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Libya and Tanzania set to start CECAFA tournament with a bang


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 17:30



Libya will want to cause an upset as guests in the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge when they meet Tanzania on Sunday.

The Mediterranean Knights are set to open their account in the East African regional tournament and will hope to make a good impression.

However, meeting the Taifa Stars will bring challenges as both sides will want to start their Group A campaign on a high.

The winner between the two nations will move to the top of the group provided Rwanda and Kenya fail to register their first wins in the other group encounter on the same day.

Meanwhile, the Taifa Stars and Mediterranean Knights will be motivated by the fact that finishing on top and being runners-up will secure a spot in the semi-finals.

The opening clash of the tournament will be staged at Moi Stadium in Kisumu on December 3 at 13:00 (CAT).



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Faouzi Ghoulam – Algerian set to secure future with Napoli – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 19:00


Algerian left-back Faouzi Ghoulam may be sidelined for the long term with a knee injury, but his future with Italian club Napoli remains headline news.

The Fennec Foxes star has been one of the most talked-about Africans stars in the transfer market, with his current contract set to expire at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Ghoulam was linked with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and even Barcelona, with a move in the January transfer window looking very likely – until he suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this month.

In the wake of these events, it has emerged that Napoli are very close to agreeing a new contract with the Algerian.

Tuttomercatoweb has reported that a new deal for Ghoulam to remain at the Stadio San Paolo until June 2022 will soon be inked, with confirmation of the agreement set to arrive before the end of next week.

Meanwhile, Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri has described the Algerian as one of the best left-backs in European football and has admitted that his absence has been a major blow to the team.

“The absence of Ghoulam? I think it is difficult at the moment to replace it. I would say that there are currently only one or two players in Europe capable of replacing him,” said Sarri this past weekend.

“Before he got hurt, Ghoulam was one of the top three left-backs in Europe.”



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Kaizer Chiefs defender set for Naturena exit – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Kgotso Moleko of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Mlungisi Nkosi of Acornbush United during the 2017 Nedbank Cup Last 16 match between Acornbush United and Kazier Chiefs at Kabokweni Stadium, Kabokweni South Africa on 09 April 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Saturday Nov 18, 2017. 10:00


Kgotso Moleko looks set to leave Kaizer Chiefs at the end of the 2017-18 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season, according to reports.

South African publication Phakaaathi report that the Amakhosi are set to release the 28-year-old at the end of the current campaign, a year before his contract is set to run it’s course.

Moleko, who joined the Glamour Boys from Bloemfontein Celtic in 2012, is currently out of action having picked up a knee injury in the Macufe Cup.

The 28-year-old featured just seven times in all competitions for Amakhosi last season, having struggled to pen down a regular starting spot.

BARCELONA MIDFIELDER MUNIR EL-HADIDI WANTS TO DUMP SPAIN FOR MOROCCO

Siyabonga Ngezana has been featuring adequately in a three-man centre-back pairing for Steve Komphela’s troops with preferred right-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele also out of action due to injury. Utility-attacker Joseph Malongoane has also impressed in a wing-back role.

Chiefs take on Bidvest Wits in a Telkom Knockout Cup semifinal clash this weekend.



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South Africa, Senegal set for Polokwane re-match – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Sadio Mane of Senegal tackled by Andile Jali of South Africa during 2018 World Cup Qualifiers match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokab Stadium, November on the 12 November 2016 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 14:00



South Africa and Senegal will lock horns in a crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Friday evening.

Kick-off is at 19h30 CAT.

The match is a reply of the fixture played 12 months ago, with the 2-1 win for South Africa wiped from the record books following damning match manipulation evidence against Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey.

FIFA duly ordered for the game to replayed, with the rescheduled match to take place this weekend before the reverse fixture in Dakar next Tuesday.

Senegal currently top Group D with eight points from four matches and will book their place at a world showpiece for only the second time with victory on South African soil.

As for their hosts, Bafana Bafana need to win home and away if they are to seal a spot at a World Cup for a fourth time. Heading into their penultimate fixture, South Africa currently occupy bottom spot in Group D despite a 3-1 win over Burkina Faso last time out.

Senegal moved into pole position with victory away to Cape Verde last month. The Island nation had beaten South Africa home and away, and like the Stallions they too still have a chance of reaching Russia.

Liverpool star Sadio Mane is set to be fit for this weekend’s clash, but despite the obvious threat posed by the West African’s, Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter is confident his troops can do the required job.

“We will plan our game regardless of who is in the opposition team; we will make them uncomfortable on the day and play to win,” Baxter said.

“We need to find the right balance to unsettle Senegal and the issue of Mane doesn’t bother me a bit.

“We need to give Senegal the respect they deserve but that should be enough; we need to go for them big time,” he concluded.

South Africa are sweating on the fitness of both Itumeleng Khune and Andile Jali for the clash, while both Thulani Serero and Hlompho Kekana are set to miss the encounter.

The reverse fixture at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor is set to take place on Tuesday 14 November.



