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Wits, Celtic battle for Telkom Knockout crown


Gabadinho Mhango of Bidvest Wits evades tackle from Mpho Matsi of Cape Town City during the 2017 MTN8 semifinal football match between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 10 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 08:30


Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic will battle for the right to be crowned 2017 Telkom Knockout champions when they meet in the final at Princess Magogo Stadium on 2 December 2017, kick-off at 18h00.

Wits have progressed into their first League Cup final since 2011 after overcoming Free State Stars, Baroka FC and Kaizer Chiefs in the first three rounds of the competition. The Johannesburg side is looking to win a third League Cup title to add to trophies won in 1985 and 1995.

Celtic, who won their only Telkom Knockout title in 2012, have advanced into the final thanks to victories over SuperSport United, Platinum Stars and Polokwane City – the first and third matches were decided by post-match penalties.

This TKO final will be the 11th cup meeting of Wits and Celtic since 1985. The first 10 have been dominated by the Clever Boys, who claimed eight outright wins (plus one via penalties) and suffered just one defeat. The teams’ last knockout clash was in the first round of the 2016 Nedbank Cup, with the Johannesburg side winning 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from striker James Keene.

Overall, the teams have met in 66 matches across all competitions. Wits have claimed 31 victories compared to 19 for Celtic, while 16 matches have been drawn. Their latest meeting was a league clash in early October which saw Phunya Sele Sele triumph 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from Roggert Nyundu.

The teams come into the final having been in league action this past weekend, with Wits having played out a goalless draw away to Maritzburg United, while Celtic suffered a 1-0 loss at home to Orlando Pirates.

The teams have played the same number of league matches and have seven points and eight places separating them: Phunya Sele Sele are eighth on 16 points, while the Clever Boys are last (16th) with nine points.



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


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

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 19:30


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Polokwane crash out of Telkom Knockout after penalties – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Patrick Tignyemb of Bloemfontein Celtic celebrates teammates goal during the 2017 Telkom Knockout semifinal football match between Polokwane City and Bloemfontein Celtic at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 19 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Brian Lee

Sunday Nov 19, 2017. 18:35


Polokwane City crashed out of the Telkom Knockout after losing 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after their semifinal match against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon ended 1-1.

Celtic will now take on Wits in the final of the TKO after they beat Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 on Saturday in the cup competition’s other semifinal.

On Sunday regular time ended goalless between Polokwane and Celtic, but we saw two goals in extra time courtesy of strikes from Tshegofatso Mabaso and Rendani Ndou respectively which saw 120 minutes of play end 1-1.

The away side started the better of the teams with Kabelo Mahlasela firing a low 18-yard shot just inches wide of the Polokwane goal in the tenth minute.

In the 21st minute Rise and Shine mounted their first real attack when Salulani Phiri created some space inside the box, but he saw his 16-yard effort brilliantly saved by the Celtic keeper.

On the half hour mark we came close to the opening goal when Celtic’s Alfred Ndengane met a cross with a strong header, but his ten-yard effort skimmed the wrong side of the post.

The half ended 0-0.

Celtic started the second half as they ended the opening stanza and went close to scoring again on the hour mark when Mbhazima Rikhotso met a cross into the box with a powerful header, but the Polokwane keeper made a great fingertip save to deny him.

In the 75th minute Rendani Ndou had Polokwane first real chance in the second half when his 20-yard shot went narrowly wide of the target with the Celtic keeper well beaten.

Neither team could find a winning goal in the last 15 minutes of regular time as the match ended all-square and consequently went into extra-time.

Thirteen minutes into extra-time Celtic finally broke the deadlock on the day when Tshegofatso Mabaso found the back of the net from 14-yards out after a well-worked free-kick to give Phunya Sele Sele a 1-0 lead going into half-time of extra-time.

City threw numbers forward in the second half of extra-time and managed to find an equaliser in the 115th minute when Rendani Ndou headed home a corner-kick as the game ended 1-1, and entered the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

Celtic came out victorious after winning the penalty shoot-out 4-3.

Polokwane City (0) 1 (Ndou 115’)

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 1 (Moabaso 103’)

*Celtic won 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out

Penalty sequence:

Maponyane scores, Rikhotso scores, Ramagalela misses target, Lelabika scores, Maluleke penalty is saved, Nyondo scores, Tlolane scores, Baloyi penalty is saved, Mbonani scores, Mabaso scores.

