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Yesterday — May 7th 2021Your RSS feeds

Benni McCarthy makes early call: AmaZulu will be in the CAF Champions League

May 7th 2021 at 09:06

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy is confident his charges will secure second position in the DStv Premiership this season and clinch a spot in the CAF Champions League.

READ | NEDBANK CUP FINAL: CHIPPA UNITED AND TTM BATTLE FOR MILLIONS

Usuthu have opened a seven-point lead over third-placed Golden Arrows, and eight points over Orlando Pirates, with only four matches left to play.

The Durban outfit will face Baroka FC, Orlando Pirates, Swallows, Maritzburg United in their remaining games and McCarthy is convinced they will get through them well.

The last time a KwaZulu-Natal team qualified for the Champions League was Manning Rangers in 1998.

READ | AL AHLY V MAMELODI SUNDOWNS: DATES CONFIRMED FOR CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CLASH

“Believe you me‚ the next four games I can’t see AmaZulu losing those four games‚” said McCarthy, as quoted by Sowetan.

“So CAF Champions League – we will be playing CAF Champions League [next season]‚ so that brings new challenges.

“With new challenges we can’t just expect to bring a whole new team in because the players that work for us have done their duty for the club. We now have to look and scout and see which three‚ four‚ five players we can bring in and make what we already have better.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WISHES HUGO BROOS AND BAFANA BAFANA WELL

“That’s how it works – it’s not that we’re going to make wholesome changes. We’re not that type of team that goes and recruit a new team for the new challenges.

“We work with what we have – for the players that got us there it will be a reward for their hard work. You can’t up and get rid of them.

“But there will be a few new faces that will come in and assist the good team that we already have so we can be ready and competitive for Caf Champions League.”

EXCLUSIVE | TOP KAIZER CHIEFS DEFENDER FACES BLEAK FUTURE

AMAZULU’S REMAINING DSTV PREMIERSHIP MATCHES:

Tuesday, 11 May v Baroka FC (H) – 15:00

Wednesday, 19 May v Orlando Pirates (A) – 15:00

Wednesday, 26 May v Swallows (H) – 19:30

Saturday, 29 May v Maritzburg United (A) – 15:00

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Kaizer Chiefs legend wants club to go all out to sign Sundowns star

May 7th 2021 at 09:04

Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Thembinkosi Biyela has urged the club to ‘break the bank’ to sign Mamelodi Sundowns star Themba Zwane.

Zwane is perhaps the hottest property in South African football right now and is in the best form of his life.

Biyela believes that the attacking star will unlock the best from former teammate Khama Billiat and should be a priority signing.

Kaizer Chiefs should break the bank to sign Zwane

While Billiat joined Chiefs from Sundowns, he was out of contract and the reality is it would take an obscene amount of money for the Motsepe clan to sell their star man to the Motaungs.

“Chiefs should break the bank for Zwane because they don’t have a superstar at the moment. Back in the day, big clubs used to have superstars and I was at Chiefs and we used to have Doctor (Khumalo), Pirates used to have Teboho Moloi and Sundowns had the likes (Harold) Legodi and others,” Biyela told Soccer Laduma

Biyela doesn’t believe Kaizer Chiefs need to sign as many as 15 players as previously suggested but feels that eight top draw talents could restore the club to glory.

Amakhosi need about eight top players

Kaizer Chiefs have reportedly targeted Buhle Mkhwanazi and Njabulo Ngcobo as defensive additions and Biyela agrees they would also be a great fit for Gavin Hunt.

“I think eight players would be enough for Chiefs to add to their current squad and mix them with the youngsters that are coming up, and some of whom have already been doing well in the first team. I know that Gavin likes the players who are tall and especially in defence and that’s why I am suggesting that they should go for Mkhwanazi and Ngcobo in making defensive additions,” said Biyela.

Kaizer Chiefs continue to generate endless streams of speculation ahead of what is expected to be a busy closed season for the Soweto Giants.

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Orlando Pirates coach has no intention of developing Ndlovu as a fullback

May 7th 2021 at 07:29

Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer says that Siphesihle Ndlovu has been deployed at right back out of necessity not design.

Ndlovu impressed in midfield during Pirates 3-0 midweek win over Black Leopards and Zinnbauer revealed that the plans for the future are to deploy him further up the park.

