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Group F World Cup,Germany, Mexico, Sweden & South Korea

Reigning and four-time World Cup champions Germany face a tough obstacle from Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in Group F at Russia 2018, but Joachim Low’s facet will nonetheless be predicted to progress emphatically into the final 16.

Germany, who returned to the leading of world football four yrs in ago in Brazil, is arguably even more powerful now, with their depth aptly demonstrated in 2017 when they sent a next-string team to the Confederation Cup (a costume rehearsal for the World Cup) and nonetheless claimed the trophy relatively comfortably.

‘Der Mannschaft’ can nonetheless call on players in their primary this sort of as Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller, but their facet is evolving into an even more thrilling line-up with the emergence of youngsters this sort of as Timo Werner and Joshua Kimmich. Their 100 per cent history in their UEFA qualifying team underlines the class and electric power of this German team.

Their fellow Europeans Sweden will extravagant their likelihood of joining the world champions in the knockout rounds. The ‘Blue-Yellow’ completed behind France (but in advance of the Netherlands) in their qualifying team and went on to defeat Italy in the playoffs – they have experienced loads of hard matches in the earlier eighteen months and will be fight hardened for the obstacle which awaits them in Russia. On the other hand, they can no for a longer time call on ‘X-factor’ player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose retirement from worldwide football leaves this team on the lookout for a chief and talisman.

Mexico is also a team to be reckoned with, having dominated the CONCACAF qualifiers. But ‘El Tri’ have under no circumstances truly lived up to their probable when it comes to the World Cup, and their ageing team may wrestle to match their Group F opponents for rate and electricity. They will seem to Javier Hernandez to carry on his outstanding scoring history at a worldwide stage and hope it would make up for their shortcomings.

South Korea did not take pleasure in the most prosperous qualification campaign, as they completed effectively off the rate of Iran in their AFC team, and can be regarded as the outsiders in this foursome. But they nonetheless boast some gifted players, in particular, forward Son Heung-min. The Tottenham Hotspur man is tough-doing the job, adaptable and has a keen eye for goal. If he can set the bar higher sufficient for his teammates, the ‘Taegeuk Warriors’ may just spring a surprise or two.

Group F fixtures (all times CAT)

17 June 2018, 17h00 – Germany v Mexico – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
eighteen June 2018, 14h00 – Sweden v South Korea – Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
23 June 2018, 17h00 – South Korea v Mexico – Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
23 June 2018, 20h00 – Germany v Sweden – Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
27 June 2018, 16h00 – South Korea v Germany – Kazan Arena, Kazan
27 June 2018, 16h00 – Mexico v Sweden – Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

Group F head-to-heads (as for each FIFA stats database, in reference to ‘home’ team)

Germany v Mexico – P11 W5 D5 L1 GF24 GA10
Sweden v South Korea – P4 W2 D2 L0 GF17 GA3
South Korea v Mexico – P12 W4 D2 L6 GF15 GA24
Germany v Sweden – P36 W15 D9 L12 GF70 GA6
South Korea v Germany – P3 W1 D0 L2 GF5 GA5
Mexico v Sweden – P9 W2 D3 L4 GF5 GA8

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South African champions Bidvest Wits want Cameroonian striker Epoupa – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Gavin Hunt, coach of Bidvest Wits ©Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Dec 02, 2017. 13:00


South African side Bidvest Wits are said to have shown interest in Christian Epoupa.

The Cameroonian striker is currently on the books of Dynamos, who are campaigning in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League (ZPSL).

The highly-rated player has been linked with South African club Ajax Cape Town in the past.

Wits and another South African side Polokwane City are also believed to be keen to sign the attacker.

Dynamos chairman Keni Mubaiwa has been quoted as confirming talks for the forward with clubs in South Africa.

“A number of clubs from South Africa have made contact with Christian,” he told News Day.

“Some were here in the past few days for negotiations and others have been talking to us on the phone.

“We have not agreed with anyone because of the price. We have put our value on the player, which the teams are saying they cannot meet,” he continued.

“The good thing on our part is that we are not desperate to sell, so we will try to get the full value of what we think our player is worth.

Epoupa scored 12 goals in the ZPSL this past season.



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South Africa beat Botswana in 2018 Women’s U17 WC qualifier


by
Staff Reporter

Saturday Dec 02, 2017. 11:00


The South African U17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana) defeated Botswana 5-1 in the first leg first round of the 2018 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifier played at the Lobatse Sports Complex on Friday, 1 December 2017.

With this being a new squad, South Africa head coach Simphiwe Dludlu gave debuts to 11 players, and they did not disappoint.

Goals from Karabo Dlamini, Thambolinye Mzoneli, Miche Minnies, Jessica Wade as well as an own goal from Tshegofatso Mosotho were enough to see South Africa take a healthy lead going into the second leg which will be played in two weeks time.

Bantwana started on a high grabbing the first goal in the first minute of play through Dlamini, before Mzoneli made it 2-0 in the 15th minute.

But a minute later the hosts pulled one back when Leungo Senwelo latched on to a defence splitting pass and pushed the ball past an advancing Kaydee Windvogel in the Bantwana goals.

Four minutes before the half time whistle, South Africa extended their lead through and own goal by Tshegofatso Mosotho – leaving the score at 3-1.

In the second stanza, Bantwana continued where they left off in the first half and increased their lead to 4-1 from a Miche Minnies goal in the 56th minute.

Five minutes later South Africa was awarded a free kick and Jessica Wade took it brilliantly to beat Atang Sedimonyane in the Botswana goals.

