Player Spotlight: Christian Bassogog – Cameroonian star provides injury update

epa06035856 Christian Bassogog (L) of Cameroon and Gonzalo Jara of Chile in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 group B soccer match between Cameroon and Chile at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, 18 June 2017. EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 19:00

The forward has provided an update regarding his injury which saw him miss Cameroon’s last match earlier this month.

Bassogog was called up for the Indomitable Lions’ final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zambia which ended in a 2-2 draw in Ndola on the 11th of November 2017.

The Cameroon medical team indicated that the player was not fit for the match after discovering that the China-based striker was carrying a knee injury.

Bassogog has informed Camfoot that he’s recovering well from the injury during the Chinese Super League off-season.

“My injury is improving and I think I’ll be back soon. I am on vacation for now and I will take the opportunity to heal,” Bassogog said.

The 22-year-old marksman netted 10 goals in 24 league appearances for Henan Jianye during the 2017 Chinese Super League season.

The team managed to survive relegation and they are set to campaign in the elite league during the 2018 campaign.

He recently indicated that he would consider offers from European clubs having joined Jianye from Danish side AaB Fodbold in February 2017.

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Player Spotlight: Mario Lemina – Gabon star could start against Manchester City – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Manchester United’s Marouane Fellani (L) and Southampton’s Mario Lemina in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at Saint Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, Britain, 23 September 2017.

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 16:00

The highly-rated central midfielder made his first competitive appearance for his club Southampton in just over month on Sunday.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino introduced Lemina with 12 minutes left as the Saints beat Everton 4-1 in an English Premier League game at home.

The Gabonese international has recovered well from an ankle injury which he sustained after facing West Bromwich Albion in a league game on the 21st of October 2017.

Lemina has been one of the Saints’ best players this season having joined the club from Italian Serie A giants Juventus prior to the current campaign.

The Saints provided an injury update ahead of their away league game with high-flying Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

A club statement read: “Mauricio Pellegrino has no injury concerns for his team’s Premier League trip to Manchester City, with long-term absentee Matt Targett the only player set to skip Wednesday’s encounter.

“The Argentine has practically a full squad to choose from at the Etihad Stadium, with Mario Lemina having made his first appearance in just over month from the substitute’s bench against Everton on Sunday.

“Lemina completed the final 12 minutes of Southampton’s comprehensive 4-1 victory over the Toffees, his first sight of action since the home meeting with West Bromwich Albion on 21 October.

“Saints’ midfield options are set to be boosted further by the return of Oriol Romeu after a one-match suspension.”

Lemina, 24, has made eight league appearances for Southampton this season.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Newcastle need their Ghana star to return – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 13:00

Ghanaian Christian Atsu was again absent as Newcastle United slumped to a fourth successive defeat on Saturday.

The Magpies were given a chastening 3-0 beating at home by Watford, with Atsu missing a second successive match following the thigh injury he supposedly aggravate while on international duty with the Black Stars.

The loss to the Hornets is a fourth in succession for Rafael Benitez’s side, who have also been beaten by Burnley, Bournemouth and Manchester United in the sequence.

The defeat to United at Old Trafford is to be expected given the difference in the respective teams’ ambitions, but the losses against the other three will be major worries for Newcastle fans.

The club has dropped to 13th place on the log and is just four points above the relegation zone.

The good news is that Atsu is nearing a return from injury, with Benitez revealing last week that the winger is making encouraging progress.

The Magpies may even be tempted to fast-track his return when they face West Bromwich Albion in a midweek Premier League clash at the Hawthorns tomorrow night.

Short of that, they’ll definitely want him for the high profile match away to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, December 2, where Atsu’s pace and penetration on the counter attack could be a key facet of their game plan.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Bassogog – The Cameroon star does not regret moving to China – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

epa06035856 Christian Bassogog (L) of Cameroon and Gonzalo Jara of Chile in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 group B soccer match between Cameroon and Chile at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, 18 June 2017. EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 19:00

Many were surprised when one of Africa’s most promising youngsters, Bassogog joined Chinese club Henan Jianye in February, 2017.

Bassogog, who was 21 at the time, had played an instrumental role in helping Cameroon win the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in Gabon.

