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Senegal cap off 2018 qualifiers with last-gasp win over SA – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Senegal players celebrate

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017. 23:44


Senegal capped off a successful 2018 World Cup qualification campaign with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Group D rivals South Africa in Dakar on Tuesday night.

The match at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor was merely academic, with the Teranga Lions having already secured a place at Russia 2018 by winning 2-0 in Polokwane at the weekend, but still saw Bafana Bafana put in a much improved performance.

However, they were denied what would have been a creditable draw when Kara Mbodji scored a header with virtually the last action of the match, deep in injury time.

The start of the match was delayed by a few minutes as the stadium floodlights failed just before the scheduled kick off. South Africa created an early chance for Morgan Gould when he got onto a knock-down from Clayton Daniels but could only volley over the target.

South Africa were generally happy to sit back and look to hit on the counter attack, with the pace and skill of Percy Tau providing a good outlet, though too often the Mamelodi Sundowns man was left isolated.

Yet Tau still managed to tee up the best chance of the first half, chesting the ball to meet the movement of Sibusiso Vilakazi, who was denied by a fine reaction save from Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis in the 37th minute.

Senegal upped their game in the second half and claimed the lead 10 minutes after the restart. SA goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune rashly sprinted off his line to try and pressure Moussa Sow, but his action only allowed Opa Nguette to coolly chip the ball into an empty net.

Bafana Bafana had a great chance to equalise in the 63rd minute after Senegal defender Youssouf Sabaly was guilty of clumsy challenge in the box to give away a penalty. Themba Zwane took the spot kick, but directed his effort wide of Gomis’ right-hand post.

Yet just two minutes later the visitors equalised through a great counter-attack goal: Khune released the ball quickly to find Keagan Dolly, who teed up Tau to score with a low, left-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net, 1-1.

Senegal created a couple of good chances to reclaim the lead from set pieces, the second of which saw towering defender Kara Mbodji rattle the crossbar with a powerful header in the 74th minute.

That effort proved to be a warning that SA did not heed, as in the third and final minute of injury time Mbodji directed a superb header beyond the reach of Khune to clinch a 2-1 win and set off wild celebrations in Dakar.

Senegal (0) 2 (Nguette 55’, Mbodji 90+3’)

South Africa (0) 1 (Tau 65’)

Senegal: Gomis, Kouyate, Mbodji, Gueye, Sow, Niang (Ciss 73’), Nguette, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye (Diousse 88’), P. Ndiaye (Ndoye 80’), Wague

South Africa: Khune, Mkhize, Daniels, Gould, Hlanti, Furman, Zungu, Zwane (Jali 71’), Vilakazi (Manyama 84’), Dolly, Tau



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SA coach Stuart Baxter: ‘Tower’ back to his normal self – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 13:30


South Africa coach Stuart Baxter says that defender Erick ‘Tower’ Mathoho is “back to his normal self” after a spell of poor form.

The Kaizer Chiefs defender endured a difficult September and October, highlighted by back-to-back red cards for club and country.

However, ‘Tower’, who worked with Baxter at Kaizer Chiefs, is back in contention to start Bafana Bafana’s crunch 2018 World Cup qualifier against Senegal on Friday night.

“‘Tower’ has been progressing. I think ‘Tower’ had a patch where he was a little bit unsure of himself. Maybe he was thinking too much about things that were happening around him, [but] I think he has been progressing nicely to get back to his normal self,” Baxter said in regards to the defender, as quoted by Kick-Off.

Mathoho’s progress gives Baxter a difficult decision to make in regards to central defence, where Thulani Hlatshwayo is an injury doubt but the duo of Clayton Daniels and Morgan Gould performed strongly in a 3-1 win over Burkina Faso last month.

“I wish I had headaches like that all over the field. Morgan and Clayton did well against Burkina Faso. They know each other very well. So we are going to look at all the options and the combinations and we will pick the squad that we think will be most unpleasant to play against,” said the Bafana coach.

SA will host Senegal in Polokwane on Friday, before playing the return match in Dakar next week Tuesday.



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Bitter? Duarte says Senegal has everything to lose against SA – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 11:00


Burkina Faso head coach Paulo Duarte is still unhappy with FIFA’s decision to order a replay between Senegal and South Africa.

Before FIFA ordered a replay of the original South Africa versus Senegal match last September, Burkina Faso were in control of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying group.

A replay was ordered after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had upheld the lifetime ban of Ghanaian match referee Joseph Lamptey, who was in charge during South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal in Polokwane last year.

Senegal have since replaced Burkina Faso at the top of Group D standings and they will take on fourth-placed South Africa in their last two matches in the next few days.

“Even if we still have to keep hope,” Duarte was quoted on Press Afrik as saying,

“Burkina Faso no longer has its destiny in hand, because of the situation created by FIFA in favor of Senegal.

Second-placed Burkina Faso and third-placed Cape Verde are scheduled to lock horns in their last Group D match which will be played in Ouagadougou on Tuesday, 14 November 2017.

“We have nothing to lose because FIFA has taken everything away,” he added.

“Where Senegal has everything to lose, because South Africa can qualify with two victories.”

Burkina Faso can only qualify for the World Cup if they beat Cape Verde and the results between South Africa, and Senegal go their way.



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Baxter: SA need to play smart against Senegal – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 11:00


South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter says his charges will have to play smart against Senegal.

The two African sides will lock horns in back-to-back 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this month.

Senegal and South Africa are the only sides with a game in hand in Group D ahead of the final round.

Nicknamed the Lions of Teranga, Senegal are sitting at the top of group standings, while fourth-placed South Africa can only qualify for the finals if they win both games.

“We will have to pick our way through them,” Baxter told the South African media.