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Chippa, Chiefs set for first cup clash in TKO quarterfinals


Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Polokwane City and Kaizer Chiefs at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 31 October 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Nov 03, 2017. 15:00


Chippa United and Kaizer Chiefs will have their first cup clash when they meet in the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 5 November 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

Chippa booked their place in the last eight of the TKO with a 1-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend. The win – secured by a goal from former ‘Downs player Samuel Julies – was both their first over the Brazilians and their first win in the competition.

Chiefs, meanwhile, put in an impressive performance to thrash AmaZulu 3-0 in Durban, thanks to goals from George Maluleka, Hendrick Ekstein and Siphiwe Tshabalala. The Soweto giants have won a record 13 League Cup titles (three of them in the TKO era), though their last triumph was in the 2010/11 season.

While this will be the first cup game between Chippa and Chiefs, the teams have been regular combatants in league football since the former was promoted to the top flight back in 2012. The clubs have crossed swords eight times in the Absa Premiership, with the Amakhosi claiming five wins compared to two for the Chilli Boys.

Last season Chippa beat Chiefs 3-1 in the Eastern Cape in the first half of the campaign – with Lerato Manzini scoring two goals – but the Amakhosi claimed revenge by winning 1-0 at home in the return game.

Chippa come into the match having claimed a stunning 2-0 away win over league champions Bidvest Wits in midweek – with Julies scoring two more goals – while Chiefs were held to a goalless draw by hosts Polokwane City.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Eric Bailly – Defender set for return to Red Devils line-up – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Eric Bailly (L) of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League match

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Oct 27, 2017. 19:00


Eric Bailly will look to return to Manchester United’s starting XI for tomorrow’s high-profile clash at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

The Ivory Coast defender has not featured for the Red Devils since their 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League exactly a month ago today.

Following that match – which was Bailly’s UCL debut – he was rested for the home win over Crystal Palace on September 30, and then jetted off for international duty with the Ivory Coast.

The 23-year-old picked up an injury while featuring for the Elephants and has been out of commission ever since.

United have not fared particularly well in his absence, failing to win either of their two Premier League matches in the period (0-0 v Liverpool and 1-2 v Huddersfield Town).

However, Bailly returned to training this week and is in line to start against Spurs in tomorrow’s early-afternoon kick-off at Old Trafford.

It’s a key match for the Red Devils, who need a powerful performance (and a win) to convince their critics that they can challenge rivals Manchester City for the Premier League title.

Bailly was in good spirits this week upon returning to training, and posted this funny entry in his official Twitter page:



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Botswana and co. set for 2017 U20 COSAFA Cup


by
Staff Reporter

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 12:00


The 2017 Under-20 COSAFA Cup Championships are set to take place in Zambia in December.

Botswana will be among the Southern African countries which are expected to participate in the regional tournament.

Zambia will get a chance to defend their U20 COSAFA Cup trophy after defeating South Africa in last year’s final.

Botswana finished at the bottom of Group A after losing all of their games in a tournament which was hosted by South Africa.

COSAFA released the following statement of their official website ahead of the tournament:

“The 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships are set to light up Zambia from December 6-16 in what will be the latest instalment of the vital regional tournament that has been a breeding ground for so much Southern African talent down the years.

“The tournament will be staged in Kitwe as defending champions Zambia seek to retain the title they won in South Africa last year, the start of a magnificent run for the side that saw them also later crowned African champions and star at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.

“They will likely have a new wave of talent for the coming tournament, as will most sides in the region as they look to build for future continental finals. In that regard, the COSAFA Under-20 Championship is vital and has played its part in its many guises down the years, a statement read.



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Africain, SuperSport set for humdinger in Radès – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup


Bradley Grobler of Supersport United (7) celebrates goal with teammates during Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Supersport United at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 23 August 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 16:00


Club Africain and SuperSport United will battle for a place in the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup final, when they lock horns in a semifinal, second-leg showdown at the Stade Olympique de Radès on Sunday evening.

Kick-off is at 20h00 CAT.

The Tunisian outfit head into the clash with a distinct advantage, following a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville earlier this month.

Thabo Mnyamane, who will miss the clash in Radès through injury, on target following Saber Khalifa’s opener. The forward’s fifth goal of the campaign as crucial as they come with the away strike set to prove pivotal in the outcome of the tie.

Both teams have set their sights on a first ever CAFCC crown, with SuperSport eyeing a maiden final appearance.

Club Africain reached the 2011 showpiece, but lost out to Moroccan outfit Maghreb de Fès.

Matsatsantsa head coach Eric Tinkler, though, has been involved in a CAFCC final before, as recent as 2015 when he came close to lifting the crown with Orlando Pirates.

The Buccaneers suffering a 2-1 defeat to Étoile du Sahel over two legs.

What SuperSport lack in experience, they are surely to make up for in confidence with the club having claimed the MTN8 trophy last weekend with a hard-fought win over Cape Town City.

In the wake of the success, Tinkler expressed that he wants his troops to win everything on offer.

“I told my players that we needed to become addicted to winning – like it’s some kind of drug. You must want it all the time,” Tinkler was quoted as saying by SunSport.

“The Confed Cup is where you compete against the best. That is where you judge yourself against your peers.