In the 73rd minute Bantwana captain Kaylin Jordaan was adjudged to have fouled her opponent and Botswana were awarded a penalty.

Esalenna Galekhutle stepped up to take it but Windvogel pulled off a beautiful save to keep the scored at 5-1 to Bantwana.

South Africa head coach Simphiwe Dludlu made two substitutions bringing Holweni for Mzoneli and Micaela Nunens for Wade.

Bantwana travel back to South Africa on Saturday, 2 December. The second leg will be played on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at the Dobsonville Stadium.



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South Africa’s Gavin Hunt condemns Telkom KO final venue – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Head Coach Gavin Hunt of Bidvest Wits during 2017 Telkom Knockout Bidvest Wits Training at Stir rock Park in Braamfontein South Africa on 28 November 2017 © Aubrey Kgakatsi /BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 19:30


Ahead of the South African Telkom Knockout final against Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has lambasted the quality of the pitch at Princess Magogo Stadium.

The Clever Boys mentor believes the pitch is not in tip top quality, but hopes the weather will be suitable for a good game of football.

Hunt revealed that they sent a team representatives to inspect the pitch at the KwaMashu Stadium this week.

“Shew‚ shew‚ shew. Listen‚ it is what it is. We’ve got to concentrate on the rules and play football,” said the coach.

“But it is a bit‚ it is a bit…you know. It threw everybody a curve ball‚ didn’t it? It was like‚ ‘Yuh‚ OK’.

“The pitch has been dug up last week because there were teams training on it in the rain. So the pitch is not great.

“We saw it, we went there yesterday to have a look at it – it’s an open area. So please God the weather is good.”

The 12000-seater venue will host a major cup final for the first time on Saturday at 18:00 (CAT).



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South Africa captain confident of 2019 AFCON qualification – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Andile Jali, Thulani Hlatshwayoand Erick Mathoho during the South Africa Senior Men Team Morning © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 13:30


South Africa captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has expressed confidence that his side will qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Bafana Bafana endured a torrid 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and finished bottom of Group D behind Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde.

Yet the team made a strong start to their 2019 AFCON preliminary group, defeating Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo back in June to put themselves in a strong position to finish in the top two of Group E, which also features Libya and Seychelles.

Hlatshwayo says Bafana will bounce back from their 2018 failure: “We know how disappointed the country is about the results and we as players take the blame,” he is quoted by Kick-Off.

“As the captain I take the blame. Unfortunately I could not play play those two games [against Senegal]. I am not saying if I was there I would have made a difference because the guys who played did well against Burkina Faso.

“We would like to urge the country to support because we don’t go into a game to lose. We are there representing our families and our communities.”

The burly central defender added, “We did well against Nigeria away from home, so that’s where we have to make sure we bring smiles to South Africans. We have to make sure we qualify for AFCON.”

He also gave his backing to coach Stuart Baxter, who has been a part of two failed World Cup qualification campaigns after also being at the helm of the team when they were unable to reach the 2006 finals.

“Yes, I have confidence in Stuart Baxter. He is our coach right now and we have to give him our all,” explained the defender.



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Zambian Justin Shonga eyeing CAF Champions League spot with South African giants – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Orlando Pirates


Justin Shonga of Orlando Pirates challenged by Sammy Seabi of Polokwane City

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 15:00


Zambia and Orlando Pirates striker Justin Shonga believes the Soweto giants must ensure they finish at the top during this current Premier Soccer League campaign in South Africa.

The Chipolopolo hitman says they must do well this season and ensure they qualify for the CAF Champions League.

Coach Milutin Sredojevic are now sitting at number two in the Absa Premiership and will hope to challenge for the league honours.

“My priority is the team because I believe there is much more that the team can do. Recently, things have not been going well and things should not be this way,” Shonga told Soccer Laduma.

“I watched the team last season and it was not good to see them performing that way.

“This season it must be different because a team like Pirates needs to be playing in the CAF Champions League and finishing in a good position on the log standings.

“It is unacceptable for a great team like this not to win anything.”



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Algeria to face South Korea in May 2018 friendly


Algerian player Yacine Brahimi (R) fights for the ball with Zambian player Enock Mwepu (L) during the World Cup 2018 qualifying football match between Algeria and Zambia in Constantine, Algeria on 05 September 2017 © BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 26, 2017. 14:00


Algeria will face South Korea in an international friendly in May 2018, according to Le Buteur.

World Cup qualifiers Korea are looking to secure matches against teams they may face in the finals in Russia.

And with three North African teams having secured passage to the global tournament – Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco – Algeria represent a team with a similar style of play.

Le Buteur reports that the match against Korea is confirmed for May, though the final details must still be buttoned down.

It is expected to be played in a European country, with the Asian side set to camp in the continent ahead of the tournament in Russia in June and July.

Panama and Costa Rica – two further 2018 qualifiers – are also keen on meeting Algeria in friendlies, though these matches could be brought forward to the international window in March.

The Fennec Foxes and coach Rabah Madjer will use the matches as preparation for the resumption of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in the second half of 2018.



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SuperSport United boss wants South Africa to unite against TP Mazembe


Supersport United FC players celebrate after scoring against Club Africain during the semi-final return 2017 CAF Confederations Cup game between Club Africain and Supersport United FC in Tunis, Tunisia on 22 October 2017 © BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 12:30


Ahead of the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final, SuperSport United chairman Khulu Sibiya has urged the South African football fraternity to unite.

Sibiya was speaking just a day before their clash against the Democratic Republic of Congo side, TP Mazembe on Saturday night in Tshwane.

