Football Scores Top Tips: Man City out to be Lyon tamers

IT’S a big night in the Champions League with Man City and Man United among those in action.

Leicester face Southampton in the EFL Cup and there is six Championship matches as well as full cards in League One and League Two so plenty to look at.

It’s a week for the RFO and I’ve be studying stats and form before putting up tips.

My Champions League tips are reasoned on the post and I’m going with Man City, Juventus and Roma not to lose as a treble.

The Super Single is Norwich who have been fantastic in recent weeks. They hammered Swansea 4-1 away at the weekend to make it 12 goals in three games – they also hit four against Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday. Can make it four wins in a row at a Hull side who went down tamely at home to Nottingham Forest at the weekend.

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Chiellini: I don’t want to be Italy’s top scorer

Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini is eager to see the Azzurri’s attack get into equipment and knock him off the perch of becoming the team’s recent major goalscorer.

The Azzurri consider on Portugal at the San Siro on Saturday in a Nations League match they ought to win if they are to retain their faint hopes of achieving the finals intact.

Chiellini enters the contest with eight markers – more than any other player on the recent squad – and he’s hoping the goals will start flowing as shortly as Saturday, specifically since Italy’s past match with more than 1 goal arrived back again in May against Saudi Arabia.

“I’m more able of talking about defenders as I know that position,” he informed the assembled press. “Rather than searching to the earlier, I am searching to the upcoming.

“There are players that are developing. I just hope that I’m no extended the major goalscorer for this team.”

Italy return to the San Siro for the initial time since their goalless draw with Sweden past November, a match that noticed them are unsuccessful to qualify for the World Cup.

Chiellini admits it was the lowest point of his national team vocation, even though the worst discomfort essentially arrived a handful of months later on.

“A 12 months back was the lowest point of my national team vocation,” he mentioned. “It was a large disappointment, for all of us. We ended up confident we would get to the World Cup.

“However, in my feeling, the worst arrived in June. We did not definitely feel about what transpired that significantly, and we did not entirely understand it.

“Then we noticed the other groups at the World Cup though we ended up on holiday getaway. It was not a simple thirty day period.”

Need to Chiellini play on Saturday it will be his a centesimal match for Italy, but he made it distinct he’s only focused on the game with Portugal.

“It’s a desire I’ve experienced since I was a child,” he added. “However, forgive me if I’m only considering about the match.

“I will get pleasure from the data following the 90 mins.


Yaya Toure: Phil Foden can become one of the top players

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 12:00

Ivory Coast legend Yaya Toure believes Manchester City youngster Phil Foden has the potential to become a great player.

The England U-17 star, who played a leading role in their age-group World Cup triumph, made his official debut for City in a Champions League win at Feyenoord on Tuesday night.

Toure, who featured for 75 minutes in the match, believes Foden is at exactly the right club to be groomed into an exceptional player.

“If he stays in this club, he is going to be one of the top players because it’s always good to learn from and be close to the big players,” Toure said.

“When I was at Barcelona, I learned a lot. I was lucky enough to have a chance to win trophies because of the players around me.

“It’s fantastic for him and he’s going to be the future. He’s very important. The team keeps changing and the club are moving forward, so it’s very important [to bring players through]. I hope, and I think, he will stay for a long time.

“Sometimes you have great players coming because Man City is such a strong team – a powerful club who can buy players – but I think he must stay here and learn from the big players, like [David] Silva, Kevin [De Bruyne], [Ilkay] Gundogan, Fernandinho – all those players are going to give him more experience and confidence for the rest of his career.

“I hope we will see a great player in the future.”

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Citizens denied top spot as Baroka hold on

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

Staff Reporter

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 20:31

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cape Town City (0) 1 (Martin 69′)

Baroka FC (0) 1 (Ngalande 55′)

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

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

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Stuart Baxter: Bafana Bafana not far from being a top class team – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Bertin Basson

Saturday Nov 11, 2017. 16:00

Stuart Baxter believes that South Africa were unlucky in suffering a 2-0 defeat to Senegal in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Friday evening.

Bafana Bafana dominated most of the encounter, but lacked a killer edge as two moments of brilliance from Sadio Mané inspired the Lions of Teranga to victory.

South Africa forced themselves back into contention for World Cup qualification following a 3-1 win over Burkina Faso, but successive defeats to Cape Verde proved decisive as Senegal duly booked their return to the world stage.

“Difficult for the whole squad and for the whole country,” Baxter told SuperSport TV. “We dragged ourselves back into contention after two poor performances against Cape Verde…

“I think the performance in the first half – it was amazing that we went into the break two goals down because I thought we were better than them. I thought we were better than them in every department despite the fact that we didn’t have one world class act that could conjure something from nothing.

“We had to work for everything and we missed a lot of chances.

Baxter continued: “Second half we had to push for everything, they could sit and I still thought we created more than they did, but all that talk doesn’t mean anything. They beat us 2-0 and they go to Russia.

All considered, the South African head coach is adamant that Bafana Bafana are not far off the best from the African continent.

“The fact that we had more possession doesn’t impress me at all – we didn’t finish, we had big chances that we couldn’t convert.

“We are not far away from a top class team, but we have to take our chances – maybe that is the problem, a South Africa problem as well,” Baxter concluded.

