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Today — May 8th 2021Your RSS feeds

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila edge Chippa United to win Nedbank Cup

May 8th 2021 at 14:35

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila edged Chippa United 1-0 in the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday to win their first major trophy on Saturday.

A first half goal by Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo was enough to earn Vhadau Vha Damani their first silverware since they bought the status of Bidvest Wits last season.

A poor clearance at the back by Chippa in the 27th minute led to what was to be the opening goal and the winner for TTM at the Free State Stadium.

The game started at a frantic pace with both teams having a go at each other, but there were no clear-cut chances earlier on.

Ndlondlo then tried his luck from just outside the 18 yard box after the Chippa defence failed to clear the ball and the ball deflected off Frederic Nsabiyumva and into the back of the net.

TTM managed to hang on to the slender lead until the half-time break.

Chippa coach Vladislav Heric introduced a couple of substitutes in the second half to try and change the complexion of the game.

One of those substitutes Anthony Laffor found himself unmarked just outside the penalty box, but his shot was saved by Washington Arubi in the 77th minute.

Four minutes later, Chippa saw their penalty appeal turned down by the referee after Alfred Ndengane looked to have kicked Ayabulela Konqobe in the face while trying to clear the ball. The referee gave a corner kick instead.

Brandon Theron wasted a good chance to put the game beyond Chippa’s reach in the 84th minute when he found himself through on goals, but shot wide, but TTM went on to win the game in the end.

Ex-Premier League goalkeeper slams ‘troublemaker’ Bongani Zungu

May 8th 2021 at 09:40

Former Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has slammed Bafana Bafana star Bongani Zungu, saying Rangers “will be glad to see the troublemaker go back to Amiens”.

ALSO READ: AmaZulu could still lose Benni at the end of the season

This comes after Amiens manager Oswald Tanchot that Zungu would return to the French club next season after his loan spell at Scottish champions.

Zungu was among the five Rangers players who were slapped with a six-game ban by the Scottish Football Association after they broke the Covid rules by attending a house party in March.

“They’ll definitely be glad to see the back of him (Bongani Zungu). He’s a trouble maker, I think,” Kenny told Football Insider.

“They have done so well this season under Steven Gerrard with the discipline they’ve got there.

“After all that happened earlier in the year, it’s best to start afresh, in my opinion.

“When you’ve just won the league, why would you want someone like him at the club anyway?

“He’s not even their player and he’s only on loan. So you may as well send him back, cut your losses and move on,” he added.

Zungu made 20 Rangers appearances in all competitions for Rangers since the club in October last year.

Rangers had an option-to-buy clause in his contract, but it looks like they will not exercise it.

PSL assistant referee Shaun Olive passes away after a car accident

May 8th 2021 at 05:31

The South African Football Association (Safa) has announced the untimely passing of assistant referee Shaun Olive.

WATCH: Safa must not play us for fools – Hugo Broos was not first choice

In a statement, Safa said Olive sustained serious injuries after being involved in a freak motor accident in Mondeor this week and died on Saturday morning.

“It is with profound sadness and deep grief that we inform the South African football family of the passing of Shaun Olive, SAFA and FIFA Assistant Referee.

“Shaun sustained serious injuries after being involved in a freak motor accident in Mondeor on Thursday and passed on this morning,” read the Safa statement.

Safa president Danny Jordaan described Olive’s death as not a huge blow for the country, but for the continent and the world at large.

“We are gutted as the Association. Here was a young man, taken away at the prime of his career. Shaun was among the rising young officials and his passing on is a huge blow to the country, the continent and world,” said Jordaan.

Chairperson of the Safa Referees Committee, Natasha Tsichlas said she could still not believe Shaun was no more.

“We extend our most sincere condolences to Shaun’s family, his fiancé, friends and the refereeing family as we come to terms with his tragic passing. We pray that they will be comforted and experience deep peace today, and the days hereafter.

“Shaun’s bubbly presence and amiable character will be sorely missed among us. He showed so much promise and was at the cusp of a flourishing career,” added Tsichlas.

Meanwhile, the Premier Soccer League has also paid tribute to Olive.

“The Premier Soccer League is saddened by the passing of 2019/20 PSL assistant referee of the season, Shaun Olive.

“The league sends heartfelt condolences to the Olive family, South African Football Association (SAFA) and the football fraternity at large.

“The PSL will observe a moment of silence in honour of Shaun Olive ahead of this weekend’s Nedbank Cup, DStv Premiership, Diski Challenge and GladAfrica Championship fixtures.

“May his soul repose peacefull,” read the League statement.

Phakaaathi sends our sincere condolences to the Olive family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

May Shaun Olive’s soul rest in peace.

Heric – Chippa only have cup finals left

May 8th 2021 at 04:11

 

Chippa United coach Vladislav Heric says the club have told their players the Nedbank Cup is not the only final they are going to be playing in this season.

ALSO READ: TTM and Chippa – the road to the final and key players

Chippa face Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila on Saturday at the Free State Stadium in Mangaung, with both sides possibly a little conflicted, as they are also in serious danger of being relegated from the DStv Premiership.

“We have a cup final on Saturday, and another cup final, and another. We did explain to the players that one by one it is cup finals here,” said Heric this week.

With four games left to play in the league, Chippa are currently 15th in the league, which would see them in the relegation/promotion play-offs come the end of the campaign. TTM are only a point further ahead, though both have found some form of late, with Chippa winning their last two matches and TTM two of their last three.

“We expect a very tough game,” said Heric of Saturday’s encounter.

“It might not be attractive … but I believe people will enjoy some good football and a couple of good moves. We must also take into consideration that both sides are fighting to avoid relegation. I don’t know how many weapons they will leave out (for the final) but I know that for me we will pull out all our weapons to try and win.”

Heric also lauded the fact that Chippa are the first side from the Eastern Cape to play in a major cup final in the PSL era.

“I like the fact that the Eastern Cape has never had a representative in a cup final before. It is a great opportunity to give them a cup and make a celebration for the people (of the Eastern Cape).”

Victory would also put Chippa in next season’s Caf Confederation Cup.

“Bringing Caf football here will be vital for football in the Eastern Cape. It is an area that we all know is not that developed from a football point. There is barely a Premiership or NFD side here, there are very good teams in the Vodacom League, and a lot of good facilities, but for some reason football has lost popularity. God willing we can win the cup and bring a huge boost to the area. I do think people here will then start thinking differently about football,” added Heric.

Road to Nedbank Cup final and key players ahead of TTM and Chippa clash

May 8th 2021 at 03:50

Phakaaathi takes a look at this year’s historic Nedbank Cup final road to the final and key players for the clash, where Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila will battle it out with Chippa United for the Ke Yona trophy at Free State Stadium on Saturday.

ALSO READ: Kerr wants TTM players to replicate performance against Chiefs in the Cup final

TTM, who are on their first season in top flight football have managed to pull out some shocking results along the way, with no one giving the club any chance of making it to the final, especially looking at how the club has been performing in the DStv Premiership.

Chippa, as well, weren’t one of the favourites to go on to reach this stage of the competition. The Chilli Boys have been struggling in the league campaign too and winning the final of the Ke Yona Cup might just be a morale booster looking ahead to the rest of their league fixtures with the club yet to be safe from relegation.

Looking at the standings in the league, TTM are in 14th spot with 25 points, one point higher than Chippa, who are placed in 15th place.

Despite their unconvincing performances in the league, both clubs have managed to grind out results in the tournament and deservingly reached the final, with the winner of this competition set to compete in the Caf Confederation Cup next season.

Here is a look at the two club’s journey to the final:

Tshakuma’s road to the final.

4 February 2021

Last 32

TTM 1, SuperSport United 0

26 February 2021

Last 16

TTM 2, Swallows FC 2 (TTM won 4-3 on penalties)

14 March 2021

Quarter-finals

TTM 2, Black Leopards 0

18 April 2021

Semi-finals

TTM 0, Mamelodi Sundowns 0 (TTM won 6-5 on penalties).

Chippa’s road to the final

7 February 2021

Last 32

Chippa 2, Free State Stars 2 (Chippa won 4-3 on penalties)

28 February 2021

Last 16

Chippa 2, Cape Town City 1

13 March 2021

Quarter-finals

Chippa 2, Richards Bay FC 1

17 April 2021

Semi-finals

Chippa 1, Pretoria Callies 0

Key players:

TTM

Thabo Rakhale

The former Orlando Pirates midfielder has been instrumental in the TTM games. He scored the winning goal against Kaizer Chiefs in their last league game proving his worth for the club.