“Hopefully we get to Tunisia and get the result to progress to the final. That is the trophy I would obviously want to win. I take some pride from my time at Pirates – it has motivated me to do what I am doing now,” he concluded.

In Mnyamane’s absence, SuperSport will look to CAFCC top scorer Jeremy Brockie for goals. The New Zealand international has bagged nine goals in this season’s competition.

Gehad Grisha will take charge of the clash in Radès.

The aggregate winner will take on either TP Mazembe or FUS Rabat in the showpiece. The Ravens take a 1-0 lead to Morocco following their success in Lubumbashi.



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Chiefs, Pirates set for sizzling Soweto derby – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


George Maluleka and Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs reacts to Bernard Morrison of Orlando Pirates during 2017 Carling Black Label Champion Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 29 July 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 14:00


Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will renew their famous derby rivalry in the Absa Premiership when they meet at the FNB Stadium on 21 October 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

Chiefs come into the match on the back of a 2-1 away win over Mamelodi Sundowns on October 17. The victory, which was secured by goals from Siyabonga Ngezana and Bernard Parker, was a major relief for under-pressure coach Steve Komphela.

However, home matches have not been kind to the Amakhosi thus far in the 2017/18 season: their four turns as hosts have yet to produce a league win and include surprise losses at the hands of SuperSport United and Baroka FC.

Pirates have gone three league matches without a win after they were held 1-1 at home by bottom-of-the-log Platinum Stars on October 18. The result saw the Sea Robbers lose their 100 percent record at home this season and continue their relatively lean run in terms of goal scoring – Milutin Sredojevic’s side have netted just seven times in eight league matches.

The Buccaneers have also yet to record an away win this season, picking up just three points from four games on the road. Their last away result was a 2-2 draw at Polokwane City before the recent international break.

In head-to-head stats, Chiefs and Pirates have met in 63 league matches since 1985. The Amakhosi have claimed 24 wins compared to 13 for the Buccaneers, while no less than 26 encounters have ended in draws. The team in gold and black have won 13 of their 30 home matches in the rivalry, suffering six defeats in the process.

Last season the teams shared the spoils in both league meetings: they drew 0-0 in Pirates’ home match, while the return game with Chiefs as hosts ended 1-1 after an own goal from Tsepo Masilela and a strike from Joseph Molangoane. The teams have played to three successive draws and have shared the spoils in seven of their last 10 meetings in the top flight.

Chiefs’ line-up from their 2-1 win over Sundowns on October 17: Khune, Cardoso, Mathoho, Ngezana, Zulu, Katsande, Maluleka, Ekstein (Zuma 78′), Tshabalala (Meyiwa 89′), Molangoane, Parker (Chirambadare 90+4′).

Pirates’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Stars on October 18: Sandilands, Mobara, Mtshali, Nyauza, Maela, Matlaba, Nyatama (Kutumela 46′), Qalinge (Foster 83′), Lorch (Shonga 62′), Makola, Gabuza.



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Vincent Enyeama set to return for the Super Eagles – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 15:30


Lille OSC coach Marcelo Bielsa has decided to make a u-turn and recall Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama back to the first team.

The former Super Eagles skipper has been handed a lifeline by Bielsa following his return from a six month injury lay-off.

Enyeama and 11 others were deemed surplus to requirements by Bielsa upon his appointment as coach of the French giants last summer, paving the way for them to leave the club.

NIGERIAN KEEPER FRANCIS UZOHO DELIGHTS IN SPANISH LA LIGA DEBUT

However, the 35-year old net minder couldn’t make a move as he was recuperating from the meniscus surgery he sustained towards the end of the previous campaign.

Having fully recovered, the goalkeeper posted a video of himself back in training with the team for the first time in six months.

Meanwhile the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has confirmed he has had positive talks on a return as the goalkeeper left the national team in controversial circumstances in 2016 ‎following a row with former coach Sunday Oliseh.



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Nigerian trio set for new boss in Leicester – Premier League 2017/2018


Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 13:00


The Nigerian trio of Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi and Ahmed Musa will welcome a new boss at the helm of Leicester City, following the sacking of Craig Shakespeare on Tuesday.

The news followed the club’s 1-1 draw to West Brom at the King Power Stadium, with the Foxes lingering in the relegation zone following a slow start to the campaign.

Both Ndidi and Iheanacho started the draw against the Baggies, with the latter having struggled since his big money switch from Manchester City.

The 21-year-old’s struggles have resulted in constant trolling by especially West Ham United fans, who stated their apparent delight in the Hammers passing on signing the forward.

It will be interesting to see how Shakespeare’s successor uses Iheanacho with Islam Slimani emerging from the bench with great effect against West Brom on Monday. The burly Algerian teeing up Riyad Mahrez for the equalizer.



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Egypt set to help Gambian football development in show of charity


Thulani Serero of South Africa is tackled by Pa Modou Jagne of Gambia during 2017 Afcon Qualifier match between South Africa and Gambia on 13 June 2015 at Moses Mabhida Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 13:30


Gambia is set to benefit from technical development done by the Egyptian Football Association after an agreement was signed last week.

The EFA has agreed to extend technical support to Gambian teams which will see national teams hosted during training camps in Egypt.

