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

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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Platinum Stars draw at home but move to 15th spot – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Roggert Nyundu of Bloemfontein Celtic challenged by Katlego Otladisa of Platinum Stars during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Platinum Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg South Africa on 22 November 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 21:58

Platinum Stars failed to grab their second Absa Premiership win when they drew 0-0 against Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday night at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

Despite the stalemate, the Rustenburg-based side now sit at the 15th spot on the log standings with eight points from 11 matches so far.

Although Dikwena had a bright start in the opening five minutes, Brian Mwila could not beat Patrick Tignyemb who made a save in the box at the second attempt.

With chances few and far between, towards the 20th minute Celtic’s Lantshene Phalane tried to beat Mbongeni Mzimela from a distance, but the keeper was equal to the task in the 27th minute.

Despite dominance by Roger De Sa’s men, their lack of sharpness in the final third meant the scores remained level at half time at 0-0.

In the second half, the hosts found the back of the net through Mwila’s header from a set piece, but it was disallowed as he came from an offside position.

However, it was Siwelele that looked threatening after the hour mark as they utitlised their wingers, yet Mzimela showed his aerial quality.

The 70th minute saw Stars’ skipper Vuyo Mere coming close to beating Tignyemb after a long pass found him behind Celtic’s defence, he showed a wonderful first touch but missed the target with the keeper to beat.

After introducing Kabelo Mahlasela and Tshegofatso Mabaso, Veselin Jelusic’s men upped the ante and the latter saw his effort saved by Mzimela, who conceded a corner in the 79th minute.

As both sides were running against time, Mere picked out an unmarked Robert Ng’ambi with a sublime pass, but the Malawian blasted his effort off target two minutes later.

With both camps fighting for a goal, their efforts in the dying minutes could not yield the desired results and it ended in a dull draw.

The stalemate elevates Phunya Sele Sele to the fourth spot with 16 points from 11 games.

Platinum Stars 0

Bloemfontein Celtic 0

Platinum Stars: Mzimela, Mnguni, Sithole, Zulu, Mere, Otladisa (Matlakala 80′), N’gambi, Mwila (Links 63′) , Nwedihanga, Msomi, Masalesa

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Jembula (Letsoalo 69′), Motshegwa (Mahlasela 55′), Letlabika, Baloyi, Hotto, Nyundu (Mabaso 63′), Phalane

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Citizens denied top spot as Baroka hold on

Lyle Lakay of Cape Town City FC challenged by Olaleng Shaku of Baroka FC during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Cape Town City FC and Baroka FC at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 21 November 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Staff Reporter

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 20:31

Cape Town City were denied top spot in the Absa Premiership, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Baroka FC on Tuesday evening.

As a result, the Limpopo side keep their place at the summit of South Africa’s top-flight with the Citizens remaining in third – two points behind their counterparts.

As is often the case following an international break, the two teams took time to find their rhythm on a wet evening in the Mother City, with the rain and the game’s tempo increasing as the match went on.

Following a rather uneventful opening stanza, the game sparked into life following the break with Robin Ngalande breaking the deadlocked in the 55th minute of the encounter.

Moments after guiding a header attempt over the crossbar, the former Ajax Cape Town man hit the back of the net to give the visitors the lead.

The Citizens went in search of an immediate reply and duly pulled level on 69 minutes through Craig Martin. The speedster getting on the end of Lyle Lakay’s cross for his first in City blue and gold.

City ended the game the better of the two teams and went close to grabbing all three points through Roland Putsche and Martin in the dying exchanges, but it was not to be as they had to settle for a point.

Cape Town City (0) 1 (Martin 69′)

Baroka FC (0) 1 (Ngalande 55′)

Cape Town City: Stephens; Seedat, Johannes, Fielies, Mkhize – Putsche, Matsi, Modise (Patosi 56′) – Lakay (Masina 70′), Martin, Koapeng (Gumede 86′).

Baroka FC: Vries; Masenamela, Banda, Shaku, Kgoetyane – Madubanya, Mdantsane – Moeti, Ntshangase (Kgaswane 68′), Chawapihwa (Motupa 70′), Ngalande (Mahashe 89′).

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Chiefs beat AmaZulu to book TKO quarter-final spot

Daniel Cardoso of Kaizer Chiefs clears Mabhuti Khenyeza of AmaZulu during 2017 Telkom Knockout match between Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban South Africa on 28 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 22:26

Kaizer Chiefs overcame AmaZulu FC 3-0 in a Telkom Knockout Cup Last 16 match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

As a result, Amakhosi advance to the quarter-finals, while Usuthu are eliminated from the tournament.

Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune was kept busy by AmaZulu in the opening stages of the game and he denied AmaZulu striker Rhulani Manzini in the fifth minute.

However, the South Africa international should have been beaten in the 23rd minute, but AmaZulu striker Mabhuti Khenyeza missed the target from close range.

