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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Algeria eye Togo scalp in Blida – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Nabil Bentaleb of Algeria tackles Wahbi Khazri of Tunisia during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Tunisia on the 19 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jun 09, 2017. 17:30

Algeria will play host to Togo in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 23h00 CAT.

The Desert Foxes have been crowned AFCON champions once (in 1990). They failed to advance to the knockout stages at the recent 2017 AFCON finals.

Algeria took on Guinea in an international friendly on Tuesday. The Desert Foxes emerged 2-1 winners over Guinea in Blida.

Hillel Soudani, who was on the scoresheet for Algeria against Guinea, is the player to watch out for ahead of the Group D clash with Togo.

Meanwhile, Togo made their return to the AFCON finals earlier this year after missing the 2015 tournament. They could not reach the knockout stages in 2017.

The Sparrow Hawks played Comoros in an international friendly on Sunday. Togo brushed aside Comoros 2-0 at the Stade Paul Le Cesne in France.

Emmanuel Adebayor remains the Sparrow Hawks’ key player. The striker will be looking to inspire Togo to victory over Algeria in a Group D encounter.

Group D also includes Benin and Gambia, and the two sides are scheduled to lock horns at the Stade de I’Amitie in Cotonou on Sunday.

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Senegal U20 eye Mexico U20 scalp – 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup

epa05981546 Souleymane Aw (C) of Senegal vies for the ball with Abdulrahman Aldosari (L) of Saudi Arabia during the group stage match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 between Saudi Arabia and Senegal in Incheon, South Korea, 22 May 2017. EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

Austin Ditlhobolo

Wednesday May 31, 2017. 08:00

Senegal will face off with Mexico in the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup last 16 match at the Incheon Football Stadium on Thursday.

Kick-off is at 09h30 CAT.

The Young Lions of Teranga reached the last 16 after finishing second on the Group F standings- having drawn one, lost one and won one.

During the 2015 U20 World Cup tournament, Senegal impressed many as they went as far as the semi-finals of the competition.

Joseph Koto, the Young Lions of Teranga head coach, will be hoping to mastermind a win over Mexico and keep their hopes of reaching the final for the first time alive.

Ousseynou Diagne is one of Senegal’s key players. The midfielder was on the scoresheet as Senegal defeated Saudi Arabia 2-0 in a Group F game.

Meanwhile, Mexico advanced to the last 16 after finishing second on the Group B standings – having won one, drawn one and lost one.

The Young Tricolor’s best result in this competition was in 1977. They went all the way to the final, but they were beaten.

Marco Antonio Ruiz, the Mexico head coach, will be eager to guide his side to victory over Senegal and go on to reach the final.

Ronaldo Cisnerous Mereli is Young Tricolor’s dangerman – having hit the back of the net in the 3-2 win over Vanuatu in a Group B match.

Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir will be in charge of the match between Mexico and Senegal in the South Korean city of Incheon.

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Guinea U17 skipper eyeing Cameroon scalp – 2017 U17 Africa Cup of Nations

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday May 17, 2017. 14:30

As they chase their second win in the 2017 U17 CAF Africa Cup of Nations against Cameroon, Guinea skipper Sekou Camara says they are ready for the Group A tie.

The Menas Cadets are motivated after a convincing 5-1 win over hosts Gabon on Sunday night and will now hope to bag another victory.

A win will boost their hopes of booking a spot in the semi-finals thus qualifying for the 2017 FIFA World Cup in India.

On the other hand, Cameroon are still licking their wounds after a humbling 4-0 defeat at the hands of Ghana Sunday night.


However, Camara said together with his troops, they are ready to sweat for a win over the Black Starlets.

“We will have the best condition and ready to sweat so that we can win the match,” said Camara.

“We must first reach the semi-final before proceeding on our next objective of winning the competition.

“Watching Cameroon played against Ghana has given us an idea of what they can do and as a group, we are going to be ready for them.”

Guinea top the log table with three points on goal difference ahead of Ghana after their opening win.

The match will be staged at Stade de Port-Gentil at 15:30 and will be officiated by Senegalese referee, Maguette Ndiaye.

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Angola eyeing Niger scalp in U17 Afcon – 2017 U17 Africa Cup of Nations

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday May 15, 2017. 13:30

Angola will target a win as they open their U17 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Group B campaign when they face off against Niger on Monday evening.