Teams

Polokwane: Chigova, Semenya, Ravhuhali (Hlongwane 110’), Mbonani, Maponyane, Seabi, Musona (Tlolane 89’), Ramagalela, J. Maluleke, Ndou, Phiri (Mngomezulu 105’).

Celtic: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Mabena (Nyondo 113’), Mahlasela (Mabaso 90’), Letlabika, Baloyi, Hotto, Nyundu (Motshegwa 82’), Phalane.



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Wits beat Chiefs to reach Telkom Knockout Cup final


by
Brian Lee

Saturday Nov 18, 2017. 18:00

Kaizer Chiefs lost 1-0 to Bidvest Wits in the Telkom Knockout semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Bidvest Stadium.

The Clever Boys netted their goal through striker James Keene.

Although both teams started on a cautious note, it was the Students who had a chance in the seventh minute as Amr Gamal turned Erick Mathoho in the box, but his shot was parried away by goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

Two minutes later, a brilliant display of football by Amakhosi in the Wits half saw them exchanging passes between Wiseman Meyiwa and Bernard Parker, only to see a rushed shot from Philani Zulu which went wide.

In the 27th minute, Meyiwa was shown a straight red card following a reckless foul after stepping on Daine Klate and Amakhosi were reduced to ten men.

A minute later Keene ensured the hosts were in the driving seat as he scored a fine header to beat Khune on his right corner, 1-0.

With four minutes to go to the interval, George Maluleka spotted Wits keeper Darren Keet off his line, but the midfielder’s long range shot was off target.

Coach Gavin Hunt’s men were leading at half time and coach Steve Komphela introduced Gustavo Paez as he sacrificed Daniel Cardoso.

Paez nearly punished the Clever Boys after receiving a brilliant pass from Willard Katsande, but his final pass in search of Siphiwe Tshabalala was cleared by the Wits defence in the 50th minute.

It was all Chiefs in the second stanza and substitute Dumisani Zuma nearly equalised in 65th minute when he saw his well struck shot sailing inches wide off Keet’s left post.

For the second time, Zuma managed to sneak in behind the hosts defence after a great defence splitting pass by Tshabalala,  but the substitute’s effort was blocked by Keet who came off his line in the 73rd minute.

Zuma had a big impact on the game and was on target in injury time as his effort hit the cross bar with Keen off his line.

Despite their efforts to throw everything at Wits, the Naturena-based side could not beat Keet who had an outstanding game.

Bidvest Wits: (1) 1 (Keene 28′)

Kaizer Chiefs: (0)

Bidvest Wits:  Keet, Klate (Pienaar 69′), Monare, Gamal, Hlanti, Mkhwanazi, Mlambo, Tlhone, Keene (Pelembe 84′), Frosler, Ntshangase

Kaizer Chiefs: Khune, Cardoso (Paez 47′), Mathoho, Ngezana, Zulu (Ekstein 78′), Katsande, Maluleka, Meyiwa, Tshabalala, Molangoane, Parker (Zuma 64′)



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Sundowns sent packing from Telkom Knockout – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Oct 29, 2017. 17:34


Mamelodi Sundowns have been sent packing from the Telkom Knockout after they were beaten 1-0 by hosts Chippa United at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium on Sunday.

A second-half goal from Samuel Julies saw the Chilli Boys claim both their first win in the TKO and a first victory in any competition against the Brazilians, who have now suffered three successive defeats across league and cup.

Sundowns created the first clear chance of the game 10 minutes in, with a fine long ball from Hlompho Kekana giving Thokozani Sekotlong a one-one-one chance with Daniel Akpeyi, but it was the Chippa goalkeeper who came out on top.

In fact, Sekotlong appeared to pick up a knee injury in that incident and, after trying to run off the knock, he was replaced by George Lebese just before the midway point of the first half.

In between the Chilli Boys had a great opportunity of their own, as a Kurt Lentjies effort was blocked by a defender but rolled into the path of Lerato Manzini, who was quickly closed down and denied by a brave save from Denis Onyango.