Soka25East reports that the deal was sealed last Friday when EFA President, Hany Abo Rida hosted his Gambia Football Federation counterpart, Lamin Kabba Bajo in Cairo.

SONG WANTS CAMEROON’S LIONS TO ROAR AT 2018 CHAN

“Mr. Abo Rida has agreed to assist GFF with a Technical Assistant to assess and help develop our technical department with a view to enhancing our National Teams, both male and female and also youth football,” GFF statement reads.

“Both Mr. Bajo and his Egyptian colleague Abo Rida have agreed in principle to effect this agreement as soon as possible.”

The North African nation boasts good football infrastructure and is among the top countries on the continent in terms of football development.

The country has already qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and Abo Rida is believed to wield considerable influence in CAF after he was elected as second vice president to Ahmad.



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Sundowns, Chiefs set for heavyweight battle – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Anthony Laffor of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns at the FNB Stadium, South Africa on 01 April 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 16, 2017. 14:30


Absa Premiership heavyweights Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs will do battle at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on 17 October 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Sundowns claimed a second successive win when they defeated Platinum Stars 1-0 away on October 1. The Tshwane side are placed in the upper reaches of the log despite playing just four matches – their schedule has been affected by their participation in the CAF Champions League, though they were knocked out of the competition last month.

The Brazilians’ only home game so far this season was a 2-1 loss at the hands of Polokwane City back in August and coach Pitso Mosimane will want his side to avoid a similar fate in this high-profile fixture.

Chiefs suffered their second league loss of the season when they were beaten 2-1 at home (in Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium) by league leaders Baroka FC. The Soweto giants had an early lead in the game, but let the chance to claim all three points slip through their fingers.

The Amakhosi have performed strongly away from home this season, claiming seven points from a possible nine on the road. Their last away match was an impressive 2-0 win at Maritzburg United back in September.

In head-to-head stats, Sundowns and Chiefs have met in 64 league matches since 1985. The Amakhosi have claimed 26 wins compared to 20 for the Brazilians, while 18 matches have been drawn. The Tshwane side has claimed 15 wins from their 32 home league matches against the Soweto giants, suffering nine defeats in the process.

Last season each side claimed a home victory over the other: ‘Downs won 2-1 in Tshwane in the first half of the campaign, while Chiefs claimed a victory by the same score in the return game in Soweto. The league meetings of these teams have produced a combined 131 goals down the years.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 1-0 win over Stars on October 1: Brimah, Arendse, Madisha, Morena, Langerman, Mabunda (Nthethe 68′), Kekana, Tau, Vilakazi (Malajila 61′), Zwane, Billiat (Ngcongca 86′).

Chiefs’ line-up from their 2-1 loss to Baroka on September 30: Khune, Moleko, Mathoho, Cardoso, Zulu, Maluleka, Meyiwa (Meyiwa 77′), Ekstein, Jayiya (Zuma 60′), Tshabalala, Paez (Parker 37′).



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Ghana, Niger set for all-African battle in last 16 – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


Ghana’s Sadiq Ibrahim (R) gestures during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 group A soccer match between Colombia and Ghana at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, 06 October 2017. EPA/RAJAT GUPTA

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 16, 2017. 13:00


Ghana and Niger will meet in an all-African last 16 clash at the U-17 World Cup, with their match set for the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday, kick-off at 13h30.

The Black Starlets booked their place in the knockout rounds by finishing top of a tricky Group A. The West Africans were tied on six points with both Colombia and the USA, but their superior goal difference (boosted by a 4-0 win over hosts India in the final round of pool games) saw them placed first.

Despite their strong showing thus far, Ghana have yet to really hit top gear and coach Paa Kwesi Fabin will hope that the do-or-die nature of knockout football inspires his charges to new heights.

The coach has partly blamed the gaze of scouts for his side failing to live up to their full potential: “When the players see that the scouts are around they want to impress, and even if someone is in a better position to score they act selfishly,” he explained.

“It is a big problem for us and we need to tell the boys that the better you play, the more you get recognised.”

Niger are one of the surprise qualifiers for the last 16, with the tournament debutants sneaking into the knockout rounds as one of the four best third-place finishers.

Niger beat North Korea 1-0 in their opening match before suffering 0-4 and 0-2 defeats to Spain and Brazil respectively. The Young Menas will need to bounce back

strongly from those disappointments if they are to pose a challenge to Ghana.

These teams met back in May in the semifinals of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations: the match in Port-Gentil, Gabon, ended in a goalless stalemate before the Black Starlets won 6-5 on penalties.

The winners will advance into the last eight and face either Mali or Iraq in the first quarterfinal on Saturday in Guwahati.



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Asamoah Gyan set for return to action today


by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 14, 2017. 12:00


Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan is set to return from injury later today when his Turkish team Kayserispor face Kademir Karabukspor in the Super Lig.

GHANASoccernet reports that the veteran striker was pictured in full training for the team on Friday and is set to play some part in the match which kicks-off at 13h00 CAT at the Dr Necmettin Seyhoglu Stadium.