The first leg in Lubumbashi produced a 2-1 loss for Sibiya’s men, but they are banking on home ground advantage to seal their first continental crown.

YAYA TOURE: PHIL FODEN CAN BECOME ONE OF THE TOP PLAYERS

“South Africans must unite on Saturday. It is not about whether you support Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns,” said Sibiya to IOL.

“This is about the nation as a whole. I was very amazed by the Congolese people at the weekend. They came from different places to support Mazembe.

“Even people who live in South Africa were there to support Mazembe. These people are very hostile. They are hostile even in the VIP areas.

“I’ve never seen anything like that. The stadium had the capacity of 19 000 but they took 24 000 and most of them where standing.

“It is time that our people also understand that when the team is playing in Africa it is representing the whole nation.”

The return leg will be staged at the Lucas Moripe Stadium at 20:15 (CAT) and the club has urged fans to wear blue colours to gain free entry at the venue.



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South African team ropes in ex-Ugandan keeper Posnett Omony as coach – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Posnett Omony formerly of Black Leopards FC and Humphrey Khoza from Black Leopards FC and Joel Mogorosi from Bloemfontein Celtic FC. during the Absa Premiership match between between Bloemfontein Celtic FC and Black Leopards FC at the Free State Stadium on 19 De

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 12:30


Ex-Ugandan national team goalkeeper Posnett Omony has landed a job in the South African Premier Soccer League as Chippa United‘s goalkeeper coach.

The club confirmed the appointment of the former glove man at the start of this week, and he was on the bench in their fixture against Free State Stars on Wednesday.

Before his appointment the former Black Leopards and Bloemfontein Celtic keeper was training keepers in the South African National First Division with Mthatha Bucks.

Over a year ago Omony became a fully trained and qualified goalkeeper coach after completing a goalkeeping course organised by the South Africa Football Association (SAFA).

Omony featured 11 times for the Cranes and also represented South African sides such as Vasco Da Gama and lately Roses United Football Club before calling it quits in 2014.

The 34-year-old will now work with coach Teboho Moloi’s bench at the Chilli Boys and will train the likes of Brighton Mhlongo and Daniel Akpeyi.



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Uganda’s Ivan Ntege linked with a move to South African giants Orlando Pirates – Botswana Premier League 2017/18


Ivan Ntege of Uganda gets away from Youssouf Kabore of Burkina Faso during the 2014 CAF African Nations Championships Group B football match between Uganda and Burkina Faso at Athlone Stadium, Cape Town on 12 January 2014

by
Staff Reporter

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 14:30


Uganda and Township Rollers midfielder Ivan Ntege has attracted interest in the South African Premier Soccer League, with Orlando Pirates keeping tabs on him.

According to media reports in Botswana, Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic a former Cranes mentor, is known to be a fan of the Ugandan international.

With Rollers open to listening to offers, the Botswana Premier League outfit could part ways with Ntege and Tshepo Matete who is linked with a move to AmaZulu.

Speaking to the Sunday Standard newspaper in Botswana, Rollers spokesperson Bafana Pheto says they are yet to receive offers regarding their duo.

“We are open to offers regarding any of our players and encourage our players to work hard to gain recognition in big leagues,” Pheto told Sunday Standard.

“We will not stand in any way of players if offers come forth but at the moment we have not heard anything formal but aware of such rumours,”

Although Pheto declined to divulge the duo’s worth in the transfer market, he insists they would hold discussions at management level to decide on the value of players.



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TP Mazembe coach planning for second leg of Confed Cup final in South Africa


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
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 17:00


Despite conceding against SuperSport United, TP Mazembe coach Phampile Mihayo says they will have a good plan for their return leg this weekend.

The Ravens beat the South African side 2-1 in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final at home on Sunday afternoon.

Mihayo’s troops netted through Adama Traore and Daniel Adjei, but they conceded in the second half when Sipho Mbule dribbled past his marker to unleash a powerful strike that caught the keeper napping.

However, Mihayo, who was also a former captain of the side, said they will need to have an even better and stronger game plan in the return leg.

“We wanted to play well and win the game because we are home and needed to be offensive,” said Mihayo to CAF.

“Going to Pretoria will be difficult and they will pressurise us from the onset but we will have a plan that will give us the desired result.

“They are a very good side which isn’t easily broken down but we will have a good game plan.”

The return leg is set to be staged at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday, November 25 at 20:15 (CAT).



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Lucas Radebe wants to take over as South African FA presidency


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 13, 2017. 18:00


With Danny Jordaan’s tenure as the South African Football Association boss set to end next year, former Bafana Bafana skipper Lucas Radebe is ready to lead the FA as president.

Media reports indicate that the Leeds United legend has revealed his interest in leading the association as he believes it is time for new ideas.

SAFA regions are set to vote on who the right man is to take charge as Jordaan is set to vacate his office at the FNB Stadium.

‘Rhoo’ skippered the 1996 African champions at the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups in France and South Korea/Japan. He also played for Leeds for more than a decade.

“You know, it has been on my thoughts actually. Yes, I’m interested. They say you want to be affiliated somewhere in order to stand for elections,” said the ex-Kaizer Chiefs defender to IOL.

“I’m currently affiliated to SAFA, since I’m serving on the technical committee.

“I believe that in order for us to see improvement and progress, you need new ideas. The football is getting younger and younger. There’s more money in it. We need to evolve. There must be a shift for improvement.

“We need more people with new ideas to come in and take our football to another level.

“Yes, I’m still in the technical committee and it also helps to see what is going on in the association. It also creates more interest in wanting to see our football progress.

