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Urban Warriors suffer narrow defeat to SuperSport – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Aubrey Modiba of Supersport United celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Supersport United and Ajax Cape Town at Mbombela Stadium, Mpumalanga South Africa on 29 November 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 22:08


SuperSport United held on to beat Ajax Cape Town 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Wednesday evening.

It was a game of two halves, with the Urban Warriors a different unit following a first half dominated by Matsatsantsa. Stanley Menzo’s troops, though, failed to turn dominance into goals as they slumped to defeat in the Mpumalanga province.

Following a rather cagey opening to the encounter, Matsatsantsa hit the front through Aubrey Modiba in the 25th minute.

Richard Kissi Boateng the provider with the fullback’s curling cross expertly met by Modiba who lost his marker before nodding home from close range – Jody February with no chance.

The Urban Warriors shot-stopper was called into action to keep out Fagrie Lakay’s long range shot soon after, before getting down well to deny former Ajax Cape Town striker Bradley Grobler.

The forward’s rasping effort from the edge of the area looked destined for the back of the net, but February was up to the task.

Matsatsantsa 1-0 up at the interval and deservedly so.

The Urban Warriors came out firing following the break and were unlucky not to draw level in the 56th minute through Mosa Lebusa.

The Ajax Cape Town captain took it upon himself to lead his chargers in attack, but Reyaad Pieterse denied the fullback from close range.

Tashreeq Morris then saw his powerful effort saved by the SuperSport goal-minder as the Urban Warriors looked sure to get something out of the clash.

But, despite an improved showing in the second stanza, the visitors were unable to conjure a goal as SuperSport held on for all three points. Victory moves the hosts up to 10th spot – Ajax Cape Town remain in 14th place on the log standings.

SuperSport United (1) 1 (Modiba 25′)

Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

SuperSport United: Pieterse; Kekana, Gould, Egwuekwe, Boateng – Furman, Letsholonyane (Mashamaite 90+1′), Modiba – Lakay (Mbule 60′), Phala, Grobler (Brockie 79′).

Ajax Cape Town: February; Lebusa, Booysen, Nhlapo, Evans (Sasman 71′) – Pietersen, Margeman, Mzwakali (Losper 85′) – Mosadi, Phohlongo (George 41′), Morris.



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Egypt suffer massive blow as Mohamed Abdel-Shafy ruled out of Ghana clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


epa05630301 Mohamed Abdel Shafy of Egypt (R) in action against Emmanuel Agyemang of Ghana during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Ghana at Borg Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 13 November 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 20:00


Egypt are set to face Ghana without the services of left-back Mohamed Abdel-Shafy due to injury, the Egyptian Football Association have confirmed on Monday.

The 32-year-old Al Ahly defender has been withdrawn from the Pharaohs squad. This will be the first game he misses since the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign started.

According to the national team doctor, Mohamed Abou El-Ela, he revealed that Abdel-Shafy needs a week to return to full training after he picked up an injury with his club.

SCHALKE COACH EXPLAINS NABIL BENTALEB SNUB

Abdel-Shafy’s absence may present a chance for 21-year-old Karim Hafez, but coach Hector Cuper might also use Ahmed Fathi or Omar Gaber at the left-back position.

Hafez made his international debut in a friendly against Malawi in August 2015, but his only competitive appearance for the Pharaohs came against Morocco in the quarter-finals of the 2017 CAF African Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Although they have qualified for the World Cup next year in Russia, the Pharaohs will face the Black Stars on Sunday, November 12 at Cape Coast Stadium.



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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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Urban Warriors suffer defeat in Rustenburg – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Katlego Otladisa of Platinum Stars challenged by Yagan Sasman of Ajax Cape Town during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Platinum Stars and Ajax Cape Town at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg on 01 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 22:00


Platinum Stars condemned Ajax Cape Town to a 1-0 defeat in an Absa Premiership clash at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Vuyo Mere with the only goal of the game on an unlucky outing for the visitors, who troubled the woodwork on two occasions throughout the 90 minutes.

Victory, a first of the season for Dikwena, moves the North West club within a point of the Urban Warriors on the log standings.

There was nothing to split the two side’s in the opening half-hour, with the early exchanges marred by silly errors with both teams lacking any sort of fluency on what was a perfect night for football.

Neo Makua, back in the Urban Warriors starting 11, tried to breath some life into the visitors attack and when he was followed by Lehlogonolo Masalesa the away side had an opportunity to finally register a shot on target.

Thabo Mosadi sending his resulting effort straight at Dino Visser in the 37th minute.

The Urban Warriors would go within inches of opening the scoring moments later, as Roscoe Pietersen guided his header attempt onto the woodwork from a corner-kick.

Lucky escape for Dikwena on the cusp of half-time, with the two teams deadlocked at 0-0 at the interval.

Mere opened the scoring for the hosts in the 51st minute from a free-kick, with Jody February unable to keep out the Stars’ captain’s curling effort.

The hosts should’ve doubled their lead soon after, but Brian Mwila failed to convert with the goal at his mercy on the hour mark.

He was almost made to rue the miss as Ajax Cape Town launched wave-after-wave of attack in the closing stages.

Second-half substitutes Sedwyn George and Prince Nxumalo going close for the visitors, with the latter desperately unfortunate to see his header attempt canon off the post in added time.