Gyan has not played for his club since suffering an injury in Ghana’s 2018 World Cup qualifier at home to Congo in September.

Kayserispor coach Marius Sumudica is keen to field the Black Stars striker in the encounter.

The club’s joint top scorer, Sebastian Varela, could miss the clash despite returning to training this week, while the pair of Oleksandr Kucher and Ryan Mendes are doubtful after picking up knocks on international duty.

Kayserispor are third on the Turkish top flight standings with 14 points after seven matches.



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Ajax, City set for Cape Town derby


Ndiviwe Mdabuka of Ajax Cape Town evades challenge from Robyn Johannes of Cape Town City FC during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 football match between Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town City FC at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 11 February 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 09:45


Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town City will meet for an Absa Premiership derby at the Cape Town Stadium on 30 September 2017, kick-off at 15h00.

Ajax played to their second draw of the season when they held Baroka FC 2-2 in Polokwane on September 23. An away draw against one of the league’s form teams is a respectable result for the Cape side, though they will feel it was two points dropped after they twice let a lead slip.

The Urban Warriors are unbeaten at home so far this season, having drawn with Golden Arrows in the opening round and beaten Polokwane City earlier this month, and coach Stanley Menzo will want at least another point from this encounter.

Cape Town City snapped their losing streak at two games when they defeated Polokwane City 1-0 at home on September 22. It was a controversial win for Benni McCarthy’s side, who needed a debatable penalty deep into injury time from Lehlohonolo Majoro to claim all three points – though they did have a perfectly legitimate goal incorrectly ruled out for offside.

The Citizens have lost two of their three away league matches so far this season – though as the match is being played at their home base of Cape Town Stadium, it will hardly feel like a match on the road for the team in blue and yellow.

In head-to-head stats, Ajax and City have met in just two previous league matches. Both of those encounters took place last season, with the Citizens claiming a league ‘double’ over their local rivals: they won 1-0 at home and 2-0 away.

Ajax’s line-up from their 2-2 draw with Baroka on September 23: Petersen, Booysen, Evans, Pietersen (Mdabuka 48′), Nhlapo, Malepe, Lebusa, Kabwe (Margeman 72′), Mosadi, Morris, Makua (Uzoenyi 46′).

City’s line-up from their 1-0 win over Polokwane on September 22: Stephens, Mkhize, Gumede (Fielies 53′), Johannes, Seedat, Nodada, Matsi, Obinna (Akosah-Bempah 79′), Lakay, Patosi (Martin 68′), Majoro.



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Mazembe, FUS Rabat set for heated clash in Lubumbashi


Rainford Kalaba of TP Mazembe challenged by Clayton Daniels of Supersport United during the Caf Confederation Cup match between Supersport United and TP Mazembe at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria on 20 June 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 14:30


TP Mazembe and FUS Rabat will cross-swords for a place in the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup final, with the first-leg semifinal to take place at the Stade TP Mazembe on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 15h30 CAT.

The defending CAFCC champions, who beat Mouloudia Olympique de Béjaïa 5-2 on aggregate in last year’s showpiece, are two games away from yet another final appearance.

The Ravens have claimed no fewer than seven continental titles in the past eight years, including three CAF Champions League crowns.

Following a 2-1 victory in Sudan, Mazembe edged closer to yet another final appearance with a 5-0 thumping of Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid at their fortress in Lubumbashi.

TP Mazembe ace Solomon Asante and his teammates are not resting on past achievements as they aim to add to a growing trophy cabinet.

“It’s all good that we’ve made it to the semifinal round but we’re not resting on our laurels because this is not the first time we’ve made it to this stage in the competition,” Asante told Joy FM.

“We are the defending champions and we know what to do to reach the final.”

“Our major aim is to defend the cup and thanks to the management team we have everything in place to realise that dream,” he concluded.

FUS, who won the 2010 CAFCC title, beat three-time champions CS Sfaxien 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 aggregate scoreline over two legs. Mohamed Saoud with the winner from 12 yards.

Bakary Gassama of Gambia, will take charge of the clash in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The second-leg will take place in the Moroccan capital on the 20th of October.



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Idrissa Gueye set for new contract with Everton – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) in action against Everton’s Idrissa Gueye (L) during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Everton FC at Old Trafford in Manchester, Britain, 04 April 2017. EPA/NIGEL RODDIS

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Sep 28, 2017. 12:00


Senegalese midfielder Idrissa Gueye is set to enter talks with Everton over a new contract.

The Daily Mail reports that the Teranga Lions player has drawn attention from Premier League heavyweights Arsenal with his impressive performances for the Toffees.

Gueye has been one of Everton’s best players since signing from Aston Villa just over a year ago and manager Ronald Koeman has said the midfielder deserves a pay rise.

Gueye’s current contract with Everton runs to 2020, and he celebrated his 28th birthday on Tuesday.

“It’s true that we are in talks with him about a new contract,” said Koeman in the lead-up to Everton’s Europa League match against Apollon this evening.

“I’m really happy with him. I think he had a big impact with his aggression in the midfield last season.”