“I’m interested in making sure that our country becomes one of the powerful nations in Africa. Let us get involved.”



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Sadio Mane out of the dead rubber clash against South Africa in Dakar – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Sadio Mane of Senegal celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers football match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 10 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 13, 2017. 17:30

After helping the Lions of Teranga book a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Friday against South Africa, Senegal will be without their star Sadio Mane on Tuesday night.

Coach Aliou Cisse will lead his troops for the second time against Bafana Bafana at home and will miss the services of the Liverpool forward.

Mane is out due to a recurring injury which he suffered in October against Cape Verde, and reports indicate that he has gone back to Anfield for further assessment.

The 25-year-old Reds player starred for the West Africans at the Peter Mokaba Stadium as they beat their hosts 2-0 to secure their return to the global showpiece since 2002.

“The Senegalese Football Federation informs the national and international opinion that, following the match South Africa against Senegal on Friday, November 10, 2017, in Polokwane, the player Sadio Mane was slightly felt (sic) from his old injury,” reads a statement from SFF.

“After consultations between the medical staff of the national team of Senegal and Liverpool, it was decided by mutual agreement to make it available to his club to continue treatment until full recovery.”

The Lions have 11 points from five matches – they drew two, won three and will want to beat Stuart Baxter’s men for the second time in Dakar.



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2018 World Cup Qualifier: South Africa 0-2 Senegal – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


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

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 21:04


Good evening and welcome to our Live Coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between South Africa and Senegal from the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, on Friday 11 November 2017.

South Africa: Khune; Hlanti, Daniels, Gould, Mkhize – Furman, Mokotjo, Zwane (Tshabalala 69′) – Vilakazi (Grobler 83′) – Manyama (Jali 63′), Tau

Senegal: K.Ndiaye, Gassama, Kouyate (A. Ndiaye 86′), Koulibaly, Sabaly – Sanè, Gueye , Ndoye – Manè, Niang (Ciss 90+3′), Sakho (Konatè 78′)

AS IT HAPPENED UPDATES:

Senegal book their place at next year’s World Cup in Russia! The Lions of Teranga will be back on the world stage for the first time since 2002!

90+4′ Full-Time: South Africa 0-2 Senegal (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′) 

83′ Final change for the hosts as Sibusiso Vilakazi makes way for Bradley Grobler.

75′ Into the final exchanges we go and things are not looking good for South Africa. The hosts also seem to have lost all hope as Konatè makes his way onto the pitch.

73′ Morgan Gould goes into the referee’s book.

69′ Shabba makes his return to the international stage – replacing Themba Zwane. Can the Kaizer Chiefs stalwart make the difference?

63′ Andile Jali – who many thought was suspended – comes on for Lebogang Manyama in the first change.

61′ Sifiso Hlanti goes into the referee’s book.

57′ CHANCE! Good build-up by the hosts,  but Sibusiso Vilakazi’s resulting shot is straight at Khadim Ndiaye who makes an easy save.

55′ Senegal happy to sit back and absorb pressure in the opening stages of the half. As it stands they will book their ticket to Russia today.

46′ The second half is underway.

45+1′ Half-Time: South Africa 0-2 Senegal (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′) 

45′ SAVE! Great stop by Khadim Ndiaye to deny Lebogang Manyama’s curling effort from hitting the back of the net. Bafana Bafana ending the half on a high.

39′ SUCKER PUNCH! Unbelievable unlucky for South Africa. Great save by Itumeleng Khune to deny Sadio Mane from close range, but in the most bizarre fashion Thamsanqa Mkhize guides the ball into the back of his own net from the rebound – ball hits his back before nestling in the net. So unlucky.

37′ Salif Sane’s shot from a free-kick takes a deflection and they have a corner-kick. The resulting corner-kick comes to nothing. Senegal have recovered well and slowed the game down following a relentless spell by the hosts.

35′ Yellow Card – Sadio Mane goes into the referee’s book.

29′ WOODWORK! Lebogang Manyama very unlucky to see his shot canon off the crossbar. So close!

25′ Bafana Bafana burst forward with Themba Zwane seeing his rocket of a shot well saved by the Senegalese goalkeeper – the rebound falls to Percy Tau, but the ball hits him more than anything and the visitors escape. First chance of the match for Bafana Bafana.

20′ South Africa with all the possession since the goal, but  the Teranga Lions are standing firm for the time being. The hosts test the Senegalese from a few set-pieces, but goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye is yet to touch the ball…

12′ GOAL! Diafra Sakho silences the home crowd. The West Ham United man finishes with aplomb following a pin-point through ball from Sadio Mane who split the Bafana Bafana defence. Great goal!

10′ Important early touch for Itumeleng Khune who shows great confidence to punch clear from what looked a dangerous situation for the visitors.

6′ Lively start here by the hosts with Percy Tau and Themba Zwane causing the Teranga Lions problems. One feels that an early goal for South Africa would really set the pace.

1′ Kick-off in Polokwane!

– Senegal pose a significant threat especially in attack with Liverpool ace Sadio Mane having returned to full fitness.

– Itumeleng Khune starts tonight’s match despite suffering a facial injury last weekend. As a result, he dons a white mask this evening.

– The two teams lock horns exactly 12 months after Bafana Bafana’s 2-1 win over the Teranga Lions. A match which would later be scrapped following damning match manipulation evidence against Joseph Lamptey with tonight’s fixture the replay.



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2018 World Cup Qualifier: South Africa 0-2 Senegal – LIVE – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


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

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 20:33


Good evening and welcome to our Live Coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between South Africa and Senegal from the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, on Friday 11 November 2017.