Chiefs then took the lead nine minutes later after the AmaZulu defence gave George Maluleka a lot of space.

The central midfielder then unleashed a shot into the top corner to make it 1-0 to Chiefs much to the delight of the Amakhosi fans.

AmaZulu tried to level matters before half-time, but Chiefs stood firm at the back and the score was 1-0 to the hosts at the interval.

Chiefs took control of the match after the restart with Willard Katsande stamping his authority in the middle of the park.

Hendrick Ekstein scored with a deflected shot to make it 2-0 to Chiefs in the 55th minute following a corner-kick.

The momentum was with the hosts and they extended their lead in the 59th minute through Siphiwe Tshabalala, who made it 3-0 from close range.

Cavin Johnson, the AmaZulu head coach, reacted by introducing Siyabonga Nomvethe a minute later as Usuthu looked to pull one back.

However, the former South Africa international was tightly marked by the Chiefs defence in the latter stages of the encounter.

AmaZulu striker Mhlengi Cele was denied by Khune at the near-post in the 87th minute and ultimately, Chiefs won 3-0 on the night.

Chiefs (1) 3 (Maluleka 32′, Ekstein 55′, Tshabalala 59′)

AmaZulu (0) 0

Chiefs: Khune, Cardoso, Mathoho, Ngezana, Zulu, Katsande, Maluleke, Ekstein (85′), Tshabalala (Moon 74′), Molangoane, Parker (Zuma 69′).

AmaZulu: Pule, Mbatha B, Sikhakhane, Gumede M, Gumede P, Darpoh, Ncube (Mnguni 83′), Ncobeni, Cele, Manzini (Ntsundwana 76′), Khenyeza (Nomvethe 60′).

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Ghoulam, Koulibaly aim to regain top spot in Italy – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 18:30

The African duo of Faouzi Ghoulam and Kalidou Koulibaly will be aiming to return to the top of the Serie A standings when Napoli take on Genoa at the Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris on Wednesday evening.

Both Ghoulam and Koulibaly have started every game for Napoli this season, with Maurizio Sarri’s men unbeaten after nine rounds of fixtures.

Key to their impressive start has been their defence with the club having conceded a mere five goals this season. Gli Azzurri have kept three clean sheets in succession.


Mauro Icardi scored a brace as Inter leapfrogged Napoli with a 3-2 win over Sampdoria last night, but the Naples outfit will regain their place atop the standings with a point away to Genoa.

Guinea international Amadou Diawara has also been a prominent figure for Napoli this season, with the club boasting a healthy African contingent.

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Wydad seeking to dispatch USM Alger and book Champions League final spot

epa05543424 Zamalek’s Bassem Mrsi (R) in action against Wydad Casablanca player Ayoub Qasmi (L) during the African Champions League (CAF) Semi Final first leg soccer match between Zamalekand Wydad Casablanca at Borg Al Arab stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 16 September 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 16:30

Wydad Casablanca will be gunning to reach the CAF Champions League final when they host USM Alger in the semi-final, second leg on Saturday.

Fresh from a 0-0 draw against the Algerian giants in Algiers, Wydad will want to wrap up the encounter in front of their home crowd.

Coach Hussein Amotta has admitted that the second-leg clash against Alger will be played under heavy pressure at home.

“The game will be under heavy pressure, especially as the opponent will come with the intention of trapping us,” the former Morocco international is quoted by Le Buteur.

“I say it and I repeat it, the draw we snatched in Algiers in the first leg can trap us.

“We must forget it because it can play us a bad turn. So we should not be satisfied with a blank draw.”

Looking at the visitors, Alger will want to upset the hosts and ensure they are victorious away, but it will not be an easy assignment.

Coach Paul Put is already preparing his troops for a tough encounter, especially with the fact that they failed to score at home in the opening leg.

The Belgian manager says Wydad are a good side, but says the return leg could go in their favour as the hosts will want to attack.

He lamented the fact that the Moroccans parked the bus in Algiers, but hopes they will find spaces to exploit to score away on Saturday.

The match will kick-off at 22h30 CAT on Saturday evening.

The winners will advance to the final and face either Al Ahly or Etoile du Sahel.

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Al Ahly, Etoile battle for CAFCL final spot

Étoile Sportive du Sahel player (L) fights for the ball with Al Ahly Sporting Club player Oluwafemj Ajayi (R) during the African Champions League 2017 match between Tunisian Étoile Sportive du Sahel and Egyptian Al Ahly Sporting Club in Sousse, Tunisia on 01 October 2017 © BackpagePix

Bertin Basson

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 17:00

Al Ahly and Étoile Sportive du Sahel will lock horns in a highly anticipated 2017 CAF Champions League semifinal second-leg showdown at the Borg-El Arab Stadium on Sunday evening.

Kick-off is at 19h00 CAT.

The Tunisians head to Alexandria in control following a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture earlier this month.