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Pirates, City set for heavyweight tussle


Roland Putsche of Cape Town City FC tackled by Thamsanqa Gabuza of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 football match between Cape Town City FC and Orlando Pirates at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 18 February 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 10:30


Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City will meet for an eagerly-anticipated Absa Premiership match at FNB Stadium on 19 September 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Pirates retained their unbeaten start to the season when they were held 0-0 at Maritzburg United on September 15. The Soweto giants’ haul of eight points from four matches and the concession of just one goal in the process will have pleased coach Milutin Sredojevic, though he will want to see more penetration in their attack.

The Buccaneers will be chasing a third successive home win this season, having already beaten Chippa United and Ajax Cape Town (both 1-0) in their two turns as hosts thus far in 2017/18.

City suffered their first defeat of the season across all competitions when they were downed 2-0 on home soil by Kaizer Chiefs on September 13. The Cape side had won all of their first five matches in league and cup competition, but coach Benni McCarthy’s hot streak had to end somewhere.

The Citizens’ only away league match so far this season was a 1-0 win in Johannesburg against champions Bidvest Wits. McCarthy would love to see his side claim another three-pointer in Gauteng – especially against a team he represented as a player from 2011 to 2013.

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and City have met in just two previous league matches. Both of those encounters took place last season, with the teams playing to a goalless draw in Soweto and a 2-2 draw in Cape Town – the latter saw the Buccaneers strike a last-gasp goal through Riyaad Norodien to salvage a point.

Orlando Pirates’ line-up from their 0-0 draw with Maritzburg on September 15:Sandilands, Mobara (Foster 84′), Jele, Nyauza, Maela, Dube, Matlaba, Nyatama, Morrison (Rakhale 58′), Qalinge (Lorch 80′), Gabuza.

CT City’s line-up from their 2-0 loss to Kaizer Chiefs on September 13: Stephens, Edmilson, Johannes, Gumede, Kobola (Mkhize 78′), Nodada, Matsi, Modise (Masina 18′), Lakay (Moseamedi 71′), Patosi, Majoro.



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AmaZulu, Maritzburg set for KZN derby – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Thembela Sikhakhane of AmaZulu FC during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between AmaZulu and Free State Stars at King Zwelithini Stadium, Durban on 19 August 2017 © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 11, 2017. 09:00


KwaZulu-Natal rivals AmaZulu and Maritzburg United will meet for an Absa Premiership derby at King Zwelithini Stadium on 12 September 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

AmaZulu come into the game having had a mixed start to their 2017/18 PSL season. While they began the campaign on a high by defeating Free State Stars 1-0 at home, they were soon brought back to earth with a 0-2 loss away to Chippa United just three days later.

The defeat in the Eastern Cape will have been a wake-up call for Usuthu players and coach Cavin Johnson. Nonetheless a return to familiar surroundings after the international break will be a morale-boost as they go in search of a provincial derby win.

As for Maritzburg, they have enjoyed a superb start to the season, claiming back-to-back 2-0 wins over Platinum Stars (away) and Ajax Cape Town (home) to sit proudly atop the log heading into this round of fixtures.

Coach Fadlu Davids knows it is far too early for the Team of Choice to be carried by their fine start to the season and will demand a re-focus for what should be a fearsome encounter against their green-clad provincial rivals.

In head-to-head stats, AmaZulu and United have met in 16 league matches since 2006/07. The Pietermaritzburg side has claimed eight wins compared to two for their Durban counterparts, while six matches have ended in draws. Usuthu have a dire home record against their provincial rivals, with just one win (and five defeats) from eight turns as hosts.

The teams last met in the 2014/15 season, with the Team of Choice taking four points off AmaZulu. The teams drew 1-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium in the first half of the campaign, while the return game on the final day saw United win 2-1 in Durban – a result which saw Usuthu relegated to the National First Division.

AmaZulu’s line-up from their 2-0 loss to Chippa on 22 August: Pule, Sikhakhane, Mtsweni, Mngqibisa, Nyongo,Morton, Darpoh, Zungu, Ramphele (Nomvethe 65′), Karuru, Khenyeza.

Maritzburg’s line-up from their 2-0 win over Ajax: Mpandle , Sanoka, Fransman, Xulu, Makaringe, Ndlovu, Shandu, Maboe (De Reuck 88′), Saal (Kunene 60′), Mekoa, Rusike (Mokate 87′).



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Faouzi Ghoulam set for January transfer? – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Sep 06, 2017. 12:00


Algerian left-back Faouzi Ghoulam is reportedly set to be sold by Italian giants Napoli in the January transfer window.

According to The Sun, Premier League sides Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as Italian champions Juventus, are set to battle over the defender’s signature.

Ghoulam’s contract at Stadio San Paulo runs out at the end of the current season and he has thus far refused to sign an extension.

Should the Algerian’s contract lapse, he will be able to leave Napoli as a free agent in mid-2018.

The Italian club is therefore likely to sell the player – albeit for a cut price – in January if they cannot convince him to pen a new deal.

Both Liverpool and Chelsea have been in the market for a left-back, and Ghoulam, 26, is a player in the prime years of his career.