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

Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 18:30

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

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

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


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

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

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Ghana thrash India to top Group A – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup

Ghana’s players celebrate after winning the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 group A soccer match against Colombia at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, 06 October 2017. EPA/RAJAT GUPTA

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 12, 2017. 18:58

Ghana have won Group A at the U-17 World Cup after thrashing hosts India 4-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.

The Black Starlets finished level on six points with both Colombia and USA (the former beat the latter 3-1 in a simultaneous match in Mumbai), but their handsome goal difference of +4 saw them top the log and claim automatic progression into the last 16.

Ghana were on the front foot from early on, but they struggled to create clear-cut chances and found Indian goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem a tough man to beat.

However, the Black Starlets remained patient and were finally rewarded a couple of minutes before the half-time break, with skipper Eric Ayiah providing a fine finish to an incisive passing movement.

It took just seven minutes of the second half for Ghana to double their advantage and again it was a case of Ayiah finishing off a good team move, with the West Africans able to slice open the hosts’ defence.

The match looked set to end at 2-0, with Ghana seemingly happy to take a two-goal win, but news that Colombia were leading the other group match sparked the Black Starlets back to life.

They claimed two late goals through Mohammed Kudus and Emmanuel Toku in the 86th and 87th minutes respectively – the additional strikes saw Ghana rise clear of Colombia and the USA on goal difference.

Ghana will face a third-placed team from either Group C or D in their last 16 clash in Navi Mumbai on October 18.

Ghana (1) 2 (Aiyah 43’ 52’, Kudus 86’, Toku 87’)

India 0

Ghana: I. Danlad, N. Yakubu, B. Terry Owusu, G. Mensah, R. Alhassan, I. Gyamfi, G. Leveh, S. Ibrahim (E. Toku 56’), I. Sulley, E. Arko-Mensah (M. Kudus 76’), E. Ayiah (R. Danso 82’)

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

Richard Matloga of Baroka FC © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Sep 23, 2017. 17:20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Arrows move top following KZN Derby win – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

AmaZulu’s Sadate Ouro Akoriko

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Sep 17, 2017. 17:44

A solitary goal by Sedat Ouro-Akoriko was not enough for AmaZulu as they lost 4-1 to Golden Arrows on Sunday afternoon at Princess Magogo Stadium in the Absa Premiership.

The defeat leaves the Premiership returnees occupying 13th spot on the log table with four points from as many matches.

On the other hand, the hosts found the back of the net through Lerato Lamola, Siphelele Magubane, Kudakwashe Mahachi, and Knox Mutizwa to claim the KwaZulu-Natal bragging rights.

The KZN Derby saw both sides exchanging possession in the opening 10 minutes as they probed for an early goal.

However in the 11th minute, coach Clinton Larsen’s men gained possession and made their way into the box, yet Wayde Jooste’s attempt went over the bar not troubling Usuthu’s Boalefa Pule.

Eight minutes later, the hosts made it 1-0 through Lamola as he capitalised on a defensive error between keeper Pule and his defence.

With coach Cavin Johnson’s men pushing to get an equaliser with a brilliant build-up from the back, Mhlengi Cele’s effort was tipped over the crossbar for a corner by keeper, Nkosingiphile Gumede.

In the 33rd minute,Usuthu were awarded a set piece and Ovidy Karuru delivered to the far post allowing Ouro-Akoriko to find the back of the net to make it it 1-1 with a beautiful header.

With both sides level at half time, their return from the tunnel saw Rhulani Manzini attempting a long range effort from a set-piece, but the forward failed to hit the target in the 51st minute.

The hosts fought back on the left wing as Magubane cut through down to the right – beating two defenders – before unleashing a low shot that beat Pule in the 56th minute, 2-1 to Arrows.

Usuthu introduced Mabhudi Khenyeza heading in the final 15 minutes, as they intensified their attack and pushed Gumede to produce a fine save, and Manzini also hit the woodwork.

But in the end it was Arrows who were sharp upfront as Mahachi made it 3-1 as he picked up the ball on the far side of the pitch before beating Pule.

Right in the dying minutes of the contest, substitute Mutizwa received a ball from Lamola who made a wonderful run down the left flank into the box, allowing the Zimbabwean to easily slot it home to make it 4-1 as they dispatched Usuthu.

Golden Arrows: (1) 4 (Lamola 19′, Magubane 56′, Mahachi 90+2′, Mutizwa 90+5′)

AmaZulu: (1) 1 (Ouro-Akoriko 34′)

Golden Arrows: Gumede, Mngwengwe, Shongwe (Molefe 27′), Jooste, Cele (Sibiya 53′), Nkombela, Mzava, Dube, Lamola, Magubane (Mutizwa 77′), Mahachi

AmaZulu: Pule, Sikhakhane, Mtsweni, Nyongo, Morton, Darpoh (L. Dlamini 46′), Ouro-Akoriko, Karuru(Zungu 78′), Nomvethe (Khenyeza 70′), Cele, Manzini

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Cape Verde beat SA to go top of Group D – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Dean Furman of South Africa challenges Garry Rodrigues of Cape Verde during the World Cup Qualifier match between South Africa and Cape Verde on the 05 September 2017 at Moses Mabhida Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 21:18

Cape Verde beat South Africa 2-1 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group D match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in on Tuesday.

As a result, the Blue Sharks completed a double over Bafana Bafana and they moved to the top of Group D table, while Bafana Bafana slip down to position four.