Siphesihle Ndlovu still a midfielder

Zinnbauer lauded the 24-year-old’s versatility while conceding that he was playing out of position.

Defender Wayde Jooste returned for the visit of Lidoda Duvha, and put in a man of the match performance in his 100th league appearance for the club.

Zinnbauer credited Jooste with being the driving force behind the improved performance from a team that has gone off the rails in recent weeks.

“The problem with Ndlovu is we had other players available, Wayde was injured, Mabaso was injured, Monyane was injured – that was the problem why we had Ndlovu [at right-back],” Zinnbauer explained.

“Ndlovu is very flexible in midfield too, he can play eight, he can also maybe six or wide or 10 positions and we are happy about this but the reason in the last [few games] we didn’t have players available.

“Wayde comes closer [to full fitness] and he gets minutes after he signalled he is ready and he gave a top performance, Man of the Match – he was involved in most of our offensive actions.

“If he keeps giving these performances there won’t be any more discussions about who we play in that position.”

Orlando Pirates
Terrence Mashego of Cape Town City challenged by Siphesihle Ndlovu of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 match between Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City on the 09 February 2020 at Orlando Stadium, Soweto Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Raja Casablanca looming for Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates turn their attention to Stellenbosch FC whom they face on Tuesday 11 May before welcoming Raja Casablanca for the first leg of their Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinal next weekend.

Zinnbauer has bemoaned Orlando Pirates’ bad luck when it comes to cup draws this season, and it seems the Moroccan giants are already occupying the German’s thoughts.

“At the moment with [the] draws we haven’t had luck, remember with the Nedbank Cup we got [Mamelodi Sundowns] – normally for supporters would [have] been the best final but we cannot wish what we want,” he said.

“We get it and the next step is now, for me, one of the best teams in, not just the quarter-final but in the whole of Africa. Raja is a big club, last season they were in the Super Cup final, the year before they won the Confederation Cup, they are a big team with big supporters at home like Pirates – I think we can compare this with Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs.

“For me it’s unlucky but on the other side you can say we have to focus on a big team, we can’t go too casual in the game like against Enyimba – not that I’m saying it’s a bad team or small club – but the performance could have been better. We can play better, but Raja, I know 100 percent the players know this is one of the best teams on the continent of Africa.”

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Football – DStv Premiership 2020/21 – Orlando Pirates v Cape Town City – Orlando Stadium – Soweto

Terrence Mashego of Cape Town City challenged by Siphesihle Ndlovu of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 match between Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City on the 09 February 2020 at Orlando Stadium, Soweto Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns to beat Kaizer Chiefs to Sipho Mbule transfer?

May 7th 2021 at 06:30

Mamelodi Sundowns are set to beat Kaizer Chiefs to the signature of highly sought after SuperSport United midfielder Sipho Mbule, according to reports.

Chiefs’ interest in the South African junior international has been highly publicized throughout the season, despite their transfer ban from FIFA. After watching on from the sidelines as their rivals strengthened their squads for two consecutive windows, the log will reflect that Amakhosi have fallen considerably behind them.

It’s set to be a busy window at Kaizer Chiefs

If media reports are to be believed, the Soweto giants are set for an extreme squad overhaul designed to help them mount a swift climb back up to the top. The likes of Phathutshedzo Nange, S’fiso Hlanti, Brandon Petersen, Njabulo Ngcobo, Ruzaigh Gamilden as well Buhle Mkhwanazi are some of the names the media has suggested could be seen in the famous Black and Gold next season.

Gavin Hunt in danger of missing out on top target

One of the names that coach Gavin Hunt is believed to have very high on his transfer wish list is that of the highly skilful Mbule. However, in recent weeks it has been widely reported that the 22-year-old has emerged as a top transfer target for SuperSport’s Tshwane neighbours Sundowns too. In fact, recent reports as per The Citizen have even gone as far as stating they have overtaken Chiefs in the race for his signature.

Mbule key to Sundowns rebuilding phase

“Sundowns have an ageing central midfield, with the likes of Tiyani Mabunda, Andile Jali and Hlompho Kekana all over thirty years of age. Even George (Maluleka) who was signed last season from Chiefs is also over 30, so they want to revamp that position” said the source as he explained the Brazilians pursuit of Mbule.

