Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy unhappy with criticism after Champions League final loss

Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 17:30

Despite their CAF Champions League loss to Wydad Casablanca, Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy refuses to take the blame directed to the team from the fans.

The Red Devils fans were disappointed to lose the continental trophy in Morocco on a 2-1 aggregate margin after a 1-1 draw in the first leg at home.

Ekramy took to his official Twitter account, saying that criticism from fans after the match was not objective and not fair.


“We’re used in Egypt to the attribution of any success or failure in football to individuals only, although everyone knows that it is a shared responsibility,” he said on Twitter.

“The problem in the case of loss is that there is always an attempt to blame certain players or to find a scapegoat.

“In 48 games since the start of the season, we had more than 30 clean sheets.

“Our goalkeeping and defence were named the best according to statistics and numbers.

“Apart from local statistics, Al Ahly is one of the world’s best teams in terms of keeping a clean sheet in 2017.

“Attacking or criticizing a player after any loss by the media or the fans is normal and that’s the tough side of football.

“We understand our fans’ sadness due to the loss, our fans are always our number one supporters. We lost an important championship that’s true but it is more important to start focusing on what’s coming next.”

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Al Ahly president to protest following Champions League final loss to Wydad

Al Ahly’s player Saad Samir (L) in action against Wydad Casablanca’s player Ismail Haddad (R)

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 16:30

Following their CAF Champions League loss to Wydad Casablanca, Al Ahly president Mahmoud Taher revealed that his club will file a complaint about the CAF referee, Bakary Gassama.

The Club of the Century suffered a 2-1 loss to Wydad on aggregate as they failed to fly back to Egypt with the most prestigious continental accolade.

Following the defeat in Morocco, Taher says Gassama made a number of mistakes in the match and they will approach CAF regarding this issue.

“We have a number of motives to file a complaint because of what happened in the final match,” Mahmoud Taher told the club’s official website.


“The referee made huge mistakes whether through taking wrong decisions or because of not adding enough stoppage time after smoke emerged in the pitch and blocked view which forced him to stop the match for a few minutes.”

Taher added that Gassama did not take the smoke on the pitch, caused by Wydad fans, into consideration when adding only three minutes of stoppage time and that he didn’t care about complaints made about the smoke from Al Ahly players.

“We faced clear and obvious challenges in our recent African matches from referees which made it look like Al Ahly facing a team and a referee each match, something that we should not stay silent about anymore,” he added.

“That’s why the club is obliged to submit this complaint that includes all the needed documents and pictures that strengths our position.”

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Wits slump to new low in home loss to Chippa – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Sifiso Hlanti of Bidvest Wits challenges Moeketsi Sekola of Chippa United during Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Bidvest Wits and Chippa United at Bidvest Wits Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 01 November 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 21:36

Bidvest Wits continue to look a shadow of the team which won the Absa Premiership last season, as they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Chippa United on Wednesday night.

Samuel Julies came off the bench to score his first league goals since 2012 and inspire the Chilli Boys to their first away win of the season, while the Clever Boys have now suffered five defeats from just nine matches thus far.

Chippa nearly claimed the lead as early as the fourth minute, as a scramble in the penalty area after a mistake from Darren Keet ended with James Okwuosa stabbing a shot which hit the underside of the crossbar.

That proved to be the only attacking highlight of an otherwise cagey first half. Wits dominated possession and created a few promising moments thanks to the class of their wide-men Elias Pelembe and Daine Klate, but they couldn’t quite service strikers Vincent Pule and Amr Gamal.

Chippa, meanwhile, looked sporadically dangerous on the counter attack, but they were unwilling to commit too many men forward for fear of being caught short at the back by the reigning league champions.

The second half saw the Clever Boys continue to be the more positive and enterprising team, and coach Gavin Hunt looked to add a little creativity to the mix when he introduced veteran playmaker Steven Pienaar just after the hour mark.