The first real chance of the encounter fell for Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie nine minutes into the encounter.

However, the Turkey-based marksman placed his effort wide of the target without troubling Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha.

South Africa shot-stopper Wayne Sandilands was called into action four minutes before the half-hour mark.

The 34-year-old made an easy save to deny Cape Verde’s talisman Ryan Mendes as the visitors looked to break the deadlock.

The Blue Sharks defence was then exposed in the 42nd minute, but Bradley Grobler fired straight into Vozinha’s hands.

The score was 0-0 between South Africa and Cape Verde at half-time following a tightly contested first-half in the city of Durban.

An entertaining second-half followed and the visitors broke the deadlock six minutes into the second-half.

Garry Rodrigues scored with a powerful shot from a free-kick – beating Sandilands hands down – making it 1-0 to Cape Verde in the process.

It was soon 2-0 to Cape Verde six minutes after the hour-mark following a good move by the visitors.

Galatasary midfielder Rodrigues beat his marker and he unleashed a long range effort which beat Sandilands to double his side’s lead.

South Africa dominated in the closing stages of the match and they managed to pull one back through Andile Jali’s low shot.

But Cape Verde stood firm in the closing stages of the match and they secured a 2-1 win over South Africa.

South Africa (0) 1 (Jali 89′)

Cape Verde (0) 2 (Rodrigues 51′, 66′)

South Africa XI: Sandilands, Gould, Hlatshwayo, Hlanti, Mphahlele, Furman, Kekana (Tau 77′), Zwane (Manyama 56′), Dolly, Grobler (Jali 65′), Rantie.

Cape Verde XI: Dias, Tiago, Pereira, Santos, Da Cruz, Rodrigues (Admar 94′), Soares, Rocha, Carlos, Mendes (Totti 85′), Tavares (Platini 77′).

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Tunisia beat DR Congo to go top of Group A – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Tunisia players celebrate

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Sep 02, 2017. 00:25

Tunisia defeated Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 2-1 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group A match at the Stade Olympique de Rades on Friday.

As a result, the Carthage Eagles climbed to the top of Group A table, while the Leopards dropped down to the second spot ahead of the return leg match which will be played in Kinshasa on Tuesday.

It took 18 minutes for the Carthage Eagles to take lead from the spot-kick after they were awarded a penalty when Fakhreddine Ben Youssef was fouled in the box.

Tunisia defender Yassine Meriah made no mistake from the spot-kick as he fired past DRC goalkeeper Ley Matampi to make it 1-0 to the home side.

However, the visitors managed to level matters through Cedric Bakambu, who beat Tunisia keeper Aymen Mathlouthi in the 43rd minute to make it 1-1.

The score was 1-1 during the half-time break after the DRC fought back and punished the Tunisian defence, who were caught ball watching.

DRC were unable to contain Tunisia in the opening stages of the second-half as the Carthage Eagles pressed the Leopards in search of the second goal.

The pressure paid off as Esperance de Tunis midfielder Chailene Chaalali hit the back of the net from close range in the 47th minute to make it 2-1 to Tunisia.

The Leopards then pushed for the equalizing goal, but they found it difficult to unlock the Carthage Eagles which was led by goalscorer Meriah.

The home side stood firm in the dying minutes of the match and Tunisia recorded a hard-fought 2-1 victory over DRC on the night.

Tunisia (1) 2 (Meriah 18′, Chaalali 47′)

DR Congo (1) 1 (Bakambu 43′)

Tunisia: Mathlouthi, Ben Youssef, Maaloul, Bedoul, Sliti (Sliti 85′), Meriah, Ben Amor, Chalali, Msakni, Khenissi (Touzghar 90′), Ben Youssef (Badri 68′).

DR Congo: Matampi, Zakuani, Ikoko (Ngonda 69′), Mbemba, Issama, Bompunga, Bokadi, Kakuta, Bakambu, Kabananga, Mubele (Afobe 61′).

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Okwi fires Uganda to the top of Group E – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Marawan Mohsen of Egypt challenged by Murushid Juuko of Uganda (c) and Hassan Wasswa of Uganda (l) during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Egypt and Uganda at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 21 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Aug 31, 2017. 17:23

Uganda overcame Egypt 1-0 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group E match at the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala on Thursday.

As a result, the Cranes move to the top of Group E standings, while the Pharaohs drop to second spot with the return leg game scheduled to be played in Alexandria, Egypt next week Tuesday.

Egypt shot-stopper Essam El-Hadary was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first-half as he produced good saves as he kept Uganda at bay.

Uganda winger Emmanuel Okwi came close to giving the Cranes the lead with a good effort from the right in the 13th minute, but El-Hadary denied him.

The former Al Ahly goal-minder then saved Uganda talisman Farouk Miya’s long range attempt in the 25th minute as the home side pressed Egypt.

Derrick Nsibambi, the Uganda forward, who had been booked, also saw his header saved by El-Hadary with the half-time break fast approaching.

Egypt managed to contain the Cranes in the closing stages of the first-half and score was 0-0 at half-time in the capital city of Uganda, Kampala.

El-Hadary was finally beaten six minutes into the second-half after the Pharaohs defence was caught ball watching inside their own box.

Okwi controlled the ball very well, before beating the 44-year-old shot-stopper with a powerful low shot to hand Uganda a well-deserved 1-0 lead.

