5 good reasons Bayern Munich can even now defeat Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals

Bayern Munich may have lost the initial struggle, but they have most undoubtedly not lost the war. The Bundesliga champions will head to Madrid with a 2-1 deficit to overturn in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-remaining against Real. And all the things readily available to make what would be a historic evening occur to fruition. has picked out 5 of them that point to Bayern becoming destined to occur out winners and access the Kyiv remaining…

On home at Bayern from Real Madrid, James supplies the most interesting sub-plot to this tie, amid a welter of backstories. The Colombian’s reportedly fraught romantic relationship with Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will no question occur below the pre-match Marca microscope, and whilst the perception is that the Frenchman was happy for James to go away, his fellow players appeared fewer enamoured with the determination. As recently as November, Cristiano Ronaldo pointed to the playmaker’s departure as a personal purpose for Madrid’s up-and-down sort this phrase.

You can recognize why: James, whose goals and assists have been crucial to Bayern’s sixth successive domestic title, has settled seamlessly into existence in Bavaria and – enjoying in a further midfield purpose – is maybe a much more complete footballer than at any time. Certainly, obtaining spoken brazenly about his need to win the treble this season, that Madrid stands for the next obstacle on Bayern’s three-pronged route to glory is a person of the much more amusing jokes destiny has performed. James will be champing at the little bit to demonstrate Zidane and the Madrid fans rather why it was a miscalculation to enable him to depart – and if something is missing from his Bayern CV to date, it can be a statement efficiency in Europe. Don’t wager against that coming in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

two) The ex-variable element two: Jupp Heynckes

Couple Germans, Toni Kroos and Paul Breitner maybe apart, know the internal workings of Real Madrid greater than Heynckes, who led Los Blancos to European glory in 1997/98 and is to date the only German coach in the Spanish club’s storied heritage. Appropriately, a couple of Germans know rather as effectively how to beat Madrid in Europe – as Heynckes has currently carried out after in 2012 when he led Bayern past Los Merengues on penalties in the semi-finals (obtaining performed the initial leg at home).

Remarkably, Heynckes has ever not reached the Champions League remaining as a coach – Bayern’s 2012 defeat to Chelsea was his second the Bavarians’ win against Dortmund the subsequent year the third – a run that commenced when in the cost of Madrid again in 1998. When he may be gunning to do away with them this year, the veteran tactician stays assured of his place in Real heritage after guiding the club past Juventus in 1998 remaining for a seventh European Cup, and initially in 32 several years.

3) Heritage: La Bestia Negra

For all their recent success – and there has been loads – Real ordinarily battle against German opposition, most notably Bayern, who are recognised in the Spanish money as La Bestia Negra – the black beast. As Sid Lowe place it in the Guardian in 2012, “this may effectively be the only real, cross-border rivalry in Europe”. Like most rivalries, the superpowers have much more infrequent than they treatment to acknowledge: the two are dominant domestically, the two hoover up the best young talent and the two aspire to stand for a little something bigger than by themselves.

If any a person club can declare to have Madrid’s number, nonetheless, then it can be Bayern: of the six semi-finals amongst the sides (the teams have never ever fulfilled outside the European Cup, their twenty-five encounters in the level of competition the most of any pair), the Bavarians have occurred out on prime in four.

When the rivalry has cooled off the field in recent several years – the absence of Oliver Kahn, who made an interest of spitting barbs in Madrid’s route, has assisted to that conclude – it has intensified on it. The twelve-time winners have triumphed in the sides’ two most recent two-legged ties, manufacturing a ferocious display of counter-attacking football to win 4- at the Allianz Arena in the 2014 semi-finals, right before a victory in extra-time in very last season’s quarter-finals.

four) Revenge: a plate of Weißwurst best served chilly

The mere mention of that quarter-remaining is generally more than enough to rile Bayern fans – it can be secure to say the club felt tough carried out by after very last season’s elimination at the arms of Madrid. It undoubtedly even now rankles with Joshua Kimmich, who spoke right before the draw of “seeking revenge” Arturo Vidal echoed his sentiments, tweeting later on that “revenge is a dish best served chilly”.