“They have some fine defenders and have some midfielders that can press the ball and they have front players who can do stuff on their own,” the British tactician said.

“Our movement has to move their defenders around. to unbalance them will be really, really important.”

The Lions of Teranga will qualify if they overcome Bafana Bafana in the first match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa on Friday, 10 November 2017.

The return leg clash is scheduled to take place at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor in the capital city of Senegal, Dakar on Tuesday, 14 November 2017.



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Eymael threatens to quit SA football over poor officiating – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Luc Eymael, ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Nov 03, 2017. 12:00


Belgian coach Luc Eymael believes that his side, Free State Stars, are not getting a fair rub of the green from referees.

The well-travelled tactician has hinted his frustration may see him opt for a job away from the South African Absa Premiership.

Nicknamed Ea Lla Koto, Stars conceded a controversial goal five minutes from time in their 1-0 loss to Cape Town City in a league match on Wednesday.

Eymael believes that goalscorer Taariq Fielies had impeded goalkeeper Ali Sangare in the build-up, but match referee Kulasande Qongqo saw nothing wrong.

“If there was no foul on the keeper there‚ then I know nothing in football. It’s two games in a row that there is a bad decision against us‚ that’s not normal‚” Eymael said on Sowetan Live.

“I’m very disappointed about that‚ I don’t want to use words that I will perhaps regret‚ but I don’t think these things are fair.

“What I am saying about the goal is not an excuse‚ it’s a fact. I am always analysing things with honesty and with fair play.”

The former AS Vita Club and AFC Leopards coach has been linked to the vacant Uganda national team job.

“I’m receiving offers every day and I’m really thinking about things now … you know‚ to come back here … to do different things after the mistake I made at Polokwane City‚ if it’s really a mistake‚ I wanted to prove that I can take a team and do good things,” he said.

“But everybody has to be fair play. Two days ago I refused an offer from a team in Algeria‚ one week ago it was Sfax [CS Sfaxien] from Tunisia.

“When I had just arrived at Free State Stars‚ [African Champions League finalists] Wydad Casablanca contacted me because they were playing against Sundowns and they knew me,” he continued.

“I refused an offer from Jordan and from Libya. I would like to do a good job with Free State Stars‚ but things like that [the goal conceded against City] is not normal.

“When you see decisions like that you wonder what will happen … because you are trying to do your best. If I was coaching Cape Town [City] or Pirates‚ I would do my best‚ so you have to be fair play with the people who are working.”



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Komphela: SA coach Baxter has special duty for Tshabalala – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Kaizer Chiefs


Siphiwe Tshabalala of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Innocent Maela 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

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 11:00


Kaizer Chiefs mentor Steve Komphela says South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has a special duty lined up for Siphiwe ‘Shabba’ Tshabalala.

Tshabalala, 33, received a surprise call-up when the Bafana Bafana squad to face Senegal in the Fifa 2018 World Cup qualifiers next week was announced.

Bafana will qualify for the World Cup finals if they beat the Lions of Teranga both home and away.

On Saturday, Tshabalala inspired Chiefs to a 3-0 win over AmaZulu FC in a Telkom Knockout Cup Last 16 match in Durban.

“Maybe I’m not qualified to make a comment about Shabba,” said Komphela on The Citizen.

“But one thing is that he has worked with Stuart. Stuart is very smart coach and knows what he wants from Shabba otherwise he would not have picked him.

“Stuart said it some time ago that Shabba is a very influential player in the PSL and if Stuart says that today (Saturday) (AmaZulu head coach) Cavin Johnson says Shabba was the main threat. That tells you about the player he is,” the Chiefs coach added.

“His personality and character make him a big player.”

The veteran midfielder has 88 South Africa caps and scored 12 goals between 2006, and 2015.



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Madisha replaces suspended Mathoho in SA squad – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Motjeka Madisha of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Thabang Klaas of Polokwane City during Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Polokwane City at Loftus Versveld Stadium, Pretoria South Africa on 22 August 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 09:00


South Africa international Erick Mathoho has been withdrawn from the Bafana Bafana squad to face Burkina Faso in the crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier as he has to serve his two-game suspension for the red card he received in the 2-1 loss to Cape Verde last month (1 September 2017).

Motjeka Madisha of Mamelodi Sundowns has been called up to replace Kaizer Chiefs central defender Mathoho. The defender was part of the 25-man squad called up by Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter, pending a decision from the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (FDC), which sat on Friday, 28 September to deliberate on the match ban.

According to a communiqué from FIFA:

“Erick Mathoho is regarded as having breached art. 48 par. 1 c) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code by committing an act of unsporting conduct against an opponent in the scope of the match played between the representative teams Cape Verde Islands and South Africa on 1 September 2017 within the frame of the Preliminary Competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.”

The player Erick Mathoho is suspended for two matches including the automatic match suspension, which was served in the match played between the representative teams of South Africa and Cape Verde Islands on 5 September 2017.

The following match suspension has to be served during the match to be played between the representative teams of South Africa and Burkina Faso, scheduled on 7 October 2017.

The player is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of CHF 5,000 in accordance with art.10 c) and art. 15 of the FIFA Disclipinary Committee (FDC). Mathoho has once again apologised to the nation for the incident.

“Words fail me when I think of the incident and the red card itself, but from the bottom of my heart I want to once again apologise for my actions – to the entire Bafana Bafana team and all the football loving fans,” said Mathoho on the South African Football Association (SAFA) website.

“Let me also take this opportunity to wish the team all the best against Burkina Faso in this crucial match. I know it’s not going to be easy but I have confidence that they will get positive results. We did not do well in the last two matches but I believe we will rise again, starting with this upcoming clash. Good luck to all.”