Egypt should have equalized in the 63rd minute, but Uganda keeper Denis Onyango was alert and he saved Egypt attacker Mohamed Salah’s header.

Tarek Hamed was then introduced by Egypt head coach Hector Cuper 10 minutes later as the Pharaohs searched for the equalizing goal.

The midfielder had a chance to level matters with five minutes left on the clock, but his attempt was saved by Onyango, who made a fantastic save.

The Cranes then stood firm at the back in the closing stages of the encounter and the match ended in a 1-0 victory in favour of Uganda.

Uganda (0) 1 (Okwi 51′)

Egypt (0)

Uganda XI: Onyango, Wadada, Walusimbi, Isinde, Juuko, Mawanda, Aucho, Okwi (Sserunkuma 88′), Miya (Kizito 75′), Nsibambi, Ochaya (Muleme 93′).

Egypt XI: El-Hadary, Abdel-Shafi, Hegazy, Rabia, Fathi, Hamed, Elneny, El-Said (Hamed 73′), Trezeguet (Sobhi 46′), Salah, Kahraba (Gamal 67′).

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Tunisia and DR Congo in top of the log clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Paul Mpoku of DR Congo (8) celebrates goal with teammates during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Togo and DR Congo at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 24 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Wednesday Aug 30, 2017. 09:30

Tunisia will lock horns with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Stade Olympique de Rades in Rades on Friday.

Kick-off is at 22h00 CAT.

The Carthage Eagles stunned Egypt 1-0 at home in their previous competitive game which was the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier last June.

Nabil Maaloul, who was reappointed in April, 2017, is in his second stint as the Carthage Eagles head coach – having coached the national team in 2013.

Tunisia are placed second on the Group A standings with six points from two matches. They are only behind group leaders DRC on goal-difference.

Taha Yassine Khenissi, who plays for Tunisian giants Esperance, is Carthage Eagles’ dangerman and the striker will be hoping to help his nation overcome DRC.

Meanwhile, DRC thrashed Congo-Brazzaville 3-1 at home in the 2019 AFCON qualifier two months ago and it remains their last competitive match.

The Leopards are still under the guidance of Florent Ibenge, who was appointed in 2014. He guided DRC to the African Nations Championship (CHAN) title.

DRC are placed at the top of Group A standings with six points with four matches left. They are only ahead of second-placed Tunisia on goal-difference.

Cedric Bakambu, who is currently playing for Spanish outfit Villarreal, is one of DRC’s dangermen and he will be keen to inspire his nation to victory.

Referee Eric Otogo-Castane, who is from Gabon, will be in charge of the encounter between Tunisia and DRC.

The return leg match will be played at the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa, DRC next week Tuesday.

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Arsenal top race for Jean Seri’s signature – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

epa05660173 OGC Nice’s Jean-Michael Seri, celebrates after scoring a goal during the French Ligue 1 soccer match, between OGC Nice and Toulouse FC, at the Allianz Riviera stadium, in Nice, France, Sunday, December 4, 2016. EPA/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT

Bertin Basson

Thursday Jul 27, 2017. 09:38

English Premier League club Arsenal are reportedly leading the race to sign Ivory Coast international midfielder Jean-Michael Seri.

The 26-year-old set the French Ligue 1 alight last season, scoring seven goals and chipping in with nine assists in 34 league appearances as Nice pushed champions Monaco all the way.


Seri kicked on from where he left off, setting up Mario Balotelli for the game’s opener in a 1-1 draw at home to Ajax Amsterdam in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers last night.

According to L’Equipe, Arsenal are favourites to sign the former Pacos de Ferreira star with Roma unwilling to meet a release clause believed to be in the region of £36 million. Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City have also been linked with his services.

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USM Alger look to finish top of Group C

USM Alger player (L) fights for the ball with Zamalek Aly Mosaad (R) during the 2017 CAF Champions League game between USM Alger and Zamalek at Stade 5 Juillet 1962 in Algiers, Algeria on 21 June 2017 © BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jul 07, 2017. 17:00

USM Alger will welcome CAPS United in the 2017 CAF Champions League Group C match at the Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 21h00 CAT.

Alger were held to a 1-1 stalemate by Libyan side Al-Ahli Tripoli in their previous group match which was played in Sfax, Tunisia last weekend.

The draw left the Algerian club placed at the top of Group B standings with eight points. They are only ahead of second-placed Al-Ahli Tripoli on goal difference.

A victory over United will see Alger win Group B and also book their place in knockout stages of this year’s tournament.

Meanwhile, United stunned Egyptian giants Zamalek 3-1 in their previous group match which was played in Harare last weekend.

The victory sees the Zimbabwean club placed third on the Group B standings with six points. They are two points behind group leaders Alger.

United are aware of the fact that they need to defeat a stubborn Alger side in order to reach the quarter-finals of this year’s competition.

Senegalese referee Malang Diedhiou is expected to officiate the encounter between Alger and United.

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Club Africain, KCCA battle for top spot

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

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 06, 2017. 11:30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Naby Keita already a top player – Former Red Bull scout – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 06, 2017. 10:00

Naby Keita has room to improve but is “already on the top” according to former Red Bull Global Soccer scout Benoit Thans.

The 22-year-old RB Leipzig midfielder is a transfer target for English giants Liverpool, who could spend somewhere in the region of £70-million if British reports are correct.