In the end, though, it was not to be for the Urban Warriors as Stanley Menzo’s troops make their way back down to the Mother City in 14th place on the log standings.

Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Mere 51′)

Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

Platinum Stars: Visser; Mnguni, Mwedihanga, Zulu, Sithole – Mere, Masalesa (De Jongh 88′), Ng’ambi – Monama (Mwila 46′), Otladisa, Ntuli (Mkhabela 67′)

Ajax Cape Town: February; Sasman, Nhlapo, Booysen, Evans – Pietersen, Mdabuka (Nxumalo 79′), Mzwakali (Margeman 69′) – Makua (George 46′), Mosadi, Morris



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Pirates suffer defeat against Sundowns in Orlando – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a goal during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns on 01 November 2017 at Orlando Stadium @Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 21:48


A goal by Marc Van Heerden was not enough for Orlando Pirates as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday night at Orlando Stadium.

The defeat leaves the Soweto giants placed at number seven on the log standings with 14 points after 10 league games.

For the visitors, two first half goals through Hlompho Kekana and one goal from Anthony Laffor ensured they ended their three-match losing streak.

As early as the second minute, the Brazilians grabbed the lead as skipper Kekana intercepted a back pass by Abbubaker Mobara to goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands and his block went into the goal, handing the visitors an early lead.

Despite Sundowns’ early goal, the Buccaneers dominated the first 10 minutes as they pushed to get an equaliser.

However against the run of play, Kekana completed his brace in the 13th minute as he caught Sandilands off his line to hand the visitors their 2-0 lead after a spectacular long range effort from his own half.

After the first quarter, coach Pitso Mosimane’s men won all the second balls in the heart of the park and kept Pirates in their own half, but there were no clear cut chances.

Yet right in the 20th minute, Pirates skipper Thabo Matlaba tried a long range effort to test keeper Denis Onyango, but could not hit the target.

The 30th minute allowed the visitors to push forward and Kekana nearly bagged his hat-trick after dispossessing Issa Sarr, only to see his shot going wide of the right post.

With seven minutes to the interval, Bangaly Soumahoro fouled Thabo Qalinge on the edge of the box and a fine left-footed set piece through Van Heerden brought the hosts back into the game as he beat Onyango hands down.

It was 2-1 at the end of the opening stanza.

The end-to-end stuff continued in the second half as both sides kept on attacking, but it was coach Milutin Sredojevic’s side that threatened the most with their good passing display.

In the the 60th minute, Kekana tried a beautiful set piece on the d-line and managed to produce a fine save from Sandilands, who punched the ball away.

Pirates moved forward with purpose and Sundowns failed to clear the ball in the box which fell for Qalinge, but his shot was cleared off the line by Soumahoro in the 68th minute.

Qalinge showed his class but rushed his decision in the box in the final nine minutes after a clever turn to beat Sundowns’ defence, as he failed to put the ball into the net with Onyango out of his line.

The last three minutes saw the hosts dominating the proceedings as they constantly knocked at Sundowns door, but substitute Laffor grabbed the lead after a great pass from Themba Zwane to unleash a rocket on the roof of the net, 3-1.

Meanwhile, Sundowns now sit at number eight on the log table with 12 points after seven games so far.

Orlando Pirates (1) 1 (Van Heerden 38′)

Mamelodi Sundowns (2) 3 (Kekana 2′, 13′, Laffor 90′)

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Mobara, Chabalala, Maela (Nyatama 34′), Van Heerden, Matlaba, Sarr, Qalinge, Lorch (Morrison 73′), Makola, Kutumela (Gabuza 23′)

Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango, Langerman, Soumahoro, Morena, Madisha, Ngcongca, Kekana (T. Zwane 75′), Mabunda, Vilakazi (Laffor 79′), Manyisa, Tau (Billiat 69′)



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Al Ahly suffer massive blow ahead of the second leg of the Champions League final – 2017 CAF Champions League


Al Ahly’s Hossam Ashour in continental action against Orlando Pirates

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 12:00


Al Ahly have received a huge blow ahead of the second leg of the CAF Champions League final away in Morocco against Wydad Casablanca.

The clash will be staged on Saturday after last weekend’s 1-1 draw, but the Red Devils will be without experienced midfielder Hossam Ashour.

KEITA BALDE SHRUGS OFF KYLIAN MBAPPE COMPARISONS

The 31-year-old, who sustained a groin injury in Ahly’s 4-1 win over Ragaa in an Egyptian Premier League game early October, also missed the first-leg of the CAFChampions League final and is set to miss the second leg as well.

“Ashour is still undergoing rehabilitation due to his groin muscle strain. He is very unlikely to play on Saturday,” Ahly Doctor Khaled Mahmoud said on the club’s official website.

Ashour’s absence deepens Ahly’s troubles as left-winger Ali Maaloul and defender Rami Rabia are also doubtful for the game due to injuries.

Coach Hossam El-Badry and his troops will need to score an away goal to stand a chance of lifting their first Champions League trophy since 2013.



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Urban Warriors suffer TKO heartbreak


Prince Nxumalo of Ajax Cape Town challenged by Jabulani Maluleke of Polokwane City during the 2017 Telkom Knockout football match between Polokwane City and Ajax Cape Town at Old Peter Stadium, Polokwane on 28 October 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 19:20


Ajax Cape Town’s hopes of adding another Telkom Knockout crown to their trophy cabinet, was crushed at the very first hurdle with Polokwane City emerging victorious at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

Rise and Shine booking their place in the quarterfinals with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over the Urban Warriors. The game was deadlocked at 0-0 after 120 minutes of football.