South Africa: Khune; Hlanti, Daniels, Gould, Mkhize – Furman, Mokotjo, Zwane (Tshabalala 69′) – Vilakazi – Manyama (Jali 63′) , Tau

Senegal: K.Ndiaye, Gassama, Kouyate, Koulibaly, Sabaly – Sanè, Gueye , Ndoye – Manè, Niang, Sakho (Konatè 78′)

LIVE UPDATES:

75′ Into the final exchanges we go and things are not looking good for South Africa. The hosts also seem to have lost all hope as Konatè makes his way onto the pitch.

69′ Shabba makes his return to the international stage – replacing Themba Zwane. Can the Kaizer Chiefs stalwart make the difference?

63′ Andile Jali – who many thought was suspended – comes on for Lebogang Manyama in the first change.

61′ Sifiso Hlanti goes into the referee’s book.

57′ CHANCE! Good build-up by the hosts,  but Sibusiso Vilakazi’s resulting shot is straight at Khadim Ndiaye who makes an easy save.

55′ Senegal happy to sit back and absorb pressure in the opening stages of the half. As it stands they will book their ticket to Russia today.

46′ The second half is underway.

45+1′ Half-Time: South Africa 0-2 Senegal (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′) 

45′ SAVE! Great stop by Khadim Ndiaye to deny Lebogang Manyama’s curling effort from hitting the back of the net. Bafana Bafana ending the half on a high.

39′ SUCKER PUNCH! Unbelievable unlucky for South Africa. Great save by Itumeleng Khune to deny Sadio Mane from close range, but in the most bizarre fashion Thamsanqa Mkhize guides the ball into the back of his own net from the rebound – ball hits his back before nestling in the net. So unlucky.

37′ Salif Sane’s shot from a free-kick takes a deflection and they have a corner-kick. The resulting corner-kick comes to nothing. Senegal have recovered well and slowed the game down following a relentless spell by the hosts.

35′ Yellow Card – Sadio Mane goes into the referee’s book.

29′ WOODWORK! Lebogang Manyama very unlucky to see his shot canon off the crossbar. So close!

25′ Bafana Bafana burst forward with Themba Zwane seeing his rocket of a shot well saved by the Senegalese goalkeeper – the rebound falls to Percy Tau, but the ball hits him more than anything and the visitors escape. First chance of the match for Bafana Bafana.

20′ South Africa with all the possession since the goal, but  the Teranga Lions are standing firm for the time being. The hosts test the Senegalese from a few set-pieces, but goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye is yet to touch the ball…

12′ GOAL! Diafra Sakho silences the home crowd. The West Ham United man finishes with aplomb following a pin-point through ball from Sadio Mane who split the Bafana Bafana defence. Great goal!

10′ Important early touch for Itumeleng Khune who shows great confidence to punch clear from what looked a dangerous situation for the visitors.

6′ Lively start here by the hosts with Percy Tau and Themba Zwane causing the Teranga Lions problems. One feels that an early goal for South Africa would really set the pace.

1′ Kick-off in Polokwane!

– Senegal pose a significant threat especially in attack with Liverpool ace Sadio Mane having returned to full fitness.

– Itumeleng Khune starts tonight’s match despite suffering a facial injury last weekend. As a result, he dons a white mask this evening.

– The two teams lock horns exactly 12 months after Bafana Bafana’s 2-1 win over the Teranga Lions. A match which would later be scrapped following damning match manipulation evidence against Joseph Lamptey with tonight’s fixture the replay.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Itumeleng Khune – Spider Kid is South Africa’s superhero – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Itumeleng Khune of South Africa during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier South Africa training session at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 09 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 19:00


Itumeleng Khune has been the name on everyone’s lips this week, and news that he will start tonight’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Senegal will come as a huge source of relief.

There is no doubt that the 30-year-old is the country’s number one goalkeeper, and as soon as reports surfaced that he might be ruled out of home and away fixtures against the Lions of Teranga – panic started to spread.

Khune, though, was never going to let a facial injury rule him out of the clash and will this evening take to the field in a protective mask. Five days after leaving Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 win over Chippa United on a stretcher.

Not quite a batman mask, but something similar as pictured in the tweets below…

His heroics have duly been praised and there is no doubt that Spider Kid’s presence will have a major influence on his teammates as Bafana Bafana aim to achieve the impossible.

South Africa need to beat the Lions of Teranga home and away if they are to book a ticket to Russia, with their counterparts to seal a place at next year’s World Cup with victory in Polokwane.

But, whatever the outcome, Khune’s courageousness will be well documented and rightfully so – especially amid Thualani Serero’s antics in failing to pitch for national duty…



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Sadio Mane – Will South Africa contain him? – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 16:00


Following the decision by FIFA to order a replay of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal, all eyes will be on the Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane.

The Lions of Teranga are in South Africa, Polokwane in an aim to avoid a defeat at the hands of their hosts on Friday night.

Coach Aliou Cisse is a relieved man when it comes to player’s availability after Mane was doubtful for the clash since suffering an injury in their previous clash against Cape Verde.

However, with the 25-year-old set to lead the West Africans’ attack against a desperate Bafana under the guidance of Stuart Baxter, is it too much say he will carry the team on his shoulders after coming from an injury?

Without a doubt Mane is one of the most talented players in the squad, but some have questioned his quality when donning the national team jersey.

An argument is that when at Anfield Stadium, the former Red Bull Salzburg player becomes a different figure and shows a high degree of aggression, quality and an eye for goal.