Alaya Brigui and Mohamed Amine Ben Amor with the goals for the hosts at the Stade Olympique de Sousse, but Saleh Gomaa’s away goal for the Egyptians could prove decisive.

Aggregate victory will secure Al Ahly’s place in the CAF CL final for an unprecedented 11th time – with the Egyptians having clinched Africa’s premier cup competition on eight previous occasions.

One of only two defeats in the showpiece came against Étoile 10 years ago. The Tunisians clinching a 3-1 win over their counterparts in Egypt, after the first leg in Sousse ended in a goalless stalemate.

Victory served as revenge for ESS, with the club having suffered defeat to their North African rivals in the 2005 final. Al Ahly claiming a 3-0 aggregate win to hold the crown aloft.

Al Ahly head coach Hossam el Badry is counting on the club’s loyal fan base to help the team across the line in Alexandria this weekend.

“I am sure fan support on Sunday will ease our mission to snatch the qualifying ticket,” El Badry told his club’s official website.

“The attendance of 50,000 fans – approved by security authorities – will definitely be a positive boost for the team to overcome the loss,” he concluded.

Victor Gomes of South Africa will officiate the encounter.

The winner will come up against either USM Alger or Wydad Casablanca in the 2017 CAFCL final. The first-leg in Algiers finished in a 0-0 draw.

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USM Alger book Champs League semi-final spot

USM Alger player Hammar Ziri

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Sep 23, 2017. 23:17

USM Alger and Ferroviário Beira drew 0-0 in the 2017 CAF Champions League quarter-final second-leg match at the Stade du 5 Juillet on Saturday night.

The win sees the Algerian club qualify for the semi-finals after winning the tie on the away goals rule following a 1-1 draw on aggregate.

Mozambican side Beira bow out of the tournament.

The first-leg match had ended in a 1-1 draw in Mozambique last weekend and Alger were targeting a home victory.

Alger’s dangerman Oussama Darfalou was tightly marked by the visitors, who were also looking to take the lead.

However, the score was 0-0 at half-time with coach Paul Put’s Alger charges having failed to score.

Fabrice Kanda, who had netted for Beira in the first-leg match, was closely watched by Rafik-Chafai, the Alger defender.

Beira were unable to score in the second-half and the match ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

Alger (0) 0

Beira (0) 0

Alger: Zemmamouche, Meftah, Benmoussa, Chafaï, Abdellaoui, Benkhemassa, Hammar (Hamzaoui 78′) Koudri, Darfalou, Beldjilali (Sayoud 74′), Meziane (Sidibe 92′).

Beira: Manyatera, Nyirenda, Amorim, Edson Morais, Abrao Jose Cufa, Agy, Manuel (Andro 87′), Ugwu (Omar 72′), Kanda, Maninho, Dayo.

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Baroka regain top spot after a 2-2 draw at home – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Richard Matloga of Baroka FC © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Sep 23, 2017. 17:20

Baroka FC moved back to the summit of the Absa Premiership when they drew 2-2 against Ajax Cape Town on Saturday afternoon at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The hosts netted through Richard Matloga and Lewis Macha, as the now have 12 points from six matches so far.

On the other hand, the visiting side scored courtesy of Roderick Kabwe and Tashreeq Morris as they secured a point.

Ajax began the proceedings on a high as they dictated the terms in the heart of the part from the first whistle.

Kabwe used their possession to good use as he netted a cracker of a goal in the second minute after unleashing a thunderous shot, beating goalkeeper Virgil Vries on his right corner.

The ninth minute saw the hosts pushing for an immediate response and Mathari Mothupa also tried a long range shot, but it went wide.

However, in the 11th minute, Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele received a penalty after the referee called for a handball in the box and Matloga converted from the spot.

The Urban Warriors pushed for another goal and Kabwe was denied by Vries from a close range and conceded a throw in.

With both sides exchanging possession in the last 15 minutes of the encounter, there were no opportunities in front of the goal – 1-1 at half time.

The Urban Warriors bounced back with more intent as they regained their lead through Morris in the 50th minute.

Morris received a wonderful pass from the right wing and he controlled the ball well, before slotting the ball into Vries’ left corner.

However, seven minutes later the hosts also found the net with a beautiful header from substitute Macha as he outjumped his opponent to beat keeper Brendon Petersen on his right corner.

Towards the last 10 minutes, the hosts keepr Vries nearly conceded as he misjudged a ball into his area, but the Mother City side failed to capitalise on the error.

Uzoenyi Ejike tried a great set piece in the last five minutes from the edge of the area, but Vries was equal to the task as the ball took a deflection.

Coach Kgoloko Thobejane’s men thought they have found a winner in the 89th minute when Gift Motupa scored, but it was ruled out for an offside.

Resulting from the stalemate, coach Stanley Menzo’s side now sit at number 10 on the log table with five points from the same number of matches.