On 75 minutes Chippa’s Daniel Akpeyi needed Okwuosa to bail him out by clearing the ball off the line after the goalkeeper dropped a simple cross, while seconds later substitute Samuel Julies shot wide after being beautifully set up by a through ball from Paseka Mako.

Yet just two minutes later Julies made up for his error by striking home a low shot after more good work from Mako, putting the Chilli Boys into a lead which was very much against the general run of play.

And things got even better for Julies in the 85th minute when he scored a ‘goal of the season’ contender, whipping a left-footed curler into the top corner of the net to make it 2-0 and wrap up the three points for the Eastern Cape side.

Bidvest Wits 0

Chippa United (0) 2 (Julies 77’ 85’)

Wits: Keet, Allie, Khumalo, Hlatshwayo, Hlanti, Pelembe (Keene 82’), Scott, Mlambo (Pienaar 63’), Klate, Pule (Phiri 75’), Gamal

Chippa: Akpeyi, Macheke, Okwuosa, Bergman, Maphanga, Mvelase (Mbenyane 58’), Mabaso, Lentjies (Julies 64’), Mdlinzo, Mako, Sekola (Mbokoma 82’)

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Ghana U-17 goalkeeper apologies for error in quarterfinal loss – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India

Danlad Ibrahim and Faisal Osman of Ghana during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ghana and Mali at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 28 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 11:00

Ghana U-17 goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim has apologised for his error which cost the team a goal in their World Cup quarterfinal loss to Mali this past weekend.

Ibrahim was directly responsible for Djemoussa Traore’s goal, which proved to be the decisive strike in Mali’s 2-1 win.

The goalkeeper attempted to sprint off his line to make a clearance, but his misjudgment only made it easier for Traore to find the back of the net.

“Sometimes when playing in the rains, the gloves get so wet and slippery,” Ibrahim told the GNA.

“I made my mind to push the ball out because I didn’t want to take the chance of trying to grab it. There was not so much power behind the ball and I didn’t get the movement of the ball well.

“It pains me a lot that the team couldn’t go beyond this stage. We had plans of taking the name of Ghana high in this competition but it didn’t work ou

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FIFA tells Zambia to stop pretesting and accept loss to Nigeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 17:00

News coming out of Zambia is that FIFA has thrown out Zambia’s protest regarding the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria on October 7 in Uyo.

The Football Association of Zambia protested after they felt that referee Joshua Bondo was not fair in his handling of the match.

Nigeria clinched a 1-0 win and qualified for their third straight World Cup with a match to spare in Group B.

As a result, FAZ were aggrieved and filed a formal protest to FIFA asking them to look into the matter after their goal was disallowed by Bondo.


The goal in question was scored after one of the assistant referees had clearly flagged for an offside and effectively stopped play.

However, in a letter addressed to FAZ and signed by Julien Deux of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, the world football governing body dismissed the case for lacking merit.

Deux told the Zambians to accept the result and referring them to Article 15, Paragraph 6 of the World Cup regulations.

FIFA said there was “no evidence of any infringement of the regulations by the referees”.

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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

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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Defending champions hand league leaders first loss – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Amr Gamal of Bidvest Wits challenged by Abdi Banda of Baroka during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Baroka and Bidvest Wits at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 22 October 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Brian Lee

Sunday Oct 22, 2017. 17:46

The defending Absa Premiership champions, Bidvest Wits, handed the current 2017/18 league leaders, Baroka FC their first loss of the season at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

A single first half goal from Vincent Pule handed the Clever Boys only their second win of the league season after beating Baroka FC 1-0.

The result sees Wits move up one place on the league table to 14th place with eight points from eight games.

Baroka, on the other hand, are still top of the table with 16 points from nine games despite the loss, one point above second placed Golden Arrows.

The game itself on Sunday was a rather dull one with Wits controlling the flow of play from the first whistle.

Still, despite their domination the Clever Boys struggled to create any significant goal scoring chances early on.