Bafana assemble for camp on Sunday, 1 October and will face the Burkinabe on Saturday, 7 October 2017 at FNB Stadium. Kickoff is at 15h00.

South Africa played to a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou in October last year. Dean Furman scored for Bafana Bafana.

The West Africans remain unbeaten in Group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, on six points – level with Cape Verde, but Burkina Faso lead the group due to a better goal difference.

Senegal lies in third position with five points, while South Africa is bottom of the table with one point.



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Orlando Pirates unveils Ford SA as new sponsor – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Lyle Foster of Orlando Pirates during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City at Soccer City, Johannesburg on 19 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 27, 2017. 10:30


Orlando Pirates have announced a new sponsorship deal with auto manufacturing giant, Ford South Africa on Tuesday, September 26.

The Soweto giants announced the deal on their Twitter page as they welcomed the vehicle giant to their stable at an event at the Orlando Stadium.

Coach Milutin Sredojevic’s men have started the 2017/18 Absa Premiership campaign on a high as they have only registered one loss in six matches.

They occupy the third spot with 12 points from three matches and two draws so far, their next match is against Polokwane City at home on Saturday.



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Richard Ofori: Amakhosi the biggest team in SA – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Maritzburg Utd.


by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Sep 20, 2017. 16:30


Maritzburg United goalkeeper Richard Ofori has highlighted Kaizer Chiefs as the biggest team in South Africa ahead of their clash against the Amakhosi in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday evening.

The Team of Choice have started the season in superb fashion and will now be eyeing another scalp as they welcome the Glamour Boys.

Ofori, 23, kept a clean-sheet in the club’s Absa Premiership clash against Orlando Pirates over the past weekend and will be aiming to make it two shut-outs in succession as they play host to the Amakhosi.

“Kaizer Chiefs is the biggest team in South Africa – they have a lot of fans, and they will have a lot of supporters at the stadium on Wednesday,”Ofori told his club’s official website. “But we are playing home, and the players are ready to give their all for the club and for the Maritzburg fans.

“We are on course in terms of the log, but we want to take maximum points against Chiefs in order to move forward with confidence. If we’re at our best, I believe we can surely win this game.”

Moreover, the Black Stars international revealed that he watched some of Chiefs’ matches on TV before his move to South Africa ahead of the 2017-18 season…

“When I was still in Ghana I was able to watch some of Chiefs’ matches on TV. They looked a very good team. They have a very good attack, they also play on the counter-attack and are dangerous around the 18-yard box,” he concluded.



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Jelusic: I had opportunity to leave Botswana for SA club – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 12:00


Former Angola and Botswana head coach Veselin Jelusic has disclosed what he aims to achieve with South African club Bloemfontein Celtic.

The Serbian tactician opened up when speaking to KickOff.com about his experiences in the African continent and his relationship with his countryman Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojević.

KickOff: You spent a long time in Botswana and some time in Johannesburg before, so you must have good knowledge of the football scene in South Africa?

Jelusic: I was around South Africa a lot when I was working in Botswana but I left in 2010. The last two years I have been in Angola at InterClube. For the 2015 season I was the head coach and last year I served as technical director. I feel comfortable about my knowledge of South African football because of the experience I picked up when I was coach of teams in Angola and Botswana because we used to come to South Africa often. Sometimes it was for friendly games and training camps and sometimes for official games.

KO: You will be aware of the goal drought at Celtic last season. How are you going to fix it and what do you want to achieve with the club this season?

Of course, we would like to achieve better results than we did last season. I can see what the biggest problem is. More than anything, it is in the final third of the field close to the opponent’s goal and our scoring ability. So we are going to work hard on this department but it also depends on the quality and characteristics of the players we have. It also depends on our method of working, but we certainly need to work hard on this part of our game.

KO: Are you happy with the quality of the Celtic squad, or are you asking for some new players before the season kicks off?

I’m happy in general with the players I have here but of course there are positions we need to strengthen and we are looking for players.

KO: How did Celtic find you?

I was recommended to them. I was looking for some new options and had some other chances in other countries. But my good friend [Orlando Pirates coach Milutin] Sredojević encouraged me to take up the challenge at Celtic because he said this is a club of great potential. I had opportunities before to coach here but because I was contracted to Botswana I didn’t want let them down. I got a lot of support from people in Botswana and I stayed there until the end of my contract when I went back to my country because of family issues.

KO: What do you think of the Premier Soccer League?

It is a quality league and has seen a lot of improvement in recent years. So many facets of the South African game are well developed, like infrastructure, organisation, media support and so on. I’m sure it is just a matter of time before South Africa starts to achieve better results in international competition than they have done up to now.

KO: Has the club set you a target for the season?

At this moment I don’t have any pressure from the club, from anybody. Our general target is to improve as much as possible and with his approach I believe we can go far.



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Zesco frustrate SuperSport in SA


Aubrey Modiba of Supersport United challenged by Dave Daka of Zesco United during 2017 Caf Confederations Cup game between Supersport United and Zesco United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 14 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 15, 2017. 21:10


SuperSport United and Zesco United drew 0-0 in 2017 CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final first-leg match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Friday.

South Africa’s SuperSport will take on Zambian side Zesco in the second-leg game at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola next week Saturday.

Zega Mambo were happy to sit back and absorb pressure against Matsatsantsa, who were searching for an early goal.

Both sides hit the back of the net in the first 15 minutes of the match, but the two goals were ruled offside.

The visitors had a chance to break the deadlock in the 33rd minute from a free-kick in a promising area.

However, Fackson Kapumbu’s effort from the set-piece was blocked by the SuperSport wall as Zega Mambo looked to break the deadlock.