Those two one-on-one chances with the goalkeepers proved to be the only attacking highlights of the first half, but the second produced a great chance just three minutes after the restart, as Sundowns’ Motjeka Madisha put a free header just wide of the mark.

On 53 minutes there was another chance for the Brazilians, as Kekana chested down a ball in the box before shooting across the face of goal from a tight angle.

Ten minutes later, and against the run of play, Chippa broke the deadlock through former ‘Downs player Samuel Julies. The substitute arrived late at the far post to turn home Mpho Mvelase’s deflected cross from the right of the penalty area.

The opening goal allowed the game to be stretched in the final stages, as Sundowns began pushing men forward, which in turn gave Chippa the space to counter attack through their speedy players.

The hosts looked the likelier scorers in the final quarter hour of regulation time but wasted several promising attacking opportunities, while the Brazilians even resorted to playing the beanpole Wayne Arendse upfront, but their efforts were in vain.

Chippa United (0) 1 (Julies 63’)

Mamelodi Sundowns 0

Chippa: Akpeyi, Macheke, Okwuosa, Konqobe, Mpahanga, Mvelase (Masuku 70’), Mdlinzo, Mabaso, Mako, Lentjies (Bergman 76’), L. Manzini (Julies 62’)

Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Soumahoro, Madisha, Hachi, Kekana, Manyisa, T. Zwane (Arendse 88’), Billiat, Sekotlong (Lebese 22’ [Castro 74’]), Tau



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SuperSport exit Telkom KO


Kabelo Mahlasela of Bloemfontein Celtic celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Cape Town City FC and Bloemfontein Celtic at Athlone Stadium, Cape Town on 17 October 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Brian Lee

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 21:39


Bloemfontein Celtic claimed a 5-4 penalty shootout win in the Telkom Knockout Cup Last 16 as they beat Supersport United at Dr Molemela Stadium on Saturday evening.

Although the visitors netted through Aubrey Modiba and Jeremy Brockie, Celtic responded when Mbhazima Rikhotso and Jacky Motshegwa made it 2-2.

However, it was Siwelele who bagged a 5-4 win via penalties when Rikhotso, Ndumiso Mabena, Lucky Baloyi, Wandisile Letlabika and Patrick Tignyemb netted.

On the other hand, Thuso Phala, Dean Furman, Modiba and Brockie scored whilst Clayton Daniels and Fagrie Lakay failed to convert.

It was the hosts who had the advantage when it comes to ball possession and they attacked better than the hosts, but were not able to break downs Siwelele’s defence in the opening 15 minutes.

However, the 27th minute saw Sipho Jembula who dived and won a set piece after a foul by Dean Furman, but justice was served as goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse produced a fine save.

The Tshwane giants were able to break the deadlock in the 31st minute as Modiba beat Tignyemb as his effort went into the roof of the net.

With nine minutes to the interval, Lantshene Phalane went for a long-range strike, but he missed the target.

It was 1-0 at the interval.

Coach Eric Tinkler’s side came back with more purpose and Brockie made it 2-0 in 55th minute after a long ball from Dove Wome.

In the 65th minute, the hosts showed a sense of urgency as they pushed to break down United‘s defence and Motshegwa delivered a brilliant set piece, but Pieterse was equal to the task to parry the ball away for a corner.

Coach Veselin Jelusic’s men were wasteful in the box as they created chances in the final third, but they received a penalty after Teboho Mokoena was adjudged to have handled the ball, and Rikhotso netted from the spot for the hosts – making it 2-1 in the 77th minute.

The last eight minutes saw the Bloemfontein-based side attacking and delivered a brilliant cross for Motshegwa to beat Pieterse from close range to level the scores, 2-2.

The encounter went to extra time and Celtic were dealt a huge a blow as Roggert Nyundu received his second booking.

Both halves in the extra time couldn’t produce goals and the match had to be decided on penalties.

Bloemfontein Celtic: 5 (AET)

SuperSport United: 4

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Nyondo, Letsoalo, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Pfumbidzai, Baloyi, Letlabika, Jembula (Mabena 67′), Motshegwa, Phalane

SuperSport United: Pieterse, Brockie, Modiba, Nhlapo (Mbule 59′), Kekana, Daniels, Mashamaite, Wome, Myeni, Mokoena, Furman



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