Celtic out to claim Pirates’ scalp

Marc Van Heerden of Orlando Pirates and Ayanda Dlamini of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership match between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates on 10 May 2017 at Dr Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein ©Frikkie Kapp /BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 17:30

Bloemfontein Celtic will look to claim the scalp of Orlando Pirates when the teams meet in the Absa Premiership at the Dr Molemela Stadium on 26 November 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

Celtic have claimed 10 points from the last 15 up for grabs and were held to a goalless draw by lowly-placed Platinum Stars on November 22. The Bloemfontein side come into the match placed fourth on the log and hopeful that a strong showing will push them even further up the standings.

Phunya Sele Sele have claimed seven points from a possible 12 in home matches so far this season. Their last game as hosts saw them claim a 1-0 win over Maritzburg United before the last international break.

Pirates have gone six league games without a win after they were held 0-0 at home by Golden Arrows on November 21. The Soweto side last claimed a victory when they beat Cape Town City 1-0 at home in September and they have taken just four points from a possible 18 since then.

The Buccaneers have yet to win on the road this season, recording four draws and one defeat from their five away matches. Coach Milutin Sredojevic will want to see his side up their game for this clash in Bloemfontein.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Pirates have met in 58 league matches since 1985. The Buccaneers have claimed 29 wins compared to 14 for Phunya Sele Sele, while 15 matches have been drawn. The Bloemfontein side has won 10 of their 20 home league matches against the Soweto side, suffering 10 defeats in the process.

Last season Celtic took four points off Pirates, first claiming a 2-1 away win in Soweto in the first half of the campaign, before the return game in Bloemfontein ended in a goalless stalemate.

Celtic’s line-up from their 0-0 draw with Stars on November 22: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Jembula (Letsoalo 69′), Motshegwa (Mahlasela 55′), Letlabika, Baloyi, Hotto, Nyundu (Mabaso 63′), Phalane.

Pirates’ line-up from their 0-0 draw with Arrows on November 21: Mabokgwane, Chabalala, Shitolo, Van Heerden (Memela 69′), Nyauza, Matlaba, Nyatama, Qalinge (Morrison 79′), Lorch, Makola, Gabuza (Kutumela 54′).

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Niger eye Brazil scalp in Group D clash – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup

Spanish defender Jaume Mateu (L) duels for the ball against Niger’s midfielder Karim Tinni (R) during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 group D soccer match between Spain and Niger at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, India, 10 October 2017. EPA/PRAKASH ELAMAKKARA

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Oct 12, 2017. 16:00

Niger will face off with Brazil in their third encounter at the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup on Friday.

Kick-off is at 16h30 CAT.

The Group D match will be played at the Fatorda Stadium in the Indian city of Margao.

Niger were thumped 4-0 by Spain in their last group match which was played in Kochi, India on Tuesday.

The defeat left the Junior Menas placed third on the Group D table with three points from two games. They are three points behind the leaders Brazil with one game left.

Karim Tinni Sanda, the Niger captain, will look to inspire the Junior Menas to victory over Brazil.

Meanwhile, Brazil secured a 2-0 win over North Korea in their last group match which was played in Kochi on Tuesday.

As a result, the Junior Verde-Amarela are placed at the top of the Group D standings with six points from two games. They have already qualified for the knockout stages.

Paulinho has scored in Brazil’s two games in this competition and he will look to help his side beat Niger.

Referee Bobby Madden, who hails from Scotland, will officiate the match between Niger and Brazil.

Niger will progress into the knockout stages if they win the game.

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South Africa eye Burkina Faso scalp – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Dean Furman of South Africa is challenged by 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

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 09:00

South Africa will take on Burkina Faso in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group D match on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 15h00 CAT.

The game is scheduled take place at the FNB Stadium in one of South Africa’s main cities, Johannesburg.

Bafana Bafana were beaten 2-1 by Cape Verde in their previous Group D match which was played in South Africa last month.

South Africa are placed fourth on the group table with one point from three games. They are five points behind group leaders Burkina Faso, who have played four games.

Stuart Baxter, the Bafana head coach, will be eager to guide his side to victory over the Stallions in order to keep up with the leaders.

Meanwhile, Burkina Faso drew 2-2 with Senegal in their previous Group D game at home last month.

The Stallions are sitting at the top of the group standings with six points from four matches. They are only ahead of second-placed Cape Verde on goal-difference.

Paulo Duarte, the Burkina Faso head coach, will be looking to ensure that his side maintain their lead at the top with a victory over Bafana.

South Africa and Burkina Faso drew 1-1 in Ouagadougou in their first meeting in Group D 12 months ago.

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Guinea eyeing Libya scalp in Conakry – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Guinea striker Alseny Camara ‘Agogo’

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Aug 30, 2017. 17:00

Guinea will bank on their home ground advantage when they host Libya in their third 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Thursday.

The Syli Nationale will want to bag their first win in Group A after losing their first two matches to Tunisia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Losing 2-1 to the Leopards of Congo and the Eagles of Carthage has somewhat dented their hopes of reaching Russia come 2018.

