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South Africa beat Botswana in 2018 Women’s U17 WC qualifier


by
Staff Reporter

Saturday Dec 02, 2017. 11:00


The South African U17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana) defeated Botswana 5-1 in the first leg first round of the 2018 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifier played at the Lobatse Sports Complex on Friday, 1 December 2017.

With this being a new squad, South Africa head coach Simphiwe Dludlu gave debuts to 11 players, and they did not disappoint.

Goals from Karabo Dlamini, Thambolinye Mzoneli, Miche Minnies, Jessica Wade as well as an own goal from Tshegofatso Mosotho were enough to see South Africa take a healthy lead going into the second leg which will be played in two weeks time.

Bantwana started on a high grabbing the first goal in the first minute of play through Dlamini, before Mzoneli made it 2-0 in the 15th minute.

But a minute later the hosts pulled one back when Leungo Senwelo latched on to a defence splitting pass and pushed the ball past an advancing Kaydee Windvogel in the Bantwana goals.

Four minutes before the half time whistle, South Africa extended their lead through and own goal by Tshegofatso Mosotho – leaving the score at 3-1.

In the second stanza, Bantwana continued where they left off in the first half and increased their lead to 4-1 from a Miche Minnies goal in the 56th minute.

Five minutes later South Africa was awarded a free kick and Jessica Wade took it brilliantly to beat Atang Sedimonyane in the Botswana goals.

In the 73rd minute Bantwana captain Kaylin Jordaan was adjudged to have fouled her opponent and Botswana were awarded a penalty.

Esalenna Galekhutle stepped up to take it but Windvogel pulled off a beautiful save to keep the scored at 5-1 to Bantwana.

South Africa head coach Simphiwe Dludlu made two substitutions bringing Holweni for Mzoneli and Micaela Nunens for Wade.

Bantwana travel back to South Africa on Saturday, 2 December. The second leg will be played on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at the Dobsonville Stadium.



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CAF release new AFCON Qualifier dates due to FIFA World Cup


Cameroon celebrates being crowned Champions during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals, Afcon Final match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Libreville in Gabon on 05 February 2017 ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 16:30


News coming from the Confederation of African Football is that new dates for the 2019 CAF African Cup of Nations qualifiers have been released.

The new dates are related to the second round of 2019 AFCON qualifiers after CAF opted to postpone all the round’s fixtures last Thursday.

After losing their first qualifier against Tunisia, Egypt were set to face Niger in Alexandria in March 2018 in the second round of the qualifiers, but the date has been rescheduled by CAF.

Following the committee meeting last Thursday in Rabat in Morocco, CAF took the decision of postponing the second round matches to give teams that have qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup a chance to prepare for the tournament.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: FAOUZI GHOULAM – ALGERIAN SET TO SECURE FUTURE WITH NAPOLI

The new dates for the second round have been moved from March to 3-11 September 2018, with the third and fourth rounds taking place on October 8-16 2018.

Furthermore, the fifth round has been moved one month forward to take place between 12-20 November 2018 instead of October, while the final round will take place between 18-26 March 2019.

On the other hand, CAF has also decided to move the 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon.

It will now be staged between June and July instead of January and February for the first time as teams have also been increased from 16 to 24.



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Bright: Botswana will be ready for AFCON qualifier


by
Staff Reporter

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 16:30


Botswana head coach Major David Bright believes that his side will be ready for their clash with Angola.

The two Southern Africa sides are scheduled to lock horns in the 2019 Afrca Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in March 2018.

The Zebras of Botswana held Gabon’s Panthers to a goalless draw in an international friendly match in Franceville on Monday.

Bright, who was appointed last July, has explained that he is looking to build a team that can compete against top teams in the continent.

“It is not easy to come up with a winning team,” Bright told the media.

“We have to be patient and not try and take short cuts.

The former Gaborone United coach stated that he will keep changing players because of their physical conditioning as well as game plan.

“Games are not the same, so the plans will differ according to the games we play,” the experienced tactician added.

The Zebras lost 1-0 to Mauritania at home in their first Group I match last June. Angola suffered a 3-1 defeat to Burkina Faso away in another Group I game.

The group winner and runner-up will qualify for the 2019 AFCON finals.



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Referee explains why he gave a penalty in the Nigeria versus Algeria World Cup qualifier clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 13, 2017. 14:30


After handing the Algerians a penalty against Nigeria in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday, Gabonese referee Eric Otogo-Castane has explained his decision.

Although it was seen as a controversial penalty, Otogo-Castane says he was guided by the new laws of the game as defender Abdullahi Shehu was adjudged to have fouled Yacine Brahaimi in the box.

The Super Eagles claimed a point as they scored through John Ogu, but the replays suggest that Shehu didn’t do much to warrant a penalty being awarded.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: JOHN OBI MIKEL – NIGERIA SKIPPER READY FOR ARGENTINA CLASH

”Expectedly, we asked questions after the game and the referee explained to us that the decision was taken based on a newly introduced law into the game, which allows for intention to be punished”, the NFF board member told Owngoalnigeria.com.

”He interpreted Shehu’s intention to impede the man, who stayed on his feet instead of going down from the tackle. ‎

“The fact that the Algerian attacker Brahaimi didn’t go down is what made the decision to look like the wrong call according to him.

”Let’s be frank he did his best considering the atmosphere he was under and especially after turning down numerous attempt by the Algerians to con him into giving them a penalty.

”Maybe Brahaimi should have been sent off before the incident which lead to the goal, but I guess he didn’t want to lose grip of the match, which a red card to the Algerian captain would have triggered.

“It’s called game management and we understand his explanation.“



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2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Ghana 1-1 Egypt – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Mohamed Salah of Egypt (r) celebrates goal with Abdallah El Said

by
Bertin Basson

Sunday Nov 12, 2017. 19:20


Good afternoon and welcome to AfricanFootball.com for our LIVE COVERAGE of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Ghana and Egypt from the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, on 12 November 2017.

Ghana: R.Ofori, Afful, Angenyenu, Nuhu, Amartey, Wakaso, Gyasi, E.Ofori, Dwamena (Yiadom 74′), Donsah (Waris 50′), Ampomah (Twumasi 41′).

Egypt: Ekramy, Gabr, Elmohamady, Rabiea (Samir 33′), Moursy, Abdelrazek (Elsaeyd 65′), Marei (Gamal 76′), Sobhi, Hafez, Elneny, Ibrahim.

AS IT HAPPENED UPDATES:

FULL-TIME: Ghana 1-1 Egypt 

90+4′ Glorious late chance for the hosts, but they are unable to force the ball into the back of the net as the two teams ultimately share the spoils in Kumasi.

90′ Four minutes added.

87′ Sherif Ekramy the next into the referee’s book.

85′ Mubarak Wakaso goes into the referee’s book.

84′ The Black Stars doing all the playing as we enter the final exchanges of the clash. Daniel Amartey and Harrison Afful getting involved in attacks as they go in search of the winner.

75′ Into the final exchanges in Kumasi and it is anyone’s game really. Ghana looking the more likely, but Egypt are always dangerous on the counter-attack.

64′ GOAL! Edwin Gyasi pulls the hosts level. Perfect response as his deflected effort whistles past Sherif Ekramy.

61′ GOAL! Shikabala rattles the back of the net with an unstoppable shot following a pin-point cross by Trezequet. His left-footed drive leaving Richard Ofori with little chance.

56′ Ghana now turning on the style, but Raphael Dwamena is found wanting in front of goal once more. His tame effort flies harmlessly wide after being left unmarked inside the area.

48′ Great save once more by Richard Ofori – this time to deny Mahmoud ‘Shikabala’ Abdelrazek who’s left-footed rocket looked destined for the back of the net.

46′ Second half is underway in Kumasi.

HALF-TIME: Ghana 0-0 Egypt 

45′ Ghana with a flurry of chances in the closing stages of the half, but it comes to nothing for the Black Stars.

43′ SAVE! Great stop by Richard Ofori to keep out Mahmoud ‘Trezequet’ Ibrahim’s rasping effort. First shot on target for the Pharaohs as we enter the final few minutes of the half.

41′ Opoku Ampomah’s injury is worse than initially thought and he will be replaced. Both teams forced into early substitutions.

38′ Ghana continue to be the aggressor, but Egypt’s defence is holding firm for the time being. Opoku Ampomah leaves the pitch on a stretcher following  a nasty clash, but he looks to be okay to continue…

30′ Half-hour played in Kumasi and the game is yet to spark into life, with the match pretty much assembling the dead-rubber it is.

21’CHANCE! Opoku Ampomah sends Raphael Dwamena through on goal, but the latter is unable to provide the finishing touches to what was a delightful defence-splitting pass.

15′  Mubarak Wakaso with two early attempts at goal from range, but Sherif Ekramy is well positioned on both occasions to curb the danger.

11′ Mahmoud ‘Trezequet’ Ibrahim bursts into the area before firing his attempt wide of goal. Good work by Mahmoud ‘Shikabala’ Abdelrazek in the build-up to create the opportunity.

5′ Egypt getting in behind the Ghanaian defence early on in the clash, but Richard Ofori quick off his line on both occasions to extinguish the visitors attack.

1′ Kick-off in Kumasi!

– The Black Stars have nothing but pride to play for, with Egypt having already booked their place at next year’s World Cup in Russia. The Pharaohs returning to the world stage for the first time since 1990.



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2018 World Cup Qualifier: Tunisia 0-0 Libya – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Taha Yassine Khenissi of Tunisia wins header against Blati Toure of Burkina Faso 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. 21:18


We have come to the end of the ASW and we thank you for joining us for the match.

