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Villa’s Adomah maintains good form despite Ghana snub


Aston Villa’s Albert Adomah

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Nov 25, 2017. 13:00


Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce is pleased with Ghanaian international Albert Adomah’s surge in form.

The 29-year-old midfielder has established himself as one of the key players for the English Championship side.

Adomah, who last played for Ghana in 2015, has netted eight goals in 14 league matches for Villa this season.

“I’m delighted with Albert, he’s in great form,” Bruce told Villa’s official website.

Adomah made it three goals in two league matches when he netted against Sunderland on Tuesday.

“He was a doubt before the game, we thought he had a bit of a calf problem but he wanted to play,” he added.

“And he scored another goal, which is great.”

Adomah will look to inspire Villa to victory when they face Ipswich Town in a league match on Saturday.



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Algeria coach: We had a very good match – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Algerian head coach, Rabah Madjer during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying soccer match between Algeria and Nigeria at Chahid-Hamlaoui stadium in Constantine, Algeria, 10 November 2017.

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 15, 2017. 15:30


Algeria coach Rabah Madjer was a happy man after watching his team defeat Central African Republic 3-0 in an international friendly at the 5th of July Stadium in Algiers on Tuesday evening.

Two goals from Yacine Brahimi and a late strike by Islam Slimani secured a comfortable victory for the Fennec Foxes in Madjer’s second game in charge since succeeding Lucas Alcaraz.

It followed a few days on from their 1-1 draw with Nigeria in Constantine in their final 2018 World Cup qualifier.

“We had a very good match. We were tactically strong. We have created many opportunities. We dominated the opponent who was solid, especially on the physical level and even in the middle of the field. We scored three goals, it’s a good thing for morale,” said Madjer after the match.

The new coach added, “Honestly, I’m happy with the victory because we played attractively, and also for the reaction of the players because they have suffered a lot of pressure lately, but I can tell you that I am not 100 percent satisfied. We still have to work to do.”

Madjer also pointed to Nigeria’s victory over Argentina, and the fact that his team held the Super Eagles, as evidence of progress. He also wants the team’s critics to remain silent for now.

“Nigeria’s result in the friendly match against Argentina shows that we are on the right path. We tied against Nigeria after we were led,” explained the coach.

“We had a good match and today’s result proves that we are progressing well. It’s enough to help us. Even those who are against us must help us by their silence.”



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Khalid Boutaib – Moroccan forward aims to continue good form – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Khalid Boutaib of Morocco

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 03, 2017. 14:05


Yeni Malatyaspor forward Khalid Boutaïb will be aiming to continue his impressive goal scoring form when the Super League outfit take on İstanbul Başakşehir this weekend.

The 30-year-old has been in the form of his life over the past 12 months and has already scored six goals in 10 appearances for his Turkish club this season.

With a crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Ivory Coast on the horizon, Atlas Lions head coach Herve Renard will be hoping that the towering forward will carry his form to Abidjan where a draw will be enough to book their ticket to Russia.

The French-born striker bagged a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Gabon in Casablanca last month as the North African’s edged closer to next year’s showpiece.

Morocco last featured at a World Cup in 1998 where they suffered a group stage exit, but hopes are high that they will end their 20 year wait at the expense of the current African champions.



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Lampard: I thought I was good – but playing against Eto’o was an “eye-opener”


Former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o performing his ‘old man’ celebration

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 11:00


English football legend Frank Lampard has revealed that facing Cameroon veteran Samuel Eto’o and his FC Barcelona team-mates was an eye-opening experience for him.

Lampard was regarded as one of the best midfielders in world football when he travelled to

Spain along with his Chelsea team-mates for an UEFA Champions League match Last 16 match against Barcelona in March, 2006.

Coming up against the likes of Ronaldinho and Eto’o, the calibre of those players far different to anything he encountered in the English Premier League, changed Lampard’s opinion of himself.

“I remember going to Barcelona, the Nou Camp, playing against a Ronaldinho-Eto’o team and it was a massive eye-opener for me,” Lampard, who is now retired, told BT Sport.

“I thought I was a good player in the Premier League and all of a sudden Eto’o was the fastest player I had ever seen, Ronaldinho had the most ability, and it was a real eye-opener for me.”

The exhilarating match ended in a 1-1 draw with Brazilian forward Ronaldinho netting for Barcelona at the Camp Nou, while Lampard scored for Chelsea. The Spanish giants advanced to the quarter-finals after winning the tie 3-2 on aggregate,

Ronaldinho had been named the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year after finishing ahead of Lampard and Eto’o in the final round of voting.



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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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‘It feels good to be back in France’ – Bakary Kone – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Jordan Ayew of Ghana is challenged by Bakary Kone of Burkina Faso during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals 3&4 match playoff between Burkina Faso and Ghana at the Port Gentil in Gabon on 04 February 2017 ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Aug 28, 2017. 12:30


After joining French Ligue 1 side Strasbourg from Spain’s Malaga, Burkina Faso defender Bakary Kone says it feels good to return to France.

Kone has made a quick return to France on a season-long loan deal after making seven appearances for Malaga.

Having helped Guingamp and Olympique Lyon to win the French Cup in 2009 and and 2012, the 29-year-old will hope to make a vital contribution for the 2017 Ligue 1 champions.

SERGE AURIER’S SPURS SWITCH DRAWS CLOSER

The Burkinabe has previously lifted the French Cup in 2009 with Guingamp as well as in 2012 with Lyon. He has played 89 matches in Ligue 1 with six goals for Lyon between 2011 and 2016.

“It feels good to return to France and I’m ready to give everything to defend the colours of Strasbourg,” Kone told the club’s official twitter account.

