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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Mohamed Salah – ‘The Egyptian star could score 70 goals this season’ – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Mohamed Salah - ‘The Egyptian star could score 70 goals this season’

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates with teammate Sadio Mane

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 19:00


The 25-year-old has been in scintillating form for Liverpool FC, who are amongst the clubs challenging for this season’s English Premier League title.

Salah inspired the Reds to a 3-0 victory over Southampton in a league encounter which was played at the Anfield Stadium on Saturday by grabbing a brace.

The lethal winger, who joined Liverpool from Italian Serie A club AS Roma prior to the current season, is now the league’s top goalscorer with nine goals.

The brace took his tally up to 14 goals for this season having made 18 appearances in all competitions for the Reds and he has been praised by Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp.

“If he continued at this rate he would finish the season on something like 70 goals, which isn’t really likely,” Klopp told the media after the Southampton game.

“We [all] have these moments. He could have scored the penalty [against Huddersfield] and he’s missed some big chances, but I realise [then] it’s just a moment. I really understand.

“These shots are pretty normal for him, like Phil [Coutinho]. Sadio (Mane) is able to do it. Gini (Georginio Wijnaldum) too. And Ox (Alex Oxlade Chamberlain) – he’s able to do it,” the German continued.

“But he hasn’t had the opportunity very often so far. At this moment, it is working for him [Salah].”

Salah will be looking to continue his good scoring form when Liverpool face Spanish side Sevilla in an UEFA Champions League match on Tuesday.

He has scored five goals in six Champions League matches for the Reds.

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Bafana’s Bongani Zungu: We just don’t score – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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Bafana’s Bongani Zungu: We just don’t score

Bongani Zungu of South Africa is challenged by Bayala Cyrille Barros of Burkina Faso 2018 World Cup qualifier football match between South Africa and Burkina Faso on the 7 October 2017 at Soccer City, Johannesburg © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 15, 2017. 14:30


South Africa midfielder Bongani Zungu has lamented the team’s inability to score enough goals following the conclusion of their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Bafana Bafana finished bottom of Group D after losing 2-1 away to Senegal in Dakar on Tuesday night.

It was a match which saw an improved performance from Stuart Baxter’s men compared to the 2-0 loss to the same opponents last Friday.

Yet the same failings were present, with Themba Zwane guilty of missing a penalty kick and the defence unable to prevent a late headed goal from Kara Mbodji which decided the match.

“We just don’t score, the most important thing is to put the ball into the net,” said Zungu when asked what the team lacks, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“I think we have very good players, we play very well. I think there were times, especially in tonight’s game where we move the ball very well, we just have to put the ball into the net.

“We had easy chances to score but that is football; if you don’t take chances your opponent will take chances. I think the team is growing very well, we just have to use our chances.”

Zungu added, “Of course it’s very disappointing that we didn’t qualify. I think we should have won the second game, we didn’t take our chances. That is football for you.

“We are very disappointed. I’m sure the nation is disappointed in us but it’s football.

“We have to pick our heads up and hopefully we do well in the AFCON next year. We have to keep our heads up and look forward to the future.”

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Kelechi Iheanacho happy to score and assist in League Cup win – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 15:30


Nigerian star Kelechi Iheanacho has expressed his delight at both scoring and assisting a goal in Leicester City’s 3-1 win over Leeds United in the League Cup on Tuesday night.

The Super Eagles man, who joined Leicester from Manchester City earlier this season, scored the Foxes’ first goal in the 30th minute to cancel out Leeds’ opener from Pablo Hernandez at the King Power Stadium.

In the 71st minute Iheanacho turned from scorer to provider, setting up Algerian international Islam Slimani to put Leicester in front at 2-1.

And Slimani’s compatriot Riyad Mahrez wrapped up the scoring with an 88th minute strike.

After his excellent performance, Iheanacho took to his official Twitter page to celebrate Leicester’s victory.

“Very pleased with the team’s victory tonight. And happy to have scored a goal and an assist. On to the next one,” wrote the Nigerian.

Iheanacho will hope his strong midweek showing brings him into contention for City’s Premier League match at home to Everton on Sunday, 29 October.

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Elephants forget how to score against Niger – WAFU Cup of Nations 2017

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Elephants forget how to score against Niger

Victorien Adje Adebayor. Z of Niger challenged by Jimoh Sherif Olatunde of Ivory Coast during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Niger and Ivory Coast at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 17 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Brian Lee

Sunday Sep 17, 2017. 19:05


Cote d’Ivoire have forgotten how to score after going without a goal for a second game in a row after playing to a 0-0 draw against Niger in a Group B, 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Sunday, September 17.

Niger had the first scoring chance in the fifth minute when a mistake by the Elephants keeper saw him spill the ball into the path of Victorien Adebayor, but he fired over from just inside the box with an empty at his mercy.

Ten minutes later Victorien Adebayor was gifted another golden chance to score when he broke through on goal, but with just the keeper to beat he fluffed his shot allowing Jean Malcik Ble Zadi to make an easy save.

In the 24th minute Cote d’Ivoire fashioned their first sight on goal when Ousmane Ouattara met a corner-kick, but he headed over the target from two yards out when it looked easier to score.

In the 39th minute Niger suffered a bit of a set-back when Abdoul Boubacar had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Ibrahim Mansour.