The hosts dictated the early exchanges on an usually cold afternoon in the Limpopo province, but the visitors should’ve opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark.

Tashreeq Morris failing in his attempt to beat George Chigova after being put straight through on goal.

Rise and Shine conjured a similar opportunity at the other end of the pitch, but Jody February was up to the task – the Ajax Cape Town goal-minder with a brilliant save to deny Rondey Ramagalela in the 44th minute.

The game continued to ebb and flow, following the interval, but neither side showed any killer instinct in the penalty area and with no goal to separate the two sides: extra-time duly followed.

A similar pattern played itself out in the added half-an-hour, and with no goal forthcoming the game would be decided through the lottery of penalties.

Rodrick Kabwe and Roscoe Pietersen failed to convert from the spot for the visitors, and with Rise and Shine flawless from 12 yards, they duly sealed their place in the next round alongside Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates.

Polokwane City (0) 0

Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

Polokwane City won 4-3 on penalties.

Polokwane City: Chigova; Semenya, Ravhuhali, Mbonani, Maponyane, Seabi, Maluleke, Tlolane, Musona (Phiri 96′), Ndou (Booi 72′), Ramagalela (Mngomezulu 83′).

Ajax Cape Town: February; Evans, Booysen (Kabwe 98′), Lebusa, Sasman – Pietersen, Mdabuka, Mzwakali (Margeman 80′) – Mosadi, Morris (George 90′), Nxumalo.



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Absa Premiership wrap: Soweto derby ends 0-0, leaders Baroka suffer first loss


Daniel Cardoso of Kaizer Chiefs clears ball from Thamsanqa Gabuza of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 21 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 09:30


Baroka FC suffered their first loss in the Absa Premiership this season but continue to lead the log after another thrilling weekend round of matches.

Saturday’s feature match was the Soweto derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, though it was an entirely predictable result, as the teams played out a goalless stalemate. It was a match which only really sparked to life in the second half, but neither side did enough to earn more than a share of the spoils.

Elsewhere, on the same afternoon, Golden Arrows needed a late goal from Thomas Chideu to retain their unbeaten record, as they were held 2-2 at home by Polokwane City to record a sixth draw from nine matches this season.

The three evening games made for fascinating viewing, as AmaZulu claimed a shock win over Mamelodi Sundowns. Goals from ‘golden oldies’ Siyabonga Nomvethe and Mabhuti Khenyeza saw Usuthu hand the Brazilians a third successive home defeat this season.

Platinum Stars continue to show gradual signs of improvement as they secured a 1-1 draw away to in-form Free State Stars, while Ajax Cape Town claimed a much-needed win – 2-1 at home to Bloemfontein Celtic – thanks to goals from Bantu Mzwakali and Tashreeq Morris.

Sunday’s headline result was Bidvest Wits defeating Baroka FC 1-0 in the Limpopo province thanks to Vincent Pule’s first-half strike. It was Bakgaga’s first defeat of the season and saw the Clever Boys move out of the relegation zone.

In the Eastern Cape, Chippa United came from a goal down to beat Cape Town City 2-1 thanks to second-half goals from Abel Mabaso and Katlego Mashego. The result broke a six-match winless streak for the Clever Boys and handed the Citizens a second straight loss.

The Absa Premiership will return with a full round of matches on the midweek dates of October 31 to November 1.

Absa Premiership weekend results

Saturday 21 October

Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Orlando Pirates

Golden Arrows 2-2 Polokwane City

Mamelodi Sundowns 1-2 AmaZulu

Free State Stars 1-1 Platinum Stars

Ajax Cape Town 2-1 Bloemfontein Celtic

Sunday 22 October

Baroka 0-1 Bidvest Wits

Chippa 2-1 Cape Town City



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Al Ahly suffer massive blow ahead of Champions League semifinal – 2017 CAF Champions League


Al Ahly’s Hossam Ashour in continental action against Orlando Pirates

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 18:00

Al Ahly are set to miss the services of midfielder Hossam Ashour after he is ruled out of the CAF Champions League semifinal match against Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel.

The midfielder is ruled out for the second time as they will host the second-leg at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab Stadium on Sunday.

Ashour was ruled out of the 2-1 first-leg loss in Sousse due to a knee injury early this month and will not be able to take part this weekend.

Media reports suggest that Ashour sustained a groin problem in Monday’s 4-1 league victory over lowly Ragaa.

ABSA PREMIERSHIP MIDWEEK PREVIEW, 17-18 OCTOBER

“Scans showed that Ashour has sustained a groin tear,” Ahly doctor Khaled Mahmoud said.

“As a result, he will not be able to take part against Etoile on Sunday.”

The 31-year-old was a forced substitution against Ragaa in the 24th minute despite making no contact with an opponent.

With both Mohamed Fathi and Ashour now confirmed out of the game, it remains to be seen how Ahly would line up against Etoile, with the Cairo giants needing a victory to go through to the final.



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Amakhosi suffer Gordinho, Paez blow – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Kaizer Chiefs


Gustavo Paez of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Keegan Ritchie of Supersport United during Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Supersport United at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 23 August 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Oct 13, 2017. 17:00


Kaizer Chiefs have confirmed that they will be without the services of both Lorenzo Gordinho and Gustavo Paez for a number of weeks.