Baroka FC (1) 2 (Matloga 12′, Macha 57′)

Ajax Cape Town (1) 2 (Kabwe 2′, Morris 50′)

Baroka FC: Vries, Shaku, Matloga (Kgaswane 61′), Ntshangase, Banda, Moeti, Masenamela, Mothupa, Madubanya, Mdantsane, Nguzana (Macha 37′)

Ajax Cape Town: Petersen, Booysen, Evans, Pietersen (Mdabuka 48′), Nhlapo, Malepe, Lebusa, Kabwe (Margeman 72′), Mosadi, Morris, Makua (Uzoenyi 46′)

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FUS Rabat book CAF Confed Cup semi-final spot

Saad Ait Khorsa (R) from FUS Rabat for the ball with Karim Aouadhi (L) CS Sfaxien ABDELHAK SENNA

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 22:56

FUS Rabat were beaten 1-0 by CS Sfaxien in the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final second-leg match at the Stade Taïeb Mhiri in Tunisia on Friday.

But Moroccan outfit Rabat booked their place in the semi-finals after winning 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw on aggregate with Tunisian side Sfaxien crashing out of the competition.

Sfaxien, who were trailing on aggregate after losing 1-0 in the first-leg game in Morocco last weekend, were awarded an early penalty.

The hosts took the lead through Karim Aouadhi’s effort from the spot-kick making it 1-0 to Sfaxien in the 23rd minute.

The score was 1-0 to Sfaxien at half-time and 1-1 on aggregate following a lively first-half in the city of Sfax.

Jose Mota, the Sfaxien head coach, brought in attack minded players in the second-half as hosts looked to double their lead.

However, Rabat were soild at the back and ultimately, the match ended 1-0 in favour of Sfaxien and a penalty shootout followed as the tie was locked at 1-1 on aggregate.

Rabat won 5-4 on penalties after converting all of their spot-kicks, while Aouadhi turned into a villain for the hosts as he missed the target.

Sfaxien (1) 1 (Aouadhi 23′)

Rabat (0)

Sfaxien: Gaaloul, Ben Salah, Mathlouthi, Aouadhi, Meriah, Sokari (Kamoun 74′), Amdouni, Mendy, Ben Ali, Hannachi (Marzouki 83′), Chaouat (Ndoye 63′).

Rabat: Majid, Sy, Khorsa, Aguerd, Semmoumy, Skouma, El Araoui (Saoud 94′), Boulhroud, Diakité, El Bassil, Yansane (Benlamachi 81′)

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Étoile, Al Ahli battle for semifinal spot in Sousse

Al Ahly Tripoli player Mohamed Al Ghanodi (C) in action against Etoile Sportive player Zied Boughattas (R) and Aymen Sfaxi (L)

Bertin Basson

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 14:30

Étoile du Sahel and Al-Ahli Tripoli will cross swords in a 2017 CAF Champions League second-leg, quarterfinal showdown at the Stade Olympique de Sousse on Sunday evening.

The match on the Gulf of Hammamet will kick-off at 7:30pm CAT (6:30pm local time).

Étoile will be favourites to progress, but Al-Ahli will fancy their chances following a 0-0 stalemate in the reverse fixture last weekend. The match at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria was hotly contested, and a similar scenario is set to transpire in Sousse.

The first-leg was played at a neutral venue in Egypt due to political turmoil in Libya. This favoured the ‘visitors’, but they were unable to conjure an away goal as they ended the game with 10-men following Diego Acosta’s sending off.

As a result, the Brazilian forward – who has scored four goals in the CAFCL this season – will miss the second-leg clash.

Al-Ahli Tripoli will be aiming to take advantage of his absence in Sousse as they boast a star striker of their won. Muaid Ellafi has found the back of the net on six occasions in Africa’s premier cup competition this season.

ESS remain unbeaten in the CAFCL this season, having registered three wins and three draws on their way to topping their group. The 2007 champions average three-goals a game on home soil, but were held to a 1-1 draw by Al Hilal in Sousse – something their Libyan counterparts will be hoping to replicate.

Al-Ahli have made steady progress on their travels with a heavy defeat away to MC Alger followed by a 4-2 win over CAPS United in Zimbabwe. They rounded off their group stage campaign with a 2-2 draw against Zamalek to seal progression.

The aggregate winner will face a tough task in the semifinals as they will come up against either two-time champions Espérance de Tunis, or eight-time winners – the mighty – Al Ahly.

Zambian match official Janny Sikazwe will take charge of the match.

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We must secure our semifinal spot – USMA midfielder Benguit – 2017 CAF Champions League

USM Alger player Hammar Ziri (C) celebrates after scoring against Caps United during the 2017 CAF Champions League game between USM Alger and Caps United in Algiers, Algeria on 9 July 2017 © BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 17:00

USM Alger must secure their place in the CAF Champions League semifinals before they worry about which team they will face, said midfielder Abderraouf Benguit.