The 2017 AFCON Player of the Tournament attracted interested from several European clubs, but he decided to join Jianye from Danish club AaB Fodbold.

Camfoot recently spoke to the talented forward, who scored 10 goals in 24 Chinese Super League matches during the 2017 season.

“When looking at me signing in China, I think I trusted my agents and they know what’s best for me. I will not say it’s a bad choice,” Bassogog said.

“I did not have any pressure. I am went to China because my agents saw a good opportunity. I had a good season.

“But Europe is not excluded. I can always come back at any time. Regarding visibility, if a player has good club performances, I think he can be can play everywhere,” the 22-year-old continued.

“So, I do not think that going to China I will not be able to play anywhere else. It was God who wanted me to go.

“Each of us often needs to take a step back to reflect … I received proposals from some European clubs that I do not want to reveal because I’m still under contract with my club.”

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

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

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 19:00

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chelsea’s Nigerian star Moses resumes training – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Chelsea’s Victor Moses (L) vies for the ball with Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli (R)

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 09:00

Nigerian international Victor Moses has resumed training with his Chelsea teammates.

The defender-cum-midfielder spent the last five weeks undergoing rehabilitation due to the hamstring problem he suffered against Crystal Palace.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte revealed that Moses has progressed well following the team’s 4-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in an English Premier League game on Saturday.

“Today the starting 11 was the same as against United,” Conte told Chelsea’s official website.

“We played well in that game and we did again today but don’t forget we have to play a lot of games in a few days, so I need all of my players.

”Victor Moses is progressing well and I hope to have him back from tomorrow, for the game after Qarabag,” he added.

“It’s important to have all the senior players in good form without injuries.”

Moses, 25, has made six league appearances for the Blues this season.

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SuperSport star Brockie relishes Mazembe clash

Willem Mwedihanga of Platinum Stars challenges Jeremy Brockie of Supersport United during 2017/18 Absa Premiership game between Supersport United and Platinum Stars at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 12 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Nov 19, 2017. 12:00

SuperSport United striker Jeremy Brockie is looking forward to facing DR Congo giants TP Mazembe.

South African side United will take on Mazembe in the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup final first-leg clash in Lubumbashi on Sunday.

Brockie, who recently represented New Zealand in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, is enjoying life in Africa.

“When I joined SuperSport, one of my goals was to play in a CAF club competition,” he told

The 30-year-old is the top goalscorer in this year’s Confederation Cup having scored 10 goals.

“I have wonderful memories from visiting countries in the east, west and north of Africa this year,” he added.

“SuperSport have performed brilliantly to reach the final and now we face a very good team in Mazembe.”

United and Mazembe were part of Confederation Cup Group D. The two sides drew 2-2 in Lubumbashi and 0-0 in Pretoria.

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Senegal star Niasse suprisingly feels sad for Koeman – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 15:30

Senegalese international Oumar Niasse has stated that he feels sorry former Everton FC manager Ronald Koeman.

The Dutch trainer was fired by the English Premier League (EPL) club last month due to the team’s poor results.

Niasse was demoted to the Everton‘s Under-23 side following the arrival of Koeman at the Liverpool-based club in 2016.

The 27-year-old spent the second round of the 2016/17 season out on loan at Hull City where he impressed – scoring four goals in 12 EPL starts.

“I feel sorry for him [Koeman], what happened to him when the club got rid of him,” Niasse told Sky Sports.

“Honestly, they were ready to let me go. I was ready also to go because I knew that it would be a difficult season if I stayed here but at the end I didn’t go.

Upon his return to Everton, Niasse made four league appearances for the Toffees between August and October under Koeman.

“I said thank you to him because he could have said ‘no, you are staying with the U23s’ but when I came back he brought me back to the team.

“That has allowed me to be here today.”

Niasse has scored four goals in six league starts to date for Everton, who are now under the guidance of caretaker manager David Unsworth.

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Ivorian star Kessie rejected Chelsea and Napoli – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 12:00

Ivorian international Franck Kessie snubbed English Premier League (EPL) giants Chelsea and top Italian Serie A side Napoli.

This is according to Kessie’s agent, George Atangana, who told Radio CrC that the central midfielder preferred a move to AC Milan.