The Amakhosi, who linger in sixth place on the Absa Premiership standings following a 2-1 defeat to Baroka FC, have struggled with injury blows throughout the campaign – with a fresh bit of a bad news to frustrate Steve Komphela and Co.

GHOULAM COULD BE ON HIS WAY TO MAN CITY IN JANUARY

Venezuelan forward. Paez, will be in a moon boot for the next three weeks as he recovers from an ankle injury picked up in the loss to Bakgaga.

Gordinho adds to a growing list of defenders ruled of action for the Glamour Boys – he faces three weeks on the sidelines with broken ribs.

Moreover, Kgotso Moleko will be out for 6-8 weeks after suffering knee ligament damage in the club’s Macufe Cup win over Bloemfontein Celtic.



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Urban Warriors suffer Ikapa Derby defeat


Lyle Lakay of Cape Town City shields ball from Rheece Evans of Ajax Cape Town during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 30 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Saturday Sep 30, 2017. 17:10


Ajax Cape Town were unable to bring an end to their winless run against Cape Town City, as the Citizens emerged 2-0 winners in an Absa Premiership clash at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

Following intense build-up to the third installment of the Ikapa Derby, the Urban Warriors failed in their efforts to grab the bragging rights over their fierce crosstown rivals.

Goals from Victor Obinna Nsofor and Judas Moseamedi guiding the visitors to victory.

Following a cagey start the clash, Rodrick Kabwe registered the first shot in anger with 26 minutes on the clock. Sage Stephens with a spectacular save to deny the Zambia international.

Obinna Nsofor duly opened the scoring for the Citizens for his first goal in South Africa’s top-flight, eight minutes later. The burly Nigerian bundling the ball over the line after brushing off two defenders.

The visitors 1-0 up at the interval.

Ajax Cape Town head coach Stanley Menzo duly introduced Ejike Uzoenyi and Masilake Phohlongo after the break, in an attempt to turn things around.

But, it was not to be for the Urban Warriors as Moseamedi made sure of all three points for the Citizens in the 88th minute of the clash.

Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

Cape Town City (0) 2 (Obinna 34′ Moseamedi 88′)

Ajax Cape Town: Petersen; Evans, Nhlapo, Booysen, Lebusa – Pietersen (Uzoenyi 55′), Malepe, Margeman (Mdabuka 80′) – Kabwe (Phohlongo 58′), Mosadi, Morris

Cape Town City: Stephens; Seedat, Johannes, Fielies, Mkhize – Matsi, Nodada – Lakay, Patosi (Modise 65′), Martin (Edmilson 81′) – Obinna (Moseamedi 46′)



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Urban Warriors suffer Prince Nxumalo blow – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Prince Nxumalo of Ajax Cape Town challenged by Sibusiso Mbonani of Polokwane City during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Ajax Cape Town and Polokwane City at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 15 September 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 11:07


Ajax Cape Town have suffered a major blow in build-up to their Absa Premiership clash against Baroka FC in Polokwane this Saturday, with news that Prince Nxumalo will not be making the trip to the Limpopo province.

Nxuamlo, 27, was unable to recover from a groin problem and as a result, he will play no part in the club’s match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The former SuperSport United forward has established himself as an integral part of head coach Stanley Menzo’s plans, and scored a brace as the Urban Warriors beat Polokwane City 2-0 last weekend.

TEN-MAN AMAZULU BEAT PSL CHAMPIONS

Innocent Nemukondeni has also been ruled out of the league showdown, but Menzo could welcome back star midfielder Grant Margeman.

“Prince, he has a groin strain, he failed to train the whole week and he won’t be travelling with us,” said Menzo. “Innocent, he is also not making the trip, he picked up a knock to his ankle in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge.

“At this moment that is it. Grant is okay, but we need to take care of him. It is a long season, he played a lot of games for club and country last season,” he concluded.



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Celtic suffer first defeat in the Free State – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 20, 2017. 21:45


Bloemfontein Celtic suffered their first Absa Premiership defeat at the hands of Baroka FC after their 2-0 loss on Wednesday night at the Free State Stadium.

The first defeat in the 2017/18 campaign for Phunya Sele Sele sees them occupying the 10th spot on the log table with five points from four matches.

However, for the visitors, Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele scored through Sipho Moeti and Mpho Kgaswane as they remain unbeaten in the league.

The first encounter between the two sides in the 2017/18 premiership campaign had a slow start as they both failed to create scoring chances in the opening 10 minutes.

Despite both sides coming from wins ahead of this encounter, they started on a low note as there were no attempts at goal in the opening half hour.

However, Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute as Moeti managed to beat the Celtic goalkeeper, Patrick Tignyemb.

It was 1-0 to the visitors at the interval.

Just after coming back from the dressing room, coach Veselin Jelusic’s men emerged with purpose as they intensified their attack.

In the 48th minute, they came close to bagging an equaliser, but Baroka managed to clear their lines at the back, with goalkeeper Virgil Vries producing fine saves.

Despite their push, Celtic failed to use their moves from the midfield to good effect as they were firing blanks towards the final 20 minutes.

However, with five minutes remaining on the clock, Kgaswane doubled the lead for coach Kgoloko Thobejane’s men.