Lineups:

Tunisia: Mathlouthi, Youssef, Merieh, Msakni, Khazri, Khenissi, Maaloul, Ben Amor, Chaalani, Naguez, Badri

Libya: Nashnush, Maghasi, Sabbou, Tubal, Al-Warfali, Ghanudi, Mohamed, Benali, Eltrbi, Musrati, Ellafi

Commentary:

90+5′ – It is full time in Rades and Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles have booked a spot in Russia. They join Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, and Morocco.

90+5′ – Sub for Libya: Ghanudi off for El Taher

90+5′ – Five minutes added in the match and Libya will hope to secure a win in the dying stages of the tie, whilst the hosts will want to end it at 0-0.

87′ – Three minutes to wrap the encounter and it looks like it will finish at 0-0. Should it finish at 0-0, the score will be favourable for the hosts to book a spot in Russia.

83′ – Sub for Tunisia: Sassi on for Badri

80′ – Nashnush receives a yellow card for time wasting.

75′ – Ghilane Chaalani given acres of space in the middle of the field and is able to test Nashnush from a distance aiming for the top left corner, but the keeper is equal to the task and makes a superb save.

74′ – Sub for Libya: Tubal off for Taktak.

71′ Ben Amor is booked for a foul.

70′ Sub for Tunisia: Oussama Hadadi on for Ali Maaloul and Ben Youssef on for Khazri

65′ – Despite their dominance and support at home, the Tunisians are not so clinical in front of goal.

60′ – Libya under siege from their hosts, yet their defence remains stable and protecting Nashnush very well. No goals in the encounter as yet.

58′ Sub for Libya: Badr on for Ellafi.

56′ – A dipping strike by Msakni saw Nashnush diving to his left to parry the ball away for a corner. The host could not capitalise from the set piece.

50′ – Mathlouthi saves a well-struck shot by Musrati to collect from second attempt. Tunisia losing the ball easily in the heart of the park.

46′ – The second is underway, we are yet to see goals in the encounter.

45+2′ Two minutes of injury time were added by the referee and there were no clear cut chances. It is half time in Rades. 0-0.

44′ – Good touches by the Knights in the hosts half, but a final shot is wide off the target. An acrobatic attempt from Anice Badri forces another brilliant save from Libyan keeper to concede a corner.

40′ – Taha Khenissi nearly found the back of the net when Nashnush tried to punch away a cross from the left, the ball went straight to Khenissi yet it went over the cross bar.

38′ – Msakni tries another shot from a brilliant one touch football, his weak effort is collected by Nashnush. Tunisia 0-0 Libya.

30′ – Tunisia need a draw to book a spot at the World Cup in Russia. Good movement by Tunisia and Youssef Msakni fails to keep his shot on target in the box.

25′ – Libya are also holding their own in the crucial encounter. Coach Jalal Damja seems to be impressed by his charges.

21′ – Tunisia in a hurry to bag an early goal, but are yet to dominate in the final third. Libya take a shot through Ahmed Eltrbi, but Mathlouthi saves. No goals after 20 minutes in Rades.

15′ – A spectacular volley from Wahbi Khazri in the 12th minute nearly caught Nashnush off his line, but it went wide off the left top corner. Libya’s Hamdou Mohamed tries a curling shot form a counter attack, but it’s wide.

10′ – The Mediterranean Knights are also fighting to penetrate the hosts, but find it difficult to break down the Tunisian defence. However, it is Tunisia who look threatening so far.

05′ – Tunisia dictating terms as early as the third minute, with Mohamed Nashnush producing a fine save from Syam Ben Youssef’s hot in the box.

01′ – Libya get the proceedings underway in front of a packed Stade Olympique de Radès. The match gets underway.



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2018 World Cup qualifier: Ivory Coast 0-2 Morocco – As it happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Nov 11, 2017. 21:21


Welcome to as-it-happened coverage of the 2018 World Cup qualifier between Ivory Coast and Morocco from the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan.

Commentary:
All times CAT

90+4′ – Full time – Done and dusted! Morocco win 2-0 and top Group C to secure safe passage to Russia 2018! The Atlas Lions will return to the World Cup for the first time since 1998, while Ivory Coast miss out on a fourth successive showing at the global showpiece!

90+1′ – Substitution – Faycal Fajr replaces Belhanda in Morocco’s last change.

90′ – There will be three minutes of added time.

89′ – A few off-the-ball scraps sparking now, Ivory Coast’s frustration is getting the better of them.

87′ – Doumbia gets up to meet Aurier’s ball into the box, but his header is comfortably saved by the Morocco goalkeeper.

85′ – More great defence from Dirar against Zaha – the Moroccan has played superbly to keep the Elephants attacker quiet in this match.

82′ – Substitution – Sofyan Amrabat replaces the excellent Ziyach in Morocco’s second change.

81′ – Little energy or urgency from the Elephants, they don’t seem to believe a comeback is possible.

79′ – Just over 10 minutes left, Morocco can just about taste the World Cup…

76′ – Substitution – Gervinho makes way for Salomon Kalou in the home side’s last change.

75′ – Substitution – Morocco’s first change sees Boutaib replaced by youngster Achraf Bencharki.

71′ – El Kajoui makes an easy catch from a right-wing cross. Ivory Coast really haven’t worked the Morocco goalkeeper through this match.

69′ – Nope, Kessie can’t make anything of a simple ball to the near post and it’s a goal kick to Morocco.

68′ – Great perseverance from Zaha to win a corner kick, can they make something of it?

66′ – Great work from Gradel to chase down Amrabat in a Morocco counter attack and win a free kick. The Elephants have been poor tonight, but Gradel at least can hold his head high for his efforts.

64′ – Morocco on a speedy counter, but Amrabat and Boutaib cannot take advantage! Play comes back the other end and Aurier has a great chance… blazed over the bar!

62′ – Substitution – The Elephants’ second change sees Maxwell Cornet replace Fofana.

61′ – Past the hour mark, Ivory Coast must come up with three goals in the last 30 minutes to qualify for a fourth successive World Cup.

58′ – Boutaib flagged offside… the forward is working tirelessly up front for Morocco, feeding on scraps for the most part.

55′ – Good defence from Dirar to shepherd Gervinho out of play. The Atlas Lions are happy to sit deep, soak up whatever their opponents can throw at them and look to hit on the break.

53′ – Zaha livid after Amrabat wins a free kick off him in the Moroccans’ half of the field. It’s just not happening for the hosts.

50′ – Ivory Coast look really disjointed… putting together the most basic passing moves seems beyond them at the moment.

47′ – Gbohouo drops a cross, Boussoufa gets a shot away on goal, but Aurier does just enough to clear off his line! That would have been the killer blow to the Elephants!

46′ – Substitution – Back underway in the second half, Ivory Coast have made a change by sending on Ghislain Konan in place of Deli.

45+2′ – Half time – Morocco two goals up at the break and looking very much on course to qualify. Ivory Coast will need something pretty special to turn this one around…

45′ – There will be one minute of added time.

43′ – Great work from Benatia to turn away from Zaha in an awkward defensive situation. The North Africans are full of confidence.

40′ – Five minutes to the interval. Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots will need to come up with one heck of a half-time pep talk to inspire a comeback from his team.

37′ – Solid defence from Morocco: apart from that chance Gervinho had about 20 minutes ago they’ve been untroubled.

35′ – The atmosphere has gone flat inside the stadium, with the home crowd stunned by this showing from the Atlas Lions.

32′ – Morocco heading for a fifth World Cup appearance overall and a first since 1998!

30′ – GOAL! Ivory Coast 0-2 Morocco – The Atlas Lions go two goals up! Benatia gets ahead of Gbami to half-volley home at close range from a corner kick!

29′ – Aurier given a talking-to by the referee for a foul in an aerial challenge with Boutaib. Frustration already threatening to boil over for the home side.

26′ – This in now a mountain to climb for the Elephants, who must score at least two goals against a Morocco defence which has kept five clean sheets in the group!

25′ – GOAL! Ivory Coast 0-1 Morocco – Dirar gives Morocco the lead against the run of play! The midfielder plays an in-swinging cross from the right which is missed in the middle and beats Gbohouo at the far post!

23′ – Gradel shoots direct for goal from the free kick, but cannot lift his effort over the defensive wall.

22′ – Yellow card – Saiss booked for a clumsy challenge on the edge of the box on Zaha. Very close to being a penalty…

21′ – Gradel whips in a great cross from the left, but Morocco goalkeeper El Kajoui collects safely under pressure from Zaha and Doumbia.

19′ – Gradel tumbles in the box under a challenge between two Moroccans, but the referee waves away appeals for a spot kick.

17′ – Gervinho with a great chance as he latches onto a ball over the top, but his attempted finish is blazed over the crossbar!

15′ – Ziyech shoots direct from the free kick… the ball hits the wall, balloons up and out for a corner kick.

14′ – Morocco win a free kick just outside the Ivorian penalty area for a clumsy trip on Boussoufa.

11′ – Belhanda crosses from the set piece, but his delivery is too deep.

10′ – Yellow card – Kessie given a harsh caution for a foul on Morocco’s right flank. The visitors have a free kick in a good attacking position…

9′ – A couple of corners and sustained pressure from the Elephants, but it ends with Fofana firing a shot over the target!

6′ – Hakimi with half a chance as he arrives late in the box, but he slices his shot high and wide.

4′ – Ziyech tumbles near the box, but there’s no real hope of a penalty for the North Africans.

2′ – A scrappy start to the game with a couple of early fouls from Morocco inside the hosts’ half.

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Abidjan! Ivory Coast wear all-orange, while Morocco are in a change strip of white with red trim.

19h25 – The players come out of the tunnel to line-up for the national anthems.

19h15 – The other Group C match between Gabon and Mali ended in a goalless stalemate in Franceville earlier today. This clash in Abidjan will be refereed by Gambian official  Bakaray Gassama.