However, as hosts they will want ensure they use their home advantage and retain the full three points.

Coach Kanfory Bangoura’s troops now occupy the third spot in the group with zero points, having conceded four goals.

On the other hand, the Mediterranean Knights are also under pressure to claim their maiden win in their qualifying campaign.

They are fresh from a 4-0 loss against Florent Ibenge’s DRC and a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia, but will now want to stun their hosts.

Sitting at the bottom of the table means coach Jalal Damja’s men have a tough assignment heading to Conakry.

The encounter will be staged at the Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry, getting underway at 19:00 (CAT) on Thursday.

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Uganda Cranes’ Kabugo eyeing South Sudan scalp – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers

Andre Ayew of Ghana and Savio Kabugo of Uganda run for the ball during the 2014 African Nations Cup Qualifiers on 15 November 2014 at Mandela Stadium, Namboole, Kampala.

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Jul 19, 2017. 11:00

Ugandan national team defender Savio Kabugo says he is confident they are capable of beating South Sudan this coming weekend.

The Cranes defender was speaking to the Federation of Ugandan Football Association’s website regarding the second leg of the qualifier.

Coming from a 0-0 draw last Friday, the hosts will now head to this clash hoping for a win to book a spot in Kenya next year.

It is reported that the team has conducted day three of non residential training since return from South Sudan on Saturday at the Star Times Stadium, Lugogo.

“I have confidence that we will eliminate South Sudan and get to the next stage of the qualifiers because players are well determined and motivated for the challenge” Kabugo said.

Kabugo added that amidst the challenge faced by some players at the artificial turf, they have now trained at the Star Times Stadium for them to acclimatize to it.

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Gambia eye Mali scalp in Bakau

Molla Wague of Mali challenged by Luwaga Kizoto of Uganda during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Uganda and Mali at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 25 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jul 14, 2017. 15:30

Gambia will welcome Mali in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier Zone West A first-leg match at the Independence Stadium in Bakau on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 18h30 CAT.

The Scorpions are one of the African sides that have never qualified for the CHAN finals and they will be keen to book their place in the 2018 finals.

Mustapha Drammeh and Lamin Chatty are the players to look out for in the Gambia squad that will lock horns with Mali with the Scorpions having started their preparations early this year.

Meanwhile, Mali have qualified for the last three CHAN finals and their best finish was when they lost to DR Congo in the final last year.

Mamadou Doumbia and Soumbeïla Diakité are both likely to be included in the Eagles squad that will face Gambia with the duo having been called up to the national team in recent times.

The winner on aggregate between Gambia and Mali will face either Mauritania or Liberia in the final round of the qualifying campaign.

Babacar Sarr, a referee from Mauritania, will be in charge of the encounter Gambia and Mali in Bakau.

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Wydad Casablanca target Zanaco scalp at home

Al-Ahly player Ahmed Fathy (L) in action against Zanaco player Augustine Mulenga (R) during the African Champions League

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Jul 08, 2017. 13:00

Wydad Casablanca will play host to Zanaco in the 2017 CAF Champions League Group D match at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 20h00 CAT.

Casablanca overcame Cameroonian club Coton Sport 2-0 in their previous group match which was played in Garoua last weekend.

The victory sees the Moroccan club placed second on the Group D standings with nine points. They are two points behind group leaders Zanaco.

A win over the Zanaco will see Casablanca finish at the top of the group and qualify for the knockout stages of this year’s tournament.

Meanwhile, Zanaco held Egyptian giants Al Ahly to a goalless stalemate in their previous group match which was played in Lusaka last weekend.

The draw sees the Zambian side placed at the top of the Group D standings with 11 points. They are three points above third placed Al Ahly.

A draw with Casablanca will be enough to send Zanaco to the quarter-finals of this year’s competition, even if Al Ahly beat Coton Sport in their final group match.

South African referee Daniel Bennett is the man, who will be in charge of the encounter between Casablanca and Zanaco.

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Horoya eyeing SuperSport scalp – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup

Grant Kekana of Supersport United celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup match between CF Mounana and Supersport United at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 23 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jun 30, 2017. 12:30

CAF Confederation Cup Group D log leaders, Athletique Club Horoya will be hoping to retain the full three points when they host SuperSport United on Saturday.

The Guinean side has had a good run in the competition as they sit at the top of the log table with eight points so far.

After five matches in the campaign, Horoya have eight points from two wins and two draws.

Their biggest asset is their solid defending as they have conceded only three goals.

The previous meeting between these two sides in South Africa produced a 2-2 draw.

Coming to the second-placed United, the Pretoria-based side will want to claim a win and also maximise their chances of making it to the next stage.

This match comes after their triumph in the Nedbank Cup final last weekend over Soweto giants Orlando Pirates and their morale is high.

However, United only have one win to show for their efforts in Group B coupled with three draws – they have six points.

The encounter is set to be staged at Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry on Saturday, 01 July at 17:00 (CAT).

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