Both teams will have to break the bank

Earlier a Supersport source had sent out a transfer message to Chiefs, stating that the Glamour Boys would have to pay top dollar for their academy product, if they were to sell. That statement has seemed to put Sundowns ahead of the Naturena-based side, as they showed with the signing of Aubrey Modiba from Supersport last season, that they aren’t afraid to splash the cash for their top targets.

READ | SHOW US THE MONEY: SUPERSPORT SEND KAIZER CHIEFS TRANSFER MESSAGE

If these latest reports are accurate, they would prove to be a massive blow to the Chiefs faithful, who, after the disappoints of the last six years would be desperate to see players of the calibre of Mbule walking through the Kaizer Chiefs village.

Mamelodi Sundowns to recall Phakamani Mahlambi from rivals AmaZulu

May 7th 2021 at 06:25

Phakamani Mahlambi will return to parent club Mamelodi Sundowns when his loan spell at AmaZulu concludes, according to agent Glyn Binkin.

READ | AL AHLY V MAMELODI SUNDOWNS: DATES CONFIRMED FOR CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE BLOCKBUSTER

The 23-year-old Phakamani Mahlambi was deemed surplus to requirements at Chloorkop at the start of the current season, and was consequently sent out on loan to Usuthu.

The former Bidvest Wits youth player has only made three appearances for AmaZulu across all competitions so far, and Binkin has revealed that he will return to Masandawana ahead of next season.

MUST READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

“He’s got a contract with Sundowns, he’s going back to Sundowns for sure,” Binkin told KickOff.

“Ask AmaZulu what the situation is, the team is doing well… he’s not playing at the moment but the team is doing well, they are second on the log so I fully respect the coach and his decision, and the players that are playing for him are doing very well.

“So Phakamani must be patient. Hopefully he gets a chance soon. But he’s a Sundowns player so he goes back to Sundowns at the end of the season. Find out from AmaZulu if there’s another reason [for his lack of game time]. No, there’s no other reason.”

Mamelodi Sundowns currently lead the DStv Premiership standings with 54 points after 25 matches.

They are four points ahead of second-place AmaZulu and also have a game in hand.

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Pitso Mosimane ‘relaxed’ after Al Ahly get back to winning ways

May 7th 2021 at 05:32

Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane expressed his satisfaction after Thursday’s 2-1 victory against Al Ittihad, but the South African was still left frustrated having conceded a late goal.

READ | AL AHLY V MAMELODI SUNDOWNS: DATES CONFIRMED FOR CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE BLOCKBUSTER

The first half didn’t lead to any goals nor much goal-mouth action, but Mosimane’s men started the second half brightly.

Just five minutes in Marwan Mohsen was brought down inside the box by Damion Lowe and Badr Benoun stepped up to open the scoring from the penalty spot.

And another five minutes after that Al Ahly doubled their lead when Mohamed Magdy nodded in Hussein El-Shahat’s cross.

MUST READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

However, in stoppage time Al Ittihad managed to score a late consolation goal through Mohamed Sabahi, something which spoiled Mosimane’s mood.

Speaking after the match, Mosimane: “We now feel a little relaxed after the victory today. We went through a difficult time. We were playing well but we weren’t winning.

“Sometimes playing well does not help us, and when you do not win, it affects your confidence.

“We scored a goal and followed it with another, then a third goal, unfortunately, was not counted due to offside, and when you lead in result with two goals without a response, this makes you feel confident and there is comfort even in making substitutions.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LEGEND SHOWS OFF NEW R1 MILLION-PLUS RIDE

Despite their victory Al Ahly remained in second place in the Egyptian Premier League standings with 40 points, four points behind log-leaders Zamalek.

Al Ahly have however played two fewer matches than their bitter rivals who they will meet in their next match on Monday, 10 May at 21:30 SA time.

READ | FORMER BAFANA BAFANA DEFENDER NEW CAPE TOWN SPURS ASSISTANT COACH

Itumeleng Khune on his way out of Kaizer Chiefs? Wants a new challenge

May 7th 2021 at 04:30

Long-serving Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has reportedly turned down a contract offer from the club, in favour of a new challenge.