SuperSport winger Thuso Phala beat his marker down the right flank in the 44th minute, but his effort was blocked.

The score was 0-0 during the half-time break between SuperSport and Zesco following a closely contested first-half.

An entertaining second-half followed, but both sides were struggling to convert their chances in the first 15 minutes.

Bradley Grobler found some space outside the Zesco box in the 57th minute, but he placed his effort over the crossbar.

The visitors nearly took the lead in the 79th minute when Mischeck Chaila pulled the trigger from range.

However, SuperSport keeper Ronwen Williams pulled off a great save to deny the Zesco midfielder.

Both sides launched late attacks in the closing stages, but they could not score and the match ended in a 0-0 draw.

SuperSport (0) 0

Zesco (0) 0

SuperSport: Williams, Kekana, Daniels, Gould, Modiba, Letsholonyane, Furman, Phala, Mnyamane (Wome 69′), Grobler (Mbule 77′), Brockie

Zesco: Banda, Silwimba, Owino, Musekwa, Kapumbu, Chaila, Mtonga, Daka (Kambole 81′), Ching’andu, Kalengo (Kasiyre 88′), Were.



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Myeni stings former coach de Sa – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Willem Mwedihanga of Platinum Stars challenges Jeremy Brockie of Supersport United during 2017/18 Absa Premiership game between Supersport United and Platinum Stars at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 12 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 12, 2017. 21:36


SuperSport United’s Sifiso Myeni scored a superb goal to ensure his former mentor Roger de Sa suffered a 2-0 defeat in his first game in charge of Platinum Stars on Tuesday.

The Absa Premiership match at Lucas Moripe Stadium also saw Jeremy Brockie net for Matsatsantsa as they handed Dikwena a third successive loss at the start of the 2017/18 season.

The match took its time to come to life, but just before the half hour mark there were finally notable scoring chances at either end, with Clayton Daniels heading just wide for United before Robert Ng’ambi sent an ambitious volley off target just a few moments later.

On 39 minutes SuperSport striker Jeremy Brockie was granted the best chance of the half by a fine cross from Thuso Phala, but he sent his header just wide of the mark, much to Mbongeni Mzimela’s relief.

The first half finished goalless, but Matsatsantsa will have felt that they had the better chances and should have gone into the dressing room with some kind of advantage to show for their efforts.

Dikwena made the first clear chances of the second half, with Ng’ambi heading over the 48th minute before Bongi Ntuli struck a shot mere inches wide of Ronwen Williams’ posts in the 53rd.

SuperSport’s first chance of the second stanza arrived a few minutes after the hour mark, with substitute Sipho Mbule shooting from long range with virtually his first touch of the ball, but the effort sailed over.

The match looked destined to end in a stalemate, but in the 85th minute another United substitute turned it in his side’s favour: Sifiso Myeni picked up a ball on the edge of the box and proceeded to send a superb volley beyond the reach of Mzimela to put the hosts 1-0 up.

SuperSport still had time to add another goal late on, with Jeremy Brockie continuing his fine form by coolly converting a chance in the fourth minute of added time to add a little extra gloss to the score line.

SuperSport United (0) 2 (Myeni 85’, Brockie 90+4’)

Platinum Stars 0

SuperSport: Williams, Kekana, Daniels, Mashamaite, Boateng (Mnyamane 60’), Phala, Furman, Mokoena (Mbule 63’), Modiba, Wome (Myeni 76’), Brockie

Stars: Mzimela, Mabule, Mwedihanga, Mlilo (Monama 87’), Zulu, Mere, Mkhabela, Ng’ambi, Mbatha, Kunene (Nale 84’), Ntuli (Matlakala 63’)



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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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Cape Verde beat SA to go top of Group D – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Dean Furman of South Africa challenges Garry Rodrigues of Cape Verde during the World Cup Qualifier match between South Africa and Cape Verde on the 05 September 2017 at Moses Mabhida Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 21:18


Cape Verde beat South Africa 2-1 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group D match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in on Tuesday.

As a result, the Blue Sharks completed a double over Bafana Bafana and they moved to the top of Group D table, while Bafana Bafana slip down to position four.

The first real chance of the encounter fell for Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie nine minutes into the encounter.

However, the Turkey-based marksman placed his effort wide of the target without troubling Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha.

South Africa shot-stopper Wayne Sandilands was called into action four minutes before the half-hour mark.

The 34-year-old made an easy save to deny Cape Verde’s talisman Ryan Mendes as the visitors looked to break the deadlock.

The Blue Sharks defence was then exposed in the 42nd minute, but Bradley Grobler fired straight into Vozinha’s hands.

The score was 0-0 between South Africa and Cape Verde at half-time following a tightly contested first-half in the city of Durban.

An entertaining second-half followed and the visitors broke the deadlock six minutes into the second-half.

Garry Rodrigues scored with a powerful shot from a free-kick – beating Sandilands hands down – making it 1-0 to Cape Verde in the process.

It was soon 2-0 to Cape Verde six minutes after the hour-mark following a good move by the visitors.

Galatasary midfielder Rodrigues beat his marker and he unleashed a long range effort which beat Sandilands to double his side’s lead.

South Africa dominated in the closing stages of the match and they managed to pull one back through Andile Jali’s low shot.

But Cape Verde stood firm in the closing stages of the match and they secured a 2-1 win over South Africa.

South Africa (0) 1 (Jali 89′)

Cape Verde (0) 2 (Rodrigues 51′, 66′)

South Africa XI: Sandilands, Gould, Hlatshwayo, Hlanti, Mphahlele, Furman, Kekana (Tau 77′), Zwane (Manyama 56′), Dolly, Grobler (Jali 65′), Rantie.