Still, despite the disappointment of losing a player to injury, Niger created a great chance a minute later when a good passing move saw Idrissa Halidou meet a low cross from the right, but his 12-yard effort sailed inches over the target.

The half ended 0-0.

The second half started a little slowly with chances on goal at a bare minimum.

The first decent chance came on the hour mark when Victorien Adebayor created some space for himself 22-yards out, but his stinging shot went just wide of the goal.

Cote d’Ivoire saw a lot of the ball, but struggled to create decent openings on goal and had to shoot from range with one such effort coming in the 78th minute courtesy of Idrissa Halidou, but his shot was well-saved by the keeper.

Four minutes later Niger were on the attack with a long range effort from Abdoul Karim Cissoko shaving the wrong side of the post.

Both sides pushed forward in the final ten minutes, but neither could find a winning goal as the game ended goalless.

The result leaves Niger on four points in Group B while Cote d’Ivoire have one point.

Niger (0) 0

Cote d’Ivoire (0) 0

Teams

Niger coach: Francois Zahoui Gagui Victor

Niger: 16. K Daouda, 3. Lebene, 15. Abdoulaye, 18. Dankwae, 17. Souley, 8. M Daouda (9. Hinsa 93’), 23. Boubacar (4. Mansour 39’), 12. Dela, 20. Hainikoye, 11. Victorien, 10. Halidou (13. S Moussa 62’).

Cote d’Ivoire coach: Ibrahima Kamara

Cote d’Ivoire: 1. Ble Zadi, 2. Britto, 4. Ouattara, 13. Konan, 14. Jimoh, 8. Diarra, 3. Gonazo, 10. Diabate, 5. Aka Essis, 9. Bi N’Guessan (11. Guiagon 93’), 15. P N’Guessan (7. Gnangbo 81’).

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Nightmare in Rabat for Mali as Morocco score six – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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Nightmare in Rabat for Mali as Morocco score six

Khalid Boutaib of Morocco

by
Brian Lee

Saturday Sep 02, 2017. 00:16


It was a nightmare to forget for Mali on Friday night after Morocco slammed six goals past the nine-man Eagles side to register a 6-0 victory in a 2018 World Cup, Group C qualifier match at the Stade Moulay Abdellah in Rabat.

The home side took control of the tie from the opening whistle and made their pressure tell with the game’s first goal in the 19th minute when Hakim Ziyech found the back of the net, 1-0.

Morocco doubled their lead eight minutes later when Khalid Boutaib slotted the ball home with a clinical finish, 2-0.

Mali did not offer much in attack and defended with all their might to go into the break only trailing by two goals.

Any chance of a fight-back from Mali were dealt a massive blow in the 57th minute when they were reduced to ten men following the sending off of Bakaye Dibassy after receiving a second yellow card.

On the hour mark Hakim Ziyech put the result beyond doubt with his second goal of the night and his country’s third, 3-0.

Matters went from bad to worse for the visiting Mali when they were reduced to nine men following the sending off of Mohamed Konate in the 67th minute after his second booking as well.

The icing on the cake for Morocco was their fourth goal, scored by Achraf Hakimi in the 72nd minute, 4-0.

Mali tried to defend as best they could after that with their nine men, but they could not finish the night without conceding two more goals – substitutes Faycal Fajr and Mimoun Mahi scoring for Morocco in the 86th and 89th minutes respectively, 6-0.

The win takes Morocco to the top of Group C with five points from three matches, one point above second placed Cote d’Ivoire who are in action against Gabon on Saturday.

Gabon are third in Group C with two points from two matches while Mali are last with one point from three games.

Morocco (2) 6 (Ziyech 19’ + 61’, Boutaib 27’, Hakimi 72’, Fajr 86’, Mahi 89’)

Mali (0) 0

Teams

Morocco: Munir, Amrabat (Tannane 74’), Belhanda, Benatia, Boussoufa, Boutaib (Mahi 80’), Dirar, El Ahmadi (Fajr 85’), Hakimi, Saiss, Ziyech.

Mali: Sissoko, Wague, Dibassy, Traore, Kouame (Kone 64’), Bissouma (Couilbaly 78’), Diaby (Doumbia 66’), Konate, Marega, N’Diaye, Sylla.

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Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher says Egyptian striker will score more goals

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by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Aug 16, 2017. 16:00


Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has backed Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah to bag more than 10 goals in the 2017/18 English Premiership.

Carragher has tipped Salah to succeed after netting his first goal in the EPL against Watford last Saturday, which the Reds went on to draw 3-3.

Following his impressive performance, Carragher believes Salah can reach double figures in terms of goals for Jurgen Klopp’s men if his teammates understand him well.

“He’s a wide man who looks obsessed with scoring goals in terms of making that run to put himself through, and the big thing about wide players,” Carragher told Sky Sports.

“If you want to be successful you’ve got to be getting double figures. Certainly at a top club.

“There’s too many wide players who will go a season scoring one or two goals, and the reason is because they hug the touchline, but never come away from the touchline.

“At times I’ve said I’d like him maybe to come a little bit wider, just to create that space. People may work him out if he plays so narrow, [then] there’s no space to run.

“But there’s no doubt with him and (Sadio) Mane on the other side, not classic wingers getting down the line and getting crosses in, those two players will score goals as we saw at the weekend.”

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