The 20-year-old joined the Italian Serie A giants from Atalanta on a two-year loan deal prior to the current 2017/18 campaign.

“Kessie? Big clubs always want to sign top talents and there wasn’t only Napoli on him.” Atangana said.

“He evaluated many different offers and projects before making his final decision.

The hard-working midfielder has hit the ground running at Milan – having scored twice in 12 league appearances.

“He chose Milan since it was the start of a new and exciting project,” he added.

“They had been following him for some time and they moved quickly to get him.”

Milan will face Napoli in a league match at the Stadio San Paolo on Saturday.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Idrissa Gueye – The Senegalese star turns focus back on English Premier League – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Nov 16, 2017. 10:00

The influential midfielder played a key role in helping Senegal book their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals which will be hosted by Russia.

Nicknamed the Lions of Teranga, Senegal defeated South Africa 2-0 in a Group D match at the Peter Makaba Stadium in Polokwane last week Friday and they qualified as group winners.

Gueye played the entire match in the middle of the park – protecting the Senegal defence along side West Ham United defender-cum-midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate.

Aliou Cisse decided to rest some of Senegal’s key players ahead of their final Group D match which was against South Africa at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar on Tuesday.

However, Gueye and Senegal captain Kouyate kept their place in the starting line-up as the Lions of Teranga secured a 2-1 win over Bafana Bafana in a dead rubber.

Gueye, 28, took to social media to express his joy after Senegal qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 16 years:

The midfield enforcer will now focus on Everton‘s upcoming English Premier League (EPL) match against Crystal Palace which will be played in London on Sunday.

Before the FIFA international break, Gueye helped the Toffees end their four-match winless run in the EPL with a 3-2 win over Watford at home.

A victory for Everton over Palace, will see the Toffees move further away from the relegation zone.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Mario Lemina – The Gabonese star feels comfortable in English Premier League – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Manchester United‘s Marouane Fellani (L) and Southampton’s Mario Lemina in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at Saint Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, Britain, 23 September 2017.

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017. 16:00

The African midfielder joined English Premier League (EPL) side Southampton FC on a five-year deal from Italian Serie A giants Juventus prior to the 2017/18 campaign.

Some expected Lemina to take some time before adapting to life in the EPL – having turned out for FC Lorient and Olympique Marseille in the French Ligue 1.

However, the midfield maestro took to the EPL like a duck to water – producing good displays for Southampton and he was deservedly named the club’s October Player of the Month.

The former French youth international, who made his debut for Gabon in 2015, told Southampton’s official website that the style of the league suits him.

“It’s really nice to have the fans talking and singing about me,” Lemina said.

“I feel very comfortable in the Premier League, the style of our play and the style of the league suits me and brings the best out of me.

“I am happy to be here and to have made a good start.”

The 24-year-old has made seven EPL appearances for Southampton – having missed the team’s last two league matches due to an injury.

He is expected to resume training after the current FIFA international break.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Vincent Aboubacar – Cameroon star to take form into World Cup qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon celebrates goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Afcon Final match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Libreville in Gabon on 5 February 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 13:00

Vincent Aboubacar will look to take his strong form for Porto into this weekend’s World Cup qualifiers.

The Cameroon striker has netted four goals in Porto’s last six matches, including a fine strike in a 2-0 Primeira Liga win over Belenenses last Saturday.

The Indomitable Lions will wrap up their Group B campaign in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers with a match away to Zambia on Saturday afternoon.

Aboubacar is expected to lead Cameroon’s attack in the match at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

The West Africans will not be going to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, regardless of their result against Chipolopolo, as regional rivals Nigeria have already secured top spot in the group.

Nonetheless, the 25-year-old Porto star will be keen on adding to his tally of international goals, having already netted twice for Cameroon in this qualifying campaign.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Bassogog – Hugo Broos to build Lions team around Cameroon star? – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

epa06049960 Christian Bassogog (R) of Cameroon and Antonio Ruediger of Germany in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 group B soccer match between Germany and Cameroon at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, 25 June 2017. EPA/ARMANDO BABANI

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 19:00

Cameroon head coach Hugo Broos has called for patience from the country’s fans ahead of their final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zambia.