19h00 – This is the decisive clash in Group C of Africa’s qualifiers, with one of these two teams set to join Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal (and in all likelihood Tunisia) as African representatives at the finals in Russia next year. The equation is very simple: Ivory Coast must win to qualify, while any other result will see Morocco book a spot at the World Cup.

Here are the starting XIs ahead of the match:

Ivory Coast: Sylvain Gbohouo, Serge Aurier, Simon Deli, Wilfried Kanon, Seko Fofana, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Franck Kessie, Wilfried Zaha, Max Gradel, Gervinho, Seydou Doumbia

Morocco: Mounir El Kajoui, Medhi Benatia, Hakim Ziyach, Romain Saiss, Mbark Boussoufa, Noureddine Amrabat, Karim El Ahmadi, Khalid Boutaib, Achraf Hakimi, Younes Belhanda, Nabil Dirar



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2018 World Cup Qualifier: Zambia 2-2 Cameroon – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Nov 11, 2017. 16:53


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group B match between Zambia and Cameroon at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

Lineups:

Zambia XI: Mweene, Malama, Kapumbu, Tembo, Sunzu, Chama, Mulenga, Mwepu, Mwila, Daka, Sakala.

Cameroon XI: Ondoa, Nouhou, Ngadeu, Yaya, Leuko, Zambo, Siani, Boumal, Njie, Aboubakar, Ngamaleu.

Commentary:

91′ – GOAL! Yaya! Zambia 2-2 Cameroon. Yaya snatches a late equalizer with a good header.

90′ – The fourth official has added four minutes.

88′ – Zambia sub: Mbewe IN, Daka OUT.

85′ – Zambia sub: Banda IN, Mwepu OUT.

80′ – Daka, the Zambia striker, is ruled offside as the hosts continue to launch attacks.

76′ – Zambia sub: Ngonga IN, Mwila OUT.

75′ – Fifteen minutes left for Cameroon to snatch a late equalizing goal.

70′ – CAUTION: Chama (Zambia) is booked.

66′ – Cameroon sub: Olinga IN, N’Jie OUT.

65′ – Zambia deservedly restored their lead after pressing the Cameroon defence.

64′ – GOAL! Mwila! Zambia 2-1 Cameroon. Mwila scores following a good move by the hosts.

Cameroon sub: Pangop IN, Boumale OUT.

46′ – Cameroon sub: Castelletto IN, Leuko OUT

60′ – Zambia defender Chama’s long range effort is easily saved by Cameroon keeper Ondoa.

55′ – Zambia are dominating possession as they look to restore their lead.

50′ – GOOD SAVE! Cameroon keeper Ondoa makes a good save to deny Zambia midfielder Malama, who had unleashed a long range shot.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME: Zambia 1-1 Cameroon.

40′ – CAUTION: Leuko (Cameroon).

35′ – BRILLIANT SAVE! Zambia striker Mwila forces Cameroon keeper Ondoa into a brilliant diving save from close range.

31′ – GOAL! Zambo! Zambia 1-1 Cameroon. Zambo scores with a powerful long range shot.

30′ – It is 1-0 to Zambia as we reach the half-hour mark here in Ndola.

GOAL! Daka! Zambia 1-0 Cameroon. Daka beats Ondoa with a powerful shot following a good move.

25′ – N’Jie bursts into the Zambia box and the Cameroon forward forces keeper Mweene into a low save.

20′ – Mulenga has a chance to shoot from inside the Cameroon box, but he decides to dribble and the Zambian loses possession.

15′ – Sakala beats his marker, but the Zambia forward places his cross over the crossbar as the hosts press Cameroon.

10′ – Chama finds some space outside the Cameroon box and the Zambia defender forces goalkeeper Ondoa into a good save.

5′ – Cameroon try to launch a quick counter attack, but Ngamaleu is fouled by Zambia defender Malama.

1′ – The match is underway.



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2018 World Cup Qualifier: Algeria 1-1 Nigeria – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Alex Iwobi of Nigeria (l) celebrates his goal with Kelechi Iheanacho during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 23:24


Algeria finish their qualifying campaign having failed to win a single match. Nigeria, who have qualified for the World Cup as Group B winners, finish the qualifying campaign unbeaten.

Lineups:

Algeria XI: Haouchi, Mandi, Cadamuro, Chafaï, Nessakh, Medjani, Ferhat, Bennacer, Mahrez, Brahimi, Slimani.

Nigeria XI: Ezenwa, Abdullahi, Ola Aina, Balogun, Ekong, Etebo, J.Ogu, Ndidi, Nwakeme, Iwobi, Iheanacho.

Commentary:

FULL-TIME: Algeria 1-1 Nigeria.

90′ – The fourth official has added four minutes.

88′ – GOAL! Brahimi. Algeria 1-1 Nigeria. Brahimi coverts from the spot-kick.

85′ – Algeria are awarded a penalty after Brahimi was fouled in the Nigeria box.

81′ – Nigeria sub: Musa IN, Iwobi OUT.

80′ – Nigeria are looking to contain Algeria in the closing stages of this encounter.

75′ – Algeria sub: Boundjah IN, Bennacer OUT.

70′ – Algeria are now applying some pressure on the Nigeria defence.

65′ – CHANCE! Algeria striker Slimani misses the target from close range with Nigeria keeper Ezenwa well beaten.

62′ – GOAL! Algeria 0-1 Nigeria. Ogu nets with a long range effort.

55′ – Algeria keeper Chaouchi makes a good save to deny Nigeria forward Iwobi.

50′ – Algeria attackers Slimani and Mahrez are both fouled in the middle of the park as the hosts look to break the deadlock.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

45′ – The fourth official has added one minute.

42′ – CAUTION: Ogu is booked (Nigeria).


40′ – Five minutes left before half-time and it is still 0-0 here in Constantine.

35′ – Ferhat tries a through ball, but his Alegria team-mate Slimani is caught offside.

30′ – Algeria sub: Abdellaoui IN, Nessakh OUT.

25′ – Algeria and Nigeria have shown some initiative going forward, but the two goalkeepers are yet to be seriously tested.

20′ – Ndidi pushes forward and he unleashes a shot which is blocked as we approach the half-hour mark.

15′ – Algeria forward Mahrez bursts into the Nigeria box, but his Leicester City FC team-mate Ndidi stops him.

10′ – Nigeria are dominating possession as they look to break the deadlock.
5′ – Algeria winger Mahrez’s free-kick is easily saved by Nigeria keeper Ezenwa.

1′ – The match is underway.



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2018 World Cup Qualifier: South Africa 0-2 Senegal – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Sadio Mane of Senegal tackled by Andile Jali of South Africa during 2018 World Cup Qualifiers match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokab Stadium, November on the 12 November 2016 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 21:04


Good evening and welcome to our Live Coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between South Africa and Senegal from the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, on Friday 11 November 2017.

South Africa: Khune; Hlanti, Daniels, Gould, Mkhize – Furman, Mokotjo, Zwane (Tshabalala 69′) – Vilakazi (Grobler 83′) – Manyama (Jali 63′), Tau

Senegal: K.Ndiaye, Gassama, Kouyate (A. Ndiaye 86′), Koulibaly, Sabaly – Sanè, Gueye , Ndoye – Manè, Niang (Ciss 90+3′), Sakho (Konatè 78′)

AS IT HAPPENED UPDATES:

Senegal book their place at next year’s World Cup in Russia! The Lions of Teranga will be back on the world stage for the first time since 2002!

90+4′ Full-Time: South Africa 0-2 Senegal (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′) 

83′ Final change for the hosts as Sibusiso Vilakazi makes way for Bradley Grobler.

75′ Into the final exchanges we go and things are not looking good for South Africa. The hosts also seem to have lost all hope as Konatè makes his way onto the pitch.

73′ Morgan Gould goes into the referee’s book.

69′ Shabba makes his return to the international stage – replacing Themba Zwane. Can the Kaizer Chiefs stalwart make the difference?

63′ Andile Jali – who many thought was suspended – comes on for Lebogang Manyama in the first change.

61′ Sifiso Hlanti goes into the referee’s book.

57′ CHANCE! Good build-up by the hosts,  but Sibusiso Vilakazi’s resulting shot is straight at Khadim Ndiaye who makes an easy save.

55′ Senegal happy to sit back and absorb pressure in the opening stages of the half. As it stands they will book their ticket to Russia today.

46′ The second half is underway.

45+1′ Half-Time: South Africa 0-2 Senegal (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′) 

45′ SAVE! Great stop by Khadim Ndiaye to deny Lebogang Manyama’s curling effort from hitting the back of the net. Bafana Bafana ending the half on a high.

39′ SUCKER PUNCH! Unbelievable unlucky for South Africa. Great save by Itumeleng Khune to deny Sadio Mane from close range, but in the most bizarre fashion Thamsanqa Mkhize guides the ball into the back of his own net from the rebound – ball hits his back before nestling in the net. So unlucky.

37′ Salif Sane’s shot from a free-kick takes a deflection and they have a corner-kick. The resulting corner-kick comes to nothing. Senegal have recovered well and slowed the game down following a relentless spell by the hosts.

35′ Yellow Card – Sadio Mane goes into the referee’s book.

29′ WOODWORK! Lebogang Manyama very unlucky to see his shot canon off the crossbar. So close!

25′ Bafana Bafana burst forward with Themba Zwane seeing his rocket of a shot well saved by the Senegalese goalkeeper – the rebound falls to Percy Tau, but the ball hits him more than anything and the visitors escape. First chance of the match for Bafana Bafana.

20′ South Africa with all the possession since the goal, but  the Teranga Lions are standing firm for the time being. The hosts test the Senegalese from a few set-pieces, but goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye is yet to touch the ball…

12′ GOAL! Diafra Sakho silences the home crowd. The West Ham United man finishes with aplomb following a pin-point through ball from Sadio Mane who split the Bafana Bafana defence. Great goal!