The Young Palancas Negras (Os Palaquinhas) will be targeting continuity as they showed great promise in 2016 ahead of this tournament.

In their previous two matches last year, they defeated Comoros twice, they bagged a 5-0 and a 2-0 win as they marked their quality in continental football.

However, meeting Niger is set to be a test of character as both sides are looking to open their group stage accounts with a win.

Looking at the junior Menas, Niger are also out to make a statement in the tournament as they also want to book a spot in the upcoming U17 FIFA World Cup in India.

On their road to Gabon for this showpiece, they managed to collect good results, beating Gabon 1-0 as well as claiming a big 3-1 win over the Super Eaglets of Nigeria.

To reach the semi-finals will automatically book them a spot at the World Cup set to be organised in India in October this year.

The encounter is set to be staged at Stade de l’Amitié Sino-Gabonaise, in Libreville at 19:00 on Monday evening.

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Cameroon eyeing Ghana scalp at U17 Afcon

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday May 14, 2017. 16:58

Cameroon will be targeting a perfect start in their 2017 U17 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament when they meet Ghana on Sunday.

The Young Indomitable Lions will be gunning for a win to open their Group A campaign on a high and ensure they book a spot in the U17 FIFA World Cup in India.

The junior global showpiece is set to be staged in India and a win on Sunday could boost their chances.

Although they will be motivated by their senior team which bagged the 2017 AFCON in the same country early this year, meeting Ghana will be tough.

On the other hand, the Black Stars are also motivated by reaching the tournament and will be out to make their nation proud.

A spot in the semi-finals will motivate the Black Starlets as they will be banking on their hunger to reach the World Cup in India.

Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin says he wants to book their spot in the World Cup by winning their first two group stage matches.

“The last 10 years have not been good for Ghana football, especially at the U-17 level since we have failed to make it to the World Cup, which hitherto was a constant feature for the country,” Fabin said.

“So the main aim of this team will be to qualify to the World Cup slated for India later this year.

“The coaching staff, management and the players are hoping that we will seal qualification by the second game in our group.

“We want to qualify in grand style and to achieve it by the end of the first two games so that it would put us in a relax mood to tackle the rest of the games.”

The match will be staged at Stade de Franceville on Sunday, 14 May at 19:00.

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Rise and Shine out to claim Chiefs’ scalp – ABSA Premiership 2016/17

George Maluleka of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Knox Mutizwa of Golden Arrows during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Golden Arrows at the FNB Stadium, South Africa on 06 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Friday May 12, 2017. 11:30

Polokwane City will look to claim the scalp of Kaizer Chiefs when the teams meet in the Absa Premiership at Peter Mokaba Stadium on 13 May 2017, kick-off at 18h00.

Polokwane suffered their first league loss in five matches when they were beaten 3-2 at home by SuperSport United on May 6.

The Limpopo side has claimed 20 points from 13 home matches this season.

Rise and Shine are placed sixth on the Absa Premiership log with 37 points from 27 matches.

Chiefs have gone three league matches without a win after they drew 1-1 at home to Golden Arrows on May 6.

The Soweto giants have claimed 19 points from 13 away matches this season.

The Amakhosi are placed fifth on the Absa Premiership log with 47 points from 27 matches.

In head-to-head stats, Polokwane and Chiefs have met in seven league matches since 2013/14.

The Amakhosi boast an unbeaten record in the sequence, with four wins to their name and three draws.

Polokwane have recorded two draws and one defeat from their three turns as host against Chiefs.

When the teams met earlier this season, the Amakhosi claimed a 3-2 home win in Soweto.

The teams’ seven league meetings have produced 21 goals.

Chiefs’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Arrows: Khune, Mphahlele, Cardoso, Mathoho, Masilela, Maluleka, Katsande, Ekstein (Lebese 69′), Chirambadare (Twala 53′), Paez, Parker (Moon 72′).

Polokwane’s line-up from their 3-2 loss to SuperSport: Chigova, Semenya, Tshilo, Tema, Hlongwane, Phiri (Tlolane 85’), Mngomezulu, J. Maluleke, Manaka, Ramagalela, Musona (Ngobe 88’).

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