

“Firstly, I need to thank the Almighty. I need to thank the Amakhosi family for the trust and loyalty they have in me,” Katsande told KickOff.com. “That’s why I personally aim to be more consistent, to repay and thank everyone.

“If I can give 110 percent, defend harder, react quicker with better decision-making, week in and week out, I would be satisfied with my contribution.

“Last season it went in patches, but my goal is to keep it on the highest level at all times. In this way I’m hoping to assist my teammates and my overall contribution to the club,” the

The former Ajax Cape Town hardman continued: “I think consistency is also an aspect we fell short as a collective. There were certain games where we were on top of things and we let it slip and it cost us.

“I think our game management also needs to improve as it will be key this season. But these are things we have addressed and need to rectify going forward,” the 31-year-old concluded.



Source link

post

Nigeria star Success eyes ‘better’ season with Watford – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Watford striker Isaac Success

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jun 23, 2017. 16:00


Watford FC striker Isaac Success says he wants to shine for both his club and the Nigerian senior national team next season.

The 21-year-old frontman, who struggled with injuries during the 2016/17 campaign, has made only one appearance for the Super Eagles.

Success made his debut for Nigeria against Senegal in an international friendly at The Hive in England three months ago.

“I feel bad that I have not been able to feature many times for the Super Eagles,” Success told the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) official website.

“There have been either injuries or some other issue during the times I was invited.

“I am however restating my commitment to the national team and I promise to give my best and shine whenever I’m called again,” he said.

The former Nigeria Under-17 and Under-20 striker is looking forward to playing for Watford and Nigeria during the 2017/18 campaign.

“It certainly will be a new era with the new coach (Marco Silva). We hope for a better season starting from August 12,” he added.

“I really want to do better in the coming season for Watford and also in the League, and for Nigeria any time I am invited.”



Source link

post

West Ham star Feghouli eyes Algeria recall


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday May 28, 2017. 16:57


West Ham United midfielder Sofiane Feghouli is hoping to get a call-up to the Algerian national team ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Togo in Blida next month.

The Hammers star scored four goals in 27 appearances in all competitions for the English Premier League side after joining the club from Spanish outfit Valencia last July.

“First of all, the Premier League is a very different style of football to what I have experienced in La Liga, the Champions League and World Cups,” Feghouli told the club’s official website.

“Unfortunately, I was affected by some physical problems earlier in the season but that’s football and I’ll take what I’ve learned this year to improve for next season.

“I’d like to thank all of the West Ham supporters for the messages they’ve been sending me on social media. It’s important for the players to know that they are supported in this way,” he added.

“I’d also like to thank the Algerian fans around the world who continue to support me through the good and bad moments. I think it’s very important that we say thank you to them today.

“This summer, I’m hoping that I’ll be called for upcoming matches with Algeria. If I am called up, I’ll go away on holiday with my family after the national team matches



Source link

post

SA’s Saralina eyes European move after U20 World Cup – 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday May 15, 2017. 21:00


South Africa Under-20 defender Shane Saralina is looking forward to representing his country at the 2017 U20 World Cup finals in South Korea.

Saralina discussed his many highs and lows in the Amajita squad after missing this year’s U20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Zambia.

The Ajax Cape Town starlet spoke to the South African Football Association (SAFA) Media ahead of the global tournament which will be played from 20 May – 11 June.

SAFA Media: Shane, thank you for your time. You are in the FIFA u20 World Cup squad, how do you feel?

Shane Saralina: I was speechless because of excitement when the coaches told me I was in the final squad for the World Cup. I was not part of the team that participated in the CAF u20 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, and to be honest, I was very disappointed, but football makes you grow a tough skin. When I was dropped for the AFCON I went back to Ajax Cape Town and worked hard to regain my place. I was very proud of my teammates for qualifying for the FIFA U20 World Cup and that also encouraged me to up my game.

When I received my call up for the World Cup preparations, I knew that I had another chance to prove myself to the coaches because they believed in me enough to recall me into the team, so I am really honoured to be in Korea. I hope I will get a chance to play during the World Cup, as this will be a dream come true.

SAFA Media: What do you think finally got you included into the final squad?

SS: Hard work, dedication and perseverance. These are attributes all footballers need to have, along with support from family. Everything in life needs these three attributes. When you focus on your goal and not allow obstacles to come your way, you can achieve the impossible.

I also believe that players need to listen to what the coaches tell them because they are our mentors and want the best out of us. Coaches inform us about what areas of work need improvement and it is up to every individual to either see the advice as criticism or encouragement.

SAFA Media: At this level of football development, many people do not get to know a player’s story until they make it to the professional league. Tell us a little about who Shane is, where you come from and how you fell in love with the beautiful game?

SS: Well, Shane is a quiet and humble gentleman. I am from Mitchells Plain, Western Cape. I am the first born in my family and have two sisters. I started playing football at the age of seven for Cedre United where I lasted only a few months.

Then I moved to Ikapa United and this is where my foundation of football was developed. Unfortunately I had to go back to my previous club Cedre United because my family could not afford the travelling costs.

In 2010 we played in a tournament that Ajax Cape Town was also participating in. Their scouts liked me and took me to the club. I have now been a part of Ajax Cape Town for seven years and was promoted to the senior team last season. I can proudly say I have made my professional debut, which I waited for for many years.

SAFA Media: Congratulations on that. Talk to us about your team mates, what do you think you bring to the Amajita set up (on and off the pitch)? What are your best characteristics (on and off the pitch)?

SS: As a centre back, you need to be able to read the game and I believe I bring that to the team. I also believe that I can bring stability to the back four because I know when to slow down the pace of the game and when to up the tempo. I also believe I am very good when it comes to man-to-man marking.

Off the pitch I am generally very quiet, but I am a team player and like to motivate my teammates, by letting them know that they are good players.

SAFA Media: What do you hope to achieve in the world cup and immediately afterwards?

SS: As an individual, if I get to start a match in the tournament, that would be a great achievement, and this is highly possible as I am putting in a lot of hard work at training. As a team, we need to do our best to win our first match, and if we can do that we will set a standard for ourselves that only we can surpass.

The 2009 Amajita squad managed to win one group stage match, so if we are able stick to our game plan we will be able to do better than they did.

Immediately after the World Cup I would like to join a team abroad, failing which I need to ensure that I become a regular at Ajax Cape Town in the coming season. From a personal point of view, I would like to help family to move to a better place.

SAFA Media: You are currently in Suwon, South Korea. What do you make of the place?

SS: Travelling is always very interesting because as much as there are so many different things in other countries, many more things are the same as back home.

We have been struggling to sleep because the time difference is so huge, but day-by-day we are getting used to the adjustment. The weather here is like back home and I am glad that it is warmer in Suwon as they are approaching the summer season, and one has to forget a bit about the winter season we left back home.

SAFA Media: Shane, congratulations on making the final squad and all the best for the FIFA U20 World Cup.



Source link