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Wounded Cameroon set for Nigeria rematch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Victor Moses of Nigeria shield the ball away from Ngadeu Ngadjui of Cameroon during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Nigeria vs Cameroon on September,1st 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium ©Kabiru Abubakar/fotodezamora

by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Sep 03, 2017. 12:00


Cameroon and Nigeria will resume hostilities when they meet for a second successive 2018 World Cup qualifying clash. The teams are set to battle at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde on Monday evening, kick-off at 19h00 CAT.

The teams met in a Group B match on Friday night and Nigeria powered to 4-0 victory on hone soil in Uyo, thanks to goals from Odion Ighalo, John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho.

As a result of the comprehensive victory, the Super Eagles are on verge of qualifying for Russia 2018: a win in Yaounde, combined with a win or draw for Algeria against Zambia in the other Group B match on Tuesday, and Nigeria will be able to book their flights to Russia.

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr dedicated the victory on Friday to goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, who is currently battling Leukemia, and praised gloves-man Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who put in a strong showing against the Indomitable Lions.

“Before the match we pledged to win it for Carl and that we delivered tonight,” said the German tactician after the match.

“He [Ezenwa] kept well, just like the defence showed a lot of organisation and discipline.”

Rohr also outlined his plan for the remainder of the qualifiers, starting with the match against Cameroon.

“We need 11 points to qualify and now we have nine,” he explained.

“We must avoid defeat in Cameroon and fight for the remaining point in the remaining two matches against Algeria and Zambia.”

Rohr added, “We had a good mix of experience and youth, which was key to our victory. It is not finished yet, that is why we remain very humble.”

As for Cameroon coach Hugo Broos, the Belgian has admitted that his side’s hopes of reaching the World Cup are gone after the heavy loss in Uyo.

“There is no pressure anymore on Monday, Nigeria have nine points, we have two points,” Broos explained.

“But there is only an honour to defend, there is no importance to this. I just hope my players will have the same mentality that I have – that they will fight on Monday till the last minute – to beat Nigeria.

“If we had won this game, we would have a chance, but we lost it and I hope everyone will learn from this.”

Gambian referee Bakary Gassama will take charge of the match in Yaounde on Monday evening. The other Group B match between Algeria and Zambia will be held in Constantine on Tuesday night, kick-off at 22h30 CAT.



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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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Serge Aurier set for Tottenham move – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Serge Aurier of Paris Saint-Germain

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday, Aug 24, 2017. 13:00


Serge Aurier looks set to move from Paris Saint-Germain to Tottenham Hotspur, as the clubs reportedly have a deal ready to go.

L’Equipe claims that the clubs have agreed on a fee of €25m for the Elephants right-back, who has settled on personal terms with the London side.

However, the proposed deal would only come into effect if Aurier is granted a work permit for the United Kingdom.

At present he is barred from entering the UK because of a suspended sentence handed down for assaulting a police officer in Paris last year.

Aurier has appealed against the sentence and is currently awaiting the outcome of the legal process.

Should the 24-year-old complete the move to London, he will sign a five-year deal and arrive as a replacement for Kyle Walker.



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Cheikhou Kouyaté set for Hammers comeback – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate against Spurs

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Aug 23, 2017. 16:30


West Ham United could tonight welcome Cheikhou Kouyaté back to from injury as they take on Cheltenham in a Carabao Cup clash.

The Senegal international suffered a ‘freak injury’ during the Hammers pre-season training camp in Austria last month, ruling him out of the first few games of the 2017-18 English Premier League season.

Kouyate is now set to make his return from the knee injury following a month on the sidelines with the East London club desperate to get their season up and running.

ZAMALEK APPOINT FRANKY VERCAUTEREN AS NEW COACH

West Ham lost their opening two games of the league, suffering successive defeats to Manchester United and Southampton.

Kouyaté has made 115 appearances for West Ham, scoring 13 goals since his move from Anderlecht three years ago.



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Brighton set to sign Ghana starlet Raphael Dwamena – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Aug 22, 2017. 16:00


Premier League newcomers Brighton & Hove Albion are set to sign Ghana striker Raphael Dwamena from FC Zurich this week.

The English club confirmed the deal on Monday evening, with the Ghanaian set to leave Zurich just seven months after joining from Red Bull Salzburg in January.

The transfer fee was undisclosed, though reports in the British media claim it was in the region of €15m.

A statement read: “Brighton & Hove Albion can confirm that the club has reached agreement with FC Zurich for the permanent transfer of Ghanaian international, Raphael Dwamena, subject to work permit and international clearance.

“The 21-year-old striker has also agreed personal terms with the club and is now awaiting clearance to travel to the UK for his medical.”

Dwamena scored 30 goals in 38 games last season for Austrian club Lustenau and Zurich, and has started the new campaign in fine form.

He also netted a brace on his Black Stars debut, a 5-0 win over Ethiopia in 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers back in June.



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Chippa, AmaZulu set for midweek battle – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Musa Nyatama of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Andile Mbenyane of Chippa United during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Chippa United on the 19 August 2017 at Orlando Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Aug 21, 2017. 09:06


Chippa United and AmaZulu will meet for a midweek Absa Premiership battle at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 22 August 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Chippa opened their league campaign on a losing note as they went down 1-0 away to Orlando Pirates on Saturday evening. Thamsanqa Gabuza scored the only goal of the game as the Eastern Cape side slumped to a loss on the road.