Thans knows all about Keita’s qualities, having brought the Guinean to Red Bull Salzburg in Austria in 2014, where he spent two years before signing for their ‘sister’ club RB Leipzig in Germany.

Keita played a major role in the 2016/17 campaign as Leipzig finished an impressive second on the Bundesliga log behind Bayern Munich, earning a place in the UEFA Champions League for the first time.

“Now I don’t know what the future is for him, but I know that many clubs are interested in him,” Thans told ESPN.

“But I know that Ralf Rangnick [Leipzig’s director of sports] wants to keep him.

“When you go to play in the Bundesliga, you certainly make very good progression.

“But now it’s also financial and if you say Liverpool are interested — all players are interested when Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United come to see you and they are maybe interested.

“It’s always good for a player — it’s a big name in the world.

“For me, he can make progression again, but he’s already on the top.”

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Madagascar come out top in battle of the Islanders

Gervais Waye Hive of Seychelles challenged by Jaotombo Bourahim of Madagascar during the Cosafa Castle Cup match between Madagascar and Seychelles at the Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on 26 June 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Bertin Basson

Monday Jun 26, 2017. 21:48

Madagascar beat fellow Island nation Seychelles 2-0 in a Group B 2017 COSAFA Cup clash at the Moruleng Stadium in the North West Province of South Africa, on Monday evening.

Victory moves Barea level on points with Zimbabwe who earlier thumped Mozambique 4-0 at the same venue.

Following what was a rather cagey start, Madagascar conjured the first chance of the match with Tobisoa Njakanirina squandering a golden opportunity. The attacker choosing to square the ball when he should have shot at goal after bursting through on goal in the 20th minute.

Bourahim then forced Dingwall into a top save just short of the half-hour mark. The forward meeting the ball firmly on the volley, but the Pirates goal-minder was up to the task.

Dingwall then showed great anticipation to deny Madagacascar in the 42nd minute as he rushed out of his area to clear with imminent danger lurking.

The shot-stopper, though was helpless two minutes later as Barea opened the scoring on the cusp of half-time. Brioche guilty of squandering a chance for the Seychelles before Madagascar made their fellow Islanders pay on the resulting counter-attack.

Nono Vombola unselfishly teeing up Dino Raveloarisona for the opener – the forward left with the easiest of finishes, 1-0 at the break.

Seychelles looked a lot better following the interval with Waye-Hive sparking a good spell of pressure in the 53rd minute. The Pirates captain’s left-footed shot well saved by Leda Randrianasolo in the Madagascan goal.

Madagascar, though, were to score next as Rinjala Raherinaivo doubled their lead in the 76th minute.

The post coming to Seychelles rescue, but sighs of relief would turn to sighs of despair as the midfielder latched onto the rebound, setting himself before curling a left-footed finish into the top corner of the net.

Barea guided through the final exchanges with relative ease as they got their campaign off to the perfect start.

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Angola and Tanzania battle for Group A top spot

Afonso Cabungula of Angola challenged by Peter Bell of Mauritius during the Cosafa Castle Cup match between Mauritius and Angola at the Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on 25 June 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Jun 26, 2017. 16:30

Angola and Tanzania are scheduled to meet in the 2017 COSAFA Cup Group A match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Tuesday.

Kick-off is at 19h30 CAT.

Palancas Negras recorded a 1-0 victory over Mauritius in their first group match which was played at the Moruleng Stadium in Moruleng on Sunday.

The victory sees Angola placed second on the Group A standings with three points and their coach Roberto Bianchi will be targeting another win on Tuesday.

Augusto Domingos Quibeto, who scored against Mauritius, is nursing an injury and Palancas Negras will be hoping that the striker regains his full fitness before they face Tanzania.

Meanwhile, Tanzania brushed aside Malawi 2-0 in their first group match which was also played in Moruleng on Sunday.

The win took the Taifa Stars to the top of the Group A standings with three points and another victory for the Salum Mayanga-coached side will see them remain at the top.

Shiza Kichuya Ramadhani, who grabbed a brace against Malawi, is the player to watch out for in the Tanzania team and he will be targeting more goals against Angola.

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Zanaco go clear at the top of Group D

Zanaco FC Players celebrate

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Jun 21, 2017. 18:37

Zanaco have opened up a three-point lead at the top of Group D in the CAF Champions League after defeating Coton Sport 1-0 in Garoua on Wednesday.

The Zambians have moved to 10 points, opening up clear daylight between themselves and the North African pair of Al Ahly (seven points) and Wydad Casablanca (six points). The Cameroonians are last after suffering a fourth successive defeat.

Zanaco started the brighter of the two teams yet the first effort in anger came from Coton’s Romaric Pitroipa on 13 minutes, but the Burkina Faso player failed to hit the target.

The Zambian’s attacking spearhead, Saith Sakala, then had a couple of good chances in the 17th and 19th minutes, with his first effort saved by goalkeeper Simon Omossola and his second cleared off the goal line by Dzekem Bongyang

On 21 minutes the hosts created the best chance of the first half when Fabril Kaou provided a great cross from the right to pick out the late run of Pitroipa into the box, but the attacker skewed his effort wide of the mark.

The visitors dominated the remainder of the first half, but were unable to find a way past Coton’s resilient defence, leaving the game goalless at the break.