The Belgian tactician included Bassogog in the squad which will take on Chipolopolo at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Saturday.

Bassogog, who inspired the Indomitable Lions to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title, has been ineffective during Cameroon’s disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign.

However, Broos has kept his faith in the 2017 AFCON Player of the Tournament as Cameroon look to defend their title in 2019 on home soil after failing to qualify for the next World Cup.

“Here in this country you don’t know the word patience,” Broos said on BBC.

“And if you want to build a good team you need to have patience,

“Accept that some games you will lose – because otherwise you will never know if that player or that way of playing is good.”

Bassogog, who was one of Henan Jianye’s star players during the 2017 Chinese Super League, definitely looks to be the future of the Indomitable Lions.

Broos is expected to build a another formidable team that can defend the AFCON title and also qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.

Bassogog, 22, is the kind of player Broos is likely to build the Cameroon team around ahead of the next continental tournament.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Mario Lemina – Gabon star to miss World Cup qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Manchester United‘s Marouane Fellani (L) and Southampton’s Mario Lemina in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at Saint Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, Britain, 23 September 2017.

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 16:00

The Gabonese international, who is currently out nursing an injured, looks set to miss Gabon’s last 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Nicknamed the Panthers, Gabon have already failed to qualify for next year’s finals after after recording one win, two draws and two defeats in Group C.

Lemina has missed his club, Southampton FC’s last two English Premier League (EPL) matches due to an ankle injury.

According to Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino, the 24-year-old midfielder will only start training after the current FIFA international break.

“Mario continues his treatment,” Pellegrino was quoted on Sky Sports as saying.

“I would expect after the international break maybe Mario can train with the team.”

Lemina has been a regular during Gabon’s qualifying campaign having featured in all of their five Group C matches.

The match between Gabon and Mali will take place at the Stade de Franceville in Franceville on Saturday, 11 November 2017.

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Former Nigeria star steps down from Chelsea role

Former Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 12:00

Former Nigeria international Michael Emenalo has stepped down from his position as Chelsea’s technical director.

According to the Telegraph, Emenalo brought his 10-year association with the Blues to an end on Monday, following their 1-0 victory over Manchester United on the weekend.

The former Super Eagles defender reportedly made the decision to quit during the European summer, but delayed his departure to have a minimal impact on the team.

Emenalo is a close friend of club owner Roman Abramovich, who asked the 52-year-old to reconsider, but he insisted that he needs to spend more time with his young family.

It is also speculated that Emenalo’s departure is due to strained relations with head coach Antonio Conte, who wants greater control of transfer proceedings.

Emenalo represented Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup and first joined Chelsea’s technical team in 2007.

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Liverpool star Mohamed Salah excluded from Egypt squad for Ghana clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 02, 2017. 10:30

Egypt coach Hector Cuper has announced his 25-man squad to face the Black Stars of Ghana in their final Group E match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers next week.

The Pharaohs coach has called up nine local-based players for the clash on November 12.

Cuper has decided to give Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah a break from playing as they have already qualified for the World Cup in Russia.

“Cuper decided to call nine local-based players for Ghana match (six from Ahly and the remaining three from Zamalek),” national team supervisor Ehab Leheta announced in a statement.


Egypt’s 25-man squad for Ghana match:

Goalkeepers: Essam El-Hadary (Taawoun, Saudi), Ahmed El-Shennawi (Zamalek), Sherif Ekramy (Ahly)

Defenders: Omar Gaber (Basel, Switzerland) Ahmed Fathi, Saad Samir, Ramy Rabia (Ahly), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa, England), Mohamed Abdel-Shafi (Ahly Jeddah, KSA), Ahmed Hegazy (West Bromwich, England), Karim Hafiz (Lens, France)

Midfielders: Moemen Zakareya , Abdallah El-Said (Ahly), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal, England), Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Sam Morsi (Wigan, England), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City, England), Mahmoud “Shikabala” Abdel-Razek (Al-Raed, Saudi Arabia)

Forwards: Ahmed Hassan “Kouka” (Braga, Portugal), Mahmoud Kahraba (Ittihad Jeddah, KSA), Amr Gamal (Bidvest Wits, South Africa), Amr Warda (CD Feirense, Portugal), Amr Marei (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia)

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Egyptian star shoots down Free State

Ahmed Amr Gamal of Bidvest Wits celebrates his goal

Brian Lee

Sunday Oct 29, 2017. 00:27

A brace from Egyptian Amr Gamal helped Bidvest Wits beat Free State Stars 4-2 in a Telkom Knockout, Last 16 match at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday night.