The only real chance came around the 15th minute mark when Amr Gamal worked himself into space 20-yards out, but his stinging shot went narrowly wide of the target.

Baroka struggled to find their rhythm and were punished in the 43rd minute after a mistake in defence allowed Vincent Pule to tap home from close range to hand Wits a 1-0 lead at half time.

The second half saw Wits continue to have the lion’s share of possession, but they struggled to really make it count.

The Clever Boys pushed forward time and again, but they were thwarted at every point by a stubborn Baroka defence.

Substitute Granwald Scott had the only significant shot of the second half, but his 30-yard thunderbolt went inches over the target in the 80th minute

Baroka pushed forward in the final minutes of the game in the hope of snatching a late equaliser, but they had no luck and suffered their first Absa Premiership loss of the season.

Baroka FC (0) 0

Bidvest Wits (1) 1 (Pule 43’)


Baroka FC: 16. Vries, 6. Shaku, 11. Matloga, 7. Chawapihwa (9. Nguzana 77’), 24. Banda, 21. Moeti, 31. Masenamela, 15. Mothupa, 4. Madubanya, 8. Mdantsane (17. Nglande 55’), 19. Macha (12. Motupa 8’).

Bidvest Wits: 36. Peters, 2. Allie, 3. Hlatshwayo, 4. Khumalo, 7. Klate, 8. Monare [14. Claasen 46’ (6. Scott 70’)], 10. Gamal (9. Rodgers 83’), 11. Pelembe, 12. Pule, 13. Hlanti, 19. Mlambo.

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USM Alger succumb to a 3-1 loss in Casablanca

Wydad Athletic Club goalkeeper Zouhair Laaroubi in action during the African Champions League 2017

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 23:49

One goal from Ayoub Abdellaoui was not enough as USM Alger lost 3-1 to Wydad Casablanca in the CAF Champions League semifinals on Saturday at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca.

The result means the Algerians are out of the tournament, whilst a brace from Achraf Bencharki and one goal through Walid El Karti ensured Casablanca booked a spot in the final.

After a dull opening period, Wydad pushed for an early goal and their efforts were rewarded when El Karti scored in the 26th minute.

The second stanza saw Casablanca finding their second goal when Bencharki scored in the 54th minute to ensure they remained in the driving seat.

Coach Paul Put’s men pushed for a goal to reply and they put the fear into their hosts through Ayoub Abdellaoui in the 67th minute.

Towards the last 20 minutes, coach Lhoussaine Ammoutta pushed his men to probe for the third goal and their efforts were rewarded in injury time.

Bencharki scored for the second time to make it 3-1 and ensure they cement a spot in the CAF Champions League final.

The result means the Algerians are out of the continental club competition and will have to try again in the 2018 edition.

Wydad Casablanca (1) 3 (Karti 26′, Bencharki 54′, 90+3′)

USM Alger (0) 1 (Abdellaoui 67′)

Wydad Casablanca: Laaroubi, Rabeh, Noussir, Atouchi, Saidi, Karti, Nakach, Gaddarine (Hachimi 64′), Bencharki, Ounajem(Aoulad 85′), Haddad (Khadrouf 74′)

USM Alger: Zemmamouche, Meftah, Benmoussa, Chafaï, Abdellaoui, Sayoud, Benkhemassa, Benguit (Hamzaoui 69′), Yaya (Beldjilali 75′), Meziane, Darfalou

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Dennis Onyango hopeful of reaching Russia 2018 despite loss to Egypt – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 08, 2017. 13:00

Despite losing their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier 1-0 to Egypt on Tuesday, Uganda skipper Denis Onyango says they still have a chance to book a spot in Russia.

The Cranes skipper said their mission is to secure a win over the Black Stars of Ghana to ensure they keep their hopes alive.

The 2016 CAF African Player of the Year based in Africa was beaten by Mohamed Salah in the opening half.