Cape Verde XI: Dias, Tiago, Pereira, Santos, Da Cruz, Rodrigues (Admar 94′), Soares, Rocha, Carlos, Mendes (Totti 85′), Tavares (Platini 77′).



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Antunes: Cape Verde will complete a double over SA – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Lucio Antunes head coach of Cape Verde during football match between Morocco and Cape Verde 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Finals at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban , January 23 , 2013 © Sabelo Mngoma/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 14:00


Cape Verde head coach Lúcio Antunes is confident that his charges will defeat South Africa again on Tuesday.

The Blue Sharks stunned Bafana Bafana 2-1 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at the Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia on Friday.

As a result, Cape Verde recorded their maiden victory in Group D and they also defeated South Africa for the first time in history.

Cape Verdean tactician Antunes believes that fourth-placed Blue Sharks can qualify for next year’s World Cup finals.

“Our campaign is back on track and we will be in contention for a place in Russia,” Antunes told the media after the match.

“I thought we played well and we are going to Durban to get three more points.”

Cape Verde are two points behind Group D leaders Burkina Faso, who held Senegal to a goalless stalemate in Dakar on Saturday.

There are three matches left and only the group winners will advance to the 2018 finals.



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SA coach: We froze in defeat to Cape Verde – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Sep 03, 2017. 11:00


South Africa ‘froze’ in their disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Cape Verde in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on Friday, according to coach Stuart Baxter.

Bafana Bafana claimed an early lead through Tokelo Rantie in their Group D match in Praia, but the Blue Sharks hit back through a quick brace of goals from Nuno Rocha.

A red card for defender Erick Mathoho midway through the second half hurt the visitors’ hopes of getting back on level terms.

“We knew when we came here that there were natural difficulties with this game,” Baxter said in his post-match press conference, as quoted by Times Live.

“One‚ when I watched Cape Verde’s other games against Burkina Faso and Senegal‚ apart from moments where Cape Verde switched off‚ they had been close games. So we knew that this was not a bad team.

“Secondly the [artificial] pitch is not the easiest to play on. And this was maybe Cape Verde’s last chance to pick up points that could maybe lead to somewhere.

“I thought we opened the game very well. I thought we controlled the first 20 minutes. We scored.

“I think when we conceded the 1-1 goal it became a bit of a mental problem where the players froze‚ they didn’t react.

“In the second half we did what we could do. We tried to play more‚ we tried to have more patience and composure.

“And even when we were down to 10 men‚ I was disappointed that we didn’t get the result. But I’m looking for reasons not excuses.”

South Africa will seek revenge against the Island team when they meet for a re-match in Durban on Tuesday evening. AfricanFootball will have live coverage of the clash.



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SA will go for the kill against Cape Verde, says Furman – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Bongani Zungu (L) and Dean Furman

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Aug 31, 2017. 12:00


South African international Dean Furman has explained why it’s important for Bafana Bafana to defeat Cape Verde at the Estadio Nacional in Praia on Friday.

The SuperSport United midfielder believes that the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier might set the tone for them in their quest to reach the finals which be hosted by Russia.

“A win here on Friday will definitely set things nicely,” Furman told SAFA.net.

Bafana Bafana will host the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde in the return match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban next week Tuesday.

“It will galvanise us to go for the kill on 5 September at Moses Mabhida Stadium and if we win the two matches, that will give us a huge 10 points cushion,” he continued.

“It means if that happens, FNB Stadium will be beaming when Burkina Faso travel to South Africa in October. These are exciting times.”

South Africa are placed second on the Group D table with four points from two games and they are only behind group leaders Burkina Faso on goal-difference.

Bafana midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo, who plays for Brentford FC in England, is looking forward to Friday’s clash with the Blue Sharks.

“It would be great to produce such performances on constant basis and everyone is looking forward to Friday’s game,” he said.

There are four matches left in Group D and only the group winners will book their place in next year’s finals.



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Cape Verde eye first Group D win against SA – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Victor Osimhen of Nigeria against Thulani Hlatshwayo of South Africa

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Wednesday Aug 30, 2017. 10:30


Cape Verde will square off with South Africa in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia on Friday.

Kick-off is at 20h30 CAT.

The Blue Sharks lost 1-0 at home in their last competitive match which was against Uganda in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier two months ago.

Lucio Antunes, who led Cape Verde to the 2013 AFCON finals for the first time in history, was reappointed Blue Sharks head coach in September, 2016.

Cape Verde are placed fourth on the Group D standings without a single point from two matches. They are three points behind third-placed Senegal.

Ryan Mendes, who plays for Kayserispor in Turkey, is one of Cape Verde’s key players and the striker will look to inspire his side to its first Group D win.

Meanwhile, South Africa will return to action against Cape Verde after defeating Nigeria 2-0 in the 2019 AFCON qualifier in Uyo two months ago.

This was new Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter’s first competitive match in charge of the team – having been reappointed in May, 2017.

South Africa are placed second on the Group D table with four points with four games left. They are only behind group leaders Burkina Faso on goal-difference.

Tokelo Rantie, who is plying his trade in Turkey for Genclerbirligi, is South Africa’s dangerman and he will be keen to help his side beat the Blue Sharks.

Referee Mehdi Abid Charef, who hails from Algeria, will officiate the encounter between Cape Verde and South Africa in Praia.

The return leg match will be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa next week Tue



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We won’t underestimate Cape Verde – SA coach Baxter – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Aug 30, 2017. 09:00


South Africa will not make the mistake of underestimating Cape Verde Islands, according to coach Stuart Baxter.

The teams will meet in back-to-back 2018 World Cup qualifiers on September 1 in Praia and September 5 in Durban.