Once an undisputed starter for both club and country, Khune has not been able to enjoy those type of privileges anymore with a mixture of injuries and a loss of form contributing to his apparent decline. The likes of Daniel Akpeyi and Rowen Williams have since capitalised on his misfortunes for both club and country respectively.

After recent travails, Khune is looking for a change of scene

Now having failed to convince both Ernst Middendorp and current coach Gavin Hunt of his first-choice keeper credentials, it is reported that a change of scenery is high on his list of priorities for next season according to The Citizen. Khune has endured yet another indifferent season at Chiefs with all of a loss of form, injuries as well as the loss of his sister all contributing to that.

READ | ITUMELENG STRIPPED OF KAIZER CHIEFS CAPTAINCY BY GAVIN HUNT

He has also become prone to costly mistakes at the back, which have forced his side to pay with a loss of points. That coupled with his regular presence on social media has made him an easy target for clubs supporters to voice their displeasure about. The fans have not been the only ones that have made their feels known about the Bafana Bafana international, however.

Khune has failed to cement his spot as number one under Gavin Hunt

Hunt has also been vocal in post-match interviews about some of Khune’s schoolboy errors that have led to goals, even going as far as dropping the veteran from matchday squads completely. He can count himself fortunate, however, as Akpeyi has proven not to be as reliable this season as he was in the previous campaign.

He has become a revitalised of late

In recent weeks Khune has seemed a rejuvenated figure however, with big performances against Baroka, Horoya, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, he has shown flashes of his former self. Khune showing that form is temporary and class is permanent has perhaps, justified his controversial call up to the last Bafana Bafana squad as well.

Could those performances be his way of saying his goodbyes on a good note to the club’s supporters?

Watch the space!

Benni McCarthy sends Hugo Broos and Bafana Bafana his best wishes

May 7th 2021 at 04:23

Benni McCarthy has wished new Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos well after speculation had initially linked the AmaZulu boss to the national team post.

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In the wake of Molefi Ntseki’s departure, rumours were doing the rounds that Benni McCarthy would take over as Bafana boss due to his impressive record at AmaZulu this season.

“The rumours [on Bafana], we try not to let rumours get to us and derail what we want to do as individuals and as a team,” said McCarthy, as quoted by Sowetan.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LATEST | SAFA CONFIRMS HUGO BROOS CONTRACT DETAILS

In the end it was former Cameroon national team coach Broos who got the nod and Benni McCarthy has wished him and Bafana Bafana all the best.

“We have got a good group of players, so ja, I can’t see why there can’t be success. All I can say to the new guy [Broos] is good luck and all the best,” McCarthy added.

“We know that we’ll be playing qualifiers for the World Cup and ja, we’ll be rooting for Bafana.

“All I can give them is my best wishes, more I can’t do.”

READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

SOCCER QUIZ | Answer these 5 easy questions and win R1 000!

May 7th 2021 at 04:00

How much of a soccer fanatic are you? Answer the 5 soccer multiple-choice questions and stand a chance to win R1 000 in cash.

One lucky reader who answers all 5 questions correctly will stand a chance to win the money.

All entrants who score 5 out of 5 will go into a draw where a winner will be chosen and contacted by email.

It’s easy, all the answers can be found on The South African website. This quiz closes on Thursday, 20 May 2021.

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Good luck!

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George Lebese SENT HOME from Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila!

May 6th 2021 at 08:49

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila coach Dylan Kerr has explained why former Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs winger George Lebese has been released by the club.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LATEST | A LOCAL COACH TO ASSIST HUGO BROOS

It comes just a month after George Lebese was announced as a new signing following the termination of his contract with Major Soccer League (MLS) outfit Colorado Switchbacks.

However, it has now transpired that because the 32-year-old cancelled his contract outside of the registered FIFA transfer window, he has been unable to register with the Limpopo-based club.

READ | HOW MUCH WILL HUGO BROOS PROCKET AS BAFANA BAFANA COACH?

“As far as I know George is no longer with us due to his work visa. We can’t get a FIFA clearance for him. So I think George agreed, I don’t know because I’m not seeing him,” Kerr said ahead of the Chippa United showdown this weekend.

“I think George has gone home and I don’t know if he’s still part of TTM, but I can understand his frustration, when he came, he was way off the pace.

“I mean we’d be risking serious injury if we did play him in a competitive game because he’s not been training and he has not played [a match] since November.