Time for a brief recap as to why it was this kind of an agonizing exit for Bayern: shorn of Robert Lewandowski in the initial leg, Carlo Ancelotti’s facet went in advance on home turf when Vidal nodded past Keylor Navas. When Bayern have been awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time, the Chilean stepped up but fired in excess of. It proved the turning point: Ronaldo equalised after half-time, Javi Martinez has dismissed and the Portuguese additional a second in the closing levels. Tie in excess of? Not even shut.The teams fulfilled a week afterwards in Madrid. Lewandowski places Bayern in advance from the location early in the second fifty percent, but after Ronaldo equalised, Sergio Ramos place via his possess net to restore parity in the tie. With extra-time imminent, Vidal was sent off in controversial situations and Madrid capitalised ruthlessly, Ronaldo finishing his hat-trick to place Madrid via a 6-3 aggregate winner, in the process ending Xabi Alonso’s and Philipp Lahm’s European occupations.

5) The Lewandowski outcome

Of course, of course, Madrid have a particular report goalscorer of their possess, but Lewandowski is not fifty percent-undesirable, possibly. In reality, had it not been for Ronaldo, the Pole would probably be regarded as the finest out-and-out goalscorer in Europe – he is undoubtedly the best pure striker.

His report against Real Madrid, in unique, is greater than most other folks: in seven UEFA Champions League games (W3 D1 L3) against Los Blancos, the 29-year-aged has hit the net six times, four of those coming in a person exceptional game for Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 semi-finals.

Whereas Lewandowski missed out on very last season’s initially leg because of to a shoulder personal injury (and Vidal blasted the penalty that the striker would have taken in excess of the bar), the winter season arrival of Sandro Wagner has eased the burden on the Bayern talisman, who obtaining missed out on scoring in the initially leg very last week, is fit and firing for the match on Tuesday. Real Madrid needs no second introduction to Bayern’s pretty possesses report man.


Mali outclassed by Spain in U-17 World Cup semifinals – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Mali outclassed by Spain in U-17 World Cup semifinals

Lassana N’Diaye (L) of Mali is in action against Victor Chust (2-L) of Spain during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 semi final match between Mali and Spain at the D Y Patil Stadium in Mumbai, India, 25 October 2017. EPA/DIVYAKANT SOLANKI

Helder Ribiero

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 18:26

Mali were beaten 3-1 by Spain in their 2017 U-17 World Cup semifinal at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday.

The Young Eagles were outclassed by their Spanish counterparts, who were more clinical in attack and racked up three goals through a first-half brace from the excellent Abel Ruiz and a second-half header from Ferran Torres. Mali’s Lassana N’Diaye at least scored his sixth goal of the tournament to give his side some consolation.

Spain started strongly and nearly claimed the lead inside the first two minutes, with Sergio Gomez denied by a fine save from Youssouf Koita, before they had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down.

Yet the Europeans had to wait only until the 19th minute to open the scoring – and from a spot kick at that. Abdoulaye Diaby was guilty of a clumsy foul on Cesar Gelabert, and Abel Ruiz stroked home the penalty to make it 1-0.

Mali looked to be working their way back into the game as the first half entered its closing stage, but on 43 minutes the Africans gave the ball away in midfield and Gelabert played a superb pass to put Abel Ruiz in for his second goal of the game.

At 2-0 up, Spain entered the second half full of confidence and created a handful of chances to kill the game off, with Abel Ruiz guilty of missing a couple of glaring chances to complete his hat-trick.

There was controversy just past the hour mark when Cheick Doucoure struck a superb long-range shot which hit the underside of the crossbar, rebounded over the goal line and bounced back out into play.

Television replays confirmed that the ball crossed the line and Mali should have been on the score board, but the lack of goal line technology meant they were cruelly denied a way back into the game.

With just under 20 minutes to play, the Europeans found their third goal and ended the game as a contest. Sergio Gomez floated in a cross from the left by-line and Ferran Torres scored with a downward header for 3-0.

Mali gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Lassana N’Diaye took advantage of a slip at the back from Hugo Guillamon to score yet another goal at the World Cup and reduce the deficit to 3-1 in the 74th minute.

Yet there were no further goals for the West Africans, who were beaten 3-1 and have to settle for a spot in the third-place playoff against Brazil on Saturday. Spain will face England in an all-European final in Kolkata later the same day.