However, the 2016 CAF Champions League winner with Mamelodi Sundowns says they have a big job to do in the next round of qualifiers.

“We lost concentration in the first minutes as a team yet we knew it that they would attack us a lot at the start,” Onyango said.

“As captain and last line of defence, I had to make some saves. Sadly, I didn’t hold on when they scored.

“There is big job to do considering that Ghana won. We must work hard to get points off Ghana then see what happens thereafter. The next two games are finals.”

The Cranes will meet Ghana at home on October 7 in Kampala as they will want a win to put pressure on Group E leaders, Egypt.

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Bayern boss: Mohamed Salah a big loss for Roma – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Aug 08, 2017. 13:00

Roma will suffer for not having Mohamed Salah in their team in the upcoming Serie A season, according to Bayern Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti.

The Egyptian moved to Liverpool in a big-money deal earlier in the transfer window and Ancelotti reckons the Giallorossi will struggle without him.

“Roma? I find it a bit hard to work them out. They’ve changed coach and I’ve followed [Eusebio] Di Francesco for some time,” said the Bayern boss in evaluating the Serie A title contenders.

“I thought he did very well with Sassuolo, but the loss of [Mohamed] Salah, I believe, will be felt.

“We’ll also see how their first season will be without a monument like [Francesco] Totti in the dressing room,” he added.

Ancelotti added that Juventus remain the favourites to win the Italian championship, though he has noted AC Milan’s impressive work in the transfer market.

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Mauritania progress despite loss to Liberia

Simujka Aloysius of Liberia battles with Tale Thapelo 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

Brian Lee

Sunday Jul 23, 2017. 21:25

Despite losing 1-0 to Liberia in the second leg of their 2018 African Nations Championship qualifier at the Stade Municipal Zouérate on Sunday, Mauritania still progressed to the next stage of qualifying.

The first leg between the two nations ended 2-0 in favour of Mauritania at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia last weekend thanks to goals from Mohammed Yaly Dellahi and Boubacar Bagili.

That result combined with Liberia’s 1-0 win on Sunday, July 23 handed Mauritania a 2-1 aggregate win over the two legs.

Liberia’s goal on Sunday was scored by Jachso, but it was not enough to save them from exiting the qualifying for CHAN 2018.

Mauritania will now face Mali in the final phase of qualification to reach CHAN 2018 in Kenya.

Mali reached the next stage of the qualifying process by beating Gambia 4-0 on aggregate.

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Saint George exit CAF CL with a heavy loss in Sfax

Haha Yassine Khenissi of Esperance

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Jul 09, 2017. 21:17

Saint George lost their final CAF Champions League Group C match against Esperance 4-0 on Sunday at Stade Olympique de Radès.

In the wake of the heavy defeat, coach Neider Dos Santos’ troops sit at number three with five points from six matches as they exit their continental club campaign.

On the other hand, strikes courtesy of Khalil Chemman, Bilel Mejri, Haythem Jouini and Ali Machani ensured the hosts retain the full three points.

Although they went into the encounter having the favourites tag, the Tunisian giants showed their intentions as early as the opening half.

The Blood and Gold pushed for an early goal and their efforts were rewarded when Chemman managed to open the scoring in the 29th minute with an assist coming from Saad Bguir.

The hosts were not done yet when they caused troubles in the opposite defence and Mejri made it 2-0 following an assist through Anice Badri in the 38th minute.

It was 2-0 at the interval in favour of the hosts.

The second stanza had no clear cut opportunities and towards the final 10 minutes, Esperance showed their class as they probed for the third goal.

With eight minutes to go, substitute Jouini made it 3-0 as he converted a beautiful pass from Bguir.

However in the injury time, Machani made it 4-0 in the dying minutes of the contest to wrap their group stage campaign on a high note.

The win sees Faouzi Benzarti’s men remaining at number one with 12 points from six matches and they will now meet Egyptian side Al Ahly in the quarterfinals between 8-10 September 2017.

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