“So he was a long way short of the rest of the squad and we tried very very hard to get his ITC, but the legalities of it in America… he was already contracted to that club, he wasn’t really a free agent, so we couldn’t really sign him.”

READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Molefi Ntseki will NOT be Hugo Broos’ assistant after parting ways with SAFA

May 6th 2021 at 05:53

New Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos will not be able to count on former national mentor Molefi Ntseki as one of his assistants going forward.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

There had been speculation following Broos’ announcement on Wednesday as the new South Africa coach that at least one of his assistants would be Ntseki.

However, on Thursday, the South African Football Association (SAFA) issued a statement confirming they had parted ways with Ntseki.

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

In March SAFA sacked Ntseki just 18 months into his contract after he failed to lead the national side in qualification for next year’s delayed Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament to be held in Cameroon.

Ironically, the only international side that the already 69-year-old Broos has coached to date has been Cameroon.

Ntseki previously acted as an assistant coach to Stuart Baxter during his tenure at the helm of Bafana Bafana.

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SAFA’s statement read:

The South African Football Association (SAFA) together with coach Molefi Ntseki have officially agreed to part ways amicably, following the senior national team’s failure to qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

Ntseki, who was appointed as Bafana Bafana head coach back in August 2019 after playing an assistant role to previous coach Stuart Baxter for two years where they reached the quarterfinals of the 2019 Afcon, leaves the association after overseeing nine international matches.

Under Ntseki’s watchful eye, Bafana Bafana won four, drew two and lost three of the nine international matches played. 

Prior to being the senior national team coach, the Free-State born coach enjoyed a good stint with South African junior national teams including guiding the SA U17 team (Amajimbos) to the 2015 Fifa World Cup in Chile. He also helped Amajimbos qualify for the 2015 U17 Afcon Tournament, where he finished as runners-up to Mali, thus earning a ticket to Chile. Ntseki was also the U23 assistant coach.

SAFA would like thank Ntseki for his contribution to the association over the years.

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Manqoba Mngqithi makes a BIG call on Gift Motupa

May 6th 2021 at 05:35

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi hailed Gift Motupa “as one of the best finishers in the country” after his side’s 2-0 victory over Maritzburg United at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday.

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Ricardo Nascimento’s penalty gave Mamelodi Sundowns the lead before Motupa wrapped up the three points with a thunderous low drive from the right-hand side of the box into the far corner.

And Mngqithi praised his side’s efficient display as well as hailing the qualities of Gift Motupa, who came in for Kermit Erasmus and was making just his second start of the season after an injury-blighted campaign since joining from the now defunct Bidvest Wits.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

“Not the best but business-like. We wanted to win the match. We had to give ourselves to the team and everybody ran because we knew we were playing against a very complicated team,” Mngqithi told SuperSport TV.

“Maritzburg is not an easy team for anyone, and I always tell people Ernst (Middendorp) is one of the top coaches. He may have been unlucky, but his strategies at times can put you off. We knew it was not going to be an easy one, and we had to take the few chances that we got and we were fortunate on the day to get a penalty.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“Gift’s work and the group to try and give us a high-press and from there we get something it’s always good for the team and also the second goal I think he took it very well. And we’ve always known he is one of the best finishers in the country.

“I even spoke to him before the match (and told him) today is your day to score and when he scored he immediately pointed at me because he knew that I had told him that today is your day and I was very happy for that.

WATCH | GIFT MOTUPA SCORES HIS FIRST EVER GOAL FOR MAMELODI SUNDOWNS

“But more than anything else I want to give credit to my technical team, coach Rhulani (Mokwena), Steve (Komphela), coach Wendell (Robinson) for the clean sheet. The analysts, I think they are always spot on.

“The medical department for getting everybody into the team, the support staff, there’s very good things happening behind the scenes and the management of the team has been very supportive.

“In all our troubles and our journeys, they have been there and once again I want to thank the president and the board of the club because the resources we have sometimes, they make it easier for us to compete on all fronts under circumstances that are very difficult because when you count the number of matches that these players are expected to play. It’s very difficult and I really want to thank them for that.”

Manqoba Mngqithi makes a BIG call on Gift Motupa

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has hailed Gift Motupa 'as one of the best finishers in the country'.