Bafana are currently joint top of Group D alongside Burkina Faso, while the Blue Sharks are bottom of the log after suffering two defeats.

“My father said to me ‘Always beware the man that has nothing to lose’. So they have got nothing to lose‚” Baxter said in regards to Cape Verde’s team.

“I think we have got to go there with the same attitude. They can play the way they want.

“If we play well then I think we have got a chance of getting a good result. So we’ve got to make sure that our mentality is tight.

“We want to be a team‚ we want to make sure that everybody puts in 100 percent.

“We want to be able to express ourselves in the right way‚ have that feeling of no regrets and no anxiety.

“We are just looking forward to the game and quieten down all the other chit-chat that may have made us complacent‚ that may have made us nervous. Quieten that down and just get to the place.”



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Rivaldo Coetzee set to undergo Celtic medical in SA – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Rivaldo Coetzee of Ajax Cape Town challenged by Rodney Ramagalela of Polokwane City during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Polokwane City and Ajax Cape Town at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane South Africa on 18 February 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Friday Aug 25, 2017. 09:10


Scotland bound Rivaldo Coetzee will undergo his medical on South African soil, with Glasgow Celtic officials to jet into Johannesburg this weekend to have a look at the Bafana Bafana defender.

Coetzee, 20, has agreed terms with ‘The Hoops’, but will only complete his transfer to Celtic following a successful medical examination and upon receiving his work permit.

Ajax Cape Town earlier this week confirmed that Coetzee would be joining the Scottish champions with the Kakamas-born defender having penned a three-year-deal with a one-year option.

Glasgow Celtic were on Thursday drawn in alongside Bayern Munich, Paris-Saint Germain and Anderlecht after successfully booking their place in the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League group stages.



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Orlando Pirates keeper Sandilands receives SA call-up – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Aug 24, 2017. 12:00


South Africa goalkeepers Itumeleng Khune and Darren Keet are set to miss Bafana Bafana’s clashes with Cape Verde next month.

Bafana are scheduled to lock horns with Cape Verde in back to back 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers next month.

Experienced goalkeeper Khune, who is currently on the books of South African Absa Premiership giants Kaizer Chiefs, is down with a chest infection.

While goalkeeper Keet, who is also plying his trade in the Absa Premiership for Bidvest Wits, is currently suffering from a knee injury.

Stuart Baxter, the Bafana coach, has called up Reyaad Pieterse of SuperSport United as well as Wayne Sandilands of Orlando Pirates as replacements.

This was confirmed by the South African Football Association (SAFA) on Wednesday.

South Africa are scheduled to face off with Cape Verde on Friday, 1 September 2017 at the Estadio Nacional Stadium in Cape Verde.

The return leg encounter is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 5 September at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa.

Bafana assemble for camp on Sunday, 27 August 2017 in Johannesburg, and expected to travel to Cape Verde on Tuesday, 29 August.



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Botswana star Ngele awaits documents from SA Home Affairs – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Mamelodi Sundowns


Mogakolodi Ngele of Bidvest Wits challenged by Bandile Shandu of Maritzburg United during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Maritzburg United and Bidvest Wits at Harry Gwala Stadium, Pietermaritzburg South Africa on 20 December 2016 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Aug 15, 2017. 14:00


Mamelodi Sundowns have released a statement concerning some of their foreign players including Botswana international Mogakolodi Ngele.

The 26-year-old forward has returned to the South African Premier Soccer League (EPL) giants following a successful loan spell with Bidvest Wits.

The midfielder-cum-striker helped Wits clinch the 2016 MTN8 Cup and 2016/17 ABSA Premiership last season during his stint with the South African club.

Ngele and Zimbabwean international Cuthbert Malajila, who also spent last season on loan at Wits, are still waiting for their South African permanent residency papers.

Sundowns, who lost 1-0 to Maritzburg United in the 2017 MTN8 Cup quarter-final match in Pretoria, released a statement on their official website.

A club statement read: “Dennis Onyango is out sick, while Ricardo Nascimento is still recovering from a groin operation.

“Mogakolodi Ngele and Cuthbert Malajila are still waiting for their permanent residency papers.

“Ghanaian goalkeeper Razak Brimah is awaiting his ITC papers from Spain.”

Ngele has spent five years in South Africa plying his trade in the PSL. He joined Platinum Stars from Botswana giants Township Rollers in 2012.

He signed for Sundowns in 2014 after playing an important role as Stars won the 2013 MTN8 Cup and 2013 Telkom KnockOut Cup.



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Baxter: Why SA can beat Chipolopolo in Zambia – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers


SA coach Stuart Baxter directs his players

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 14, 2017. 18:00


South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter believes that they can beat Zambia away following their 2-2 draw at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Saturday.

Gift Motupa and Mario Booysen both netted for the home side in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier first-leg clash.

“The boys played well and made the most of what they got and I think at 2-0 up I couldn’t see a way back for Zambia because they weren’t creating chances. 2-1 came out of the blue as I thought we were dangerous on the breaks as they were on attack, it really came as a damp squib,” Baxter told SAFA.net.

“I thought, do I change things a bit, do I lock up? And then Tercious gets sent off so I can’t lock up, instead I have to go 4-4-1. And then comes the last throw in, and the last kick of match the ball ends up in the back of our net.

“I don’t think the boys threw it away, but they were just unlucky. The way they battled for their jersey was very admirable and this tie is certainly far from over. I don’t now how much more Zambia has got because they played that way against us the last time we met, and I think they will play that way again when we meet,” the Englishman added.