Although they pushed numbers upfront to secure a goal, Siwelele’s efforts were not enough as they suffered their first defeat of the season at home.

After this win, the 2015/16 First Division champions now sit at the number two on the log standings with 11 points from five matches so far.

Bloemfontein Celtic 0

Baroka FC (1) 2 (Moeti 43′, Kgaswane 85′)

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Mabena, Letlabika, Nyundu, Baloyi, Hotto, Phalane, Motshegwa

Baroka FC: Vries, Shaku, Matloga, Ntshangase, Banda, Moeti, Masenamela, Mothupa, Madubanya, Mdantsane, Nguzana

BackpageTXT



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Benni’s City suffer first defeat – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Bhongolwethu Jayiya of Kaizer Chiefs battles for the ball with Vincent Kobola of Cape Town City during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Cape Town City FC and Kaizer Chiefs at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 13 September 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Sep 13, 2017. 21:47


Cape Town City‘s winning start to the Absa Premiership season was brought to an abrupt end as Kaizer Chiefs registered a 2-0 win at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Goals from Siphiwe Tshabalala and Wiseman Meyiwa guiding the Amakhosi to their first win of the campaign, as Benni McCarthy suffered his first defeat since taking over the reins at City.

The Citizens showed their intent from the onset with Teko Modise blasting a powerful shot inches over the crossbar in the eight minute.

He, though, would be forced off the field 10 minutes later due to injury – a big blow for the hosts – as Chiefs started to find their rhythm.

Bhongolwethu Jayiya going close to finding the opener against his former employers. The forward seeing his shot onto the woodwork in the 34th minute of the game.

Chiefs ended the half on the front foot and duly opened the scoring two minutes following the interval. Tshabalala keeping his cool inside the area before firing a low shot past Sage Stephens in the City goal.

The Citizens responded with wave-after-wave of attack with Ayanda Patosi and Lehlohonolo Majoro going close. The latter denied by man-of-the-match Itumeleng Khune on two occasions, with the goalkeeper reminding the country why he is Bafana Bafana’s number one.

With City pressing forward they were vulnerable at the back and Chiefs finally doubled their lead in the 82nd minute of the match. Meyiwa – the youngest man to start a game for Chiefs at 17 years of age – making no mistake from close range.

Victory moves Chiefs up to ninth as City slip to fifth having squandered a chance to move clear atop the log standings.

Cape Town City (0) 0

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 2 (Tshabalala 47′ Meyiwa 82′)

Cape Town City:Stephens; Edmilson, Johannes, Gumede, Kobola (Mkhize 78′) – Nodada, Matsi, Modise (Masina 18′) – Lakay (Moseamedi 71′), Patosi, Majoro

Kaizer Chiefs: Khune; Moleko, Gordinho, Cardoso, Zulu, Katsande, Maluleka, Meyiwa (Buchanan 89′), Jayiya (Twala 68′), Tshabalala, Páez (Parker 76′)



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Urban Warriors suffer defeat in Orlando


Bernard Morrison of Pirates scores past Brandon Petersen of Ajax Cape Town during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town at Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg on 12 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Tuesday Sep 12, 2017. 22:10


Ajax Cape Town’s struggles at Orlando Stadium continued, as the Urban Warriors suffered a 1-0 defeat to Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership fixture on Tuesday evening.

Bernard Morrison’s ninth minute strike the difference between the two teams as the Buccaneers climbed to second spot on the log standings. Ajax Cape Town remain in 15th place having yet to win a game this season.

The Ghanaian, Morrison, pounced on poor defending from a long throw-in to guide the ball past Brandon Petersen at the back post, for what proved to be the only goal of the game.

Thabo Mosadi almost found the perfect reply for the visitors, but his rasping shot moments later could only trouble the side-netting.

Chances were few and far between for the remainder of the half with both teams lacking real fluency, Pirates 1-0 up at the break.

The hosts squandered a glorious chance to double their lead four minutes following the interval, but Brandon Petersen was alert to the danger as he pulled off a great stop to deny Thabo Qalinge from close range. Pirates unable to capitalize on a 5 v 2 situation.

Thamsanqa Gabuza had the ball on the back of the net on two occasions in the ensuing 19 minutes, but on both occasions the linesman’s flag was raised for offside – keeping the Urban Warriors in with a shout.

And Tashreeq Morris almost stole a point for the visitors in the dying stages of the clash, but he was denied by Wayne Sandilands who made a stunning close-range stop.

Orlando Pirates (1) 0 (Morrison 9′)

Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands; Maela, Nyauza, Jele, Matlaba – Dube, Makola (Mobara 84′), Nyatama – Qalinge (Sarr 70′), Morrison (Lorch 58′), Gabuza

Ajax Cape Town: Petersen; Isaacs, Nhlapo, Booysen, Lebusa – Malepe, Mdabuka (Nxumalo 63′), Margeman (Nemukondeni 81′) – Mosadi, Makua (Mzwakali 66′), Morris



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Polokwane suffer first league defeat to Celtic – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Deon Hotto of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Kaizer Chiefs at Free State Stadium on 20 August 2017 © Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Tuesday Sep 12, 2017. 21:53


Rodney Ramagalela’s goal was not enough for Polokwane City as they lost their Absa Premiership game 2-1 against Bloemfontein Celtic on Tuesday night at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The defeat leaves coach Bernard Molekwa’s troops sitting at number eight with four points from one win and a single draw.