Thabo Mnyamane

Mnyamane has played four games in the tournament scoring two goals in the process. He will certainly be looking to add more goals to his tally.

Chippa United

Augustine Kwem

The Chilli Boys Nigerian born striker has five goals in all competitions for the club this season, including one in the Nedbank Cup. He has proven to be very troublesome for defenders and uses his body structure to beat them.

Anthony Laffor

Laffor has brought in a vast of experience in the Chippa United squad having played for many years at Mamelodi Sundowns and winning a number of trophies. His understanding and knowledge of winning cup finals will come very handy for t he Port Elizabeth outfit.

The kickoff of the game is set for 6pm.

WATCH: Safa must not play us for fools – Hugo Broos was not first choice

May 8th 2021 at 03:36

The South African Football Association will tell you that Hugo Broos was their first choice to coach Bafana Bafana, but Phakaaathi would suggest some wool is being pulled over our eyes.

The Belgian was announced this week as Bafana Bafana. head coach, and is expected to arrive in the country next week to iron out the finer details of his contract and begin his work.

Broos, however, not the main name linked to the Bafana job when Molefi Ntseki was sacked at the end of March. That was Carloto s Queiroz, believed to be the number one candidate on the list of the Safa technical committee set up to find a new coach.

ALSO READ: Five challenges for new Bafana boss Broos

Safa even called a press conference to announce their new man, but then cancelled it, citing Covid-19 issues. Queiroz is said to have turned down Safa, because he didn’t feel he had enough time with the side ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, which were at that stage scheduled to begin in June.

Attempts to get Pitso Mosimane are said to have been simply met with a straight defensive bat by the former Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana head coach, now in the top job at Al Ahly, and apparently not willing to return to coach Bafana.

There was also Herve Renard, but the Frenchman was also said to be happy in his current job with Saudi Arabia.

That left Benni McCarthy as seemingly the main man on Bafana’s radar, but as talks of his deal collapsing emerged, it became clear that Broos, whose name was discussed by the technical committee,  was now the leading candidate.

He has continental pedigree too, having won the Africa Cup of Nations with Cameroon in 2017. And hopefully he can build a similarly strong Bafana team. However, we should not kid ourselves that Broos was Safa’s first choice – after all, Phakaaathi understands that he was not even on the initial five-man list handed to the Safa National Executive by the technical committee.

Hugo Broos was at least the fifth-choice candidate to coach Bafana, if not the sixth, with Kaizer Chiefs head coach Gavin Hunt also on Safa’s list.

Yesterday — May 7th 2021Your RSS feeds

Kerr wants TTM players to replicate performance against Chiefs in the Cup final

May 7th 2021 at 09:04

Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila head coach Dylan Kerr has asked his players to play the way they did in their victory over Kaizer Chiefs when they meet up with Chippa United in the final of the Nedbank Cup at the Free State Stadium on Saturday.

ALSO READ: Why former Chiefs and Downs winger Lebese is not playing at TTM

TTM go into the match after a morale boosting 2-1 win over Amakhosi in a midweek DStv Premiership clash.

Kerr,  admits that league games are different to cup games, but says his charges are eager to lift the cup against Vladislav Heric’s Chilli Boys and there is excitement all round at the club leading to the game and there is a clean bill of health in his squad.

“I hope that we can replicate or surpass our performance against Chiefs in the cup final. I told the players that it is about winning the trophy and not financial gain. It is a cup final, so league form goes out the window. The players are excited and want to impress. This week we have had training sessions with no injures, which is almost unheard of. It is an important game for the club and players, it could be the one and only chance for these players to reach a cup final. Our opponents have got a couple of good results behind them and have a new coach (Heric),” said the TTM mentor.

“We have the disadvantage of one day’s fewer training because we played on Tuesday. But we have put in a good performance, which was very successful.”

The TTM coach wants to make history with the club by becoming the first Limpopo club to lift the Nedbank trophy.

“We must look forward to the game and create history. I think this is the first time the Nedbank Cup would have been won by a team in the Limpopo province.”

Could Sundowns get Pitso Mosimane fired at Al Ahly?

May 7th 2021 at 06:07

If you’re looking for a trigger happy football boss in South Africa you look no further than Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi – the chairman of Chippa United – who does not hesitate to sack coaches when the results are not satisfying.

ALSO READ:  Pitso Mosimane asks Al Ahly to table an offer for Sundowns’ Peter Shalulile

In Egypt, Al Ahly president Mahmoud “Bibo” El Khatib operates in the same manner as a string of three bad results could lead to dismissal.

Current Al Ahly head coach, Pitso Mosimane, has been under the spotlight of criticism of late as his side are going through a bit of a slump in the Egyptian League where they find themselves at second place behind arch rivals Zamalek, having collected 40 points in 18 games.

The Red Devils play against Mosimane’s former side, Mamelodi Sundowns, in the Caf Champions League quarterfinal and that could well be his final match in charge of the defending champions if he loses over two legs to his former employers.

The Champions League, is a competition that Ahly pride themselves on, as they usually cruise in the domestic league where they have won it in the last five seasons. Mosimane is under a lot of pressure to successfully defend the Champions League.

If Sundowns beat Al Ahly over the two-legged affair, there is no reason to not believe that he could lose his job, and how ironic would it be for him if the side which he abandoned last September, becomes the team responsible for his demise.

Mosimane delivered the first Champions League crown to the Cairo-based side in seven years and that being the first under the presidency of “Bibo”, but getting eliminated at this stage will irk the powers that be as part of his mandate is to win the Champions League.

Even though “Jingles” did lead the side to a domestic treble in his first couple of games, a lot of criticism has been levelled at the former Bafana Bafana coach, with some legends of the club questioning his abilities while some have lambasted him for riding on his predecessor, Rene Weiler’s hard work as “Jingles” arrived to find the side already in the semifinals of the Champions League and the league had long been wrapped up.

Moustafa Younes, who represented the Club of the Century in the 70s and 80s, told Kingfut that Mosimane had stolen Weiler’s limelight and went on to express his lack of belief in “Jingles”.

“He took Weiler’s job and stole his successes after his departure in the midst of competitions, and any one of Al Ahly’s ‘sons’ is way better than Mosimane. I said before that I will wait and rate Pitso Mosimane at the end of the first leg of the league, and I discovered that he had stolen René Weiler’s success,” Youness told Kingfut.

He added: “No one talks to me about the fatigue problem in Al Ahly. They are the best team in Egypt. Al Ahly is used to accept Zamalek’s gifts and take advantage of them and secure the league title. However, the new thing this season is not only that Al Ahly reject Zamalek’s gifts, but instead gift them new ones.”

It was important to get a win over Leopards, says Pirates defender Jooste

May 7th 2021 at 04:39

After a sterling performance that helped Orlando Pirates secure a 3-0 victory over Black Leopards in a DStv Premiership clash at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday, defender Wayde Jooste says they knew that coming up against Leopards was going to be tough.

ALSO READ: Orlando Pirates bounce back to winning ways with convincing victory over Black Leopards

The 29-year-old Port Elizabeth born defender pulled out a man-of-the-match performance with his runs on the right side of the Bucs attack which ultimately saw Bucs get the opening goal of the match after his cross was slotted into the back of the net by Tshegofatso Mabasa, who scored a brace on the day.

“It was a very tough game, you know when you’re playing these teams that are facing relegation it’s tough to get points against them. Because we know they are going to come here with the aim of at least trying to get a point, so we had to work hard. Together as a team we spoke to each other before the game and during half-time as well and it paid off at the end,” said the right-back.

“Tshego and I always communicate at training. We always speak and he will tell me, look, when you get the ball you know where to find me. Sometimes I don’t even have to look up, I just know that he is going to be there in a good area.”

The former Bloemfontein Celtic, Golden Arrows and the now dissolved Highlands Park player acknowledges that it was imperative for the club to get a win especially after a humiliating 3-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns prior to the Leopards clash.

The Buccaneers next host Cape Town based outfit Stellenbosch FC in their next league encounter and Jooste adds that they need to continue winning.

“It was important for us to bounce back, because we know the last result was not the best result. And we need to get the momentum going to get a few wins on the trot,” he concluded.

Bucs have five league games remaining after the win over Lidoda Duvha placed them in fourth place on the log standings with 42 points from 25 matches.

Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

Orlando Pirates bounce back to winning ways with convincing victory over Black Leopards

May 6th 2021 at 13:15

Orlando Pirates bounced back to winning ways after handing relegation threatened Black Leopards a 3-0 drubbing in a DStv Premiership at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday.