It’s a feeling the Chilli Boys and coach Dan Malesela are used to, having suffered no less than 10 defeats from their 15 away matches last season. A return to Port Elizabeth this midweek will be very welcome, as they look to turn the NMBS into a fortress.

AmaZulu made a winning return to the top flight after they defeated Free State Stars 1-0 at home this past weekend. A late penalty from Tapelo Nyongo ensured the KwaZulu-Natal side got up and running with an early three pointer.

Coach Cavin Johnson will reiterate the need for discipline as his side heads down the East Coast for what promises to be a challenging clash against a dangerous and unpredictable opponent.

In head-to-head stats, Chippa and AmaZulu have met in just four previous league matches. The Eastern Cape side boasts an unbeaten record, with two victories and two draws – both of the stalemates arrived in home matches for the Chilli Boys, including the teams’ most recent meeting, a 1-1 draw back in March 2015.

That draw in the Eastern Cape followed a 1-0 win for Chippa earlier in the season, ensuring they took four points off Usuthu through the course of the 2014/15 PSL campaign.

Chippa’s line-up from their 1-0 loss to Pirates on 19 August: Mhlongo, Mako, Thopola, Okwuosa, Mdinzo, Zuke, Lentjies (Mabaso 50′), Masuku (Mayambela 67′), Macheke, Sekola, Mbenyane (Mbokoma 55′).

AmaZulu’s line-up from their 1-0 win over Stars on 19 August: Pule, Mtsweni, Ouro-Akoriko, Sikhakhane, Nyongo, Morton, Darpoh, Zungu (Mngqibisa 67′), Karuru, Ramphele (L.Dlamini 79′), Khenyeza.



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Ghana, Burkina Faso set for another thrilling clash? – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers


Daniel Amartey of Ghana challenges Bertrand Traore of Burkina Faso during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals 3&4 match playoff between Burkina Faso and Ghana at the Port Gentil in Gabon on 04 February 2017 ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Aug 18, 2017. 09:30


Ghana and Burkina Faso will renew hostilities when they meet in the second leg of their 2018 African Nations Championship qualifying tie. The West Zone B clash is set for the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday, August 20.

The first leg in Ouagadougou last weekend ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw, with the Stallions twice fighting back from being a goal down to secure a result which gives them a fighting chance of overcoming the Black Stars.

However, the second-leg hosts know that with two away goals in the bag they have the clear advantage – a clean sheet will be enough to secure qualification for the CHAN finals.

And Ghana ‘B’ goalkeeper coach Isaah Najahu believes his side will improve on last weekend’s showing and finish the job in Kumasi.

“We didn’t get what we really deserved per how we played in Ouagadougou,” he told the Ghana Crusader.

“We could have scored more than just two goals but that is the nature of football. You sometimes don’t get what you deserve in the game.

“The return leg comes over this weekend in Ghana and we are going to put some finishing touches to the loose ends we spotted and go for the kill. Hopefully we will find our scoring boot on the match day.”

Ivorian referee Bienvenu Sinko will take charge of the match in Kumasi. The aggregate winners will qualify for the 2018 CHAN finals in Kenya.



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Umar Sadiq set for Torino switch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Aug 16, 2017. 17:00


Nigeria Under-23 international Umar Sadiq is on the verge of leaving Roma for fellow Italian Serie A club, Torino, according to reports.

Respected Italian journalist, Gianluca Di Marzio, confirmed on Tuesday that the lanky forward will head to Torino on a season-long loan deal, with the club having the option to buy him outright for a fee of €6 million.

ONAZI: WHY I WANT TO LEAVE TRABZONSPOR FOR BIRMINGHAM

Roma, though, have also reportedly inserted a buy-back clause into his contract – if the Nigerian were to start firing in the foreseeable future.

Sadiq, who has also played for Spezia and Bologna, was the star for Nigeria at the 2016 Rio Olympics as the ‘Dream Team’ claimed bronze with a 3-2 win over Honduras in Belo Horizonte.



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Nigeria’s Kayode set for Manchester City switch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Aug 14, 2017. 13:30


Manchester City are reportedly close to signing Nigerian striker Olarenwaju Kayode from Austria on a four-year deal.

Reports in Europe indicate that the Cityzens are set to sign Nigeria international, but will send him on a season-long loan to Spanish side Girona.

The 24-year-old striker finished as the top scorer in Austria’s top flight last season with 17 goals in 33 games.

Kayode netted 24 goals in 48 matches for Vienna last season including two goals in two games against Roma in the Europa League.

According to the BBC website, the Etihad Stadium-based outfit is yet to officially announce the deal for Kayode.

The forward has also played for Cote d’Ivoire’s ASEC Mimosas, FC Luzern in Switzerland, Maccabi Netanya in Isreal and has represented Nigeria at the 2009 and 2011 U17 and U20 FIFA World Cups respectively.

He made his debut for the Super Eagles in an international friendly against Senegal in March and has featured three times for the three-time African Champions.



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