The Algerian team are strong favourites to advance into the final four after drawing 1-1 away to Mozambican side Ferroviario de Beira in the first leg of the teams’ quarterfinal tie this past weekend.

The return leg at the 5 July Stadium in Algiers is set for Saturday evening, with the hosts expected to prevail and set up a meeting with either reigning African champions Mamelodi Sundowns or Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca.

However, Benguit insists that USMA will still have to work hard to ensure they claim victory against Beira.

“The players of this team [Beira] are alive, they created some difficulties, so we must beware of it in the return match,” the midfielder told Le Buteur.

“They will have nothing to lose. They will also play without pressure, it will be able to release them and make them even more dangerous, so we will have to be vigilant.”

As for their potential semifinal opponents, Benguit believes it is something they will worry about only if and when they secure progression.

“To start, we will have to validate our ticket for the semifinals next weekend,” he explained.

“As for the opponent we wish to face, we have no preference. No matter the team, we will do whatever it takes to get to the end and reach our goal.

“We all know the importance of this trophy in the eyes of our supporters, for them, for all those who support us, we will fight thoroughly and until the last minute.”

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Idrissa Halidou goals hands Niger WAFU group spot – WAFU Cup of Nations 2017

Halidou Garba Idrissa of Niger celebrate goal with team mate during the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations Tournament. Between Burkina Faso v Niger in Cape Coast, Ghana on 10 September 2017 ©Christian Thompson/ BackpagePix

Staff Reporter

Sunday Sep 10, 2017. 18:56

A second half goal from Idrissa Halidou handed Niger a 2-1 win over Burkina Faso in a Last 16, 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Sunday, September 10.

The match started a little slowly with both sides squandering possession in the final third of the field.

The first real chance on goal came in the 17th minute when Niger’s Boubacar Hainikoye Soumana cut in from the left flank, beating one defender before firing just over the target from 20-yards out.

Boubacar Hainikoye Soumana was at it again eight minutes later when a powerful shot from the edge of the box deflected inches wide of the goal.

Burkina Faso came within inches of taking the lead on the half hour mark when Romeo Boni met a low left-wing cross from David Emmanuel Gora, but his eight-yard shot struck the crossbar.

The tournament saw its first goal from open play four minutes later when Boubacar Hainikoye Soumana showed great strength to fight off a defender and latch onto a through ball before duly lobbing the onrushing goalkeeper, 1-0.

Despite taking the lead, Niger suffered a bit of a set-back in the 40th minute when Hutmanu Ganiyu left the field injured and was replaced by Abdoul Moumouni Boubacar.

The half ended 1-0 in favour of Niger.

Burkina Faso came out firing at the start of the second half and made their pressure tell on the hour mark when substitute Hassamy Sansan Dah turned home a low right-wing cross from Adama Barro at close range, 1-1.

Niger, though, quickly hit back and took the lead for the second time in the 71st minute when Idrissa Halidou slipped in behind the Burkina Faso defence and slotted the ball between the legs of the advancing goalkeeper, 2-1.

Burkina Faso tried to find their way back into the game for a second time and threw numbers forward in attack, but they failed to break down the resolute Niger defence and exited the WAFU tournament.

Burkina Faso (0) 1 (Dah 59’)

Niger (1) 2 (Soumana 34’, Halidou 71’)


Burkina Faso coach: Brama Traore

Burkina Faso: 16. Ouedrago, 18. Bambara, 6. Couilbaly, 5. Beao, 3. Gora, 11. Barro, 4. To, 17. A. Traore (Zongo 88’), 10. Sylla, 7. Nana (9. Ahiro 66’), 14. Boni (13. Dah 50’).

Niger coach: Francois Zhaoui

Niger: 1. Dauda, 3. Lebne, 10. Halidou, 11. Victorien (8. Daouda 85’), 12. Dela, 13. Soumana, 14. Ganiyu (23. A. Boubacar 40’), 15. Abdoulaye, 17. Souley (19. Khaido 90’), 18. Dankwae, 20. Hainikoye.

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Cape Town City secure MTN8 Cup final spot – MTN8 2017

Elias Pelembe of Bidvest Wits challenged by Ebrahim Seedat of Cape Town City during 2017 MTN8 game between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City at Bidvest Wits Stadium on 10 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Sep 10, 2017. 17:03

Cape Town City edged out Bidvest Wits 2-1 in the MTN8 Cup semi-final second-leg match at the Bidvest Stadium on Sunday.

The victory sees the Citizens book their place in the final after winning 3-1 on aggregate, while Clever Boys are knocked out of the tournament.

The match got to a lively start as the Clever Boys dominated possession in the opening stages of the encounter.

Wits desrvedly took lead in the 11th minute when Thulani Hlatshwayo fired home to make it 1-0 to the hosts after a scramble in the City box.

After conceding the Citizens pushed forward in numbers as looked to level matters and they equalized in the 27th minute.