Zanaco almost claimed the lead eight minutes into the second half when a low cross from the left by-line found Sakala free in the box, but his snap shot was superbly saved by Omossola.

Shortly before the hour mark Coton created a great chance on the counter attack for burly striker Ronald Ngah Wanja, but his stabbed shot was blocked by the legs of goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata.

That opportunity signalled the start of momentum swinging in favour of the Cameroonians, who looked the likelier scorers in the final quarter of the match but were unable to break the deadlock.

Yet with the match seemingly destined for a stalemate, Zanaco hit the hosts on a swift counter attack and Attram Kwame set up Sakala with a chance – this time the striker coolly struck home a low shot with his left foot to win the game 1-0.

The teams will return to Group D action next weekend when Zanaco host Al Ahly in Lusaka, while Coton Sport will welcome Wydad Casablanca to Garoua.

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Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid jump to top of Group C

Al Hilal midfielder Nazar Hamid Nassir

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Jun 21, 2017. 05:19

Sudan’s Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid have leapfrogged to the top of Group C in the CAF Confederation Cup after defeating Egypt’s Smouha 2-1 at home on Tuesday night.

Goals from Abo Girfa and slam Mohareb left the game locked at 1-1, but the hosts claimed the victory at Al-Ubayyid Stadium thanks to an injury-time strike from Nelson Ladzagla.

Smouha and Al-Ubayyid drew 1-1 in their first clash earlier this month in Alexandria, but this time around the Sudanese side just managed to eke out a victory.

The other Group C match earlier today produced a win for Angola’s Recreativo Libolo over Zambian side Zesco United in Calulo.

As a result, Al-Ubayyid lead the pool with seven points, while Recreativo and Zesco are second and third respectively – both on six points. Smouha bring up the rear on four points.

The teams will play the penultimate round of group stage matches next weekend (30 June to 2 July), with Zesco hosting Al-Ubayyid in Lusaka and Smouha visiting Recreativo in Calulo.

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Top SA referee Gomes officiate to officiate Alger-Zamalek clash

Victor Gomes, South African referee

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jun 16, 2017. 11:33

South African referee Victor Gomes will officiate the 2017 CAF Champions League match between Algerian outfit USM Alger and Egyptian giants Zamalek on Wednesday, 21 June.

Zamalek are sitting at the top of Group B standings, just a point above Alger after the two sides played to a 1-1 stalemate at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Egypt almost a fortnight ago.

One of South African’s top referees, Gomes will be in charge of the next game between Alger and Zamalek. The game is scheduled to take place at the Stade du 5 Juillet in Algers.

This was confirmed by the South African Football Association (SAFA) on their official website:

“Victor Gomes, Lindikhaya Bolo, Sandile Dilikane and Victor Hlungwani will form the quartet of SAFA referees appointed by the governing body of African football to officiate in one of the most hostile venues on continent.

“Gomes will be making his second trip to North Africa after officiating in a high-profile match between Cameroonian side, Coton Sports and Egyptian powerhouse, Al Ahly in Cairo earlier this year while Hlungwane was also part of a trio that officiated in a recent Champions League match in Sudan between Al Hilal Elobied and Gambia Ports Authority FC in April.

“Gomes is appointed at the match referee and will be assisted by Bolo and Dilikane while Hlungwani holds the fort as the fourth official.

“The quartet is expected to jet off to Algeria on Sunday, 18 June,” a statement read.

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Libya thump Seychelles to go top of Group E

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Jun 10, 2017. 00:14

Libya thumped Seychelles 5-1 in the first 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification Group E match at the Stade Chedly Zouiten in Tunis, Tunisia on Friday night.

The emphatic victory takes the Mediterranean Knights to the top of Group E standings with three points, while the Pirates are placed at the bottom of the table with zero points.

The Mediterranean Knights broke the deadlock 23 minutes into the match when Anis Saltou headed home Ahmed Benali’s well-taken cross – making it 1-0 to Libya.

The momentum was with the home side as they managed to doubled their lead four minutes later as the Pirates struggled to contain the Mediterranean Knights.

The home side were awarded a penalty and Benali stepped up, and he hit the back of the net to make it 2-0 to Libya, who were piling pressure on the Seychelles defence.

It was soon 3-0 to Libya on the stroke of half-time when Hamdou Elhouni netted with a good finish and the Mediterranean Knights were deservedly leading during the half-time.

The Pirates, who are under the guidance of newly appointed tactician Rodney Choisy, managed to contain the Mediterranean in the opening exchanges of the second-half.

However, Libya did extend their lead six minutes after the hour-mark and this time it was Mohammad Zubya, who hit the back of the net to make it 4-0 to the home side.

Muaid Ellafi also put his name on the scoresheet for Mediterranean Knights when he netted with six minutes left on the clock as Libya continued their dominance over Seychelles.

The Pirates did grab a late consolation goal through Leroy Coralie, who hit the back of the net in stoppage-time and ultimately, Libya secured a 5-1 victory over Seychelles.

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Letsoalo brace sends Baroka top of Playoff log – ABSA Premiership 2016/17

Victor Letsoalo of Baroka FC is challenged by Thabo Nthethe of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Baroka FC on 10 May 2017 at Lucas Moripe Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Jun 07, 2017. 17:14

Victor Letsoalo scored a brace to inspire Baroka FC to a 2-1 win over Black Leopards in a PSL Playoff match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday.