Although Mane has featured in 100 matches for the Reds since 2016 in all competitions and netted 37 goals whilst producing 19 assists, he has 13 goals in 45 matches for the Lions (since 2014) – this means he doesn’t score regularly for the country.

“We are not worried about Mané, he is a good player yes, make no mistake but if we are to listen to what we hear of him then we are a beaten team. But that is not how football works. We respect him, yes but we won’t give him any special treatment,” Baxter said.

When Senegal lost 2-1 at the same venue last year, Mane was part of the team.

This now gives a hint that Mane and his teamamtes can also lose on Friday night, but the man who is known as the ‘Smiling Assassin’ has to produce his magic and revive their hopes of reaching Russia.

Mane is definitely the man Senegal will hope to see rising to the occasion and make it happen for the country, for his family and his supporters worldwide, but will Bafana be able to contain him should he bring his A game?



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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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Mame Niang: South Africa must beware Keita Balde – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Keita Balde (C) of Monaco in action against Dusko Tosic (L) of Besiktas during the UEFA Champions League Group G soccer match between AS Monaco and Besiktas Istanbul at Stade Louis II in Monaco, 17 October 2017. EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 08, 2017. 15:00


South Africa must not focus all their attention on Senegal’s Sadio Mane in the teams’ 2018 World Cup qualifiers this week, according to former PSL striker Mame Niang.

Niang, a Senegalese national who has spent a large portion of his career in South Africa’s top flight, insists the Teranga Lions are determined to secure qualification for the 2018 finals and has warned Bafana Bafana that Mane is not the only dangerous player in the West African side.

“I think Senegal are really coming for three points because I see the newspapers in Senegal are going crazy,” Ning told Kick-Off.

“Having Mane back is obviously a big boost because the whole country was looking forward to that, but I think Bafana should be more worried about Keita Balde, who’s been the main threat in recent games.

“Obviously Diafra Sakho is back and so is M’Baye Niang, who made his debut in the 2-0 win over Cape Verde last month and played a key part in both goals. I think attacking-wise we could hurt Bafana, but they also have questions to ask.”

Niang added, “I think it’s going to be a tactical game. Senegal won’t come and press Bafana out, that’s my feeling. I’m guessing they will try to play Keita Balde and Sadio Mane on the break because they have pace.”

The prospect of a second World Cup appearance for the Teranga Lions has Senegal very excited, according to Niang.

“You must see the vibe in Dakar, people are going crazy there. We’ve qualified once and we went to the quarterfinal, and this is the generation that’s as good as the one from 2002, so there’s a lot of expectation on them,” he explained.

“Everyone thought we could win the last AFCON [2017] but we lost to Cameroon on penalties and then they went on to win it, so they are confident about this team.”



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South Africa should be worried about no-shows – Stuart Baxter – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 08, 2017. 14:00


South Africa coach Stuart Baxter says he will soldier on with his job regardless of which players are available, but believes the country should be worried by no-shows.

Thulani Serero has made headlines by refusing to fly out for Bafana Bafana’s 2018 World Cup qualifier at home to Senegal on Friday evening. The midfielder insists that he will only travel for national team duty if he is guaranteed to play.

Tokelo Rantie is another absentee for the clash, though he at least requested that he not be selected for the squad. Baxter says South African football should be worried by such instances.

“If it’s a trend, then South Africa should be worried, not me,” Baxter said.

“I will pick the players who want to play for South Africa, but if it’s a trend then you should be worried because these are the people who represent the mentality of South Africans.

“I don’t think they represent the mentality of the boys who are here [in camp]. But at the end of the day, Jack Wilshere did not throw in the towel in England and [Sergio] Busquets does not complain when he gets left out [of the Spain squad].”

He continued: “The honour is about being called into the squad and then it’s up to you to show that you are the best man for the job.

“When people see the honour as actually playing and not being in the squad, then that’s a problem because that’s the ego talking and that’s not good.

“I am not going to criticise anybody because it’s everybody’s right to feel the way they want.

“But if it’s a trend that players only come to national camp when they selected, it’s a worry for everybody, not just for the coach.”



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South Africa coach backs Sandilands and Williams – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Wayne Sandilands of South Africa

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 18:30


South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has given his support to back-up goalkeepers Wayne Sandilands and Ronwen Williams.

One or both of the duo may well be called upon for Bafana Bafana’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Senegal on November 10 and 14, as first-choice goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is an injury doubt.

“I have total confidence in both keepers, absolute confidence. I can’t remember a goalkeeper that I have not seen throw one in. I have seen Itu throw them in as well,” said Baxter, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“I remember when I joined Chiefs, they showed me a free-kick which Itu threw in and I am thinking ‘that’s going to be my goalkeeper’. I have total confidence in whoever is going to play, if Itu does not play. Whoever plays will meet the challenge.”

Khune notably missed the back-to-back defeats at the hands of Cape Verde back in September, and although his return to the team coincided with a 3-1 win over Burkina Faso last month, Baxter doesn’t necessarily believe there is a causal relationship at play.

“I don’t think in terms of ‘when he played we won and they played we didn’t win’. You have got to believe in your players and they have to believe in themselves,” added the Bafana coach.

“If we keep worrying about what’s happened in the past, then we will struggle. That’s not going to enter my world. Whoever is in goals, I believe they can do the job and he needs to know that and give every thing he’s got. I am confident, with or without Itu.”



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South Africa suffer huge blow – Itumeleng Khune remains doubtful for Senegal clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs 2016©Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 15:30


South African national team coach Stuart Baxter will have a headache regarding the crisis in the Bafana Bafana goalkeeping department.