Chelsea dominate Real Madrid to set up all-English Champions League final

May 6th 2021 at 03:15
By: AFP

Chelsea set up an all-English Champions League final against Manchester City as goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount beat Real Madrid 2-0 in a dominant display on Wednesday to seal a 3-1 aggregate victory at Stamford Bridge.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

If anything, the scoreline flattered Madrid as the 13-time European champions had no response to Chelsea’s greater strength and speed.

The Blues should have ran out far more convincing winners as they toyed with the tired visitors in the second half.

However, Werner’s cushioned header into an empty net on 28 minutes after Kai Havertz’s initial effort came back off the crossbar and Mount’s tap-in five minutes from time were enough to seal their place in Istanbul on May 29.

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“To never lose the concentration, focus and positive energy on the pitch – it was a huge performance and well deserved,” said Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, who has masterminded a huge turnaround in Chelsea’s season since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard in January.

Backed by Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea’s £220 million spending spree last summer has been rewarded with a first Champions League final since they lifted the trophy for the only time in 2012.

“We never lost the hunger, the desire to defend,” added Tuchel.

“In the second half we had even better structure to defend and it was a fantastic performance.

“We could have scored so much earlier and more to be safe, but it’s no time for criticism now. It’s a fantastic achievement and big congratulations to the team.”

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane welcomed back captain Sergio Ramos for the first time in six weeks, while Eden Hazard was handed a rare start in an injury-hit season on his return to Stamford Bridge.

But the Belgian was again a peripheral figure as Madrid’s over-reliance on Karim Benzema to provide a goal threat was exposed.

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

“We needed to be better going forward,” said Zidane.

“We didn’t have any clear chances. They made a number of them and that’s football.

“We fought and tried but they deserved to win and go through.”

Madrid’s only serious threat came from a quick turn and shot from the edge of the box from Benzema that Edouard Mendy did brilliantly to turn behind midway through the first half.

Moments later they were behind as Werner scored just his fourth goal in his last 39 games.

N’Golo Kante and Havertz did the hard work as the French midfielder fed Havertz, whose audacious chip over Thibaut Courtois bounced invitingly off the crossbar for Werner to head into an empty net.

Chelsea have now kept 18 clean sheets in 24 games since the appointment of Tuchel turned their season around.

However, a failure to take their chances at the other end means they are still far from guaranteed a place in the Champions League next season.

That lack of a killer touch was exposed after the break as Havertz saw a free header come back off the bar before Mount blasted over with just Courtois to beat.

The former Chelsea ‘keeper, who controversially forced a move back to Spain in the summer of 2018, kept his current employers in the tie as he then saved one-on-ones with Havertz and Kante, with the Blues’ speed on the break too much for Madrid’s ageing midfield to cope with.

Tuchel was growing increasingly frustrated with his side’s inability to put the tie to bed, but could finally relax five minutes from time.

Substitute Christian Pulisic left Courtois on the floor and from his cut-back, Mount slid in to finish from close range.

Fired by Paris Saint-Germain on Christmas Eve after leading the French champions to their first ever final in this competition last season, Tuchel is headed back to the Champions League showpiece match for a second consecutive season, unlike his former club, who were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by City in the other semi-final.

Bradley Cross: SA defender in Newcastle United first-XI training after Tokyo Olympic snub – pictures

May 6th 2021 at 02:30

South African junior international Bradley Cross was spotted training with English Premier League side Newcastle United’s first team on Wednesday.

READ | Bradley Cross: SA youth international joins Newcastle United

The Amajita centre back joined the ‘Toon’ on a two-year deal earlier in the season, after impressing their u23’s staff in a short trial. It did not take long for the 20-year-old to prove his worth within the Magpies academy structures, with his leadership qualities apparent early on.

Bradley Cross made an immediate impact at Newcastle

That then catapulted the left-footed Cross to the captaincy role, very shortly after his arrival. That rapid rise seemed to have caught the South African fraternity my surprise and subsequently heightened expectations. Unfortunately, his progression trajectory hasn’t included a Premier League debut yet, but Wednesday’s pictures make for promising viewing.