Meanwhile, for the visiting Phuya Sele Sele, a brace through Ndumiso Mabena ensured they bagged their first win in the league.

The two outfits started to attack with high intensity and Celtic managed to get forward, but the shot went wide of goalkeeper George Chigova’s posts in the fourth minute.

However, three minutes later, Mabena found the back of the net as he sneaked in behind the hosts’ defence to beat Chigova.

With the hosts looking for an equaliser, they pressed Siwelele and tested keeper Patrick Tignyemb, who was equal to the task and collected the effort after the 17th minute.

In the 28th minute, Ramagalela was not to be denied as he found an equaliser as both sides were battling for possession and the forward used his pace to bypass Celtic’s defence and beat Tignyemb with a quality finish.

Despite their efforts to penetrate the hosts’ defence, coach Veselin Jelusic’s men were not clinical upfront as both were deadlocked at 1-1 at half time.

Upon their return from the tunnel, the two sides did not have a bright start, but Bernard Molekwa’s men fired a shot which went straight to Tignyemb, who collected with ease.

The last 20 minutes of the match saw skipper Jabulani Maluleke dishing out the passes in the heart of the park for Ramagalela, but Celtic were solid at the back.

However, the visitors managed to regain their lead when Mabena completed his brace in the 72nd minute after a loose ball fell for him in the box.

In the wake of the win, Celtic now have five points after two draws and one win as they sit at the seventh spot on the log table.

Polokwane City (1) 1 (Ramagalela 28′)

Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 2 (Mabena 7′ 72′)

Polokwane City: Chigova, Maponyane, Mbonani, Semenya, Hlongwane, Manaka (Vilakazi 56′), Seabi, Mngomezulu, Klaas (Tlolane 46′), Maluleke, Ramagalela

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Mabena, Letsoalo (Nyundu 64′), Lubisi, Baloyi, Hotto, Phalane, Motshegwa



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Ghana’s World Cup hopes suffer crippling blow in Kumasi – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Thievy Koulossa Bifouma of Congo

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 20:01


A late goal from Thomas Partey was not enough to ease Ghana’s woes as they remain on the cusp of seeing their 2018 FIFA World Cup hopes go up in smoke following a 1-1 draw to Congo at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Friday.

The Black Stars have qualified for three successive World Cup’s, but look sure to miss out on a ticket to Russia as they remain winless in Group E with Uganda and Egypt leading the way.

For Congo, a point on their travels will serve as some motivation, but in reality the result does neither team any good as they remain well off the pace heading into the reverse fixture in Brazzaville.

The Red Devils made a positive start and hit the front as early as the 18th minute through Thievy Bifouma.

Josef Attamah looked nervy from the onset and it was his mistake that ultimately led to the opener as Fabrice Nguessi pounced to tee up Bifouma for a clinic finish, 0-1.

Ghana went in search of a reply with Partey looking the most likely, his rasping effort well saved by Barel Mouko in the 38th minute.

Congo 1-0 up at the break.

It was no surprise to see Harrison Afful introduced at right-back following the interval, and it was he who threatened in the 70th minute. The USA-based defender unlucky to see his shot rattle the side-netting.

Jordan Ayew was denied by Mokou soon after before Partey stepped up to the plate with both Asomoah Gyan and Andre Ayew substituted.

The Atletico Madrid man finding the back of the net following a defense-splitting pass by Christian Atsu with 85 minutes on the clock.

Too little to late, though, for Ghana who will need a miracle if they are to book a ticket to the world showpiece in Russia.

Ghana (0) 1 (Partey 85′)

Congo (1) 1 (Bifouma 18′)

Ghana: R.Ofori; Attamah (Afful 46′), Mensah, Amartey, Schlupp – Partey, E.Ofori, A.Ayew (Poku 68′) – Atsu, J.Ayew, Gyan (Agyapong 62′)

Congo: Mouko; Itoua, Baudry, Mayembo, Badila – Avounou, Gandze, Bahamboula (Dambou 83′) – Nguessi (Ndinga 56′), Bifouma, Dore (Tsoumou 71′)



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Nigeria suffer injury blow as Alex Iwobi is ruled out – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Alex Iwobi (R) celebrates with Nacho Monreal

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 28, 2017. 14:00


The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have explained changes that have been made in the Super Eagles squad ahead of the encounters with Cameroon.

This is after CSKA Moscow star Aaron Samuel and Standard Liege’s Uche Agbo were included in the Super Eagles squad.

The two players were initially named in the standby list for Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against reigning African champions Cameroon.

Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi has since been withdrawn from the Nigeria squad after sustaining an injury.

The NFF’s media officer Toyin Ibitoye discussed why Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr decided to call up the two players.

‎”They were invited to the team because the coach feels they will be needed if any player withdraws due to injury.

“Beyond the injury to Alex Iwobi they have been on the mind of the coach,” Ibitoye told Owngoalnigeria.com.

If Nigeria beat Cameroon in the two Group B matches, they will edge closer to qualifying for next year’s finals which are scheduled to be hosted by Russia.

Nigeria will host Cameroon on the 1st of September 2017, while the return leg match is scheduled to be played in Yauonde three days later.