Amr Gamal scored an unfortunate own goal from Ayanda Patosi’s free-kick to make it 1-1 for City as the visitors regained the lead on aggregate.

Wits nearly scored in the 33rd minute, but Granwald Scott’s header narrowly missed the target as the hosts pressed City.

Gamal also saw his effort cleared off the goal-line seven minutes later and score was 1-1 at the interval with City leading 2-1 on aggregate.

City suffered a blow 14 minutes into the second-half as Ronald Putsche went down injured and he was replaced Mpho Matsi.

However, the Citizens continued to launch attacks and they managed to take the lead for the first time in the 71st minute.

Lehlohonolo Majoro controlled the ball well in the Wits box, before firing past Wits keeper Moeeneb Josephs to make it 2-1 to City.

Frank Gabadinho nearly equalized for Wits in 74th minute, but City Shu-Aib Walters parried his powerful shot out for a corner-kick.

Wits did most of the attacking in the dying minutes of the match – attacking in numbers in search of three late goals.

However, City managed to contain Wits in the remaining minutes and they ran out 2-1 winners on the day.

Wits (1) 1 (Hlatshwayo 11′)

City (1) 2 (Gamal 27′ og, Majoro 71′)

Wits: Josephs, Hlatshwayo, Damjanovic, Scott, Gamal (Rodgers 46′), Pelembe (Mhango 62′), Pule (Klate 46′), Hlanti, Pienaar, Kodisang, Frosler.

City: Walters, Mkhize, Fielies, Johannes, Seedat, Nodada, Putsche (Matsi 60′), Modise (Gumede 80′), Masina (Lakay 54′), Majoro, Patosi.

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Ivory Coast book 2018 CHAN spot

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Aug 19, 2017. 21:05

Ivory Coast overcame Niger 1-0 in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers on Saturday.

As a result, the Elephants book their place at the 2018 CHAN finals after winning the tie on the away goals rule following a 2-2 draw on aggregate.

The West Zone B second-leg match took place at the Stade Robert Champroux in the main city of Ivory Coast, Abidjan.

The only goal of the match was scored in the second-half after Menas had managed to contain Ivory in the first-half.

Sylla Banfa was the hero for the Elephants as he found the back of the net in stoppage time and Ivory Coast emerged 1-0 winners.

The Elephants are now set to participate in the CHAN finals for fourth time having hosted the first tournament in 2009.

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Mali look to secure 2018 CHAN spot

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Aug 18, 2017. 18:30

Mali will meet Mauritania in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 18h30 CAT.

The West Zone A second-leg clash will be played at the Stade Modibo Kéïta in Mali’s capital city, Bamako.

Mauritania held Mali to a 2-2 stalemate in an entertaining first-leg match last weekend.

Moussa Samba and Abdoulaye Gaye netted for Mauritania, while Aboubacar Diarra and Mandala Konte scored for Mali.

The encounter was played at the Stade Olympique in Mauritania’s main city, Nouakchott.

Mali have participated in the last three CHAN finals and they finished second in last year’s tournament which was their best performance in the competition.

Mauritania are looking to reach the CHAN finals for the second time. They finished at the bottom of their group at the 2014 finals.

The winner on aggregate between Mali and Mauritania will qualify for the 2018 finals which will be hosted by Kenya.

Referee Ibrahim Nour El Din, who hails from Egypt, will be in charge of the second-leg game.

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SuperSport edge Chiefs to seal MTN8 semifinal spot – MTN8 2017

Jeremy Brockie of Supersport United celebrates goal during 2017 MTN8 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Supersport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban South Africa on 12 August 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Bertin Basson

Saturday Aug 12, 2017. 22:44

Jeremy Brockie’s sixth minute strike proved to be the difference between SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs, as Matsatsantsa sealed their place in the 2017 MTN8 semifinals with a 1-0 win at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening.

Different season, same problems for the Amakhosi who failed to capitalize on a catalogue of chances throughout the 90 as another chance at silverware for Steve Komphela goes abegging.

SuperSport join Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City in the next round with Mamelodi Sundowns and Maritzburg United to do battle on Sunday.

Eric Tinkler’s influence was noticeable as early as the sixth minute as a superb counter-attack goal opened the scoring on the night.

Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Bradley Grobler and Brockie linking up for a wonderful goal; capped off by the New Zealand international who skipped past Lorenzo Gordinho before firing past Itumeleng Khune, 0-1.

The goal breathed some urgency into Chiefs who hit the post in the 23rd minute through a deflected shot from Siphiwe Tshabalala.

Ronwen Williams was then called into action to deny Bernard Parker as the Glamour Boys headed into the break on top, but a goal down.

A similar pattern would follow in the second with Chiefs dominating both possession and territory.

Parker and Hendrick Ekstein would also hit the woodwork on a night where luck wasn’t on the Glamour Boys side with SuperSport made to absorb wave-after-wave of attack.