This was a good response for the Buccaneers, who came into this game after losing 3-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns and playing to a 1-1 draw with Swallows FC in their last two games.

The victory saw the Soweto giants jump to fourth place on the log standings with 42 points after 25 matches.

Leopards, meanwhile, are stuck at the bottom of the league standings with 18 points from 26 matches. The club is seven points away from safety and with only four games left, they will have to collect maximum points in all of them to at least try to save their top flight status.

In the opening stages of the game, Pirates looked stronger on the right side of their attack, which was operated by Wayde Jooste coming from the back and linking up with Deon Hotto.

It took the hosts 28 minutes to make a real threat at Leopards goals after Jooste’s cross found Tshegofatso Mabasa inside the Leopards box, but the striker failed to convert.

The visitors tried to get themselves into the game as skipper Rodney Ramagalela attempted a long range strike in the 32nd minute, but it didn’t trouble Wayne Sandilands at Bucs goals.

Bucs came closer and closer to scoring towards half-time with chances falling through for Mabasa once again and Thulani Hlatshwayo’s header going wide leaving the two teams to go into the break goalless.

It took only two minutes into the second half for the home side to take the lead after Jooste picked up Mabasa inside the Lidoda Duvha box. The striker didn’t make a mistake this time around as he slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Leopards looked for an immediate response with Rodrick Kabwe on attack, but his lobbed ball which looked goal bound was cleared off the goal-line by Hlatshwayo.

Pirates went on to extend their lead with Mabasa getting a brace in the 67th minute after his initial header hit the upright before he quickly slotted the ball into the net from the rebound.

With four minutes left minutes, substitute Gabadinho Mhango sealed the win for Pirates with the third goal for Bucs as Leopards struggled to fight their way back into the match.

Abantu Bemthetho ‘arrest’ Richards Bay’s progress

May 5th 2021 at 13:19

TS Sporting have climbed closer to and put more pressure on GladAfrica Championship log leaders Richards Bay by beating them 1-0 at KaBokweni Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

It was a tense game and the home side knew a loss would make it even steeper for them as the race heats up. Abantu Bemthetho remain third but are now just two points behind the Natal Rich Boyz with three games to go.

Sporting took the first stab in the 16th minute with Decide Chauke allowed space and time inside the Richards Bay box. With his back to goal, he did well to bring the ball under control, turn and shoot it beyond Malcolm Jacobs’ reach.

The Natal Rich Boyz tried to hit back, with Khanyisa Mayo a constant threat with his signature curled long range shots, but he couldn’t get them on target.

It was in fact Abantu Bemthetho who almost doubled their lead early in the second half. But Jacobs was equal to the task.

Bay’s best chance of the match came only in the 75th minute, and it fell to Lwandile Mabuya who had just come on. The youngster hurried his shot and it went wide.

Siyabonga Vilane also came close to finding an equaliser in the 84th minute but his header went nuts over the bar, with the keeper well beaten.

A minute later, things almost got worse for the KwaZulu-Natal side and were lucky that Mohau Mokate’s well taken hit the post after it had beat Jacobs.

GladAfrica Championship results:

Cape United 1 Polokwane City 0
Free State Stars 1 Steenberg United 1
Uthongathi 1 University of Pretoria 0
Bizana Pondo Chiefs 2 CT All Stars 3
TS Sporting 1 Richards Bay 0
Pretoria Callies 1 Sekhukhune United 2

10-man Chiefs pay the penalty as Mnyamane grabs last minute winner for TTM

May 4th 2021 at 13:33

A last minute penalty by Thabo Mnyamane saved Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila blushes after they almost let a 10-men Kaizer Chiefs steal a point in their DStv Premiership match at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Having taken the lead immediately after Amakhosi were reduced to 10 men, Tshakhuma failed to keep the momentum and allowed the Naturena side to score an equaliser.

They however managed to get a win through a last minute penalty, and the win saw them jump to 14th place, pushing their Nedbank Cup final opponent, Chippa United into the relegation spot.

The game started in a hurried pace with each side looking for an early goal to upset and unsettle the other. But that didn’t help ether side because they couldn’t create any clear scoring chances.

As the game wore on, Chiefs showered the pace and tried to play patient build-ups but still couldn’t find the right balls up front to trouble Washington Arubi in the TTM goals.

As usual, Chiefs were again forced into a shape change in the first half – it was however not due an injury this time.
Njabulo Blom was sent off after receiving his second booking for reckless play in the 39th minute, conceding a free kick in a dangerous area in the process.

From the resultant free kick, Thabo Mnyamane was unlucky to see his effort hit the cross bar with Bruce Bvuma completely beaten.

Two minutes later, Tshakhuma took the lead. Mnyamane expertly found an Thabo Rakhale inside the Amakhosi box, he chested it to his feet and sent a rocket past Bvuma.

Chiefs came close to the equaliser in the 51st minute, with Samir Nurkovic’s effort from a corner, but Arubi managed to fist the ball over.

TTM also had a glorious chance in the 54th minute after some neat inter-passing the ball ended in front of Celimpilo Ngema, but he sliced his shot across goal with Bvuma at his mercy.

Ngema was again set through on goal four minutes later, but he shot wide with only the keeper to beat.

Chiefs almost had a penalty appeal denied when Nurkovic was brought down inside the box, but the referee, Victor Hlungwani felt there was no contact. But after consulting with the fourth official, he changed his mind and gave the spot kick.

Arubi saved Lebogang Manyama’s initial shot, but the ball spilled and fell kindly for Manyama and he slid it under the keeper to equalise for Amakhosi.

Tshakhuma had their penalty appeal denied as well after the ball had hit Ramahlwe Mphahlele on the arm.

There was a nervy moment for Amakhosi with just over 10 minutes to go when Bvuma got injured. He had stated the game in thee absence of both Itumeleng Khune and Daniel Akpeyi who were injured. Bvuma was however able to continue after receiving some medical attention.

Tshakhuma were finally awarded a penalty when Siyabonga Ngezana handled the ball inside the box, and Mnyamane scored from the spot to give TTM maximum points.

Chiefs squander two-goal lead to draw at Celtic

May 1st 2021 at 11:23

 

Kaizer Chiefs blew a 2-0 lead to end up sharing the points with Bloemfontein Celtic as their DStv Premiership clash at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium ended 2-2 on Saturday afternoon.

ALSO READ: Kaizer Chiefs braced for ‘tough’ Simba

It was not the first time Amakhosi had taken a lead and gone on to concede and end up not getting a result.

Chiefs had the start they’d have wanted as Happy Mashiane scored with a fourth minute free kick. The score was increased just eight minutes later as Erick Mathoho headed in from a corner.

While Amakhosi tried to pin Celtic back, they didn’t cower and took the fight right back and cut the deficit in the 22nd minute through Neo Maema.

Amakhosi came close to a third two minutes later, but Jackson Mabokgwane was equal to task and thwarted Mashiane’s effort from a free kick.

Celtic forced Daniel Akpeyi into some good saves towards the end of the first half, as they looked to go into the break all square.

That didn’t happen, but it didn’t take the Mangaung side long to get back into the game as they scored just eight minutes after the break. They were awarded a penalty and Victor Letsoalo converted to make it 2-2.

After that both sides tried to find the winner but found the going tough, especially up front. And the draw was perhaps a fair and just result as both had come from defeats in their last outing.

The result left Amakhosi outside the top eight with, TS Galaxy having won against Cape Town City at the same time.

For Celtic, the result will be most worrying because they are now flirting with relegation, with a mere eight points separating them from Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, who are second from bottom in the relegation play-off spot.

Mokwena welcomes ‘competitive draw’ that pits Sundowns against former coach Pitso Mosimane

April 30th 2021 at 14:27

Rulani Mokwena has reacted to Mamelodi Sundowns being drawn against former coach, Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly in the Caf Champions League quarter-finals.

ALSO READ: ‘Dream match’ happens early as Sundowns draw Pitso’s Al Ahly, Chiefs get Simba

Sundowns and Al Ahly will play in what has been described as a ‘dream match’ and a ‘final before the final’ in early May.

Mokwena said they knew that they’d have to meet Ahly at some point.

“We knew the permutations from the beginning that we could either have a trip to Algeria or a trip to Egypt… We had three permutations and of the three, (we know that) all of the teams in the last eight are very good teams with very good coaches,” said Mokwena on Friday.

He suggested that Sundowns will be underdogs going into the match with a lot of expectation falling on the shoulders of the Egyptian giants.