Bafana were dealt a huge blow when Kaizer Chiefs and national team goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune suffered an injury in a local league game against Chippa United on Sunday.

‘Itu’ collided with Chippa’s Kurt Lentjies in their 1-0 win and was rushed to a hospital in Port Elizabeth where a scan was taken to determine the extent of the goalkeeper’s injury.

According to a statement from the Soweto giants, Khune was discharged from the hospital later on Sunday evening.

However, he remains a doubt for Bafana as they will face Senegal in their two 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers this weekend.

“The captain has a fracture to a bone in his face,” confirms Kaizer Chiefs physiotherapist David Milner.

“He will see a specialist as soon as possible and we will update thereafter.”

The 1996 African champions will need Khune as they have to bag six points from the two matches against the Lions of Teranga to book a spot in Russia at the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Baxter will now prepare with SuperSport United‘s Ronwen Williams and Orlando Pirates’ Wayne Sandilands as he awaits for Khune’s medical report.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Senegal’s hope to stop a desperate South Africa – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 13:00


Senegal and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has a tough assignment this weekend, which is to stop South Africa as they want to secure a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Lions of Teranga centre back has a huge role to play for the West Africans when they meet the 1996 African champions in two crucial encounters in less than five days.

Koulibaly will be a key figure when they visit the Southern part of the continent on Friday for their clash against Stuart Baxter’s men on Friday.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: ODION IGHALO – WILL THE INJURY COST HIM A PLACE IN THE WC SQUAD?

As they need a win to book a spot in Russia, their hosts will also want a win out of both encounters to return to the global stage.

With a lot of news surrounding the future of the defender, the Senegal coach will have to calm his nerves and ensure Kalidou remains grounded and focused on the task at hand.

Koulibaly is linked with a move away from the Serie A giants, with Barcelona, Chelsea and Liverpool touted to be chasing his signature.

Furthermore, the 2017 CAF African Footballer of the Year nomination comes as a huge boost for the 26-year-old and he will want to lift the coveted accolade.

But for that to happen, he must ensure he brings his A game in both matches against the 1996 African Cup of Nations hosts and help the Lions to emerge as victors.

With Sadio Mane available for the matches and the Reds coach Jurgen Klopp reportedly attending the match in person, Kalidou will only focus on his defending and not worry about their thin options in attack.

However, speculation regarding the move to Anfield could mount should he meet and have a chat with Klopp.



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Sadio Mane looking forward to World Cup qualifying test against South Africa – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Sadio Mane of Senegal celebrates a goal Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 17:30


Senegal and Liverpool star, Sadio Mane has expressed happiness after making his comeback for the Reds in the English Premier League last weekend.

Mane also said he is ready to face South Africa in their upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier away on November 10 and and at home four days later.

The 25-year-old suffered a hamstring injury while playing for the Lions of Teranga on October 7 and only made his return in Liverpool‘s 4-1 victory over West Ham on Saturday.

Although Senegal lost 2-1 to Bafana Bafana last year, FIFA ordered the match to be replayed after finding Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey guilty of match manipulation.

Coach Aliou Cisse and his troops now need two points from their remaining two qualifying matches to secure a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS: GROUP A HEAD-TO-HEADS

“I am very happy to be back because it was not easy,” Mane told BBC Sport.

“There’s no excuse for me now – I was injured but I was always working hard.”

“It’s going to be tough because we know how South Africa is, even when they are not in good form.

“We respect them but we also know we have quality and we have a great team and I think we can do it.

“Everybody knows what it means for the country – especially the fans – and I think it will be a dream for us and hopefully God will help us to qualify.

“Every player would love to play until the end of the season without injury. It’s part of football so we accept it and move forward.”



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South African Absa Premiership champions striker, Gabadinho Mhango issues apology for spitting incident – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Gabadinho Mhango of Bidvest Wits celebrates a goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits on 15 February 2017 at Orlando Stadium ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 30, 2017. 18:00


Bidvest Wits striker Gabadinho Mhango has issued an apology after an incident which involved him spitting at AmaZulu midfielder Michael Morton.

The Malawian forward says he deeply regrets the incident and is currently awaiting the Premier Soccer League’s verdict after he was captured on camera appearing to spit at Morton.

Usuthu went on to win the league encounter 3-1 on September 20 at the Princess Magogo Stadium and the former Bloemfontein Celtic striker expressed regret in a statement.

“I was involved in an incident that should have not happened in the beautiful game of football. I offended Michael Morton and AmaZulu FC,” Mhango wrote in a self-issued statement.

“I also disrespected my club, and above all, I disrespected the beautiful game of football. To all, I apologise unequivocally.

“The spitting incident should not have happened. Because of disciplinary action pending against me by both my club and the PSL, I was advised not to make any statements until such time as these processes were concluded.

“I have taken full responsibility for my actions in both disciplinary processes and now that they have been concluded, I can finally speak publicly about it.

“I have also met with Michael Morton, spoken to him about the incident and offered my heartfelt apologies to him and for provoking his reaction.

“I apologise to all that I have offended with my actions, and I pray and hope that you will all understand that whilst I was wrong, I am only human, and that you can all forgive me for my actions.”



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South African coach Stuart Baxter happy with Thulani Serero’s progress – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Thulani Serero of South Africa celebrates his goal 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
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Oct 29, 2017. 12:00


Ahead of the Burkina Faso clash next month, South African national team coach Stuart Baxter says he is happy with midfielder Thulani Serero’s progress.

The midfielder has showed good signs at his club Vitesse Arnhem and the English mentor believes he is in a good shape physically.