Mali (0) 1 (N’Diaye 74’)
Spain (2) 3 (Abel Ruiz 19’ pen 43’, Ferran Torres 71’)

Mali: Youssouf Koita, Boubacar Haidara, Djemoussa Traore (Mamadou Traore 69’), Fode Konate, Hadji Drame, Salam Jiddou, Abdoulaye Diaby (Mamadi Fofana 50’), Mamadou Samake, Ibrahim Kane, Lassana N’Diaye, Cheick Doucoure (Seme Camara 84’)

Spain: Alvaro Fernandez, Mateu Jaume, Juan Miranda, Hugo Guillamon, Victor Chust, Antonio Blanco, Ferran Torres (Victor Perea 79’), Mohamed Moukhliss (Diego Pampin 90’), Abel Ruiz, Sergio Gomez, Cesar Gelabert (Carlos Beitia 68’)


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Mali beat Ghana to reach U17 FIFA World Cup semifinals – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Helder Ribiero

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 15:44

Mali scored through Hadji Drame and Djemmoussa Traore to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the 2017 U17 FIFA World Cup on Saturday after beating Ghana 2-1 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati in India.

The Black Starlets found the back of the net courtesy of Kudus Mohamed through a penalty.

The 12th minute saw the Malian defence failing to clear a dangerous ball in the box and the rebound fell to Eric Ayiah whose shot narrowly missed the target.

Three minutes later, the Les Aigles managed to break the deadlock through Drame. A through ball for the forward penetrated the Ghanaian defence before unleashing a powerful shot on the near post, 1-0.

The 30th minute saw coach Paa Kwesi Appiah’s troops trying to break the stubborn Malian defence, but they were not clinical upfront.

With five minutes to the half, Ghana thought they have found the back of the net when Ibrahim Sulley beat goalkeeper Youssouf Koita on his near post, but the referee called for a foul on a Malian defender.

It was 1-0 at the interval in favour of Jonas Komla’s men.

Fresh from the tunnel, Ghana upped their ante as they probed for an equaliser, but they failed to trouble the solid Malian defence.

The Les Aigles doubled their lead through Djemmoussa Traore after a silly error by the keeper. Danlad Ibrahim making it 2-0 on the hour mark.

The Black Starlets received a penalty after a foul in the box by defender, Fode Konate allowing Mohamed to convert from the spot in the 70th minute, 2-1.

It was end to end stuff in the final 15 minutes, but both sides struggled in the rainy conditions and fired blanks in the final third.

The dying stages of the encounter produced no clear cut opportunities in front of goal as Mali cruised into the semis whilst Ghana crashed out of the tournament.

Ghana: (0) 1 (Konate 70′)
Mali: (1) 2 (Drame 15′, Traore 61′)

Mali: Koita, Haidara, Traore, Konate, Camara, Drame (Camara 80′), Jiddou (Doucoure 75′), Diaby, Samake, Kane, Ndiaye

Ghana: Ibrahim, Yakubu, Ayiah, Sulley (Sadiq 55′), Mohamed, Tokou (E. Mohamed 74′), Yusuf, Leveh (Danso 62′), Mensah, Alhasan, Idriss


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MC Alger eye CAFCC semifinals


MC Alger eye CAFCC semifinals

Sid Ahmed Aouadj of MC Alger challenged by Sanele Justice Mkhweli of Mbabane Swallows

Bertin Basson

Thursday Sep 21, 2017. 11:30

MC Alger have their eyes firmly set on the semifinals of the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup ahead of their second-leg meeting away to Club Africain at the Stade Olympique de Radès on Sunday evening.

Kick-off in the quarterfinal showdown is at 8:00pm CAT (7:00pm local time).

The Algerian outfit beat their opponents 1-0 in the reverse fixture last weekend, with Hichem Nekkache finding the back of the net in the ninth minute of the clash to lead the hosts to an important win on home soil.

Victory – and the fact that they were able to keep a clean sheet at Stade du 5 Juillet – gives them a distinct advantage heading into the away fixture.

Africain, though, will take confidence from their home form with the 2011 runners-up having recorded three wins from three matches – at an average of three goals a game – on their way to topping Group A.

Alger’s in contrast were unable to win on their travels in the group stages, with two draws followed by a 4-0 loss away to CS Sfaxien in what was their most recent visit of Tunisia.

Burundi match official Thierry Nkurunziza will take charge of the clash.

The aggregate winner will face either SuperSport United or ZESCO United for a place in the final of Africa’s second-tier cup competition.


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Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry insist they can reach the Champions League semifinals – 2017 CAF Champions League


Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Sep 19, 2017. 12:30

Following their 2-2 draw against Tunisian side Esperance, Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry says they can still reach the CAF Champions League semifinals.

The Red Devils came back twice to ensure they settle for a 2-2- draw against Esperance in the quarterfinal first leg on Saturday.