Cross, a product of the now-defunct Bidvest Wits Academy posted pictures of himself in full training with the Newcastle side. One including an image of him keeping close tabs on the elusive Allan Saint-Maximim. Having made 20 appearances for Newcastle u23s in the Premier League 2 Division 2 many keen observers of his progress could argue that it is just reward for his consistency and continued growth.

  • Picture: IG brxd.cross
  • Picture: IG brxd.cross

SAFA overlooked Bradley Cross for Olympics selection

Despite all the strides Cross has been making on Tyneside, it seems to have gone unnoticed by SAFA, finding himself omitted from the preliminary u23 Olympics squad. Coach David Notoane opted for the likes of skipper Tercious Malepe, Luke Fleurs and Katlego Mohamme as his only centre back options in the 40-man preliminary squad for the showpiece.

He continues to be overlooked by SAFA

That, however, was not the first time the COSAFA Cup winner found himself snubbed for a major tournament by a junior national team coach. In 2019 despite making the U20 World Cup preliminary squad, then Amajita coach Thabo Senong opted against taking Cross with him to Poland. This despite being on top form for German Bundesliga side Schalke 04’s u19’s at that time.

Cross, who is equally at home at left-back, could be forgiven for scratching his head thinking what else he needs to do to convince the national selectors. He can find solace from his first-team training call up however and feel like it’s only a matter of time till he breaks through at club level.

It is also noteworthy that Cross is a double passport holder, and as he continues to be overlooked by SAFA, he continues to edge closer to the Newcastle first-team squad. Should he make the breakthrough it could be only a matter of time till the England u21s start to monitor his progress.

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Benni McCarthy hails AmaZulu team after R1.5m Q-Innovation Q3 windfall

May 5th 2021 at 17:03

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has heaped praise on his players after being confirmed as the DStv Premiership Q-Innovation Q3 winners.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Usuthu won six and drew two of their eight league games during the third quarter block to come out on top.

Benni McCarthy was delighted with the recognition and was quick to praise his squad for the hard work they put in to go on their impressive run of results.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

“I would like to thank you, the DStv Premiership officials, and everyone for recognizing us as the Q3 winners. We really appreciate it, we are very excited, and we are very happy to receive this award,” said Benni McCarthy, as quoted by the official AmaZulu website.

“It has been hard work from everyone. We are fully grateful for this. I would like to thank the players first for their hard work, their dedication, their sacrifice, the winning mentality that they have shown.

“To come in every single day working to get better and better, I am grateful and very happy for them that they were able to win this Q3. All their hard work has paid off eventually.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

“The technical team, the coaches thank you all for every single day, pushing each other, pushing the players to do more.

“I am grateful for you guys and I am very thankful to have you guys as part of my team and then obviously management, the President of the team, Mr Sandile Zungu and Mr Manzini Zungu for the leadership and guiding the team, allowing me to assemble the team that I have and to be able to win this Q3.

“Hopefully, we will win many more to come and we work harder every day. I want to thank them for the incredible leadership that they have shown to AmaZulu and to the fans, I hope they enjoyed it. We miss them a lot and we cannot wait to have them back at the stadiums,” Benni McCarthy concluded.

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

CONGRATULATIONS to @AmaZuluFootball 🥇🎉🎈🎊- The #DStvPrem Q-Innovation Quarter three (Q3) winners. pic.twitter.com/EGJ53xJZei

— Official PSL (@OfficialPSL) May 4, 2021

Does Hugo Broos’ appointment spell the end of the road for Itumeleng Khune?

May 5th 2021 at 17:01

Newly-appointed Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is eager to build a young, hungry national team squad, but warned it will take time.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

That could well spell bad news and the end of the road for veteran goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

Khune, who turns 34 next month, will be one of several 30-something players who will have noted with concern the comments made by the 69-year-old Belgian following the announcement of his 5-year contract at the helm of the South African national side on Wednesday.

A new broom sweeps clean after all and Broos will surely want to make changes to the current underperforming squad, especially if they fail to qualify for next year’s Soccer World Cup in Qatar.

WATCH | GIFT MOTUPA SCORES HIS FIRST EVER GOAL FOR MAMELODI SUNDOWNS!

Broos has experience coaching at international level in Africa, having previously worked as Cameroon’s mentor between February 2016 and December 2017.