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Urban Warriors suffer defeat in Pietermaritzburg – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Evans Rusike of Maritzburg United gets away from Erwin Isaacs of Ajax Cape Town F.C. during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Maritzburg United and Ajax Cape Town at Harry Gwala Stadium, Pietermaritzburg on 23 August 2017 © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Aug 23, 2017. 21:52


Evans Rusike scored a brace as Maritzburg United secured a 2-0 Absa Premiership win over Ajax Cape Town at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Team of Choice making it four successive wins over their Cape counterparts as they subsequently climbed to the top of the log standings, with three wins from three games in all competitions this season.

Stanley Menzo was forced into an early substitution as Isaac Nhlapo made way for Junaid Sait after only 14 minutes. The former Stellenbosch FC man making his debut.

This seemed to unsettle the visitors who would fall behind on the half-hour mark. Rusike nodding home Bandile Shandu’s pin-point cross.

The Zimbabwean should’ve doubled the hosts lead in the cusp of half-time, but Brandon Petersen pulled of a world class save to deny the Team of Choice a second.

Tashreeq Morris had the ball in the back of the net for the Urban Warriors 10 minutes into the second stanza, but his attempt was chalked off with the match official having adjudged that he had fouled the Maritzburg goalkeeper in the build-up.

Maritzburg duly doubled their lead with Rusike completing his brace in the 66th minute.

Ajax Cape Town tried their best to find a way back into the encounter, but Fadlu Davids’ troops stood firm.

Rodrick Kabwe tried his luck late on, but Bongani Mpandle was up to the task. Not the Urban Warriors night, with the league now set to take a long hiatus due to the upcoming international break.

Maritzburg United (1) 2 (Rusike 30′ 66′)

Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

Maritzburg United: Mpandle , Sanoka, Fransman, Xulu, Makaringe, Ndlovu, Shandu, Maboe (De Reuck 88′) , Saal (Kunene 60′), Mekoa, Rusike (Mokate 87′)

Ajax Cape Town: Petersen; Isaacs, Nhlapo (Sait 14′), Chipeta, Lebusa – Mdabuka (Nxumalo 70′), Margeman – Mosadi, Kabwe, Mzwakali – Morris (George 78′)



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Crystal Palace suffer Wilfried Zaha blow – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Bertin Basson

Friday Aug 18, 2017. 18:00


Crystal Palace have suffered a massive blow with news that wing-wizard Wilfried Zaha will miss up to a month of action after suffering a knee injury during the club’s opening 2017-18 Premier League fixture.

Although the Ivory Coast international finished the 90 minutes against Huddersfield, he departed Selhurst Park with a knee brace and it has now been confirmed that he will not play for around four weeks.

The news comes as a bitter blow for both the Eagles and the Elephants with Zaha set to miss upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Gabon, set to take place in early September.

BRIAN MCBRIDE: SALAH-FIRMINO NOT IN SYNC JUST YET

Zaha, 24, penned a new five-year contract with Palace earlier this year despite reported interest from elsewhere.

The South London club got their campaign off to the worst possible start; losing 3-0 at home to newly promoted Huddersfield.



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Asamoah Gyan’s Kayserispor suffer heavy defeat – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Asamoah Gyan of Ghana challenged by Mohamed Elneny of Egypt during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Egypt and Ghana at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 25 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Aug 15, 2017. 19:00


Asamoah Gyan’s Kayserispor were handed a heavy defeat in their opening match of the 2017/18 Turkish Super Lig on Monday night.

The Black Stars skipper made his official debut in the final fixture of the first round, as Kayserispor took on Istanbul giants Galatasaray at the Turk Telecom Stadium.

Gyan had an injury scare in the warm-up to the match, but was cleared to remain in the starting XI for Marius Sumudica’s side.

Gala dominated the clash and ran away with a 4-1 victory thanks to goals from Tolga Cigerci, Moroccan Younes Belhanda and a brace by Bafetimbi Gomis. Kayserispor’s consolation goal was netted by Levent Gulen.

Gyan played 71 minutes of the match before he was replaced by Geofrey Mujangi Bia.

The result sees Gala at the top of the log thanks to goal difference, while Kayserispor are placed last.

Gyan and his team will hope for an improved performance when they host Goztepe for their second match on Sunday, August 20.



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Ivory Coast suffer late sucker punch in Niger


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Aug 13, 2017. 20:46


Niger recorded a narrow 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier on Sunday.

The West Zone B first-leg match was played at the Stade Général-Seyni-Kountché in the capital city of Niger, Niamey.

Niger and their visitors, Ivory Coast were unable to break the deadlock in the first 40 minutes of the encounter.

The opening goal finally came in the 44th minute and it was Imrana Seyni, who netted to make it 1-0 to Niger.

However, Dosso Fabius had other ideas as he scored for Ivory Coast on the stroke of half-time.

The score was 1-1 between the Menas and the Elephants following a lively first-half.

Halidou Garba proved to be the hero for the home side as he found the back of the net for Niger in the 81st minute.

The Menas managed to contain the more fancied Elephants in the closing stages and Niger emerged 2-1 winners



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Saint George suffer first loss against AS Vita


Khenissi Taha Yassine (L) of Esperance Tunis vies for the ball with Ondo Francisco (R) AS Vita Club during the CAF Champions League match between Esperance Tunis and AS Vita Club in Tunis, Tunisia, 12 May 2017

by
Brian Lee

Tuesday Jun 20, 2017. 18:05


Ethiopian side Saint George suffered their first loss in the group stages of this season’s CAF Champions League after going down 2-1 to DRC’s AS Vita at the Complexe Omnisports stade des Martyrs on Tuesday.