The encounter ended 2-2 after 90 minutes and it took extra time goals from Amr Gamal and James Keene to hand the Clever Boys a spot in the quarterfinals of the knockout competition.

The home side started the better of the two teams, but only made their dominance count in the 20th minute when Bongani Khumalo headed home a Gerald Phiri cross to give Wits the lead, 1-0.

The Clever Boys’ joy, though, was short-lived when Thabo Maphakisa equalised for Stars four minutes later after clinical strike from the edge of the box, 1-1.

Wits controlled the remainder of the half and were afforded a chance to take the lead a minute before the break when they were awarded a spot-kick.

Amr Gamal stepped up for the home side and dully converted from the penalty-spot to make it 2-1 ti Wits at the break.

The second half saw Stars applying all the pressure and they were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty of their own in the 77th minute which was converted by Siphelele Mthembu to draw the match level for the second time, 2-2.

Both sides pushed players forward in the final ten minutes of regular time, but neither could find the back of the net which meant we would have another 30 minutes of play.

Wits dominated extra time and took the lead for the third time five minutes into the first half of extra time when Amr Gamal found the back of the net for the second time, 3-2.

The victory was sealed for Wits in the 26th minute of extra time when substitute James Keene cleverly lobbed the keeper in a one-on-one situation, 4-2.

Bidvest Wits (2) 4 (Khumalo 20’, Gamal 44’ pen + 95’, Keene 116’)

Free State Stars (1) 2 (Maphakisa 24’, Mthembu 77’ pen)


Wits: 1. Keet, 2. Allie, 4. Khumalo, 6. Scott, 7. Klate, 10. Gamal (20. Pienaar 101’), 11. Pelembe, 13. Hlanti, 19. Mlambo (30. Motshwari 70’), 21. Phiri (28. Keene 59’), 33. Frosler.

Stars: 23. Sangare, 19. Mbhele, 22. Keita, 28. Mahamutsa, 20. Mashego (9. Nono 99’), 5. Masehe, 26. Dlamini (17 Hlubi 68’), 21. Phungwayo, 13. Maphakisa (15. Mokhuoane 82’), 21. Mthembu, 11. Jantjie.

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Red Star Belgrade hail Richmond Boakye’s scoring record

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 14:00

Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade have hailed Ghanaian Richmond Boakye after he became the club’s highest scoring foreign player of all time.

The 24-year-old netted in a SuperLiga match against Spartak Subotica in midweek to rack up his 29th goal in Red Star colours.

The Ghanaian’s goal tally has arrived in just 40 matches since joining the team in January 2017.

And the Belgrade club have praised Boakye’s impact at the club, putting the following post up on their official Twitter account:

”Congratulations, you became a part of our history! @Boakye_Yiadom9…..29 goals for #fkcz.”

Boakye will look to continue his scoring form when Red Star play Zemun in an away league clash tomorrow afternoon.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Faouzi Ghoulam – Algerian star to feature against Genoa tonight – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 19:00

Algeria’s Faouzi Ghoulam continues to impress in the light blue of Napoli and is set to be in action later this evening in a Serie A match at Genoa.

Napoli will head to the Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris in Genova for their round 10 Serie A match.

Ghoulam has started all nine of their Serie A matches so far this season and has chipped in with two two goals.

The Naples club will be looking to return to the top of the standings, having been leapfrogged by Internazionale after they beat Sampdoria 3-2 in the only match on Tuesday.

With a record of eight wins and one draw from their opening nine matches, Napoli hasve established themselves as strong contenders for the Italian championship – a trophy they have not lifted since 1989/90 when they had Diego Maradona on their books.

Ghoulam, meanwhile, continues to be strongly linked with a move to the Premier League.