10′ Important early touch for Itumeleng Khune who shows great confidence to punch clear from what looked a dangerous situation for the visitors.

6′ Lively start here by the hosts with Percy Tau and Themba Zwane causing the Teranga Lions problems. One feels that an early goal for South Africa would really set the pace.

1′ Kick-off in Polokwane!

– Senegal pose a significant threat especially in attack with Liverpool ace Sadio Mane having returned to full fitness.

– Itumeleng Khune starts tonight’s match despite suffering a facial injury last weekend. As a result, he dons a white mask this evening.

– The two teams lock horns exactly 12 months after Bafana Bafana’s 2-1 win over the Teranga Lions. A match which would later be scrapped following damning match manipulation evidence against Joseph Lamptey with tonight’s fixture the replay.



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2018 World Cup Qualifier: South Africa 0-2 Senegal – LIVE – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Sadio Mane of Senegal tackled by Andile Jali of South Africa during 2018 World Cup Qualifiers match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokab Stadium, November on the 12 November 2016 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 20:33


Good evening and welcome to our Live Coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between South Africa and Senegal from the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, on Friday 11 November 2017.

South Africa: Khune; Hlanti, Daniels, Gould, Mkhize – Furman, Mokotjo, Zwane (Tshabalala 69′) – Vilakazi – Manyama (Jali 63′) , Tau

Senegal: K.Ndiaye, Gassama, Kouyate, Koulibaly, Sabaly – Sanè, Gueye , Ndoye – Manè, Niang, Sakho (Konatè 78′)

LIVE UPDATES:

75′ Into the final exchanges we go and things are not looking good for South Africa. The hosts also seem to have lost all hope as Konatè makes his way onto the pitch.

69′ Shabba makes his return to the international stage – replacing Themba Zwane. Can the Kaizer Chiefs stalwart make the difference?

63′ Andile Jali – who many thought was suspended – comes on for Lebogang Manyama in the first change.

61′ Sifiso Hlanti goes into the referee’s book.

57′ CHANCE! Good build-up by the hosts,  but Sibusiso Vilakazi’s resulting shot is straight at Khadim Ndiaye who makes an easy save.

55′ Senegal happy to sit back and absorb pressure in the opening stages of the half. As it stands they will book their ticket to Russia today.

46′ The second half is underway.

45+1′ Half-Time: South Africa 0-2 Senegal (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′) 

45′ SAVE! Great stop by Khadim Ndiaye to deny Lebogang Manyama’s curling effort from hitting the back of the net. Bafana Bafana ending the half on a high.

39′ SUCKER PUNCH! Unbelievable unlucky for South Africa. Great save by Itumeleng Khune to deny Sadio Mane from close range, but in the most bizarre fashion Thamsanqa Mkhize guides the ball into the back of his own net from the rebound – ball hits his back before nestling in the net. So unlucky.

37′ Salif Sane’s shot from a free-kick takes a deflection and they have a corner-kick. The resulting corner-kick comes to nothing. Senegal have recovered well and slowed the game down following a relentless spell by the hosts.

35′ Yellow Card – Sadio Mane goes into the referee’s book.

29′ WOODWORK! Lebogang Manyama very unlucky to see his shot canon off the crossbar. So close!

25′ Bafana Bafana burst forward with Themba Zwane seeing his rocket of a shot well saved by the Senegalese goalkeeper – the rebound falls to Percy Tau, but the ball hits him more than anything and the visitors escape. First chance of the match for Bafana Bafana.

20′ South Africa with all the possession since the goal, but  the Teranga Lions are standing firm for the time being. The hosts test the Senegalese from a few set-pieces, but goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye is yet to touch the ball…

12′ GOAL! Diafra Sakho silences the home crowd. The West Ham United man finishes with aplomb following a pin-point through ball from Sadio Mane who split the Bafana Bafana defence. Great goal!

10′ Important early touch for Itumeleng Khune who shows great confidence to punch clear from what looked a dangerous situation for the visitors.

6′ Lively start here by the hosts with Percy Tau and Themba Zwane causing the Teranga Lions problems. One feels that an early goal for South Africa would really set the pace.

1′ Kick-off in Polokwane!

– Senegal pose a significant threat especially in attack with Liverpool ace Sadio Mane having returned to full fitness.

– Itumeleng Khune starts tonight’s match despite suffering a facial injury last weekend. As a result, he dons a white mask this evening.

– The two teams lock horns exactly 12 months after Bafana Bafana’s 2-1 win over the Teranga Lions. A match which would later be scrapped following damning match manipulation evidence against Joseph Lamptey with tonight’s fixture the replay.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Vincent Aboubacar – Cameroon star to take form into World Cup qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon celebrates goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Afcon Final match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Libreville in Gabon on 5 February 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 13:00


Vincent Aboubacar will look to take his strong form for Porto into this weekend’s World Cup qualifiers.

The Cameroon striker has netted four goals in Porto’s last six matches, including a fine strike in a 2-0 Primeira Liga win over Belenenses last Saturday.

The Indomitable Lions will wrap up their Group B campaign in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers with a match away to Zambia on Saturday afternoon.

Aboubacar is expected to lead Cameroon’s attack in the match at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

The West Africans will not be going to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, regardless of their result against Chipolopolo, as regional rivals Nigeria have already secured top spot in the group.

Nonetheless, the 25-year-old Porto star will be keen on adding to his tally of international goals, having already netted twice for Cameroon in this qualifying campaign.



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Ahmed Hegazy out of Ghana-Egypt World Cup qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 08, 2017. 16:30


West Bromwich Albion defender Ahmed Hegazy has pulled out of the 2018 World Cup qualifier between Ghana and Egypt due to personal reasons.

The Black Stars will host the Pharaohs for their final Group E match in Kumasi on Sunday. The North Africans have already secured qualification for Russia 2018.

The Egyptian FA confirmed their experienced defender’s departure: “Ahmed Hegazi left Egypt’s training camp on Tuesday for family reasons,” read a statement.

The Pharaohs are already without the injured Mohamed Abdelshafy, while star man Mohamed Salah is being rested.

Egypt will be returning to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990, while Ghana will miss out after three successive appearances from 2006 to 2014.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Mario Lemina – Gabon star to miss World Cup qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Manchester United‘s Marouane Fellani (L) and Southampton’s Mario Lemina in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at Saint Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, Britain, 23 September 2017.

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 16:00


The Gabonese international, who is currently out nursing an injured, looks set to miss Gabon’s last 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Nicknamed the Panthers, Gabon have already failed to qualify for next year’s finals after after recording one win, two draws and two defeats in Group C.

Lemina has missed his club, Southampton FC’s last two English Premier League (EPL) matches due to an ankle injury.

According to Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino, the 24-year-old midfielder will only start training after the current FIFA international break.

“Mario continues his treatment,” Pellegrino was quoted on Sky Sports as saying.

“I would expect after the international break maybe Mario can train with the team.”

Lemina has been a regular during Gabon’s qualifying campaign having featured in all of their five Group C matches.

The match between Gabon and Mali will take place at the Stade de Franceville in Franceville on Saturday, 11 November 2017.



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Ghana FA changes venue for Egypt qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


epa05630344 Ahmed Fathi of Egypt (L) in action against Christian Atsuw of Ghana during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Ghana at Borg Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 13 November 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 12:30


The Ghana Football Association (GFA) have announced that their final 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt on November 12 has been moved to a new venue.

The final Group E match – which is a dead rubber as the Pharaohs have already secured their berth at Russia 2018 – was originally set to be held at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

It has now been shifted to the Cape Coast Sports Stadium, with the GFA opting to move away from the Kumasi venue where the Black Stars were booed by home fans after being held 1-1 by Congo in early September.

The Cape Coast Stadium was the primary venue for the recent WAFU Cup of Nations, with the home side receiving strong support as they powered to the regional title.

It is hoped that the Black Stars will receive similarly strong support in a match which has nothing at stake other than a chance to move up the FIFA world rankings.

The decision also suits Egypt, as they will now have no more than a two-hour bus drive from the capital Accra to the match venue.

The Egyptian Football Association confirmed the receipt of an official letter from their Ghanaian counterparts informing them of the venue change.

“Ghana changed the venue for technical reasons,” the EFA said in a statement.



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Ayew brothers dropped by Ghana ahead of 2018 qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Sep 27, 2017. 14:00


Brothers Jordan and Andre Ayew have been dropped from Ghana’s squad by coach James Kwesi Appiah ahead of a 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Uganda next month.

The Premier League players were not listed in Appiah’s 26-man preliminary squad.

The players were both absent from the Black Stars’ previous World Cup qualifier, a 5-1 away win against Congo Brazzaville earlier this month.

Swansea striker Jordan Ayew missed the match due to a stomach bug complaint, while West Ham attacking midfielder Andre Ayew withdrew due to injury.

Yet both players were in action in their clubs’ very next matches, and it is suggested that Appiah has grown tired of a perceived lack of dedication to the national team.

Another notable absentee is defender John Boye, while Daniel Opare has been called up for the first time in three years.

There are also five debutantes in the squad: Kingsley Sarfo of Swedish side Malmo, USA-based Abass Mohammed, Kasim Nuhu of Swiss club Young Boys, Hearts of Oak defender Vincent Atinga and Inter Allies ace Isaac Twum.

The latter two, along with third-choice goalkeeper Joseph Addo, were a part of the Ghana ‘B’ squad which won the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations (a regional West African tournament) earlier this month.

The squad will be cut to 23 players before Ghana head out to Kampala for their penultimate Group E match on October 7.