“Al Ahly are the defending champions and they have the pressure to retain the trophy. We consider it a very competitive draw, against a very good team with a very good coach. He is someone we have a lot of respect for, I personally have a lot of respect because of the role he played in my coaching career as a coach, as a leader and as a mentor.

“He is someone I have learnt a lot from. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

Safa finally net their man, new Bafana coach to be announced next week

April 30th 2021 at 14:05

Safa have revealed that they have found their man and have concluded a deal for him to take over as Bafana Bafana coach. But an officially unveiling of who it is will only be made next week.

ALSO READ: Al Ahly rule Pitso Mosimane out of Bafana coaching job

In a brief media statement sent out on Friday afternoon, Safa said everything was in order.

“We have concluded and finalized all the outstanding matters and we will announce the new coach next week,” said Safa CEO, Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe.

“The two parties (Safa and the new coach) have resolved all matters and what remains now is to officially announce him next week,” added Advocate Motlanthe.

Safa were initially supposed to announce the man to replace Molefi Ntseki last weekend but postponed, citing traveling issues due to Covid-19 restrictions as the reason.

But as the week went on, rumours started circulating that the coach they had approach had done a U-turn on them, and they were left clutching at straws trying to find another.

Reports coming out of Egypt suggested that Safa had tried to convince Pitso Mosimane to leave Al Ahly and come back home to coach Bafana, but refused.

The names of the likes of Carlos Queiroz, Hugo Broos and Herve Renard have been thrown around and said to have been part of the list of five recommended by Safa’s technical team after sitting through CV’s of applicants.

AmaZulu send warning to Sundowns with City thrashing

April 28th 2021 at 13:35

 

A statement of intent has been sent by AmaZulu to Mamelodi Sundowns to say should they slip up, they are ready to take the throne and be DStv Premiership champions.

ALSO READ: Sundowns draw another blank in Arrows draw

Usuthu turned Cape Town City into their punching bag, beating them 5-1 at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday evening to move to within one point of Sundowns who were held to a goalless draw by Golden Arrows at the same time.

Usuthu had a perfect start and startled City early on. The Citizens were unsettled when Augustine Mulenga finished off a polished move by Usuthu by sending the ball past Peter Leeuwenburgh to give them an early lead.

While City tried to get back into the game, they just couldn’t get going against a determined Usuthu, who looked dangerous in attack, forcing their hosts to sit back and guard against conceding further.

And with just a few minutes to the break, Usuthu struck again. Luvuyo Memela made a run into the City area and after getting past Leeuwenburgh, the keeper clipped his feet. The referee awarded a penalty which Thapelo Xoki expertly buried to make it 2-0 going into the break.

And three minutes after the break, Usuthu went 3-0 up, with Mulenga selflessly setting Lehlobonolo Majoro through on goal when he could have had a go himself. ‘Major’ simply pushed the ball into the net and went on to do a celebratory dance. He was pointing at his wrist in a way that suggests a time has come – probably for Usuthu to achieve big things.

Leeuwenburgh came out tops a few minutes later ,saving Xoki’s second attempt from the spot. The penalty had been awarded after Siyethemba Sithebe was fouled inside the box by second half substitute, Craig Martin as Usuthu piled the pressure.

AmaZulu were awarded another penalty in the 65th minute after Martin pushed Majoro. Memela took responsibility this time and converted, with Leeuwenburgh getting to the ball, but it squirmed under the ‘keeper’s body and into the net. .

City were also awarded a penalty in the 76th as they pushed forward late in the game. Sithebe brought Aubrey Ngoma down inside the box, but Fagrie Lakay missed with the spot kick. The striker however made amends for the embarrassing miss a minute later scoring with an easy tap in after his initial shot had hit the post.

With four minutes to the end, City were probably thinking the nightmare is ending soon, but Sithebe had other ideas. The lofty midfielder made it 5-1 with an easy finish after an Usuthu counter attack.

 

Sundowns draw another blank in Arrows draw

April 28th 2021 at 13:05

 

Mamelodi Sundowns continue to stutter at the top of the DStv Premiership, and with AmaZulu storming up the rails it is looking increasingly likely that this season’s title race could go down to the wire.

ALSO READ: It’s back to square one for Kaizer Chiefs after Chippa United defeat

Masandawana were held to a goalless draw by third-placed Golden Arrows on Wednesday, meaning Usuthu’s statement 5-1 away victory at Cape Town City took them to within a point of the reigning champions.

Sundowns still have two games in hand, but while they are slipping and sliding – this draw came off the back of a loss to Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday – AmaZulu are flying, picking up 25 points out of a possible 27 in their last nine Premiership matches.

Benni McCarthy’s side now have the chance two points clear at the top on Saturday, and pile more pressure on Sundowns, a day before they visit Orlando Pirates.

Sundowns had Kermit Erasmus leading the line again in the absence of the injured Peter Shalulile, and he fired an early warning shot across the face of the Arrows goal.

Ncikazi’s side were getting plenty of numbers behind the ball, but counter-attacked well when the opportunity presented itself.

Sundowns had a scare from one such attack as a cross whipped in from the left was chested only just wide of his own net by Mosa Lebusa.

At the other end, Sphelele Mkhulise skipped away down the left and he found Erasmus, but he wasn’t able to get a shot away.

Arrows threatened again as Pule Mmodi fizzed off a shot, and Rivaldo Coetzee got his head to it, diverting the ball just wide.

Sundowns’ best chance of the opening half came as Thapelo Morena found Lebo Maboe with a fine ball, but he fired well over the bar.

A minute before the break, Knox Mutizwa burst clear for Arrows, but he scuffed his shot and Denis Onyango gathered easily.

Sundowns, meanwhile, continued to battle to break down a well-organised Arrows in the second half, with their struggles in front of goal having seen the Tshwane giants score just once in their last four matches in all competitions.

For Arrows, meanwhile, this was a 13th draw in 25 matches this season, and they have lost just twice all campaign, with the defending of young Thabani Zuke particularly impressive on Wednesday.

OPINION: Orlando Pirates should be taking advantage of Sundowns slips, but…

April 26th 2021 at 09:49

If we were to be honest with ourselves as football people, then we will agree that Orlando Pirates are the ones who were expected to be taking full advantage of Mamelodi Sundowns’ sudden slip in the DStv Premiership.

ALSO READ: Pirates defender not happy with draw in Soweto derby against Swallows

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to discredit AmaZulu and Golden Arrows for the work they have done thus far in challenging the Pretoria outfit for the league champions title.

Both these clubs have upped their game this season and have to be applauded for their graft.

But, looking at both these KwaZulu-Natal clubs and the Buccaneers, Pirates have the better resources or rather, are much more equipped than these two teams.

Another thing is that Pirates have for years, or let me just bring it closer. In the last three years, Pirates have been finishing the season inside the top three and showed they have the quality in their squad to clinch the title.

In the 2017/18 season, Bucs finished the season in position two with 55 points, just five points behind eventual winners Downs. The following campaign, Bucs were once again the bridesmaids, this time around closing off the league campaign with 57 points, with only three points separating with winners Downs.

Last season, the Buccaneers ended in third place, seven points behind Bafana ba Style.

However, having bolstered their squad so much going into this season, especially with a number of players from Bidvest Wits who have the championship winning mentality, this campaign was seen as a light at the end of the tunnel for Bucs, with everyone anticipating to see Pirates beating every opponent in their way with ease and going toe to toe with the Brazilians.

When you look at the Sundowns squad and the rest of the teams in the DStv Premiership, it’s easy to say only Pirates’ team looks close to competing against the current log leaders.

But, I guess this is football, and whoever came up with the phase “bolo ga ena therefore [loosely translated football has no therefore”, knew what they were talking about.

Downs have dropped a huge five points in their last two games and had Pirates been in the right track from the word go, we would be seeing them among the clubs in the race for the league honours.

Pirates fight back to share spoils with Swallows

April 24th 2021 at 13:25

 

The Soweto derby between Swallows FC and Orlando Pirates ended up in a 1-1 draw at the Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday.

The Buccaneers had to fight their way back into the game after conceding an early goal, but thanks to striker Tshegofatso Mabasa, the Soweto teams ended up sharing the spoils on the day.

The Buccaneers, however, were in charge of the game and getting inside the Swallows box, but they weren’t able to get the goal.

In the 30th minute, Ben Motshwari attempted a long-range shot but was saved by Virgil Vries. The Swallows shot-stopper ended up seemingly looking like he is injured but ended up coming back into the game.