El-Badry insists that his side was better than their Tunisian rivals, regardless of the result, and believes they will do their best to reach the last four of the competition.


“Ahly wasted many scoring chances and were able to dominate the field, and but final result doesn’t really represents that performance,” the 59-year-old tactician said.

“I refuse to focus on (Sherif) Ekrami individually. Defensive mistakes cost us the two goals. The referee cancelled a penalty for us and this could have changed the result.

“I hope we don’t pressure the players too much ahead of the away game in Tunisia, especially as we still have a chance to qualify for the semifinals.

“The next match needs a balanced strategy.”

The return leg is set to be staged next Saturday in Rades as both sides will want to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the premier club tournament.


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Super Eagles soar into WAFU semifinals – WAFU Cup of Nations 2017


Super Eagles soar into WAFU semifinals

John Ubong Friday of Nigeria challenged by Ampiah Emmanuel of Ghana during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Ghana and Nigeria at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 18 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Brian Lee

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 21:55

Second half goals from Anthony Okpotu and Peter Moses handed Nigeria a 2-0 win over Ghana in their final Group A game of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Monday, September 18 and consequently a place in the semifinals of the competition.

The Super Eagles started fast and created their first chance on goal in the sixth minute when John Friday intercepted a bad back pass and was left with just the keeper to beat, but he fluffed his shot wide.

A minute later Ghana suffered a big set-back when Isaac Twum left the field injured and was replaced by Ahmed Adams.

Nigeria continued to boss the game and almost scored in the 13th minute when Anthony Okpotu broke behind Black Stars defence and even beat the keeper with his shot, but defender Vincent Atingah made it back to clear the ball off the goalline.

Three minutes later Peter Moses was on the attack for the Super Eagles when he drove into the box from the right flank, beating two defenders before seeing his 14-yard shot superbly saved by the keeper.

On the half hour Ghana finally created their first scoring opportunity when Emmanuel Lomotey met a corner with a strong header, but his effort skimmed the wrong side of the crossbar.

Ten minutes later Felix Addo muscled his way into space inside the Nigerian box, but saw his ten-yard strike well-saved by the Ghanaian shot-stopper.

The half ended 0-0.

Eight minutes into the second half Nigeria took the lead when Anthony Okpotu showed great strength to hold his marker off to get on the end of a through ball and clinically fired home from six-yards out, 1-0.

Three minutes later the Super Eagles doubled their lead courtesy of a thunderous 20-yard strike from Peter Moses which found the corner of the net, 2-0.

Ghana tried to find their way back into the match, but struggled to penetrate the Nigerian defence.

The Black Stars did almost score in the 72nd minute when Emmanuel Lomotey unleashed a powerful long-range free-kick, but his effort was brilliantly saved by the keeper.

That was as close as Ghana came to finding a goal as Nigeria won the game 2-0 and with it progressed into the semifinals of the competition along with the Black Stars.

With the other Group A game between Mali and Guinea ending 1-1 at the Nduom Sports Stadium it leaves Ghana top of the standings with six points, followed by Nigeria with five points.

Guinea and Mali were left with two points apiece in third and fourth place respectively.

Ghana (0) 0

Nigeria (0) 2 (Okpotu 53’, P Moses 56’)


Ghana coach: Maxwell Konadu

Ghana: 1. J Addo, 2. Frimpong, 12. S Safro, 5. Atingah, 4. Ampiah (17. Razak 46’), 9. F Addo, 18. Lomotey, 7. Twum (14. Adams 7’), 10. Cobbina, 8. Waja (11. Kelvin 61’), 15. K Safro.

Nigeria coach: Salisu Yusuf

Nigeria: 1. Ezenwa, 2. Okoro, 6. Eze, 12. Aniyikaye, 3. Akas, 4. Aremu, 8. Ifeanyi, 7. Friday (15. Mathias 82’), 11. P Moses, 10. Ali, 9. Okpotu (14. Okechukwu 77’).


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Winnful Cobbinah goal sends Ghana into semifinals


Winnful Cobbinah goal sends Ghana into semifinals

Cobbina Winnful Essua of Ghana celebrate goal with Kizito Kwame of Ghana and Lomotey Emmanuel Addoquye of Ghana during the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations Tournament. Between Guinea v Nigeria in Cape Coast, Ghana on 16 September 2017 ©Christian Thompson/ BackpagePix

Brian Lee

Saturday Sep 16, 2017. 22:05

A solitary goal from Winnful Cobbinah handed Ghana a 1-0 win over Mali in a Group A match at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Saturday, September 16 to book the Black Stars a spot in the semifinals of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations.