Tinkler’s men would not buckle under the amount of relentless pressure and successfully held on to book their place in the final four.

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 0

SuperSport United (1) 1 (Brockie 6′)

Kaizer Chiefs: Khune; Mphahlele (Jayiya 82′), Gordinho, Mathoho, Masilela – Maluleka, Katsande, Ekstein, Tshabalala – Parker (Malongoane 73′), Paez

SuperSport United: Williams; Kekana, Gould, Daniels (Mashamaite 80′), Modiba – Furman, Letsholonyane, Alexander (Phala 46′) – Wome (Nhlapo 68′), Grobler, Brockie

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Bidvest Wits book MTN8 Cup semi-final spot

Thulani Hlatshwayo of Bidvest Wits celebrates a goal during the MTN8 match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates on 27 August 2016 at Bidvest Stadium

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Aug 11, 2017. 23:15

Bidvest Wits overcame Golden Arrows 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in the 2017 MTN8 Cup quarter-final match at the Bidvest Stadium in on Friday night.

The win sees the defending champions Clever Boys progress into the semi-finals, while Abafana Bes’thende have been eliminated from the competition.

Abafana Bes’thende took a surprise lead just 11 minutes into the game as Lerato Lamola headed home Siphelele Magubane’s cross to make it 1-0 to Arrows.

The Clever Boys were then reduced to 10 men when debutant Slavko Damjanovic was showed a straight red card for a dangerous tackle in the 20th minute.

It was soon 2-0 to Arrows as Wayde Jooste set-up Mahachi, who made no mistake as he beat Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs in the 24th minute.

But James Keene managed to pull one back when he converted from the spot-kick two minutes later after Wits were awarded a penalty.

Arrows were also reduced to 10 men after Danny Phiri received his second yellow card just the before the half-time break. The score was 2-1 to Arrows at the interval.

The Clever Boys dominated the second-half and they managed to restore parity a minute after the hour-mark with the Abafana Bes’thende defence exposed.

A cross from Reeve Frosler found his teammate Keene, who then hit the back of the net from close range making it 2-2 – grabbing his brace in the process.

Second-half substitute Frank Gabadinho Mhango almost scored with his first touch in the 76th minute, but his header was blocked in the line.

Abafana Bes’thende stood firm in the dying minutes of the match and the encounter ended in a 2-2 draw in regulation time, and extra-time followed.

Arrows nearly grabbed a goal in extra-time when Nduduzo Sibiya unleashed a powerful low shot from range and Josephs brilliantly parried the ball away – keeping his side in the game.

The visitors then lost another man after Arrows defender Siyabonga Dube was given a straight red card. But nine-men Arrows contained Wits and ultimately, the match went into a penalty shootout.

However, Wits converted four penalties, while Arrows missed three and the former emerged 4-3 winners on penalties.

Wits (2) 2 (Keene 26′, 61′)

Arrows (1) 2 (Lamola 11′, Mahachi 24′)

Wits: Josephs, Frosler, Hlanti, Hlatshwayo, Damjanovic, Scott (Khumalo 22′), Monare, Claasen (Pienaar 84′), Pule (Mhango 75′), Pelembe, Keene.

Arrows: Gumede, Dube, Nonyane, Mzava, Mngwengwe, Phiri, Cele, Mahachi, Magubane (Sibiya 22′), Jooste (Bilankulu 46′), Lamola (Mutizwa 95′).

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John Obi Mikel confident of booking a spot in Russia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 09:00

Nigeria national team skipper John Obi Mikel is confident they will successfully reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The Super Eagles midfielder says they must win their upcoming Group B match against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to boost their chances.

Speaking to, the Tianjin Teda midfielder remains upbeat about their chances to make it to the biggest football tournament in the world.

Gernot Rohr’s men are already four points clear of second-placed Cameroon and five ahead of Zambia and Algeria, heading to the third round of qualifying at the end of this month.


The former Chelsea star whose wife is Russian, revealed that there is pressure from his family friends to qualify for the global showpiece.

“We are in a very good position in our group,” Mikel said to

“We have two wins from two games, and in our last game we beat Algeria at home. We have a very good young team and the players play good football.

“If we can win our next match (at home to Cameroon on 31 August) it will edge us closer to qualification. I think we can go through.

“They (friends and wife) are all expecting Nigeria to qualify for the next World Cup. I think they will kill me if I fail them.”

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Keagan Buchanan eyeing regular spot with South African giants – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Kaizer Chiefs

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Jul 26, 2017. 10:00

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Keagan Buchanan says that he wants to repay the faith shown by the South African club’s chairman, Kaizer Motaung.

The former Bloemfontein Celtic playmaker joined Amakhosi last season, but is yet to cement a regular place in coach Steve Komphela’s starting eleven.