Ghana’s 26-man World Cup qualifying squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Richard Ofori (Martizburg,South Africa), Lawrence Ati (Sochaux, France), Joseph Addo (Aduana Stars)

DEFENDERS: Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus,USA), Daniel Opare (Augsburg, Germany) Agbenyenu Lumor (Portimonese, Portugal), Abass Mohammed (Harrisburg City, USA), Kasim Nuhu (Young Boys, Switzerland), Daniel Amartey (Leicester,England), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew,USA), Nicholas Opoku (Club Africain, Tunisia), Vincent Atinga (Hearts of Oak)

MIDFIELDERS: Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Joseph Attamah (Bakaksehir, Turkey), Christian Atsu (Newcastle United, England), Kingsley Sarfo (Malmo, Sweden) Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo FC, Italy), Ebenezer Ofori (Stuttgart, Germany), Thomas Agyepong (NAC Breda, Holland), Frank Acheampong (Tianjin TEDA, China), Isaac Twum (Inter Allies), Patrick Twumasi (Astana FC, Kazakhtan)

FORWARDS: Asamoah Gyan (Kayerispor, Turkey), Raphael Dwamena (FC Zurich, Switzerland), John Antwi (Misr Lel-Makkasa, Egypt), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Crvena Zvezda, Serbia)



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South Africa’s Daniel Bennett to officiate Uganda v Ghana World Cup qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 13, 2017. 09:30


South African referee Daniel Bennett has been handed the assignment of handling the upcoming the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Uganda and Ghana at Namboole.

Bennett will be assisted by two officials from Syechelles – Adelaide Eldrick Giles Mathieu is the first assistant referee whilst Marie Steve Jonathan shall be the second assistant.

Another official from the Seychelles, Fred Nelson Emile Louis, will be the fourth official of the highly anticipated crucial encounter.

On the other hand, Cameroonian Evehe Divine Raphael is the referee assessor and Kenya’s Omar Abubaker Yusuf Mohamed will work as the match commissioner.

According to Kawowo Sports website, the developments were confirmed by the FIFA 2018 World cup Qualifiers and International matches Division.

The Cranes will play host to the Black Stars on Saturday, October 7 at Namboole Stadium.



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FIFA orders replay of tainted SA vs. Senegal World Cup qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Sadio Mane of Senegal is challenged by Bongani Zungu of South Africa

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Sep 07, 2017. 10:00


The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal will be replayed.

This was announced by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) on Wednesday.

The Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) decided to report referee Joseph Lamptey to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA following Senegal’s 2-1 defeat to South Africa on 12 November 2016.

Lamptey, who made suspicious decisions during the match which was played in Polokwane, South Africa, was initially banned for three months by CAF, but the Ghanaian was then handed a lifte-time ban from FIFA for “match manipulation.”

A statement read: “The Bureau for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers ordered a replay of the qualification match between South Africa and Senegal held on 12 November 2016. This decision follows the confirmation of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to uphold the lifetime ban of match referee, Jospeh Lamptey, for match manipulation, the ruling imposed by the FIFA Disciplinary and Appeal Committees. The match will be replayed within the November 2017 international window, with the exact date to be confirmed in due course.

“As stated in the FIFA World Cup regulations, this decision shall come into effect immediately but shall be subject to confirmation by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions at its next meeting, scheduled for 14 September.”

Meanwhile, the South African Football Assciation (SAFA) has since stated that it will study the contents of the FIFA report, before issuing a statement on intentions to challenge that decision.

A statement read: SAFA is studying the contents of the report and will issue a statement on intentions to challenge that decision.

“SAFA wishes to also state categorically that it was in no way involved with any wrongdoing related to the actions of the referee, as stated in the FIFA report.

“In the meantime, all issues related to this matter will be handled by Senior Counsel, Mr Norman Arendse.”



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2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Egypt 1-0 Uganda – As It Happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Uganda and Egypt players engulfed in a scuffle

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 21:54


The hosts, Egypt are under pressure to bounce back from their 1-0 loss they suffered in Kampala last week to reclaim their top spot.

On the other hand, Uganda will be targeting a second win over the Pharaohs in Alexandria as they want to consolidate their top spot in the group.

Line-ups:

Egypt: El-Hadary, Fathi, Hegazi, Rabia, Abdel-Shaf, Hamed, Elneny, El-Said, Sobhi, Salah, Gamal

Uganda: Onyango, Wadada, Walusimbi, Isinde, Juuko, Mawanda, Aucho, Okwi, Miya, Derrick Nsibambi, Ochaya

Commentary:

92′ – It is over in the Group B match in Alexandria. Egypt return to the top of the table with nine points.

90′ – Booking for Juuko

89′ – Sub for Uganda: Karissa for Nsibambi

88′ – Sub for Egypt: Gomaa on for El Said

88′ – Brilliant save by Onyango to deny Salah as the winger looked for a bottom corner. The Pharaohs piling pressure looking for a second goal.

83′ – Uganda really pushing to find an equaliser. A header from Nsibambi was not too strong as El-Hadary makes a save on the right corner.

79′ – Luwagga receives a wonderful pass on the far post, but his effort lacks power and goes wide. Egypt 1-0 Uganda

76′ – Sub for Egypt: Mahgoub on for Gamal

75′ – Booking for Uganda’s Aucho.

73′ – Onyango alert to read a dangerous ball, a cross is miskicked by Juuko. No clear cut chances in the final 20 minutes pf the contest.

70′ – Sub for Egypt: Trezeguet on for Sobhi

68′ – Sub for Uganda: Sserunkuma on for Okwi

64′ – Uganda pushing for an equaliser, they get a corner, referee gives a set piece to the hosts. Frustration for the Cranes.

55′ – Good defending by Walusimbi to deny Egypt from launching a dangerous counter attack. Uganda receive a corner.

50′ – Egypt calls for a penalty, but referee Victor Gomes not interested. A fats-paced start for the Egyptians.

Uganda sub: 46′ Muwanga on for Ochaya

46′ – The second half gets underway in Alexandria with the hosts still leading 1-0.

45+2′ Half time in Egypt.

45′ – We are in the injury time of the opening half in Alexandria. Egypt leading through Salah’s sixth minute goal.

40′ – Good touches by the Cranes but their decision making in the d-line or final third needs to be decisive. They are not threatening the opponent

32′ – Uganda delivers a dangerous set piece into the penalty area, but El-Hadary collects it. Egypt 1-0 Uganda

27′ – Uganda failing to make good decisions in the final third of the hosts. Good football so far from both sides. Onyango denies the El-Said from a powerful header in the box.

22′ – Two players are injured in the heart of the park. Onyango restarts the game.

19′ – Uganda now starting to come out of the blocks, a good cross down the right but Nsibambi’s header flies over the cross bar.

15′ – A well delivered cross by Salah in search of Amr Gamaal in the box saw the forward missing the ball from close range on the far post. Uganda 0-1 Egypt

10′ – The Pharaohs having an advantage in the first 10 minutes. They enjoy the ball possession so far. Uganda on the backfoot.

06′- Both sides chasing an early goal, but the hosts are the ones spending more time in the Cranes half. Mohamed Salah nets from a rebound after Onyango initially denied him from close range. Egypt 1-0 Uganda

1′ – The match is underway.



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2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Congo 1-3 Ghana – LIVE – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Ghana defender Daniel Amartey

by
Bertin Basson

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 17:41


Welcome to our live Play-by-Play coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group E qualifier between Congo and Ghana from the Stade Municipal de Kintélé in Brazzaville.

Congo: Mouko; Dikamona (Kifoueti 34′), Mayembo,Illoy-Ayyet (Oniangue 46′) , Badila; Gandzé, Avounou, Bahamboula –  Nguessi, Bifouma, Doré

Ghana: : R. Ofori;  Afful, Agbenyenu, Amartey, Mensah –  Acquah, Partey, E. Ofori – Atsu, Boakye, Agyepong

LIVE UPDATES:

52′ Shouts for a penalty following a challenge by Amartey on Bifouma inside the area, but the Leicester City man got the ball.

51′ Ghana content on sitting back in the early exchanges of the second stanza – inviting Congo to attack them as the hosts continue to chase the game.

46′ Second half is underway in Brazzaville. Lots of work to do for the hosts as they aim to fight their way back into the clash.

Half-Time: Congo 1-3 Ghana (Illoy-Ayyet 43′ – Boakye 23′ Partey 26′ 45+2′) 

45+2′ GOAL! As in the first leg, it’s Atsu who tees up Partey – the Atletico Madrid man hammers home from an acute angle to complete his brace! His third in two games vs Congo.

45′ Two minutes added to the half.

43′ GOAL!  Vladis-Emmerson Illoy-Ayyet powers home a header from a corner-kick. Unmarked, the towering defender makes no mistake to pull a goal back for the hosts.

42′ SAVE! Free-kick for Congo fired in on goal by Bahamboula, but Richard Ofori is up to the task!

37′ CHANCE! Good build-up play to tee up Gandze, but the midfielder is only able to blast his shot well over the crossbar!

30′ Two goals in three minutes have put Ghana firmly in control. Congo made to rue their missed chances.

26′ GOAL! Partey hammers home from close range after Boakye’s deflected effort falls into his path. All going the Black Stars way in Brazzaville.

23′ GOAL! Richmond Boakye with the easiest of finishes. Good run by Agyepong who picks out Ebenezer Ofori’s – his resulting shot lands fortuitously for the Serbia-based forward who makes no mistake from close range.

21′ Free-kick for Ghana in a promising position. Atsu steps up but balloons his effort wide of goal…

15′ Lively start toe encounter with chances at either end of the pitch. Boakye this time the man on the end of a shot at goal – his attempt straight down Mouko’s throat.

10′ CHANCE! Cesaire Gandze the next to test Richard Ofori, but he can only succeed in seeing his shot straight into the grateful hands of the Ghanaian shot-stopper after finding a pocket of space on the edge of the area.