Manchester City appear to be the club in pole position to make a move for the Fennec Foxes star, having seen him in action first-hand at the Etihad Stadium last midweek when they claimed a 2-1 win over the Italian club in the UEFA Champions League.

Ghoulam has still not signed a new contract with Napoli, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the current season.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Bassogog – Cameroon star maintains electrifying form in China – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

epa06049960 Christian Bassogog (R) of Cameroon and Antonio Ruediger of Germany in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 group B soccer match between Germany and Cameroon at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, 25 June 2017. EPA/ARMANDO BABANI

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 19:00

The promising forward has been in electrifying form for Henan Jianye in the Chinese Super League.

Bassogog, who was born in Douala, Cameroon, inspired Jianye to a 2-1 victory over Yanbian Funde on Saturday.

The league encounter took place at the Yanji Nationwide Fitness Centre Stadium in city of Yanji.

Bassogog was the hero for his side as he scored in the sixth and 48th minutes of the encounter and Jianye secured an away victory.

Prior the clash with Funde, the 22-year-old had netted during Jianye’s 3-2 league defeat to Guangzhou R&F away nearly two weeks ago.

The former Wilmington Hammerheads has now scored 10 goals in 23 league matches for the Zhengzhou-based outfit.

Jianye, who are 11 points above the relegation zone, find themselves placed 11th on the league standings with two matches left.

Bassogog will be hoping to maintain his scoring form when Jianye host Shanghai SIPG at the Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium on Sunday.

Jianye are scheduled to take on Tianjin Teda away in their last league match of the season on 4 November 2017.

Bassogog is expected to be included in the Cameroon squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group B match against Zambia,

The final Group B encounter will be played at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia on 11 November 2017.

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Ghana star Boateng prepares for an emotional game – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Frankfurt’s Kevin-Prince Boateng celebrates after scoring

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 12:00

Eintracht Frankfurt forward Kevin-Prince Boateng is relishing the prospect of facing his former side, Borussia Dortmund this weekend.

Frankfurt are set to host Dortmund in a German Bundesliga encounter at the Commerzbank-Arena on Saturday.

“Definitely – I always enjoy playing against my former clubs,” Boateng told his club’s official website.

“I had a very good time at Dortmund. I’ll come face to face with a lot of old friends, so it’s going to be very emotional.

The Ghana international spent the second round of the 2008/09 season on a short-term loan deal at Dortmund from English side Tottenham Hotspur.

“I look forward to every game though, particularly at home. Everyone who has set foot in our stadium knows about the incredible atmosphere here,” he continued.

“The Frankfurt fans are exceptional. It’s going to be a great game on Saturday and I obviously hope we can get a positive result for our fans.”

“Obviously, Dortmund didn’t reach their full potential in their last two games, but we know exactly what we’re up against,” the 30-year-old explained.

“Overall I regard Dortmund as one of the strongest teams in Europe. They play the most attractive brand of football imaginable.

“I’m convinced we’ll be able to create chances against them, though.”

He has made eight league appearances for Frankfurt this season – netting once in the process.

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Senegal include Liverpool star Sadio Mane for South Africa clash – Premier League 2017/2018

Sadio Mane of Senegal Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 13:30

Senegal have announce their squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against South Africa and they have included the injured Liverpool forward Sadio Mane.

Mane has been included despite his existing hamstring strain after he was douubtful for the home and away games against Bafana Bafana on November 10 and 14 respectively.

Liverpool said the forward could be out for up to six weeks on October 10 after he damaged his hamstring in their 2-0 win over Cape Verde in Praia.

“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,” said Senegal coach Aliou Cisse to BBC.

“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.”

Cisse’s men need two points from their remaining two qualifiers to ensure their passage to next year’s finals in Russia.

The Lions of Teranga initially lost 2-1 to Stuart Baxter’s men in Polokwane last year, but FIFA ordered a replay after finding Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey guilty of match manipulation.

The replayed game will take place in South Africa on 10 November, with Dakar set to host the final qualifier four days later.

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Ghana U-17 star in ‘stable condition’ after head injury – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 10, 2017. 21:00

Ghanaian defender Abdul Razak Yussif is reportedly in a stable condition following the head injury he suffered in the U-17 World Cup on Monday.