However, speaking ahead of the new 2017/18 Premier Soccer League season, Buchanan says they have a competitive midfield and he wants to claim a spot in the team

Chiefs are set to renew their rivalry against fellow Soweto giants, Orlando Pirates this weekend in the Carling Black Label Champion Cup at FNB Stadium.

“We want to make the chairman happy. The supporters deserve something in the new season. A trophy is a must, because all of us are feeling the pain,” Buchanan told the Sowetan.

“It’s not nice to go so long without a trophy for a team of our calibre. We have a competitive midfield, but I believe there’s a place for me in there. I can bring in something different, a new dimension.

“I was out for 10 months – that’s a long time. It took me some time to heal. But this time I have had full pre-season with the team, no injuries. So definitely I should get more game time than I did in my first season.”

Buchanan will hope to make his mark this coming term and will also hope to play a major role this Saturday at the Calabash at 15:30 (CAT).

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Angola to close in on CHAN spot

Herenilson Carma of Angola challenged by Mzamiru Said of Tanzania during the Cosafa Castle Cup match between Angola and Tanzania at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on 27 June 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Bertin Basson

Friday Jul 21, 2017. 16:30

Angola will be expected to take another step towards qualifying for the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament, when they welcome Mauritius in a Southern Zone second round, second leg fixture at the Estádio 11 de Novembro.

Kick-off in Luanda is scheduled for 17h30 CAT.

The 2011 runners-up defeated their opponents 1-0 in the reverse fixture last week. Ricardo Job with the only goal of the game at the Stade Anjalay in Belle Vue Maurel.

Nomore Murambiwa Musundire of Zimbabwe will take charge of the clash.

The aggregate winners will face either Madagascar or Mozambique in the final phase of qualification.

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Al Ahly pip Zanaco at the post for quarterfinal spot

Al Ahly player Amr Gamal (L) in action against Coton Sport player Kaou Fabril (R) during the 2017 CAF Champions League game between Al Ahly and Coton Sport at Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt on in Alexandria, Egypt on 8 July 2017 © BackpagePix

Brian Lee

Saturday Jul 08, 2017. 23:02

Egypt’s Al Ahly managed to sneak into the quarterfinals of the CAf Champions League after beating Cameroon’s Coton Sport 3-1 in a Group D game at the Borg el arab stadium in Alexandria on Saturday night.

Al Ahly will now play either Esperance or Mamelodi Sundowns (who are in action on Sunday) in the quarterfinals of the competition on the weekend of 8-10 September.

Al Ahly got off to the worst possible start on the night in front of their home fans after conceding as early as the 12th minute courtesy of an own goal from Ahmed Fathy, 1-0.

Coton Sport’s joy was short-live when Al Ahly equalised three minutes later thanks to a strike from Amr Gamal, 1-1.

Just after the half hour mark Al Ahly finally took the lead after a sustained period of pressure when Abdallah El-Said found the back of the net with a clinical finish, 2-1.

Amr Gamal scored his second goal of the game ten minutes into the second half after concluding a well-worked passing move with a fine strike, 3-1.

Coton Sport did not offer much in attack throughout the game and after scoring their third goal Al Ahly took their foot off the pedal and cruised to a comfortable win.

The win for Al Ahly, combined with Zanaco’s 1-0 loss to Wydad Casablanca (also on Saturday), sees Al Ahly finish second in the group with 11 points – the same as Zanaco but with a superior goal difference.

Wydad finish top of Group D with 12 points while Coton Sport exit the competition without a win in the group stages.

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Club Africain, KCCA battle for top spot

Denis Okot Oola of KCCA challenges Benard Evoke of Rivers United during the 2017 CAF Confederation football match between Rivers United and Kampala City at Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. @Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 06, 2017. 11:30

Club Africain and KCCA will battle for top spot in Group A of the CAF Confederation Cup when they meet at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on Friday night, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.

Both sides took major strides toward the quarterfinals with crucial victories last weekend: the Ugandan side defeated FUS Rabat 3-1 in Kampala, while Club Africain became the first team in the group to take any points on the road as they won 2-0 in Nigeria against Rivers United.

As a result the pair sit atop the pool with nine points each, holding a three point advantage over both United and FUS.

A draw in this match will see both CA and Kampala advance into the quarters, while even a defeat may not necessarily be terminal: for example, if Africain lost and Rivers won in the group’s other match, they would both finish on nine points, but the Tunisians hold a superior head-to-head record and would qualify regardless.

A cynical observer would imagine that the teams will have a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ to play out a draw and both progress, but given that the group winners will have the advantage of playing the second leg of their quarterfinal at home, the chances of the teams simply going through the motions are slim.

KCCA would end in first place if the game ended in a draw, while CA must win by two clear goals to win the group. The two teams advancing will face MC Alger and CS Sfaxien, who have already secured progression from Group B.

The other Group A match between FUS Rabat and Rivers United will be played at the same time in Morocco. Zambian referee Wellington Kaoma will officiate the game in Rades.

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