Bafana Bafana will now face Chipolopolo in the second-leg game in Ndola, Zambia on Saturday, 19 August 2017. The winner on aggregate will qualify for next year’s CHAN finals in Kenya.

“It’s not a great result, giving away two goals at home means they can get through on 0-0, or even 1-1. The hype before the game was that we had no chance, they are a strong side – well they certainly didn’t do that and now we are going to their place and they know that we can play them,” Baxter stressed.

“I know as a coach that it’s a difficult one for them – do they go for nil-nil or 1-1 or have a full go at us, and if they opt for the latter we can beat them on the transition then it’s 1-0 and they are shaking. So it is not easy even for them.

“What seems to them as a good result at the moment, the closer you get to the game, the more reality sinks in and they ask themselves what if they score?”

Baxter was, however, impressed with the performance of his players despite the result, although some things will have to fixed,” he explained.

“I just think our general play should have been better and we should have put one of our chances away but I think the boys did as well as anybody could expect. Gift was outstanding, he ran their backline ragged, a couple of the young ones too – Meyiwa came in when Khumalo got injured and he did a great job.

“The captain Mario (Booysen) and Sandile (Mthethwa) were solid. They all should get a pat on the back for that. Now they will have to lick their wounds, sharpen their swords, fasten their seatbelts and go to Zambia and get a result – and that is not impossible. I am confident Zambia will have a tough game and they know it.”

According to the SAFA website the Bafana squad is set to lose players who are returning to their clubs – and won’t be part of the second leg fixture – Menzi Masuku (Chippa United), Shane Thompson (Mthatha Bucks), Tshepo Mabua, Keegan Pool (both Stellenbosch FC) and Gift Motupa (Baroka FC).

Tercious Malepe is not eligible to play as he was red-carded against Zambia in the first leg while Asavela Mbekile has a family bereavement.

“Maybe Kumalo can’t play too because of his injury, which we are monitoring, so it’s going to be mission impossible again – but then again it was mission impossible today and they nearly pulled it off. Let’s rather talk about the players that will stay because they will have to do the job for us,” Baxter concluded.



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SA to name squad for World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Itumeleng Khune of South Africa

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Aug 14, 2017. 17:00


South Africa coach Stuart Baxter will unveil his squad for upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde on Wednesday, August 16.

The teams will meet in back-to-back Group D clashes on September 1 in Praia and September 5 in Durban.

Bafana Bafana are placed second in the group on four points after a 1-1 draw away to leaders Burkina Faso (who also have four points) in October last year, followed by a controversial 2-1 home win over Senegal in November.

The other Group D clashes see the Teranga Lions host the Stallions in Dakar on September 2, followed by the return game in Ouagadougou on September 5.

Baxter will also oversee the second leg of a final round 2018 African Nations Championship qualifier against Zambia in Ndola this coming weekend. The first leg on Saturday in East London ended in a 2-2 draw.



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SA star Coetzee a wanted man in Europe – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 16:00


European and local interest in South African international Rivaldo Coetzee has been confirmed.

Danish club Brondby IF and Belgium side KV Oostende have reportedly enquired about the Ajax Cape Town defender’s availability.

The highly-rated defender, who is only 20, is likely to leave the South African Absa Premiership during the current Transfer Window.

His agent, Mike Makaab has confirmed that Coetzee is a wanted man and also revealed that he will soon hold talks with Ajax about the player’s future.

“There is interest in Sweden and Denmark. Also, a club in Belgium is keen on him as are two other clubs locally,” Makaab told Independent Media.

“I feel this is the right time for Rivaldo to go overseas. He is 20 (years-old) and close to 30 Bafana caps,” he said.

“He has already played at the (Africa) Nations Cup and the Olympics and he is close to a 100 PSL matches. He is ready for Europe and he can grow there.

“We will sit down with Ajax next week and discuss his future. All Rivaldo is interested in is to be happy. It doesn’t matter where he is as long as he is happy.”

Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs are believed to be the two local clubs that also chasing Coetzee’s signing.



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Milutin Sredojevic returns to SA giants Orlando Pirates – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Aug 03, 2017. 19:00


Following speculation that he was on his way to rejoin Orlando Pirates, former Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic has now been unveiled as the new Buccaneers coach.

Although the club’s chairman, Dr. Irvin Khoza did not reveal the length of the coach’s contract, the Serbian manager has replaced Kjell Jonevret.

Jonevret tendered his resignation on Wednesday, raising speculation that the ‘Micho’ was on his way to the Soweto giants.

During a media briefing on Thursday, the ‘Iron Duke’ also confirmed that midfielder and skipper, Oupa Manyisa is joining African champions, Mamelodi Sundowns.

“We also welcome back Milutin Sredejovic, coach Micho. A man who’s integrity I respect,” said Khoza.

“When he left, he left graciously. Now, he comes back with a great record and experiences throughout the continent.

“We will also announce his technical support staff after further discussions.”

The 47-year-old is appointed with immediate effect and Khoza announced that they will meet to finalise the technical team as well as player and staff movements.

‘Micho’ led Pirates in 2006 where he reached the CAF Champions League semi-finals.

On the other hand, he also led the Cranes of Uganda to their first African Cup of Nations participation in 38 years in Gabon this year.



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Zambian international striker heads to SA – ABSA Premiership 2016/17


Brian Mwila of Zambia challenged by Banda Abdi of Tanzania during 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Zambia and Tanzania at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on 05 July 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Aug 02, 2017. 14:00


As they continue to bolster their squad, South African Premier Soccer League club, Platinum Stars have completed the signing of Zambian international striker http://africanfootball.com/news/722150/Nigerian-starlet-Awoniyi-leaves-Liverpool-on-loan.

The Chipolopolo hitman joins from Zambian Super League outfit, Green Buffaloes FC on a three-year deal.