Despite the loss Saint George are still place second in Group C with five points, but that could all change when Esperance take on Mamelodi Sundowns in the other group game on Wednesday night.

The victory is AS Vita’s first in the group stages and sees them still in last spot on the table, but with three points to their name now.

The game in Congo on Tuesday saw the home side get off to the perfect start with Tady Etekiama scoring in the seventh minute to give AS Vita the lead, 1-0.

AS Vita continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded with a penalty just before the half hour mark, which was converted by Tady Etekiama to double their lead, 2-0.

Saint George tried to find their way back into the match but went into the half time break trailing by two goals.

The away team did produce a much better second half performance and even managed to pull a goal back just after the hour mark courtesy of a strike from Salahdin Said, 2-1.

Saint George threw players forward in attack in the final twenty minutes of the tie, but AS Vita defended well and held on for their first win of the Champions League group stages.

Saint George are next in action in Group C on July 1st when they host Mamelodi Sundowns while AS Vita host Esperance on the same day.



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Cameroon suffer Confed Cup defeat to Chile in Moscow – 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup


epa06035881 Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui (L) of Cameroon and Edson Puch 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

by
Bertin Basson

Sunday Jun 18, 2017. 23:49


Late goals from Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas guided Chile to a 2-0 win over Cameroon in their Group B 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup opener at the Otkrytiye Arena in the Russian capital of Moscow on Sunday evening.

The South American champions stated their intent from the onset as Vargas rattled the post in the opening minute. Fabrice Ondoa lucky to see the ball canon off the woodwork, onto his boot and out for a corner-kick.

Desperate defending, garnished with a bit of luck, safely navigated the Indomitable Lions through the early exchanges before Vincent Aboubakar went close in the 11th minute.

The burly forward denied by Johnny Herrera who stood in for the injured Claudio Bravo between the sticks.

Ondoa was unbelievable for the AFCON holders as he denied Jean Beausejour and José Pedro Fuenzalida in quick succession.

Vargas, though, would have the beating of the Cameroon goal-minder on the cusp of half-time, but the goal would be chalked off following word from the video assistant.

0-0 at the break.

The second stanza was a lot more cagey, but Cameroon continued to find it difficult against a La Roja side on constant attack.

Mauricio Isla sending his header attempt wide with the goal at his mercy, but Chile would not be denied as Vidal rattled home his 23rd international goal in the 81st minute of the game.

The German-based midfielder heading past Ondoa following a pin-point cross from Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, who started the game on the bench following an ankle knock.

Sanchez was involved once more as Vargas made sure of all three points in the first minute of stoppage-time – leaving Cameroon with a mountain to climb in their remaining group matches against Australia and Germany.

Cameroon: Ondoa; Mabouka, Teikeu, Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Fai; Anguissa (Mandjeck 89′), Siani (Ngamaleu 86′), Djoum; Moukandjo, Aboubakar, Bassogog

Chile: Herrera; Isla, Jara, Medel, Beausejour; Fuenzalida (Valencia 64′), Vidal, Diaz, Aránguiz (Silva 71′); Vargas, Puch (Sanchez 58′)



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Baroka suffer controversial loss to stay bottom – ABSA Premiership 2016/17


Kudakwashe Mahachi of Golden Arrows

by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday May 13, 2017. 18:31


Baroka FC have remained at the bottom of the Absa Premiership standing after suffering a controversial 3-2 loss away to Golden Arrows on Saturday.

The match at Princess Magogo Stadium was full of excitement and controversy, with Bakgaga having a penalty ruled out late in the game to deny them what would have been a valuable point.

Abafana Bes’thende went into half time 1-0 up thanks to a superb goal from Siphelele Magubane, who struck a screamer into the top corner five minutes from the interval.

Baroka got themselves level in the 70th minute when Victor Letsoalo punished some poor defending, but an own goal from their defender Mzwanele Mahashe six minutes later put the hosts back in front.

On 78 minutes it was 3-1 to Clinton Larsen’s men when Kuda Mahachi scored with a beautiful lob in the 78th minute.

Yet Baroka never gave up fighting and pulled another goal back when Letsoalo scored his second in the 86th, poking home from close range.

And the visitors looked set to earn a fighting point when they were awarded a debatable penalty. The spot kick was converted, but referee Victor Gomes ruled it out for encroachment by a Baroka player into the area.

According to the rules, the spot kick should have been retaken, but Gomes bizarrely gave Arrows an indirect free kick, hence their vehement protestations at the final whistle.

Golden Arrows (1) 3 (Magubane 40’, Mahashe 76’ og, Mahachi 78’)

Baroka (0) 2 (Letsoalo 70’ 86’)

Arrows: Gumede, Mathiane, Mzava, Mthiyane, Phiri, Dlamini, Jooste (Mngwengwe 80′), Sibiya (Fikizolo 57′), Mahachi, Magubane (Lamola 59′), Mutizwa

Baroka: Dlamini, Mahashe, Kgoetyane (Ogle 87′), Shaku, Madubanya, Garcia, Munetsi, Ravhuhali, Letsoalo, Kgaswane, Matlakala



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