10′ CHANCE! Great chance for Thievy Bifouma who breaks through on goal, but  he is denied at the final hurdle by the foot of Richard Ofori.

4′ Early signs of attempt from both teams in this do-or-die clash. Just a reminder that Ghana are without the influential trio of Jordan Ayew, brother Andre and captain Asamoah Gyan due to reported sickness and injury respectively.

1′ Kick-off in Brazzaville, in what is a crucial game for both countries  as they aim to keep their slim World Cup hopes alive!

 

 



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2018 World Cup qualifier: Cameroon 1-1 Nigeria – As it happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 20:51


Welcome to as-it-happened coverage of the 2018 World Cup qualifier between Cameroon and Nigeria from Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde.

Commentary:
All times CAT

90+8′ – Full time – It ends 1-1 in Yaounde, probably a fair result given Cameroon’s improvement in the second half. The result means Nigeria cannot secure qualification in this round of matches, but they remain very much on course for Russia 2018.

90+5′ – Yellow card – Fai is booked for a challenge on Moses.

90+3′ – Some tactical time wasting from Ezenwa as he receives treatment for the earlier collision with Fai.

90+2′ – Bassogog plays a dangerous ball across the penalty area, but no teammate is on hand to convert!

90′ – There will be five minutes of added time.

89′ – Fai tumbles in the box, but again there’s no penalty for the hosts. To be fair, only the crowd really appealed for a spot kick…

87′ – Substitution – Nigeria’s final change sees Peter Etebo replace Onazi in midfield.

84′ – Ezenwa makes a superb save to deny a snap-shot from Aboubakar! He then gets up to deny Fai in a nasty collision and will need treatment.

83′ – Aboubakar tumbles dramatically in the box, but there’s no penalty coming.

81′ – Substitution – Cameroon’s last change sees Moumi Ngamaleu replace Olinga.

80′ – Substitution – Ighalo makes way for Kelechi Iheanacho as Nigeria make a change in attack.

77′ – Yellow card – Onazi is booked for a late tackle on Fai and Cameroon have a free kick in a dangerous position wide on the right.

75′ – GOAL! Cameroon 1-1 Nigeria – Aboubakar coolly converts the penalty to draw the hosts level!

73′ – Penalty! Ezenwa comes off his line to try claim a 50-50 ball and takes out Djoum! The referee points to the spot and Cameroon have a chance to equalise!

70′ – Twenty minutes to play, Nigeria are on course for  a fourth straight win.

67′ – So nearly 2-0 for Nigeria, as Moses skilfully opens up space for a shot from inside the box, only to see his effort skim the top of the crossbar!

65 – Substitution – Nigeria’s first change sees Mikel make way for Ndubisi Agu.

63′ – Yellow card – Olinga goes into the book for remonstrating with the referee.

62′ – Substitution – Moukandjo makes way for Bassogog and Nsame is off for Aboubakar in a double change for the hosts.

60′ – Cameroon have Christian Bassogog and Vincent Aboubakar ready to come on as subs.

59′ – Djoum with a long-range drive… well off target.

58′ – Another Moukandjo cross, another safe catch from Ezenwa. Better from the hosts, but they’ll need to go up another gear or two.

57′ – Moukandjo with a good free kick delivered into the box, but again Nigeria have the answers for whatever Cameroon can throw at them.

55′ – Yellow card – Balogun is booked for a late tackle, the first caution of the match.

54′ – Some fine wing play from Moses, but his attempted cross from the left is  cut out.

52′ – Now it’s Troost-Ekong who makes a superb tackle to prevent Nsame getting a shot on goal!

50′ – The excellent Balogun once again cuts out a dangerous cross. Nigeria’s defence has been imperious thus far.

49′ – All Cameroon in the early minutes of the second stanza, with the hosts looking for a fast start.

46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either side at the interval.

45+2′ – Half time – Nigeria hold a deserved 1-0 lead at the break, having created the better scoring opportunities. The Super Eagles are on course for a ‘double’ over the Indomitable Lions.

45′ – There will be one minute of added time.

44′ – Simon crosses from the right, but Teikeu is well placed to intercept.

41′ – Moukandjo crosses from a corner kick, but Ezenwa once again shows a good pair of hands to claim the aerial ball.

40′ – Cameroon looking to build up a head of steam but they are struggling to find any gaps in Nigeria’s defence.

37′ – Moses looks just fine as he tries to beat his defender in the box and goes down under a challenge, but the referee isn’t interested in awarding a penalty.

35′ – A worry for Nigeria as Moses limps off to receive some treatment – they’ll hope it’s nothing more than a minor knock.

33′ – Balogun gets on the end of a Moses corner kick but can’t direct an effort on goal. A few second later it’s the turn of Ighalo to dazzle his marker, cut inside and blaze a left-footed shot just over the target!

30′ – GOAL! Cameroon 0-1 Nigeria – Moses drives a low cross into the box, Ondoa can only half stop the ball and Simon is on hand to steer home a left-footed shot! The Super Eagles lead in Yaounde!

29′ – Another Moses delivery from a corner kick, but again it isn’t really a threat to the hosts’ defence.

27′ – Moses tries to float a cross to the back post for the run of Ndidi, but it’s overhit and out for a goal kick to Cameroon.

26′ – Ezenwa initially drops a long ball into his penalty area, but recovers quickly. Balogun then powers upfield and earns a free kick in a good attacking position for the Super Eagles.

24′ – A misplaced diagonal pass almost puts Zambo Anguissa in on goal, but Ezenwa is alert to the danger.

21′ – Cameroon with a free kick on the right flank. Moukandjo crosses, Banana gets up to glance the header onwards, but the offside flag is up.

19′ – Moses tripped up in midfield and it’s another free kick for Nigeria. The hosts are really looking to assert themselves in the challenges…

18′ – Cameroon with a set piece of their own now, but Moukandjo’s delivery from the dead ball is out for a goal kick to Nigeria.

15′ – A quarter hour played, still goalless in Yaounde. Moses crosses from another corner kick, but his delivery is poor this time and Cameroon clear the danger.

12′ – Free kick to Nigeria out on the left flank. Moses whips in a good cross, but Teikeu gets up to make a fine defensive header.

10′ – Ezenwa with good hands again as he smothers a low ball into the penalty area from Zambo Anguissa.

9′ – Nsame meets a low cross from the right but he can’t get a clean shot away to test Ezenwa.

8′ – Moses almost picks out Balogun at the far post from the corner, but the tall defender is outmuscled in the air.

7′ – Ndidi is tripped up and Nigeria have a free kick in a good attacking position. Moses whips in a dangerous ball and Teikeu heads out for a corner kick.

5′ – Good pace from Balogun to beat Nsame to a long ball played down the left flank. The Indomitable Lions are looking to go from back to front with real speed whenever they get the chance.

2′ – Signs of early promise from Cameroon as Moukandjo whips in a cross from the left, but Ezenwa makes a confident catch.

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Yaounde! Cameroon wear their famous green, red and yellow, while Nigeria don a change strip of all-white.

18h50 – Ten minutes to kick-off. Our referee is Bakary Gassama from Gambia, with Jean-Claude Birumushahu and Marwa Range as the assistants, and Maudo Jallow as the fourth official.

18h40 – A reminder that the Super Eagles cruised to a 4-0 win over the Indomitable Lions when the teams met on Friday evening in Uyo.

As a result, Gernot Rohr’s team could secure qualification in this round of matches: a win tonight combined with an Algeria win or draw in their match against Zambia tomorrow night will see Nigeria secure qualification for Russia 2018.

18h30 – Half an hour to kick-off in Yaounde, here are the line-ups:

Cameroon: Fabrice Ondoa, Collins Fai, Adolphe Teikeu, Yahia Banana, Serge Leuko, Andre Zambo Anguissa, Arnaud Djoum, Sebastian Siani, Benjamin Moukandjo, Fabrice Olinga, Jean-Pierre Nsame

Nigeria: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Abdullahi Shehu, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Elderson Echiejile, Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo



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Togo prepare for WAFU CUP OF NATIONS and AFCON qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Bebou Ihlas of Togo challenged by Faycal Fajr of Morocco during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Morocco and Togo at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 20 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 16:00


Togo are camping in Morocco as part of their preparations for their next 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.

Claude Le Roy, the Togo head coach, is busy preparing his side for the AFCON Group D qualifier against Benin which will be played in March, 2018.

The Sparrow Hawks recorded a 2-0 victory over the Menas of Niger at the Stade d’Agadir in the Moroccan city of Agadir on Thursday.

Dove Wome, who is plying his trade in South Africa for SuperSport United, opened the scoring for Togo 26 minutes into the encounter.

Togo’s lead was doubled by Mathieu Dossevi, who recently joined French club Metz from Belgian outfit Standard Liege, four minutes into the second-half.

Togo XI vs. Niger: Bassa Djeri Sabirou (G) – Djene Dakonam, Simon Gbegnon, Ouro-Sama Hakim, Steve Lawson-Mathieu Dossèvi, Atchou Franco, Atakora Lalawelé, Womé Dové-Fo-Laba, Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Sparrow Hawks will now face off with Malawi in another international friendly match at the Stade Al Inbiaate in Agadir on Monday.

Togo are scheduled to participate in the 2017 WAFU CUP OF NATIONS which will be hosted by Ghana between 9-24 September.



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2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFIER: CAPE VERDE 2-1 SOUTH AFRICA – As it happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 22:19


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group D match between Cape Verde and South Africa at the Estadio Nacional de Cabo de Verde in Praia.

LINEUPS:

Cape Verde XI: Dias. Almeida, Stopira, Rodrigues, Vally, Soares, Rocha, Babanco, Fernandes, Tavares, Mendes.

South Africa XI: Williams, Langerman, Mathoho, Hlatshwayo, Mphahlele, Furman, Zungu, Dolly, Zwane, Manyama, Rantie.