The first shot on goal came in the fifth minute when Mali’s Oumar Kida let fly from long range, but his stinging effort was well-saved by the Black Stars keeper.

Ghana controlled the flow of the game after that and bossed matters from the middle of the park, but their decision making in the final third proved poor and consequently chances on goal were few.

In fact, the Black Stars only had one attempt on goal in the opening half despite having almost 70 percent of the possession – that shot coming in the 17th minute courtesy of a strike from Emmanuel Lomotey, but his effort was a tame one and easily saved.

Mali offered virtually nothing in attack and didn’t threaten the Ghana goal besides from the first attempt on goal.

Both teams entered the half time tunnel a little despondent with the game locked at 0-0.

Mali should really have taken the lead ten minutes into the second half when a cross from the right was spilled by the Ghanaian keeper into the path of Oumar Kida, but he fired wide from 18-yards out with an empty net gapping.

Ghana took charge of the game once again after that and finally made their pressure tell in the 74th minute after a spectacular 22-yard strike from Winnful Cobbinah found the back of the net, 1-0.

Mali tried to find their way back into the game, but were unable to break down a well-organised Black Stars defence as the match ended 1-0.

The result means Ghana are at the top of Group A with six points and have confirmed their spot in the semifinals of the competition.

Nigeria are second in Group A on two points following their goalless draw with Guinea earlier in the day.

Mali and Guinea are third and fourth on the standings with one point to their names and will have to win their last group game on Monday, September 18 to stay in the tournament.

Ghana (0) 1 (Cobbinah 74’)

Mali (0) 0

Ghana coach: Maxwell Konadu

Ghana: 1. J Addo, 2. Frimpong, 12. S. Safro, 5. Atingah, 6. Abbey, 9. F Addo (13. Kizito 64’), 18. Lomotey (14. Adams 91’), 7. Twum, 10. Cobbina, 8. Waja, 15. K Safro (11. Kelvin 86’).

Mali coach: Nouhoum Diane

Mali: 16. Diarra, 13. I Samake, 4 Samassekou, 15. I Traore, 14. L Samake, 18. Aliou (10. Niangadou 53’), 6. Konte, 8. Coulibaly, 7. Malle (17. Traore 83’), 11. Kone, 9. Kida.


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Battle of the Uniteds in MTN8 semifinals – MTN8 2017


Battle of the Uniteds in MTN8 semifinals

Mohau Mokate of Maritzburg United challenged by Morgan Gould of Supersport United during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Supersport United and Maritzburg United at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Pretoria South Africa on 22 February 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Friday Aug 25, 2017. 10:30

SuperSport United and Maritzburg United will renew their rivalry in the semifinals of the MTN8, with their first leg clash set for Lucas Moripe Stadium on 26 August 2017, kick-off at 20h15.

SuperSport booked their place in the last four thanks to a 1-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs, with Jeremy Brockie scoring the decisive goal to hand Eric Tinkler a winning start to the 2017/18 season.

But if Matsatsantsa’s win was a turn up for the books, it was nothing compared to Maritzburg’s 1-0 triumph over Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarterfinals. Evans Rusike scored the only goal of the match as the Team of Choice moved into the semifinals of the MTN8 for the first time in their history.

The two Uniteds have met in just two previous cup clashes, both of which were in the 2012/13 season. SuperSport defeated Maritzburg in the quarterfinals of both the Telkom Knockout (2-0 away) and Nedbank Cup (2-1 away).

Overall, the teams have clashed in 24 matches across all competitions since 2005/06. The record is skewed very much in favour of Matsatsantsa, who have claimed 14 wins compared to just two for their KwaZulu-Natal counterparts.

The Tshwane side are also unbeaten in their last five meetings with Maritzburg, including a league ‘double’ in the 2016/17 Absa Premiership – the teams’ most recent clashes. SuperSport won 1-0 away in the first half of the campaign, before claiming an emphatic 4-1 triumph in the return game at home.

However, neither of those defeats came with Fadlu Davids in charge of the Team of Choice. The young coach took over the reins in the latter stages of last season and did such a fine job that he has since been appointed permanently.

He only enhanced his reputation with the victory over Mamelodi Sundowns and his battle of tactical wits with counterpart Tinkler promises to be one of the highlights of this semifinal battle.


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