Although reports indicated that Mwila was on Baroka FC’s radar, he has now completed his move to Rustenburg.

NIGERIAN STARLET AWONIYI LEAVES LIVERPOOL ON LOAN

Dikwena announced their new signing on Tuesday via their official Twitter page as he joins the likes of Enocent Mkhabela, Lehlogonolo Masalesa and Maboke Matlakala in Phokeng.



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Milutin Sredojevic secretly left Uganda for SA


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jul 28, 2017. 08:00


If reports from Uganda are anything to go by, the Cranes national team coach Milutin Sredojevic is on his way to South African club Orlando Pirates.

The Cranes national team mentor has reportedly left the country in a secret flight and was destined for an unnamed destination.

Furthermore, reports in South Africa indicate that the Serbian-born manager is on his way to lead the struggling Sea Robbers for a second stint.

OMOLO LEAVES ANTWERP FOR BRUGGE

According to Kawowo Sports website, Sredojevic arrived at Entebbe International Airport at around 9 P.M in the company of his driver on Thursday.

It is reported he spent more than three hours at the Entebbe Airport and freely interacted with staff at the aviation facility.

Ahead of his departure, the coach met with Uganda FA officials who included the president Moses Magogo, his Vice presidents Justus Mugisha as well as the CEO Edgar Watson where it was agreed that Watson meets with Micho’s agent Ivic Stankovic.

Although rumours suggest he is now in Ethiopia where his family is based, speculation is rife that he agreed personal terms with the Soweto giants.

Sredojevic was given the Uganda national coaching job in 2013 and guided the Uganda Cranes back to AFCON after over 38 years.



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Nigerian striker Obiozor targets 15 goals in SA


Christian Obiozor is challenged by Davies Ukeme during the 2013 Nigeria Professional Football League Match between Rangers and Akwa United on September 18, 2013 at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu ©Norbert Okolie/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Jul 25, 2017. 10:00


Nigeria international Christian Obiozor hopes to impress in his first season with Orlando Pirates as he targets 15 goals during the upcoming 2017/18 campaign.

The tall striker recently joined the South African giants from Nigerian side Enyimba on a long-term deal.

“Pirates are like Real Madrid. It’s a club that wants to win trophies all the time. In order for you to do that, you have to give 100%,” Obiozor told the Sunday Times.

“My agent and I met with the chairman (Irvin Khoza) last week. He has a good relationship with the chairman of Enyimba (Felix Anyasi-Agwu).

“Chairman Khoza told me a lot about the club and made me aware that an Enyimba player [Onyekachi Okonkwo] once came here and played for Pirates,” he added.

The 22-year-old centre forward stated that he is aware of the expectations at Pirates, who have won the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title four times.

“A season without a trophy is sad for the players. By the grace of God this is going to be a good season for Pirates. The coach [Kjell Jonevret] gave me a word of encouragement. He talked to me as his son, saying ‘this season we need to push’ and I said ‘Ok Sir’,” he revealed.

Obiozor is eager to emulate his countryman Raphael Chukwu, who was a prolific striker for South African side Mamelodi Sundowns.

“What Chukwu did for Sundowns motivates me. If I can get 15 goals this season I will be very happy for myself. By the grace of God, it will happen,” he explained.

“As a striker, when you come to a club you have to set targets. Otherwise what is the point?.”



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SA ease into next CHAN qualifying round


Tumisang Orebonye of Botswana challenged by Mothobi Mvala of South Africa during 2018 Chan Qualifiers game between South Africa and Botswana at Moruleng Stadium on 22 July 2017 ©Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Jul 22, 2017. 17:22


South Africa overcame Botswana 1-0 in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier Southern Zone second-leg match at the Moruleng Stadium on Saturday.

The win sees Bafana Bafana advance to the next round where they face either Swaziland or Zambia after winning the tie 3-0 on aggregate, while the Zebras are out of the qualifying campaign.

The hosts dominated from the start as they pressed the Zebras in the first 15 minutes of the match in search of the opening goal.

The early pressure paid off as Sipho Mbule set-up his Bafana Bafana teammate Ryan Moon, who made it 1-0 to South Africa 13 minutes into the game.

There was no supply for the Zebras attackers Tumisang Orebonye and Lemogang Maswena as Bafana controlled the tempo of the match.

Moon had a chance to doubled South Africa’s lead just after the half-hour mark, but somehow, he missed the target as pressure mounted on Botswana.

Thero Setsile, the Botswana attacker, was ruled offiside towards the half-time break as the visitors looked to pull one back.

However, the first-half ended with South Africa leading 1-0 on the day and 3-0 on aggregate against Botswana.

The Zebras played much better in the second-half containing Bafana and they also launched attacks.

Second-half substitute Kabelo Seakanyeng had a chance to level matters from a free-kick in a promising area just after the hour-mark.

However, the Gaborone United attacker narrowly missed the target from the set-piece as the visitors looked to silence the home crowd.

The Bafana defence which was led by captain Mario Booysen was solid with the Zebras forced to try their luck from range.

Bafana stood firm at the back in the closing stages of the encounter and they ran out 1-0 winners on the day.

South Africa (1) 1 (Moon 13′)

Botswana (0) 0

South Africa: Pule, Nhlapo, Malepe, Booysen, Mvala (Mthethwa 75′), Kumalo, Mbule, Moon, Alexander, Ntshangase (Morton 68′), Ntuli (Zuma 46′).

Botswana: Masule, Monthe (Moyo 49′), Setsile, Leririma, Mathumo, Gaolaolwe, Gadibolae, Senwelo, Orebonye, Maswena (Seakanyeng 66′), Tshireletso.



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