Serero bagged the Player of the Month for August and September in the Dutch Eredivisie.

The news comes as a huge boost as the South Africans will host the Lions of Teranga and visit Dakar in their two crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

“I think he is now in better shape physically,” Baxter said.

“And hopefully he knows better how we want him to play, in different positions. If he comes to camp and shows me that, then he will be a strong candidate.

“It is nice to have that sort of player, and that is what I am trying to do. If we have Plan A, then we also need a couple of ‘what if?’ scenarios.

“A player like Serero is a pretty powerful ‘what if?’ option. I would think every player that is in Europe wants to come (to camp) to start with.

“But if I think there is a player better than them on that day and more suitable for the job, then I will play them. We don’t bring back European players to take photos and enquire about their health. It’s to do a job.”



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Zambian international delighted to join South African giants Orlando Pirates – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Justin Shonga of Zambia ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Oct 27, 2017. 14:30


Zambian international and Orlando Pirates striker, Justin Shonga has revealed that legendary Chipolopolo striker Collins Mbesuma has inspired him.

Shonga said playing in the South African Premier Soccer League is a good thing for his career as he used to watch the Soweto giants.

Mbesuma is one of the Zambians who have done well in the PSL having starred for Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Highlands and the Buccaneers.

The former Nkwazi FC hitman is yet to score in South Africa, but will hope to be on the mark as they visit Lamontville Golden Arrows in the Telkom Knockout Last 16 at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday.

“Joining Pirates is a good thing. I used to watch Pirates some time back when they had players like Mbesuma and Chansa,” Shonga tells KickOff.com.

“I am happy to join them because it’s every player’s dream to play for a big club. I am having a good time and the reception was okay. They received me well and I have been mingling well with the guys.

“I want to achieve a lot of things. I want to score goals for the club and help the club win cups. We have to push hard for us to get that because it won’t just come easy. When you join a new club, you need to work hard to find a position to be playing.”



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South African striking legend reflects on his all-time record of 120 goals – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – AmaZulu


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 15:30


After scoring for AmaZulu in their 2-1 win over Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday night in the South African Premier League, experienced striker Siyabonga Nomvethe says he never expected to reach this stage in his career.

‘Bhele’ will be turning 40 on December 2 and has taken his tally to 120 goals, becoming the South African Premier Soccer League’s all-time leading goal scorer.

Having also represented sides such as Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows as well as having stints in Europe, Nomvethe has hailed his healthy lifestyle.

On the other hand, his teammate Mabhudi Khenyeza, who scored the winner for Usuthu, also increased his goal tally to 107.

Khenyeza is behind the Brazilians’ former striker, Daniel Mudau, who retired after registering 108 goals in the all-time list of goal scorers in the PSL.

“It all comes down to dedication. I also spend a lot of time with my family and I work very hard at training so that I am always fit,” said Nomvethe after the game on Saturday.

“I don’t know when I will stop playing because my legs can still carry me.

“I never expected to reach this age while still playing professionally. Age is just a number, I am just making sure that I make use of the opportunity that I have to inspire others.

“There are youngsters that I have seen who can play for Bafana Bafana, for the junior national teams or even go to Europe, but they waste their talent because of doing things that are not right.”



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South Africa’s Oscarine Masuluke misses out on Puskas Award – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Baroka FC


Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 11:30


South African goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke missed out on the Puskas Award for the best goal of the 2016/17 season at the FIFA Football Awards last night.

The Baroka FC glovesman was nominated for his incredible overhead kick which earned a 1-1 draw against Orlando Pirates back in November 2016.

However, both Masuluke and Venezuela’s Deyna Castellanos were beaten to the prize by Arsenal’s French striker Olivier Giroud, who scored an incredible scorpion kick against Crystal Palace last term.

Real Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane were named Best Men’s Player and Best Men’s Coach respectively, while Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon picked up the Best Goalkeeper award.

All the awards:

Best Men’s Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Best Women’s Player: Lieke Martens (Netherlands)

FIFA Puskas Award: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

The Best FIFA Men’s Coach: Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)

Best Women’s Coach: Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)

FIFA Best Goalkeeper Award: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

Fan Award: Glasgow Celtic

FIFA Fair Play Award: Francis Kone

The FIFA FIFPRO World XI: Gianluigi Buffon, Dani Alves, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Leonardo Bonucci, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo.



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Sadio Mane will be fit for South African showdown – Senegal coach – Premier League 2017/2018


Ferjani Sassi of Tunisia challenges Sadio Mane of Senegal during the Afcon Group B match between Tunisia and Senegal on the 15 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 15:00


Senegal head coach ,Aliou Cisse, is more than confident that Liverpool star Sadio Mane will be fit for the country’s back-to-back 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa next month.

According to reports, Mane has been included in the Lions of Teranga’s squad for the double-header against Bafana Bafana, despite the Liverpool attacker currently nursing a hamstring injury.

“In my mind there’s no doubt he will be with us for the double header against South Africa and that he will be 100% fit,”Cisse is quoted as saying.

“Until now, he has just been doing some individual training – running in straight lines – but from next week, he is going to train harder and start working with the ball.”

It is unclear when the 25-year-old is set to return to action with the Reds initialing predicting that he will spend up to six weeks on the sidelines.

The former Southampton winger picked up said injury in Senegal’s 2-0 win over Cape Verde in Praia earlier this month, as the West African’s moved top of Group D.

Senegal, who are aiming to qualify for he World Cup for only the second time, face South Africa in Polokwane before the reverse fixture in Dakar a few days later.

Cisse captained Senegal to a quarterfinal place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea/Japan.



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