Bakgaga are the first to claim a victory in the three-team tournament and are placed top with four points from two matches, having also drawn 2-2 away to Stellenbosch FC last week.

The Cape side are second with two points, while Lidoda Duvha bring up the rear with one point from their two outings.

Baroka made all of the early running and deservedly went ahead in the 11th minute when Victor Letsoalo put the ball into an unguarded net.

It was a controversial goal, as Leopards goalkeeper Rotshidzwa Muleka was knocked out cold in a collision with Baroka’s Sipho Moeti, who was able to recover the loose ball and tee up Letsoalo to score.

Muleka received lengthy treatment on the field before being stretchered off and replaced by former Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows goalkeeper Aubrey Mathibe.

Baroka doubled their lead a few minutes before half time, with Letsoalo claiming his second by getting on the end of a fine cross from right fullback Matome Kgoetyane and beating Mathibe at his near post with a glancing header.

Leopards went up a couple of gears in the second half and midway through the stanza they pulled a goal back, with Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke committing a howler of a mistake to allow substitute Mziwokuthula Zimu a tap-in.

Zimu almost levelled the game on 74 minutes, getting on the end of a cross from the right flank to direct a header beyond the reach of Masuluke, only to see the ball rebound off the far post.

Lidoda Duvha continued to push in the dying minutes, with Mwape Musonda forcing Masuluke into a fine one-handed save, but they were unable to force an equaliser.

Baroka FC (2) 2 (Letsoalo 11’ 41’)

Black Leopards (0) 1 (Zimu 68’)

Baroka: Masuluke, Kgoetyane, Mahashe, Shaku, Masenamela, Matloga, Munetsi, Mdatsane (Mapheto 79’), Ndlovu (Garcia 46’), Moeti (Zikalala 68’), Letsoalo

Leopards: Muleka (Mathibe 19’), Munyai, Munganga, Ndou, Mabotja, Mkhulise (Zimu 55’), Abubakar, Nange, Mahangwahaya (Maphangule 75’), Musonda, Ntshangase

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Zakaria and Ajayi fire Al Ahly to Group D top spot – 2017 CAF Champions League

epa05842800 Al Ahly’s player Moamen Zakaria (R) in action against Bidvest Wits player Nazeer Allie (L) Wangu Gome (C) during the African Champions League (CAF) match between Al Ahly and Bidvest Wits at Salam stadium in Cairo, Egypt, 11 March 2017. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Jun 05, 2017. 07:28

Al Ahly defeated Wydad Casablanca 2-0 in the 2017 CAF Champions League Group D match at the Borg El Arab Stadium on Monday morning.

The victory sees the Egyptian giants climb to the top of the Group D standings, while Morocco’s Wydad remain third with three matches played.

The first goal of the game was scored by Al Ahly’s in-form midfielder Momen Zakaria six minutes before the half-hour marke as the home side’s pressure paid off.

This was the 29-year-old attacker’s second goal in as many Champions League matches as he continued to deliver in front of goal for the Red Devils of Egypt.

Wydad striker William Jebor had a chance to equalize on the stroke of half-time, but Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy denied him to ensure that the first-half ended 1-0 to the home side.

Record eight-time Champions League winners Al Ahly continued their dominance in the second-half and they managed to double their lead through Oluwafemi Ajayi.

Wydad, who won this tournament in 1992, made a mistake at the back nd Ajayi was there to make it 2-0 to Al Ahly in the 79th minute – netting his third goal in three competitive matches.

The visitors created goalscoring opportunities in the closing stages of the encounter, but Al Ahly held onto their lead and they recorded a 2-0 home victory.

Al Ahly (1) 2 (Zakaria 24′, Ajayi 79′)

Wydad (0) 0

Al Ahly: Ekramy, Fathy, Hegazi, Samir, Maaloul, Ashour, El Said (Ghaly 64′), Soliman (Rabia 82′), Zakaria, Al Sulaya, Ajayi (Moteab 87′).

Wydad: Laaroubi, Rabeh, Noussir, Lamrabat (El Haddad 65′), Atouchi, Saidi, El Karti, Khadrouf (Ondama 64′), Nakach, Jebor, Ounajem

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SuperSport rescue point to go top of Group D – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup

Aubrey Modiba of Supersport United challenged by Karl Mboudou of CF Mounana during the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup match between CF Mounana and Supersport United at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 23 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Brian Lee

Sunday Jun 04, 2017. 17:35

South African side SuperSport United showed real heart to come from behind to rescue a point as they played to a 2-2 draw against DR Congo side TP Mazembe in a Confederation Cup, Group D match at the Stade Frederic Kibassa Maliba in Lubumbashi on Sunday.

The win takes SuperSport to the top of Group D with five points, the same as second placed TP Mazembe but the South African side has a superior goal difference.

Horoya Ac (who beat Cf Mounana 1-0 on Saturday) are also on five points, but in third place because of goal difference while Cf Mounana are last in Group D with zero points.

TP Mazembe started positively in front of their home fans on Sunday and opened the scoring in the 21st minute courtesy of a goal from Ben Malango Ngita, 1-0.

The DRC side doubled their lead five minutes later when Rainford Kalaba found the back of the net following a good passing movement by TP Mazembe, 2-0.