Yussif suffered a sickening head-to-head collision with American captain Josh Sargent in a Group A match and was knocked out cold.

He was rushed to hospital in New Delhi, where he is receiving treatment and underwent cranial and cervical CT scans.

GHANASoccernet reports that he is “stable and conscious” but will need to remain in hospital for several days to undergo further observation.

This means Yussif will play no part in Ghana’s final group stage match against India on Thursday, 12 October.

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Senegal star Diafra Sakho: We’ll see what January brings – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

West Ham’s Diafra Sakho celebrates after scoring.

Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 19:00

Senegal striker Diafra Sakho has hinted that he may be on his way out of West Ham United when the transfer window reopens in January.

The Teranga Lions attacker wanted to the leave the Hammers before the start of the 2017/18 season, but was unable to secure a transfer.

The 27-year-old old has yet to start a Premier League match this term, but this past weekend he came off the bench to score the only goal in a crunch win over Swansea City.

After his last-gasp strike against the Swans, Sakho hinted that January could bring a change in his career path.

“It’s not easy to prove to the people what I can do on the pitch when I only play for 10 minutes,” said the Senegal striker.

“But I don’t need to knock on the manager’s door – he knows what I can do, now I have to force my way into the team. I just want to enjoy being part of this team and we will see what happens in January.”

Sakho will now turn his attention to Senegal’s upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde on Saturday.

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Togo to face Iran in Tehran without star players – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Togo’s Floyd Ayite celebrates his winner against St Etienne

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 18:00

Togo will be without two key players, Emmanuel Adebayor and Floyd Ayité when they face Iran next month.

The two sides will lock horns in an international friendly match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehrān, Iran on 5 October 2017.

The Togolese Football Federation (FTF) has since announced that Adebayor and Ayite have both been withdrawn from the squad due to injuries.

“Injured in their respective clubs, Emmanuel Adebayor (Basaksehir) and Floyd Ayité (Fulham) have declared forfeit,” a statement read.

Adebayor, the Togo captain and striker, who is playing for İstanbul Başakşehir in the Turkish Super Lig, has been out nursing an injury.

Togo midfielder Ayite plies his trade in the English Championship for Fulham and he was substituted in the 42nd minute against Middlesbrough last weekend due to injury.

It remains to be seen whether the FTF will call up replacements before the match.

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Cape Verde star Tavares praised by Dijon president – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 15:00

French Ligue 1 side Dijon have offered Julio Tavares a new three-year contract which he has signed.

The bulky striker joined Dijon from Bourg-Péronnas in July 2012 and his previous contract with the club was left with nine months.

Dijon club president Olivier Delcourt is delighted to extend the marksman’s stay – with Tavares having helped the team finish 16th in the league last season.

“This contract extension rewards a player who has always had an irreproachable state of mind and a real attachment for his club,” Delcourt told Dijon’s official website.

“Like Dijon, he has always managed to successfully cross the ladder to Ligue 1. An example for all, which embodies the values of the club.”

The 28-year-old forward hit the back of the net nine times in 35 league matches for Dijon during the 2016/17 campaign.

Tavares, who was part of the Cape Verde team that defeated South Africa twice recently, has netted once in four leagues games for Dijon this season.

He started both matches as the Blue Sharks stunned Bafana Bafana 2-1 both home and away in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Group D games.

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Kenya star Origi acquires Norwegian citizenship

The Harambee Stars of Kenya

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Aug 24, 2017. 10:00

Kenya’s Harambee Stars will be without experienced goalkeeper Arnold Origi when they face off with Mozambique next month.

The 33-year-old goalkeeper was named in the Kenya squad that will take on Mozambique in an international friendly on 2 September 2017.

However, Origi, who was born in Nairobi, Kenya, has now taken up Norwegian citizenship hence is ineligible to turn out for the Harambee Stars.

This was confirmed by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert Muthomi according to Goal Kenya.

“Origi will not be available for selection because of eligibility challenges,” Muthomi said.

“He has already acquired Norwegian citizenship and will hence not be eligible to turn out fort Kenya.”