Strasbourg manager, Thierry Laurey has also expressed delight in signing the player as he will want to make an impact with the 2017 French Ligue 2 champions.

“We’ve been searching for an experienced and dynamic defender like this for a while, so I’m pleased with Kone’s arrival,” Laurey said.

Kone is expected to join his new club after Burkina Faso’s back-to-back 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Senegal next month.

He has made 62 appearances for his country and has featured in five consecutive CAF African Cup of Nations tournaments in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017.



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Good for CT City that Hunt will be in stands – McCarthy – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Gavin Hunt, coach of Bidvest Wits ©Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Aug 17, 2017. 13:00


Gavin Hunt’s absence from the touchline for the match between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City is good news for the latter team, according to coach Benni McCarthy.

The Wits mentor – who gave McCarthy his professional debut as a 17-year-old at Seven Stars – will have to watch the clash from the stands after earning a two-game ban for being sent off in his side’s MTN8 quarterfinal with Golden Arrows last weekend.

“Good for us, very good for us. I was hoping they lose a couple more players with the send offs,” McCarthy said in regards to the fiery clash between Wits and Arrows, as quoted by KickOff.

“It was a really strange one, [but] they ain’t the champions for nothing. You see 2-0 down with ten men they were still able to win the game, it just shows the character.

“But it’s because they got for me probably the best coach in the league. That team is drilled properly, we will have to bring our A-game if we are to get something against Wits.

“They have the experience, they are a big side, and they rely a lot on set-pieces but they can also play. I think they surprise people with how they play, they have got players that are comfortable on the ball.

“So I think we will have to tighten the screws a little better, but yeah I think we will be prepared for Wits. They won’t have ‘Hunty’ on the bench, so it’s good for me.

“So I don’t have to face ‘coachie’ when there’s an altercation I have to settle. So at least now I can do it with the assistant coach, which for me is no problem.”

The match at Bidvest Stadium will kick-off at 20h00 CAT on Friday night.



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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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Omeruo: Nigeria are as good as 2017 AFCON champs Cameroon – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Jun 29, 2017. 17:00


Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo says Nigeria are as good as Cameroon ahead of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Group B match in Uyo in September 2017.

The Super Eagles are sitting at the top of Group B standings with six points, while the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions Cameroon are placed second with two points.

The Nigeria international caught up with Complete Sports Nigeria and he discussed his plans and ambition ahead of the 2017/18 football season in Europe.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Preparations for the new season will begin in July at various clubs, what are your plans for new campaign, and ahead of the World Cup qualifiers?


Omeruo: I will be rejoining Chelsea for pre-season and there everything will be much clearer if I will be going out on loan again or staying at the club to be actively involved. I just want to play more games as much as I can and stay fully fit to represent my club and country.

I have always had that dream to play football at the highest level, and when the opportunity came for me to join Chelsea I didn’t hesitate.

But since I joined the club, I have played on loan and each team I joined always wanted me to stay on at the club. But it has been a good experience for me and I just want to build on them this coming season. As regards my future, no decision has been made yet.

Complete Sports Nigeria: You were dropped from the Super Eagles starting lineup in the match against South Africa in Uyo which Nigeria lost 2-0. It was the Super Eagles’firstloss to Bafana in a ccompetitive match. What really went wrong?


Omeruo: It was an unexpected defeat, but it won’t derail our dreams of qualifying for the AFCON. We had a new set of players playing for the first time and that affected the team in a way, but I believe as a team, we have learnt from that defeat and will bounce back to qualify for the 2019 AFCFON in Cameroon.

We have five games left to play. Anything can still happen. All we need to do is to get wins in our remaining games which is possible though tough.

I wasn’t that disappointed that I was dropped from the starting lineup. It’s the coach’s decision. We win as a team just as we lose as a team.

Those players who started the game got total support from the ones watching on the bench, so the bond will get better and we will bounce back again. The new players have to adapt to a new style of football with the Eagles, which isn’t easy.

Sometimes you struggle a bit, but for me, I’m confident we will bounce back. My commitment and loyalty has been there on and off the pitch from day-one – that’s why I was not disappointed.

Complete Sports Nigeria: But how would you rate the new boys in the Eagles now?


Omeruo: They are great players who need time to blend well with the experienced ones. The competition will be tougher but it will be for the good of the team and Nigeria having so many options.

Complete Sports Nigeria: You face Cameroon in another crucial World Cup qualifier in August.They seem to be in a better shape than the Eagles right now. What you you think?

Omeruo: I disagree. We are equally good too. It’s going to be an important game for us. We know this and we have learnt from that defeat to South Africa. With some friendlies lined up and the other players returning, we will have a great squad to select match lineup from.

Complete Sports Nigeria: You have played in three different leagues in Europe; Belgium, England, Holland, and in Turkey. What is the difference compared to the Nigeria Professional Football League where you started your career?


Omeruo: A lot of difference, even among those leagues. But it’s a great step for me and I’m happy with the progression.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Any preference for the league you would love to play in this season if you were to be sent out on loan again by Chelsea?


Omeruo: Playing in the English Premier League will be great, but it will be down to the kind of offers I get.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Who was the toughest attacker you have faced?


Omeruo: Emmanuel Emenike was physically the hardest. I played against him last season and we both wanted to prove a point (Laughs). It was fun. He still has it within him.

Robin Van Persie and some other forwards were tough as well. But I deal with attackers differently. I play my own game against everyone.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Many believe your partnership with Godfrey Oboabona remains the best for the Eagles. What was it like when you played with him?


Oboabona is very matured. He is a very strong character. I have very happy memories of playing with him. I wish he gets his chance angain too. It’s almost unfair to be comparing teammates, but everyone have their qualities.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Your greatest influence in your career?


Omeruo: That has to be my mother. She helped me a lot.



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