COMMENTARY:

That’s all from the Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde where we saw Cape Verde beat South Africa for the first time and also record their maiden victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Please joins us again next time. Cheers!

FULL-TIME: Cape Verde 2-1 South Africa.

90′ – Three minutes added by the fourth official.

85′ – CHANCE! Mphahlele’s cross finds his Bafana teammate in the Cape Verde box, but the latter heads wide of the target.

80′ – Ten minutes left on the clock for Bafana to grab a late equalizer against the Blue Sharks.

79′ – South Africa sub: Tau IN, Rantie OUT.

78′ – Cape Verde sub: Da Cruz IN, Rocha OUT.

75′ – CHANCE! Cape Verde striker Tavares is sent through on goal, but South Africa keeper Williams produces a great save to deny him.

70′ – The Blue Sharks are now looking to take advantage of their numerical advantage.

67′ – RED CARD: South Africa defender Mathoho is sent off after committing a dangerous tackle on Ponck.

65′ – Cape Verde sub: Platini IN, Fernandes OUT.

61′ – South Africa sub: Mokotjo IN, Zungu OUT.

60′ – Cape Verde are still leading 2-1 as we reach the hour-mark.

55′ – South Africa striker Grobler announces his arrival by fouling Cape Verde defender Ponck as the visitors look to restore parity.

53′ – South Africa sub: Grobler IN, Manyama OUT.

50′ – Bafana combine nicely in the Blue Sharks box, but Zwane’s low cross is cleared away by Ponck.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME: Cape Verde 2-1 South Africa.

45′ – The fourth official has added one minute.

40′ – CHANCE! Bafana keeper Williams fails to hold on to a free-kick, but Cape Verde fail to capitalize.

37′ – GOAL! Cape Verde 2-1 South Africa. Rocha fires home from the spot-kick.

36′ – PENALTY for Cape Verde! Mendes is fouled in the Bafana box by Furman.

35′ – The momentum is with the Blue Sharks, who are knocking the ball around as they look to take the lead for the first time.

33′ – GOAL! Cape Verde 1-1 South Africa. Rocha fires home following a good build up by the hosts.

30′ – It is still 1-0 to Bafana as we reach the half-hour mark here at the Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde.

25′ – Cape Verde’s creative midfielder Mendes tries to play a through pass, but South Africa captain Hlatshwayo clears the ball away.

20′ – The hosts are still looking to penetrate the Bafana defence which has been solid thus far with Hlatshwayo marshaling the backline.

17′ – Cape Verde sub: Pereira IN, Monteiro OUT.

15′ – The Blue Sharks are about to make a change as Monteiro is down injured.

13′ – GOAL! Cape Verde 0-1 South Africa. Rantie breaks the deadlock against the run of play.

10′ – Cape Verde full-back Almeida makes a good run into the South Africa box, but his cross goes out for a throw in.

5′ – The Blue Sharks are pressing Bafana Bafana in the early stages of the match.

1′ – The match is underway.



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2018 World Cup qualifier: Nigeria 4-0 Cameroon – As it happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 19:55


Welcome to the as-it-happened coverage of the 2018 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Cameroon from the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

Commentary:
All times CAT

90+4′ – Full time – What a magnificent win for Nigeria! The Super Eagles are surely destined to qualify for Russia 2018. Cameroon were completely outplayed and will need to make a massive improvement for the rematch in Yaounde on Monday evening.

90+1′ – There will be three minutes of added time.

89′ – Great defending from Teikeu as he makes a superb tackle to prevent Iheanacho making it 5-0…

86′ – A half-chance for Cameroon as Ngadeu-Ngadjui pokes the ball over the crossbar from the middle of a crowd of bodies.

85′ – Substitution – Cameroon’s final change sees Bassogog make way for Fabrice Olinga.

82′ – Substitution – The superb Moses makes way for Ahmed Musa in Nigeria’s final change.

76′ – GOAL! Nigeria 4-0 Cameroon – Iheanacho gets his name on the score sheet, easily heading home into an empty net after superb work out wide from Moses and Onazi! This is turning into an absolute rout!

72′ – Cameroon’s Siani tries a hopelessly ambitious long-range effort and sends it into the stands. That’s what the 2017 AFCON champions have been reduced to…

68′ – Substitution – Nigeria skipper Mikel makes way for Ndubisi Agu in the Super Eagles’ second change.

67′ – Moses tries a cheeky chip, but his effort is just over the crossbar.

65′ – Iheanacho looks to add his name to the score sheet, but he’s pulled up for a free kick after tripping up Teikeu.

61′ – Substitution – Nigeria’s first change sees the excellent Ighalo (who seems to have picked up some cramp) replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho.

59′ – Substitution – Cameroon make another change as Choupo-Moting succumbs to injury and is replaced by Arnaud Djoum.

57′ – Compared to the defeat at home to South Africa in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers back in June, this is a massive improvement from Nigeria. Chalk and cheese.

55′ – GOAL! Nigeria 3-0 Cameroon – Champagne football from Nigeria! A corner kick for Cameroon ends with Nigeria breaking away, Moses tees up Simon, he plays the pass back to the winger, who fires home a low shot to make it 3-0! Magnificent from the Super Eagles!

53′ – Moses with a chance to whip in a free kick, but his radar isn’t quite on target this time – goal kick to Cameroon.

51′ – Cameroon have looked full of intention early in this half, but it was the same story at the start of the game and they were outplayed once Nigeria went up a gear or two.

48′ – Brave goalkeeping from Ezenwa as he beats Aboubakar to a 50-50 ball chipped into the box. A few seconds later and he makes a sharp save low to his left to keep out an effort from Anguissa.

46′ – Substitution – Back underway in the second half. Cameroon have made a change by introducing Eric Choupo-Moting for Ngamaleu.

45+2′ – Half time – We’ve reached the halfway point of the match and it’s Nigeria who are very much in charge! Cameroon started the stronger of the two teams, but once Nigeria settled it was one-way traffic and they are deservedly two goals ahead.

43′ – GOAL! Nigeria 2-0 Cameroon – A second goal looked to be on the way and Nigeria have it through Mikel! Moses whips in a corner kick and the captain gets ahead of his marker to toe-poke the ball home from close range!

42′ – Teikeu makes a vital interception to cut out Moses’ cross, which would have given Ighalo a virtual tap-in!

41′ – Closing on on half time, the Super Eagles will be delighted with their work so far.

39′ – Ngadeu-Ngadjui collides with Ighalo in an aerial battle – the defender needs to be careful, he’s already on a yellow card.

36′ – Moses sets up Simon with a one-on-one chance, but his goal-bound effort is brilliantly saved by Ondoa! Super one-handed stop from the Indomitable Lions guard, that should have been 2-0!

34′ – Safe hands from Ezenwa, he’s been impressive so far. Nigeria have had something of a headache over their goalkeeping options but the 28-year-old is making a strong claim to be number one in this game.

30′ – Yellow card – Ighalo is cautioned for showing a slogan on his undershirt in the goal celebration.

29′ – GOAL! Nigeria 1-0 Cameroon – Ighalo with a great goal to put the Super Eagles ahead! The striker outmuscles Ngadeu-Ngadjui in a battle for  a long ball, cuts inside the defender and puts a low, left-footed shot past the left hand of goalkeeper Ondoa!

28′ – Simon with a great cross from the right, Moses gets up at the back post but his looping header is over the crossbar!

26′ – Yellow card – Another caution for a foul on Ighalo – this time it’s Teikeu who goes into the book.

24′ – Moses puts in a wicked free kick and it finds its way into the back of the net! But Nigeria’s celebrations are cut short as the offside flag is up! No goal.

23′ – Yellow card – Cameroon’s Ngadeu-Ngadjui is the first into the book after hauling down Ighalo to give away a free kick a few metres outside the box.

22′ – Midway through the first half, still goalless between Nigeria and Cameroon in Uyo.

19′ – Mikel squares the ball for Moses, but the Chelsea man slices his shot high and wide from the edge of the box.

18′ – A strong, high press from Cameroon – they’re really making it tough for the hosts to play out of their own half.

15′ – Nigeria’s first threat on goal comes from a Moses free kick whipped into the danger area, but Cameroon defend well.

14′ – Bassogog with a powerful run forward but he’s soon crowded out. Cameroon are bossing the game so far.

11′ – Corner kick to Cameroon: Moukandjo crosses, Ngadeu-Ngadjui gets a flick-on, but Ezenwa collects confidently.

9′ – The Cameroon skipper plays a ball into the box from the set piece, but it’s a free kick to Nigeria for a foul.

8′ – Cameroon with a free kick in a useful attacking position. Moukandjo stands over ball…

5′ – Both teams just looking to settle into the match. Here’s Ngamaleu with a half chance as he stabs a volley goal-ward, but it’s no threat to Ezenwa.

2′ – Balogun almost leaves a back-header short, with Aboubakar threatening to nick it away from Ezenwa, but the goalkeeper gets there just in time.

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Uyo! Nigeria wear their home strip of green with white trim, while Cameroon are in a change strip of yellow and red.

17h50 – Ten minutes to kick-off. The referee for today’s is Gehad Grisha from Egypt. He will be assisted by Redouane Acik and Elmoiz Ali Mohamed Ahmed, while the fourth referee is Mahmoud Zakaria Mohamed.

17h40 – A reminder of where we stand in Group B: Nigeria have  a full haul of six points after beating both Zambia and Algeria, while Cameroon trail by four points after drawing both of their games 1-1 against the same opponents. So a win for the Super Eagles will see them take full control of the group and put them within touching distance of the Russia 2018 finals.