Josef Zinnbauer’s charges had a good opportunity to level matters with a goal-mouth scramble inside the Swallows box towards the break, but they couldn’t make it count.

Pirates kept their search for an equaliser going, but every chances they created counted for nothing as the game went into the break with the home side on the drivers seat.

The second stanza was quite balance

but, Swallows weren’t sleeping as Ruzaigh Gamildien took a shot from range, but Wayne Sandilands was able to keep the danger away with the ball on target just after the 70th minute.

A coupe of minutes later, Pirates finally got their prayers answered when substitute Wayde Jooste delivered a cross inside the the home side’s and it found the header of  Mabasa, who made no mistake but placed the ball inside the net.

Pirates had the best chance to take the lead for the first time in the game in the 78th minute, but Fortune Makaringe squandered the opportunity with only the keeper to beat.

It ended with the two sides sharing the spoils on the day, as Bucs ended up fighting their way into the game to walk away with a point.

As it ended, the Buccaneers remain in position four on the log with 38 points, while Swallows are in fifth place with the same number of points.

 

Phakaaathi TV – Can Kaizer Chiefs surprise Sundowns?

April 24th 2021 at 10:25

 

In this week’s episode of Phakaaathi TV, Jonty Mark and Tshepo Ntsoelengoe look back at a busy week in South African football.

ALSO READ: How Kaizer Chiefs could beat Mamelodi Sundowns

Orlando Pirates were held to a goalless draw at home by ES Setif in the Caf Confederaiton Cup, meaning they now need at least a point from their final Group A games against Enyimba on Wednesday.

The Buccaneers missed a gilt-edged opportunity to win the game when Tshegofatso Mabasa blazed over, and also had another goalkeeping injury, with Siyabonga Mpontshane forced from the field early in the game.

We also discuss Kaizer Chiefs and yet another defeat, as Gavin Hunt’s men went down 2-1 at home to Cape Town City at FNB Stadium last Wednesday.

Chiefs failed to recover from an awful start and have another uphill task on Sunday as they take on Mamelodi Sundowns. We also look ahead to that game while casting our eye over Sundowns’ top-of-the-table midweek draw with AmaZulu.

This was anything but a dull goalless draw, with chances to win it for both sides, Peter Shalulile wasting probably the best chance of the game.

Can Amakhosi really spring a surprise on Masandawana on Sunday – well, with the Tshwane giants unable to score in their last two games, it might just be a good time to play them.

Safa postpone Bafana coach announcement

April 23rd 2021 at 17:23

 

The South African Football Association will not be naming the new Bafana Bafana head coach on Saturday, blaming travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

ALSO READ: Revealed – the five-man Bafana Bafana shortlist

This can only increase speculation that the new coach will be coming from overseas, with Carlos Queiroz the favourite to take over for a second spell in charge.

“The Bafana Bafana coach announcement scheduled for Saturday, 24 April 2021 has been postponed due to global Covid-19 travel issues. We will reschedule the announcement to next week and further updates will be provided here. We apologise for the inconvenience caused,” read a statement issued by Bafana Bafana’s official Twitter account.

BREAKING:The Bafana Bafana coach announcement scheduled for Saturday, 24 April 2021 has been postponed due to global Covid-19 travel issues.

We will reschedule the announcement to next week and further updates will be provided here.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused.

— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) April 23, 2021

Phakaaathi had earlier learned that there was a five-man shortlist that a Safa technical committee would present to the Safa National Executive Committee on Saturday.

On that list was Queiroz, as well as Herve Renard, the former Zambia and Ivory Coast head coach, currently in charge of Saudi Arabia.

Queiroz’ advantage is that he is a free agent, having been sacked by Colombia last December. The 68 year old previously coached Bafana in the early 2000s, qualifying them for the 2002 Fifa World Cup finals, and reaching the quarterfinals of the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations.

Are local coaches ganging up against Chippa United?

April 22nd 2021 at 11:23

 

It has reached the ears of the Phakaaathi Mgosi squad that Chippa United didn’t get as many CVs as they had expected when their head coaching/technical advisor role became available after the release of the alleged racist, Luc Eymael.

ALSO READ: It can only be monetary reasons that made Heric return to Chippa

A source has revealed that the club has struggled to get a credible replacement for Dan Malesela who was fired recently because local coaches are snubbing the club for its ill-treatment of coaches.

Chippa have had more coaches than wins in the DStv Premiership with their boss, Siviwe Mpengesi known to be impatient and unprofessional when he fires a coach.

“It was like an unwritten rule that no local coach would apply nor avail themselves for the job, even those who are not employed. I don’t know, but maybe they spoke about it.

“But what I know is that there were not as many CV’s as you’d expect and they had to go with (Vladislav) Heric who had been unemployed for a while now,” said the source.

He said what got the local coaches more angrier is Mpengesi’s insistence on bringing Eymael who by his conduct when he was last here, showed that he doesn’t respect anyone but himself.

“How Eymael conducted himself was unforgivable and I think all the coaches sympathised with (Steve) Komphela after their run-in,” added the source.

Sundowns sharpening their sword for Kaizer Chiefs

April 21st 2021 at 13:31

 

Mamelodi Sundowns jetted back to Gauteng immediately after playing to a goalless draw against AmaZulu at the Kings Park Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, as they maintained their cushion at the summit of the DStv Premiership, with a six-point gap over Usuthu.

ALSO READ: AmaZulu and Sundowns share the spoils

Masandawana will now shift their focus to rivals Kaizer Chiefs, who they face this coming Sunday at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Downs co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi says while his team has a busy schedule, the conditioning team at Chloorkop will make sure that players are ready for Amakhosi.

“This Chiefs game is a little bit better because it gives us an extra day from the match. We probably played 12 matches in a space of less than 30 days and we are hanging in there, we are always pushing the team to make sure we are fresh, knowing that we have mileage,” said Mngqithi.

“At least we played on a Wednesday and we are playing on a Sunday, so we have that one more day that we hardly had in previous matches. We are hoping that the team will be slightly better going into the Sunday match.”

“The conditioning department always comes up with good strategies to always recover the team and … even against AmaZulu we fielded a team that has played so many matches with so many minutes on the legs,” Mngqithi added.

Usuthu and Downs’ game was hyped as one of the marquee games going towards the business end of the season as the KwaZulu-Natal outfit have been enjoying an impressive run, having won six games in a row, before Wednesday’s draw – setting a club record. Mngqithi was proud of his players even though they did not get all three points.

“We matched them with the physical conditioning and our tiredness never really got exposed that much, maybe we started to show in the last few minutes of the game but the truth is, we do a lot of good work in terms of our recovery program, because we are used to playing a lot of matches.”

Kaizer Chiefs’ struggles continue with City defeat

April 21st 2021 at 13:10

 

Kaizer Chiefs’ domestic woes continued on Wednesday, as a late rally at FNB Stadium could not prevent Gavin Hunt’s men from slumping to a 2-1 DStv Premiership defeat at the hands of Cape Town City.

ALSO READ: AmaZulu and Sundowns share the spoils

It was all Amakhosi as the final whistle blew, spurred on by substitute Kearyn Baccus’  second half strike, that had halved the deficit after City had surged into a two goal lead.

In the end, however, Amakhosi slipped to a first defeat in their last six DStv Premiership matches, though there has also been only one win for Chiefs in that time, and they currently sit in a lowly 11th in the table. Next up for Chiefs is the daunting prospect of an unbeaten Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday.

Jan Olde Riekerink’s City, meanwhile, have moved eight points clear of Amakhosi in seventh and are looking back on song after their second league win in a row.

City had a fantastic chance in the 19th minute, as a Chiefs mistake saw the ball land at the feet of Tashreeq Morris inside the area, but he blazed over the bar.

A minute later, Thabo Nodada strode into acres of space down the right and crossed for Makola, but Itumeleng khune just got in to palm the ball away.

The pressure told, however, as in the 22nd minute, City did take the lead. Terrence Mashego, who had given Chiefs plenty of problems in the shirt of TS Galaxy in the 2019 Nedbank Cup final, got away down the left and sent in a fine cross that Morris toe-poked fiercely under Khune and into the back of the net.

Morris nearly added another not long after, his shot again squirming under the body of Khune, but this time the Chiefs ‘keeper got enough on it to be able to recover and grab the ball before it cross the goal line.

Amakhosi were limited in their opportunities in the first half, one tame effort from captain Bernard Parker easily grabbed by Peter Leeuwenburgh, and another overhead kick from Siyabonga Ngezana tipped easily over the bar by the City ‘keeper.