SuperSport quickly hit back, though, with Aubrey Modiba scoring a crucial goal to take his side into the half time break only trailing by a goal, 2-1.

The second half saw SuperSport playing the better football and they managed to find the equaliser in the 66th minute courtesy of a strike from Teboho Mokoena, 2-2.

Both sides pushed forward in the final twenty minutes in search of the winner, but neither could find the decisive goal.

The two sides will clash again in the Confederation Cup in a fortnight when SuperSport host TP Mazembe.

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Idris Mbombo hands Zesco win and top spot in Group C – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup

Al Ahly’s Ali Maaloul (R) in action against Zesco United‘s John Ching’andu (L) during the African Champions League (CAF) group stage match between Al Ahly and Zesco United at the military Stadium in Suez, Egypt, 12 August 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

Brian Lee

Sunday Jun 04, 2017. 17:21

Zambian side Zesco United moved to the top of their CAF Confederation Cup Group C after beating Angolan side Recreativo Libolo 1-0 at the Levy Mwanawasa stadium in Ndola on Sunday.

The win sees Zesco up to six points in Group C, two points above second placed Smouha who played to a 1-1 draw against Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid on Saturday.

Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid are in third place in the standings, also with four points with Recreativo Libolo sitting at the bottom of Group C with three points to their name.

The only goal of the game was scored by Idris Mbombo in the 28th minute to hand Zesco their second win in the Confederation Cup group stages and Recreativo Libolo’s second loss.

The match itself was not one of high quality with chances on goal few and far between. Neither side looked impressive on the ball and gave away possession rather cheaply.

The game did end on a rather sour note with two red cards brandished – Celson Costa given his marching orders in the 86th minute for Recreativo Libolo while Agay Akuma was shown red in the 89th minute.

Recreativo Libolo will be given a chance to avenge their loss to Zesco when they host them in their next CAF Confederation Cup match in a fortnight.

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Horoya jump to top of Group D

Aboubacar Camara of Horoya AC

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jun 03, 2017. 18:36

Guinea’s Horoya AC have jumped to the top of Group D in the CAF Confederation Cup after claiming a 1-0 win away to CF Mounana on Saturday afternoon.

Horoya’s triumph at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville takes them to five points, while Mounana remain on zero after suffering a third successive loss.

One of defending champions TP Mazembe or SuperSport United (both on four points) could claim first place outright if they win their clash in Lubumbashi on Sunday, while a draw would see a three-way tie.

There was nothing to separate Mounana and Horoya for more than three quarters of their match, but the Guinean visitors scored the decisive goal in the 72nd minute through Seydou Karamba Camara to claim all three points on offer.

It’s Horoya’s first win in the group after draws away to SuperSport (2-2) and at home to TP Mazembe (1-1) in the first two Matchdays.

The teams will meet again in just over two week’s time, with their return clash in Conakry set for June 20.

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KCCA join FUS at the top of Group A

KCCA FC (Uganda) players celebrate

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Jun 03, 2017. 17:15

Uganda’s Kampala Capital City Authority have moved level at the top of Group A in the CAF Confederation Cup after defeating Rivers United 2-1 at the Phillip Omondi Stadium on Saturday.

KCCA have joined FUS Rabat (who defeated Club Africain 2-1 last night) on six points. The Moroccans are ranked ahead of the Ugandans on head-to-head results after defeating them 3-0 at the start of the group phase. All six matches in Group A have produced home victories.

KCCA claimed an early lead in this clash through Derrick Nisbambi, who also scored in the 2-1 win over Club Africain on May 23. The attacker found the back of the net in the 15th minute to break the deadlock.

Yet the Nigerians found a way back into the game, with Bolaji Sakin leveling the score at 1-1 in the 33rd minute.

The match remained level for the better part of 40 minutes before KCCA struck again in the 71st minute. Nisbambi was once again the hero for the East Africans, netting his third goal in the group stage.

KCCA and Rivers will meet in the return game in the next Matchday, with their clash at Yakubu Gowan Stadium in Port Harcourt set for June 20.

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Al Ahly look to cement Group D top spot – 2017 CAF Champions League

Al Ahly’s player Ahmed Fathi (L) in action against an Wydad Casablanca player Yassine El Kordy (R) during the African Champions League (CAF) group stage match between Al Ahly and Asec Mimosas at Borg Al Arab stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 16 July 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jun 02, 2017. 18:00

Al Ahly will welcome Wydad Casablanca in the 2017 CAF Champions League Group D match at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 23h00 CAT.

The Red Devils defeated Cameroonian outfit Coton Sport 2-0 in their previous group match which was played in Garoua last week Tuesday.

The win took the Egyptian giants to the top of Group D standings with four points. They are only ahead of second-placed Zanaco on goal difference.

Moamen Zakaria, who scored Ahly’s second goal against Coton Sport, will be looking to inspire the Red Devils to victory over Casablanca.

Meanwhile, Casablanca suffered a 1-0 defeat to Zambian side Zanaco in their previous group match which was played in Lusaka last week Wednesday.

The defeat left the Moroccan giants placed third on the Group D table with three points. They are only a point behind the leaders Al Ahly.

William Jebor has already netted for Casablanca in the group stage and the forward will be keen to score in Egypt, and help his side win.

Referee Youssef Essrayri from Tunisia will be in change of the match between Al Ahly and Casablanca.

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