17h30 – We’re half an hour from kick-off, here are the starting XIs ahead of the match:

Nigeria: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Shehu Abdullahi, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Elderson Echiejile, John Obi Mikel, Wilfred Ndidi, Ogenyi Onazi, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo

Cameroon: Fabrice Ondoa, Collins Fai, Adolphe Teikeu, Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Serge Leuko, Sebastian Siani, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Christian Bassogog, Moumi Ngamaleu, Benjamin Moukandjo, Vincent Aboubakar



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2018 World Cup qualifier: Ghana 1-1 Congo – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Bertin Basson

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 19:31


Welcome to our live Play-by-Play coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group E qualifier between Ghana and Congo-Brazzaville from the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

Ghana: R.Ofori; Attamah (Afful 46′), Mensah, Amartey, Schlupp – Partey, E.Ofori, A.Ayew (Poku 68′) – Atsu, J.Ayew, Gyan (Agyapong 62′)

Congo: Mouko; Itoua, Baudry, Mayembo, Badila – Avounou, Gandze, Bahamboula (Dambou 83′) – Nguessi (Ndinga 56′), Bifouma, Dore (Tsoumou 71′)

AS IT HAPPENED Updates: 

90+4′ FULL-TIME: Ghana 1-1 Congo (Amartey 85′; Bifouma 18′) – Spoils shared, but it will feel like a defeat for the Black Stars who are now in serious danger of missing the World Cup in Russia next year.

90+3′ Itoua the latest to go into the referee’s book – alongside Ndinga – will have little consequence though, only a few second remaining…

90′ Four minutes added. Ghana throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Congo.

85′ GOAL! Partey finds the back of the net as Ghana pull level. Atsu sets up the midfielder who fires home.

83′ Bahamboula goes into the referee’s book as he makes his way off the park – he won’t mind too much as Congo continue to lead their hosts.

78′ Congo happy to sit back and frustrate their hosts – the Red Devils have just looked more organized and determined the Black Stars who are on the cusp of seeing their World Cup hopes go up in smoke.

72′ CHANCE! Jordan Ayew with a sight at goal, but Mouko is up to the challenge. Black Stars pressing forward now.

70′ As the sun starts to set in Kumasi, Ghana continue their desperate search for the back of the net… Chance! for Afful, but his shot rattles the side-netting.

62′ Asamoah Gyan makes way. The former Sunderland foward – who has scored over 50 goals for the Black Stars – not himself today as he limps of the pitch. Ghana not the same without a firing Gyan.

55′ CHANCE! Atsu bursts into the box, but instead of taking a shot himself he tries to pick out a teammate, but Congo get back in numbers to clear from danger.

48′ Early chance for the hosts, but Mouko is off his line in a flash to clear from Gyan’s feet. Black Stars lurking.

46′ Second-half underway in Kumasi – big 45 minutes coming up for the Black Stars.

Half-Time: Ghana 0-1 Congo-Brazzaville (Bifouma 18′)

45′ Three minutes added to the half.

44′ Nervy moment for Mouko as a long ball is floated into the area. He spills the ball, but lucky for the Red Devils goalkeeper his defence is alert to bail him out.

38′ SAVE! Good diving stop by Mouko who keeps out Partey’s rasping effort from well outside the area. Pressure mounting.

35′ Free-kick for Ghana in a promising position comes to nothing as Congo clear their lines.  The Red Devils have been impressive thus far, but expect a stronger Black Stars as the game goes on.

31′ Asamoah Gyan tries his luck from range, but his free-kick flies inches over the crossbar.

26′ Yellow CardBifouma goes into the referees book.

25′ Congo-Brazzaville the more urgent of the two sides and deserved leaders thus far. Ghana will need wake up if they are to restore parity.

18′ GOAL! Bifouma silences the home crowd. Nguessi pounces on a mistake by Attamah before teeing up Bifouma who calmly guides into the back of the net.

14′ Partey has the ball in the back of the net, but he looks rather sheepish as he hammers home – his attempt is duly chalked off with the assistants flag raised.

10′ Nothing between the two teams in the opening exchanges of the clash – no chances yet in what is a high pressure game for the Black Stars.

7′ Break in play as Nguessi receives some treatment – golf cart has been called onto the pitch, but he is back on his feet… looks like he should be okay to continue.

4′ Lack of communication a the back as Amartey and Richard Ofori clash. Bifouma a real threat for the visitors – Ghana lucky to escape.

1′ Kick-off in Kumasi – must win game for both teams as they aim to close the gap between themselves and the two teams above them; Uganda & Congo.

 



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Zambia and Algeria chase first World Cup qualifier win in Lusaka – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 12:00


Zambia will want to bag their first win in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers when they host Algeria on Saturday.

Chipolopolo are desperate for a win as they want to make their maiden appearance at the global football tournament in Russia.

However, coach Wedson Nyirenda’s men are placed at number three in Group B with one point after a draw against Cameroon and a loss to Nigeria.

A win for the Southern Africans will elevate them to number two with five points, depending on the outcome of the match between Nigeria and Cameroon on Friday.

“Algeria are a strong side and we will have to approach them with a lot of caution but we do not fear them, we just respect them,” Nyirenda said.

“It is not going to be an easy engagement for us. We have totally a new team, a mixture of young boys and seniors. We hope to blend them.

“I can see great sparks from the boys U20, this is a group which has nothing to lose but everything to give.”

On the other hand, the visiting North Africans are also out to claim their first win to move up the log table.

Algeria sit at the bottom of the table with one point from one loss against the Super Eagles and a stalemate against the Indomitable Lions.

The National Heroes Stadium is the venue for the crucial encounter on Saturday with kick-off set for 15:00 (CAT).



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Black Stars in Kumasi ahead of World Cup qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Aug 29, 2017. 15:00


Ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Congo on Friday, Ghana have arrived safely in Kumasi.

The Black Stars’ camp saw 11 of the 24 players called up report for duty on the first day of training.

Head coach James Kwesi Appiah oversaw a recovery training session at the Golden Tulip Hotel premises.

According to GHANASoccernet, captain Asamoah Gyan, his deputy Andre Ayew and brother Jordan are yet to report to camp.

Turkey-based Joseph Attamah is set to arrive tonight, as are US-based duo Jonathan Mensah and Harrison Afful.



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Zambia out to dispatch South Africa in final CHAN qualifier – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers


Lemogang Maswena of Botswana challenged by Siyabonga Nhlapho of South Africa during 2018 Chan Qualifiers game between South Africa and Botswana at Moruleng Stadium on 22 July 2017 ©Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Aug 17, 2017. 16:30


Zambia will want to wrap up the second leg of their 2018 CAF African Nations Championship qualifier when they host South Africa on Saturday.

Chipolopolo are in high spirits after their hard fought 2-2 draw against Bafana Bafana last week in East London.

A win or a goalless draw or a 1-1 draw for coach Wedson Nyirenda’s charges will book them a spot in Kenya for the tournament next year.

The hosts are favourites to claim a win and Nyirenda is expected to push his men to book a spot at the tournament to make their second appearance at CHAN.

Nyirenda will pin his hopes on the likes of Martin Phiri and Justin Shonga to score once again as they did in the opening leg.

Coming to the visitors, the depleted Bafana will find the going tough in Ndola on match day as more players have left the national team camp.

Coach Stuart Baxter will not lead the side as he will allow assistants Thabo Senong and Quinton Fortune to take charge of the tie.

Although they failed to reach the knockout stages of the tournament in 2014, Bafana hosted the showpiece in Cape Town and will now want to make it to Kenya.

Despite netting through Gift Motupa and captain Mario Booysen in the first leg, their failure to clear their lines at home means they are under pressure to score.

This crucial encounter is set to be staged at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, kick-off is at 15:00 (CAT).



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Goalkeeper coach backs Ghana to prevail in CHAN qualifier – 2018 CHAN


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Aug 16, 2017. 10:30


Isaah Najahu, the goalkeeper coach for Ghana ‘B’, has backed the locally-based Black Stars to prevail in their 2018 African Nations Championship qualifier this weekend.

Ghana will host West Zone B rivals Burkina Faso for the second leg of their final round tie at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday.

Goals from Saddick Adams and Gideon Waja helped Ghana secure a 2-2 draw in the first match in Ouagadougou last weekend, giving them a clear edge heading into the return leg.

With two away goals in the bag, Najahu expects an improved performance from the Black Stars and is confident they will secure a place in the Kenya 2018 finals.

“We didn’t get what we really deserved per how we played in Ouagadougou,” he told the Ghana Crusader.

“We could have scored more than just two goals but that is the nature of football. You sometimes don’t get what you deserve in the game.

“The return leg comes over this weekend in Ghana and we are going to put some finishing touches to the loose ends we spotted and go for the kill. Hopefully we will find our scoring boots on the match day.”



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Senegal defeat Guinea in midweek CHAN qualifier


Ellong Doualla Viera of Equatorial Guinea tackles Papa Alioune Ndiaye of Senegal during the 2019 Afcon qualifier between Senegal and Equatorial Guinea at Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor in Dakar, Senegal on the 10 June 2017 © BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Aug 15, 2017. 18:00


Senegal have beaten Guinea 3-1 on Tuesday night in a West Zone A second round, first leg qualifier for the 2018 African Nations Championship.

The match at Stade Al Djigo in Dakar saw the Teranga Lions’ home-based side claim a 14th minute lead through Amadou Dia N’Diaye.

The hosts held a 1-0 lead through to the midway point of the second half, when the National Elephants equalised through Mohamed Sorel Camara.

Senegal responded to Guinea’s goal by reclaiming the lead in the 70th minute, as N’Diaye claimed his second of the night to make it 2-1.

And daylight was put between the teams by Assane Mbodji, who struck in the 83rd minute to give Senegal a two-goal advantage.

The return leg will be held at Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry on August 22. The aggregate winner will qualify for the 2018 CHAN finals in Kenya.



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