Hunt brought on Kearyn Baccus for Nkosingiphile Ngcobo after the break, and Chiefs did improve in attack, with Khama Billat finding some more space down the left.

Two minutes into the second half, Baccus had the chance to make an immediate impact, as the ball fell at his feet from a corner, but Thamsanqa Mkhize got out to block his effort.

And in the 52nd minute, City went further in front, as Fagrie Lakay found Ralani, who strode forward and unchallenged by Chiefs’ watching defence, he opted to have a shot that took a deflection of Erick Mathoho, and totally wrong-footed Khune.

Chiefs nearly pulled one back immediately, as Samir Nurkovic’s effort was brilliantly cleared off the line by Taariq Fielies.

Hunt threw on Dumisani Zuma and Happy Mashiane in a bid to invigorate Chiefs’ attack and it paid instant dividends. Zuma beat two men down the right and crossed for Baccus, who headed emphatically home.

Chiefs pushed for an equaliser and Nurkovic’s long-range effort was pushed away by Leeuewenburgh.

Amakhosi then missed a great chance to equalise in the 84th minute as Mashiane’s cross found Ngezana unmarked at the back post, but his effort hit the side netting.

Pule powers Pirates past Maritzburg

April 18th 2021 at 14:25

Vincent Pule came off the bench to strike twice on Sunday as Orlando Pirates bounced back from their Nedbank Cup exit with a 2-0 DStv Premiership win over Maritzburg United at Orlando Stadium.

ALSO READ: TTM knock Sundowns out of Nedbank Cup to reach first ever cup final

Josef Zinnbauer’s side had to find a riposte after Thursday’s 4-1 cup hammering by Mamelodi Sundowns, and this win moved them into the top four in the table, and set the Buccaneers up nicely for Wednesday’s Caf Confederation Cup clash at home to Algeria’s ES Setif.

Orlando Pirates were without the suspended Thulani Hlatshwayo for this game, and with Happy Jele also on the sidelines Ntsikelelo Nyauza captained the team against United.

Zinnbauer, meanwhile, handed a first ever DStv Premiership start to 20 year old right back Thabiso Sesane, while Abel Mabaso got his first league start of the season alongside Nyauza in a makeshift Buccaneers back four.

And Maritzburg ran Pirates ragged in the opening stages. In the 7th minute, Bandile Shandu overlapped down the right wing and crossed for Daylon Claasen, but he fired wide.

Thabiso Kutumela then burst through the middle against his former side, but his shot was saved by Wayne Sandilands.

United’s rhythm was disrupted, however, when Venezuelan Jose Ali Meza went down in a fairly innocuous challenge, but had to be stretchered off with a serious-looking knee injury. Sibusiso Hlubi came on in his place, but from then on it was Pirates who took charge of the game.

Kabelo Dlamini fizzed one effort just wide, before Sesane gave an indication of his promise with a lovely ball over the top of the Maritzburg defence. Deon Hotto was clean through, but his shot was superbly saved by the leg of Marcel Engelhardt.

A minute before the break, Thabang Monare put a slide rule pass through for Hotto, who again had a fantastic opportunity, but this time he curled over the bar.

There was still time before half time for Nyauza to commit an awful tackle Bongokuhle Hlongwane that earned the defender a yellow card. Dlamini was also booked earlier, after his studs caught Ryan Rae on the head, and he will now be suspended for Saturday’s visit to Swallows FC.

Zinnbauer made an attacking substitution at the break, bringing on Pule to replace Ben Motshwari, but it was Maritzburg who threatened first. Rae, his head wrapped in a bandage, put in a long thrown that was flicked right across the face of the Buccaneers goal.

Pirates then had a great chance of their own as they intercepted a United attack and Hotto put in a fine cross for Tshegofatso Mabasa, but he lifted his effort over the bar

And Pirates did take the lead in the 59th minute, Dlamini flicking a fine pass through for Fortune Makaringe, who crossed for Pule to volley into the roof of the net at the back post.

United should have equalised in the 71st minute, as another long throw from Rae found Hlongwane at the back post, but he shot over with the goal gaping.

And the game was as good as over with 12 minutes on the clock, after a total howler from Maritzburg’s ‘keeper Engelhardt. Wayne Sandilands sent a hopeful punt forward, and Engelhardt tried to head it away on the bounce, but only managed to flick it on for Pule, who nodded into an empty net, for his eighth goal of the season in all competitions and his third against Maritzburg, having also scored against the Team of Choice  in the Nedbank Cup.

TTM knock Sundowns out of Nedbank Cup to reach first ever cup final

April 18th 2021 at 12:23

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila displayed what was a gallant fight to push Nedbank Cup champions Mamelodi Sundowns to the lottery of penalties and beat them 6-5 at Loftus Stadium on Sunday.

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila displayed what was a gallant fight to push Nedbank Cup champions Mamelodi Sundowns to the lottery of penalties and beat them 6-5 at Loftus Stadium on Sunday.

This was after both sides could not find the back of the net in regulation and extra-time.

TTM scored all of their spot-kicks as Downs skipper Hlompho Kekana saw his effort saved by Washington Arubi in sudden death.

Arubi, who was voted Man-of-the-Match, was the big difference in the tie, pulling fine saves to make sure Tshakhuma fought until the end and set-up a meeting with Chippa United as both sides will be making a first cup final appearance.

It seemed as though Dylan Kerr and Mpho Maleka took Manqoba Mngqithi’s advice earlier in the week when he said Tshakhuma should not sit back but take the game to Masandawana if they are to stand any chance at beating them.

Kerr and his technical team took that and ran with it as they did not fold their arms and wait for Downs to come at them, they launched waves of attack, particularly in the first stanza of regulation time and much to the frustration of Sundowns as they took them to extra-time.

In regulation time and throughout extra-time, the Brazilians tried to impose their experience and class but the visitors were having none of it, not allowing Sundowns to bully them as they continued their bravery at the home of the defending champions until they forced the tie into extra-time.

Downs coaches were the first to turn to their bench, calling on Lyle Lakay in the place of Lesedi Kapinga. Sundowns’ first real chance came in the 55th minute when Tshakhuma’s defence could not clear Gaston Sirino’s cross, which then fell to Themba Zwane but he uncharacteristically ballooned his shot into the stands.

Sirino was once again at the end of a Sundowns attack, this time he broke free from his markers, surged into the box until Diamond Thopola caught up with him and brought the Uruguayan down in the box as the whole Downs bench were up in arms calling for a penalty but referee Jelly Chavani waved play on. That was the last bit of action from Sirino as he was replaced by Sibusiso Vilakazi in the 70th minute.

TTM had a chance to get ahead in the final 10 minutes of regulation time when they launched a counter attack and Thembisani Nevhulamba was at the end of it. However, his shot was narrowly off-target. On the opposite end, Washington Arubi showed his experience when he stretched out his right hand to stop a Vilakazi shot, making sure that the sides went into extra-time.

Chippa United edge Pretoria Callies to reach first ever Cup final

April 17th 2021 at 12:10

A second half goal by defender Sandile Mthethwa was enough to give Chippa United a 1-0 win over Pretoria Callies in the Nedbank Cup semi-final clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A second half goal by defender Sandile Mthethwa was enough to give Chippa United a 1-0 win over Pretoria Callies in the Nedbank Cup semi-final clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Mthethwa pounced on a loose ball inside the Callies box in the 63rd minute to book the Chilli Boys their first ever cup final.

Thabiso Lebitso missed a golden chance to put Callies in the lead in the seventh minute of the match when he found himself unmarked inside the box, but failed to control the ball and it ran away from him.

Six minutes later, Lebitso had a chance to make amends for his earlier miss but his shot went wide of goals.

William Twala also missed an opportunity to put Callies in the lead in the 18th minute after Thabo Moloi played a ball towards him, but he also shot wide.

The game remained 0-0 at the half-time break.

Callies continued where they had let off in the first half by taking the game to Chippa in the second half, but it was the Chilli Boys who took the lead against the run of play by Mthethwa who pounced on a loose ball inside the box after the Romans tried to clear the ball only for it to land in his path and he volleyed it home.

Chippa goalkeeper Ismail Watenga was lucky not to received a red card in the 77th minute when he fouled a Callies player Pogiso Mahlangu just outside the penalty box.

The Chilli Boys managed to hang on to their slender lead and book their place in the final of the Nedbank Cup, where they will meet the winner of Sunday’s semi-final match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.

Ngubane on course to fulfil promotion mandate at Royal AM

April 16th 2021 at 12:32

New Royal AM coach, Sazi Ngubane has been brought in to ensure that the club with the youngest chairman is promoted to the top flight next season.