Origi, who plays for Norwegian club Lillestrom, was one of the 11 foreign-based players named in the squad to face the Black Mambas in Maputo, Mozambique.

His cousin Divock plays for English Premier League (EPL) giants and Belgian national team.

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Botswana star Ngele awaits documents from SA Home Affairs – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Mamelodi Sundowns

Mogakolodi Ngele of Bidvest Wits challenged by Bandile Shandu of Maritzburg United during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Maritzburg United and Bidvest Wits at Harry Gwala Stadium, Pietermaritzburg South Africa on 20 December 2016 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Aug 15, 2017. 14:00

Mamelodi Sundowns have released a statement concerning some of their foreign players including Botswana international Mogakolodi Ngele.

The 26-year-old forward has returned to the South African Premier Soccer League (EPL) giants following a successful loan spell with Bidvest Wits.

The midfielder-cum-striker helped Wits clinch the 2016 MTN8 Cup and 2016/17 ABSA Premiership last season during his stint with the South African club.

Ngele and Zimbabwean international Cuthbert Malajila, who also spent last season on loan at Wits, are still waiting for their South African permanent residency papers.

Sundowns, who lost 1-0 to Maritzburg United in the 2017 MTN8 Cup quarter-final match in Pretoria, released a statement on their official website.

A club statement read: “Dennis Onyango is out sick, while Ricardo Nascimento is still recovering from a groin operation.

“Mogakolodi Ngele and Cuthbert Malajila are still waiting for their permanent residency papers.

“Ghanaian goalkeeper Razak Brimah is awaiting his ITC papers from Spain.”

Ngele has spent five years in South Africa plying his trade in the PSL. He joined Platinum Stars from Botswana giants Township Rollers in 2012.

He signed for Sundowns in 2014 after playing an important role as Stars won the 2013 MTN8 Cup and 2013 Telkom KnockOut Cup.

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Anderlecht confirm interest in Senegal star Mbodji – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Anderlecht defender Kara Mbodji

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 14, 2017. 16:00

Belgian outfit Anderlecht have handed Senegalese international Kara Mbodji a new contract amidst interest from other European clubs.

The towering defender was one of Anderlecht’s star players as they clinched the 2016/17 Belgian Pro League title and the recent 2017 Belgian Super Cup.

Anderlecht have now announced that Mbodji, who joined the club from another Belgian club Genk in August, 2015, has inked a new deal.

A club statement read: “Despite the interest of several European clubs, RSC Anderlecht today found an agreement with its defensive pillar Kara Mbodji regarding an extension of its contract.

“The 27-year-old Senegalese international is now linked to the Mauve and Blanc until 2020.

“The club is obviously delighted to be able to count on the services of Kara Mbodji in the coming seasons.”

The highly-rated defender played for Tromsø IL in the Norwegian Premier League for three seasons, before joining Genk in December, 2012.

Mbodji can also play in midfield as a central defensive midfielder.

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Why SuperSport won’t be signing Swazi star Ndzinisa – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Aug 08, 2017. 14:00

South African outfit SuperSport United have disclosed why they won’t be signing Swazi international Sabelo Ndzinisa.

The Mbabane Swallows striker has been on trial at the Absa Premiership side, but the club’s technical team has decided against signing him.

Eric Tinkler, the SuperSport head coach, explained that they would be signing the player because they already have enough quality in their striking department.

“He’s been training with us for the last couple of days because a request came in to find out if he could, so I said, ‘no problem, let’s have a look at him’,” Tinkler was quoted on Kick Off website.

“But I don’t think we will be signing him, no. Right now that [strikers] is one thing I don’t have any issues with – [Jeremy] Brockie has been extremely good, we still have [Kingston] Nkhatha, Bradley Grobler and we’ve just signed Prince Dube.

“I allowed him to train just to have a look at him – today he played a little bit of a friendly, but from today he’ll move on.”

The prolific forward, who is one of Swallows’ star players, has also been linked with South African clubs Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu FC.

Ndzinisa has netted six goals in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup for Swallows, who failed to reach the knockout stages of the competition.

The 26-year-old marksman also helped Swallows clinch the 2016/17 Swazi Premier League title.

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