ALSO READ: Richards Bay keep top spot as Sporting stall Sekhukhune

The club’s chairman is 20-year-old Andile Mpisane who is flamboyant businesswoman, Shauwn Mkhize’s son.

Ngubane replaced Floyd Mogale just over a week ago and he said the mandate was simple – to get the team promoted.

It is said the owners have said playing in the second tier is no longer serving their purpose and they want to move up.

Mkhize previously co-owned Royal Eagles with ex-husband Sbu Mpisane, but they have since divorced and she bought the status of Real Kings and renamed them Royal AM (AM is an abbreviation for his son’s name Andile Mpisane).

Since taking over, Ngubane – who took the side to the playoffs two seasons ago – has guided the team to two draws, with the latest being on Friday afternoon where they shared the spoils with the resurgent Cape United.

Royal AM looked good for the full points in the early stages of the game as they pushed their hosts back, and opened the scoring in the 15th minute through Mfundo Thikazi.

But the Spirited Ones were not going to allow Royal to bully them in their own backyard and fought back. They found the equaliser 10 minutes later through Roscoe Peterson who converted from the penalty spot.

Both sides had some inviting chances that they would have taken the full points had they made good use of, but in the end the spoils were shared.

Royal moved to second place but may still be overtaken by Sekhukhune United who play Jomo Cosmos on Sunday afternoon.

Fixtures

Saturday: FS Stars JDR Stars; CT Spurs v BP Chiefs; Uthongathi v Richards Bay; TS Sporting v University of Pretoria
Sunday: Sekhukhune v Cosmos; Polokwane City v CT All Stars

Sundowns mop the floor with Pirates to reach Nedbank semis

April 15th 2021 at 14:16

 

Mamelodi Sundowns showed no mercy against Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals last night at Loftus Versfeld, giving them a 4-1 hiding to continue their title defence.

ALSO READ: Chiefs held yet again as Baroka fight back

Masandawana’s emphatic victory sets up a semifinal with top-flight rookies Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at the same venue on Sunday.

Peter Shalulile began the goal-fest in the 13th minute after Rivaldo Coetzee played a delightful pass to him, playing it from his half to find the striker on his bike. Pirates defenders made the mistake of allowing him to have acres of space to control the ball, compose himself and pick his spot to slot past Wayne Sandilands to score his fourth goal of the tournament

Pirates, to their credit, did fight back and found an equaliser in the 33rd minute through Tshegofasto Mabasa. A good ball from Happy Jele found Deon Hotto, who controlled well with his chest and slid a pass into Gabadinho Mhango.

The Malawian striker crossed for Mabasa to slot home at the back post, and Mhango himself hit the crossbar for the
Buccaneers not long after.

But that was as good as it got for Pirates.

Sundowns’ second goal came from Themba Zwane just a couple of minutes after the break, as he capitalised on a mis-kick from Thulani Hlatshwayo, and brilliantly skipped around Sandilands to find the back of the net for the 12th time this season in all competitions.

Sundowns made changes for the last 15 minutes of the tie, bringing on skipper Hlompho Kekana and playmaker Lesedi Kapinga in the places of Lebohang Maboe and Gaston Sirino, who passed a late fitness test to make it for the match.

Those changes proved to be the touch of an angel as both substitutes netted to turn a simple victory into a hammering.

It did not take Kapinga long to impose his brilliance in the match as he scored in what was possibly his first touch to give Downs a two-goal cushion. It was Zwane’s fine pass that found Kapinga unmarked in the box and he unleashed a powerful shot that caught Sandilands in no man’s land, with his shot hitting the upright on its way to rattling the net.

It was then Kekana’s chance at having a go at Sandilands, doing what he does best as he lined-up a shot, if a little closer in than usual, beating the Pirates ‘keeper in the 86th minute.

Pirates breeze past Al Ahly

April 11th 2021 at 13:28

 

Orlando Pirates made a giant stride towards the Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinals on Sunday, comfortably beating Libya’s Al Ahly Bhengazi 3-0 at the Orlando Stadium.

ALSO READ: Laffor ready for Sundowns challenge

The result moved Pirates to the top of Group A, at least until  Enyimba played ES Setif in Algeria later on Sunday, but whatever happened in that game, a home win against Setif on April 21 will be enough to see the Buccaneers into the last eight.

Pirates went in front in the 26th minute, as Gabadinho Mhango swung in a corner, and while Ntsikelelo Nyauza’s first shot was blocked, he bundled the second effort over the line.

In a game that had plenty of fierce challenges, and plenty of rolling around to boot, Mhango spent time on the floor, as did Shamikh Hamid for the Libyan side, with both making miraculous recoveries. Just after Nyauza’s goal, Taha Atiyah got a yellow card for a high kick that caught the Pirates defender on the side of the head.

In an empty stadium Josef Zinnbauer could be heard more clearly than usual yelling from the sidelines, and did not always seem happy with his team’s performance, yelling constant instructions to his players.

Ben Motshwari made some fine driving runs from the Pirates midfield, and one superb ball in was just out of the reach of the boot of Tshegofatso Mabasa. In the 42nd minute, however, the Pirates striker did get on the scoresheet, nodding Deon Hotto’s corner past the Benghazi ‘keeper Abujwad Rizq Abubaker.

That basically killed the game off for the second half, though Ahly Bhengazi offered the odd threat, Saed Alnaeli curling one free kick over the bar.

Hotto did the same for Pirates at the other end, before Kabelo Dlamini slotted in to wrap up the victory for the Buccaneers with 20 minutes on the clock.

Pirates can now focus on domestic duties for the rest of this week, with a massive Nedbank Cup quarterfinal coming up on Thursday against Mamelodi Sundowns.

They did it! Kaizer Chiefs reach Champions League quarterfinals

April 10th 2021 at 17:08

 

And they are through. Yes, Kaizer Chiefs are through to the knockout stages of the Caf Champions League after holding Horoya to a 2-2 draw away in Guinea on Saturday night.

Both sides finished on nine points in Group C, but Chiefs’ two away goals meant they beat Horoya in a head-to-head match up.

The best part is that Amakhosi showed so much showed character and resilience to come from behind twice to book their slot in the quarterfinals.

It was a difficult game and Chiefs almost lost Erick Mathoho, after he came off the worst in a head collision with a Horoya defender just 10 minutes into the match, and had to play the rest of the game with a bandaged head.

Horoya came close to opening the scoring in the 15th minute with Barry Gnagna’s header sailing just over Itumeleng Khune’s goal. But the keeper looked like he had it covered anyway.

Khune made a good block in the 26th minute to deny the hosts, who were pushing to grab an early lead, which would put their visitors under tremendous pressure. In the 32nd minute, Gnagna had another good chance, but he tried to play it too clever and allowed Amakhosi to regroup at the back.

After that, Horoya camped in the Amakhosi half, and it was chance after chance but they just couldn’t break the defence, and on an odd occasion they managed to, Khune was on hand to deal with the danger.

But it was a matter of time before Horoya would get it right and it happened in the 45th minute, with Gnagna sending his header from a corner kick beyond Khune’s reach to give the home side an advantage going into the half time break.

It was still all Horoya after the break, and Mandela Ocansey should have done better with his chance in the 48th minute when he had only Khune to beat, but ballooned his shot over.

Chiefs were lucky not to have a penalty awarded against them after Daniel Cardoso looked to have felled Boniface Haba inside the box, leading to some heated altercations between both sets of players.

Chiefs started finding some rhythm and were awarded a penalty in the 65th minute after a Horoya defender handled the ball as he tried to disposes Dumisani Zuma, who had just come on and was proving to be a handful. Daniel Cardoso fired the penalty into the roof of the net.

Just as Amakhosi were thinking they could cause an upset, they were immediately caught at the back as they could npt defend from a corner and Fode Camara nodded past Khune to make it 2-1, and leave Chiefs with all to do again.

But it didn’t take the Naturena side long to find an equaliser with, Zuma setting up Khama Billiat nicely inside the Horoya box, and the latter made no mistake and made it 2-2.

Horoya tried for another goal, but Khune pulled off some signature saves to ensure Chiefs took their place as one of the top eight sides on the continent.

Shoddy defending costs both Chiefs and Stellenbosch points

April 6th 2021 at 13:23

Defensive lapses saw four goals scored in the last 20 minutes as Kaizer Chiefs were held to a 2-2 draw by Stellenbosch FC in a DStv Premiership match at FNB Stadium on Tuesday evening.

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Both clubs will feel they donated two points unnecessarily after giving away easy goals.

Stellies will, however, be the more disappointed of the two sides having taken the lead twice and failing to hold Chiefs off.

Chiefs’ determination showed early in the game and they could have taken the lead as early as the third minute, but Nkosingiphile Ngcobo’s long range effort hit the upright.

Amakhosi’s calls for a penalty were ignored by the referee in the 14th minute after Lebogang Manyama appeared to have been brought down, TV replays however proved Michael Mosemeng right in not awarding the spot kick.

Stellies also had their moments, like in the 18th minute when Stanley Dimgba sliced a shot that went just a few inches wide with Daniel Akpeyi not looking likely to have got to it in time.

The second half got off to a flying start as both sides looked for the first stab that could deflate the other, and Akpeyi was called into making a brave save in 49th minute, coming off his line to deny Junior Mendieta.
Sage Stephens was also called into making some good saves as Amakhosi three everything at their opponents, and Happy Mashiane tried to beat the young ‘keeper in the 56th minute, but he was quick to react and saved the ball.

It was the Cape side who took the lead in the 72nd minute when Nathan Sinkala benefitted from Amakhosi’s defensive slip-up and nodded the ball into an empty net. But their lead was short-lived with Reeve Frosler delivering an inviting cross from the left which Leonardo Castro headed past Stephens.

Just as the Naturena side looked to try and find a lead, Stellies pulled the rug under their feet again when Phathutshedzo Mange was left unmarked inside the box and he headed in Dimgba’s cross.

But five minutes later, Mashiane sliced through the Stellies defence on the left and set Ngcobo up, and he in turn calmly chipped it last Stephens.

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Gritty nine-man Chiefs eke out win

April 3rd 2021 at 14:09

Kaizer Chiefs showed their grit and fought for an important win with nine men in a Caf Champions League match against Wydad Athletic at FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.

The win gives Amakhosi a fighting chance to advance to the knockout stages of the competition, but they will need to win or get a score draw in their last fixture which is away at Horoya AC in Guinea.

Horoya also won on Saturday night, beating Petro De Luanda 1-0 away to keep their second place in Group C of the continental competition. This left Amakhosi still stuck in third place and with a mammoth task in Guinea.

And they will have to do the battle without two of their influential players in Daniel Akpeyi and Samir Nurkovic who were red-carded in Saturday’s game.

Tempers flared up and the tension was almost visible between the two sides and just 13 minutes into the match, the referee had to break up a scuffle. Amakhosi striker, Samir Nurkovic got into a head-butting incident with Wydad’s Amine Farhane – both got themselves early entries into the referee’s bad books with yellow cards after the scuffle.

It was clear that Amakhosi were the more determined – and probably desperate – of the two sides and sometimes unnecessarily hurried their attacks. At the other end, the Moroccans’ keeper took his sweet time to restart the game whenever the ball went out. And their players went down at the slighted of touches that even a feather would have brought them down.

They took their time to get up and in one incident, one was seem to be getting his head up and looked like calling his teammates and signalling that he was okay but would stay down a little longer. They knew that Amakhosi were getting frustrated and agitated with each minute that went by without scoring or even making meaningful headway upfront.

Things took a turn for the worst for Amakhosi when, in the 40 minutes, Akpeyi was sent off. He had handled the ball outside of his area and tried to cheat by tracking back inside with it.

Amakhosi had to sacrifice an infield player so Itumeleng Khune could go in and it was Lebogang Manyama who bore a look of disappointment as he walked out. And from the resultant free-kick, Wydad came so close to among the lead, with Sofiane Moudane’s curled ball hitting the upright and ricocheting away with Khune well beaten.

But things turned out better for Amakhosi at the start of the second half with Benard Parker scoring an easy header three minutes after the break. This goal gave Amakhosi some confidence back and they didn’t look like they were a man short.

But with two minutes to the end, Amakhosi were further reduced to nine men as Nurkovic was given a straight red after elbowing an opponent.

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Pirates looking for positive result in Libya 

April 3rd 2021 at 11:12

Orlando Pirates defender Thulani Hlatshwayo says they will need to be tactically and defensively good in their clash with Libyan side Al-Ahli Benghazi when the sides meet in the Caf Confederation Cup at Martyrs of Benina Stadium on Sunday.

With the long travel to the North African country, the Buccaneers and Bafana defender thanked the club for getting the team in Libya in time to adapt to the environment ahead of their tough Group A encounter.

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“Flying to North Africa is always difficult because you have to connect through other countries and the flight duration (is long), when you look at South Africa on the map you will see how far we are. We really appreciate the team for getting us in time (arriving in time) so that we can acclimatise to the environment and have a session before the game,” said Hlatshwayo.

“We’ve seen with the first game that we played against ES Setif (playing away is difficult). For us, we need to get a result and with the experience that we have and the players that have been in the competition before, what we need to do is to make sure that we get a result. Whether it’s a point or three points. We have to make sure that tactically and defensively we are good.”

Pirates will become the first team to play in Libya after seven years due to the country’s banning of international matches.

Coach Josef Zinnbauer’s charges have already played two games in the group and they have managed to collect four points.

At the moment, Bucs top the standings having played to a draw against Algerian club Setif away from home and getting maximum points in their clash with Nigeria’s Enyimba. Meanwhile, Benghazi are third in the group with three points after registering a win against the Algerians and losing their match agaisnt Enyimba, who are second on the group while the Algerians occupy the last spot on the mini-log.

Pirates will go into this tie eager to get back to winning ways especially after losing their 10 games unbeaten streak to their rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the DStv Premiership before the international break.

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Sundowns play out bore-draw in Sudan

April 2nd 2021 at 11:21

A much-changed Mamelodi Sundowns played out one of their duller matches this season on Good Friday, drawing 0-0 with Al Hilal Omdurman in the Caf Champions League.

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The experimentation in various positions was understandable from the Sundowns coaches, in what was a dead rubber for Downs as they had already won Group B and reached the quarterfinals. Manqoba Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena decided to rest most of their regular suspects, giving rare starts to Aubrey Modiba, Mauricio Affonso, Ricardo Goss and Promise Mkhuma, just to name a few, and restoring club captain Hlompho Kekana after he had missed the previous eight games.

Around the hour-mark, the coaches realised that the combinations were not coming together as Downs uncharacteristically created few threatening chances. They then rang the changes, bringing on Haashim Domingo, Lyle Lakay and Keletso Makgalwa in an attempt to inject some energy in the side’s attack, as Gaston Sirino – who was replaced by Domingo – also looked out of sorts.

Those changes did not do much as they settled for the point in Northeast Africa ahead of their final group stage match against Algerian side CR Belouizdad. Before that, Masandawana will be in domestic action this coming Tuesday against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in the DStv Premiership.

Sundowns are enjoying their view at the top of the Premiershipwith 40 points from 18 games and are four points ahead of second-placed Golden Arrows – a margin which could be narrowed when Abafana Bes’thende visit Swallows FC on Saturday.

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Parker sets sights on Kaizer Chiefs win over Wydad

April 2nd 2021 at 09:36

Bernard Parker is looking for Kaizer Chiefs to get April off to a perfect start on Saturday, with a victory at home to Wydad Casablanca in the Caf Champions League group stages.

ALSO READ: Khama Billiat boost for Chiefs ahead of Wydad clash

Amakhosi are currently in a tussle with Guinea’s Horoya for the second spot in Group C and a place in the quarterfinals, with their final group stage game in Conakry next weekend. For now, however, Chiefs could really do with a win at FNB Stadium against group leaders Wydad to bolster their chances.

“This is a home game at FNB Stadium, and we must get the three points. They made it difficult for us in the previous game with their tactics and the way they approached the game,” Parker told the Chiefs website.

“We are well aware of their strengths, objectives, methods and tactics,” he confirms. “We are well prepared, and it is up to everyone to execute the plan at six o’clock on Saturday. We have to give it our best and make sure the month of April is good for us.”

Parker also acknowledged that it was good for the side not to have many players on international duty last week.

“During the international break, we were lucky that we still had a near full squad to prepare with. We are refreshed, we’ve regrouped, and we are in a good state physically and mentally for us to go into this match. We know how important it is and we have been working on quite a few combinations in certain departments.

““It was a much-needed break for us as we go into this game focused and we know what is expected. I personally got to spend some time with my family and my mom. We used the break to realign, and we are ready for the battles ahead. We know what happened when we met Wydad in the first leg. We also know they are a strong team, but we will be well prepared.”

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