Hugo Broos says he was surprised with the recent Bafana Bafana team selections as he would be more focused on giving young players opportunities, as they are more motivated to perform on the international stage.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

“We watched some (Bafana) matches last week, and made an analysis, I was a bit surprised when I saw the selections for the last games,” Hugo Broos told the media via a Zoom call following his appointment.

“I take the example of Cameroon, I did the same there, when I worked with young players, who were motivated and hungry to show themselves.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

“I was a player and I know when you are 30 years or older, the motivation is less. You are happy to be in the national team, but your hunger is less.

“After South Africa did not qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations next year, this has to be the moment to build a younger team.”

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

On the mission to qualify for the 2022 Soccer World Cup, he added: “We will do everything to qualify for the World Cup next year, but it can’t be a deception if we don’t.

“To build a team takes time, it is a good opportunity for these players to play games and to see what it is to play at this level. For me, what is most important is what happens after the World Cup (2022).”

READ | HUGO BROOS: 10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH

Hugo Broos hints at radical shake-up of Bafana Bafana squad

May 5th 2021 at 13:54

Newly-appointed Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is eager to build a young, hungry national team squad but warns it will take time.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

The 69-year-old Belgian has experience coaching at international level in Africa, having previously worked as Cameroon’s mentor between February 2016 and December 2017.

Hugo Broos says he was surprised with the recent Bafana Bafana team selections as he would be more focused on giving young players opportunities, as they are more motivated to perform on the international stage.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

“We watched some (Bafana) matches last week, and made an analysis, I was a bit surprised when I saw the selections for the last games,” Hugo Broos told the media via a Zoom call following his appointment on Wednesday.

“I take the example of Cameroon, I did the same there, when I worked with young players, who were motivated and hungry to show themselves.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

“I was a player and I know when you are 30 years or older, the motivation is less. You are happy to be in the national team, but your hunger is less.

“After South Africa did not qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations next year, this has to be the moment to build a younger team.”

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

On the mission to qualify for the 2022 Soccer World Cup, he added: “We will do everything to qualify for the World Cup next year, but it can’t be a deception if we don’t.

“To build a team takes time, it is a good opportunity for these players to play games and to see what it is to play at this level. For me, what is most important is what happens after the World Cup (2022).”

READ | HUGO BROOS: 10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH

SAFA catches MASSIVE break after Bafana’s SWC 2022 qualifiers delayed

May 4th 2021 at 10:47

Next month’s opening 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifiers for Africa are set to be delayed because a host of stadiums lack Confederation of African Football approval, sources told AFP on Tuesday. 

READ | JOSE MOURINHO NAMED NEW ROMA COACH

According to sources at several football federations in Africa, CAF is planning to postpone the first two days of qualifying from June to September. 

“The CAF emergency committee validated the decision on Monday, we are awaiting the validation of the executive committee” on May 15, a federation president told AFP.

Other leading figures within African football have confirmed the decision. 

READ | AL AHLY SLUMP TO SHOCK LOSS ON EVE OF MAMELODI SUNDOWNS SHOWDOWN

When questioned, CAF did not confirm the postponement and announced that it would communicate on the subject “during the day”.

The six qualifying matchdays would be staggered two-by-two in September, October and November.

According to the same sources the playoffs will take place in March after the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Cameroon, itself initially scheduled for 2021 but pushed back to 2022 by the coronavirus pandemic.

READ | DRAMA AS CAPE TOWN CITY PLACE COACH JAN OLDE RIEKERINK ON ‘ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE’

The last-minute postponement has been prompted by the absence of stadiums approved by CAF in 22 of the confederation’s 54 member countries.

Countries including Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal would not be able to play their home matches in June.

There is also no approved stadium in Sierra Leone, who are due to play a delayed AFCON qualifier against Benin in June.

The news will come as music to the ears of the South African Football Association (SAFA) who have still not named the new coach to lead Bafana Bafana into those qualifiers which were, until the delay, due to kick off in the first week in June.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES | IT TOOK 991 DAYS FOR BUCS TO LOSE AT ORLANDO STADIUM!

Cape Town City place coach Jan Olde Riekerink on ‘administrative leave’

May 3rd 2021 at 08:52

There’s drama down in the Cape after Cape Town City FC placed head coach Jan Olde Riekerink on “administrative leave” with “immediate effect”.

READ | ZINNBAUER: ORLANDO PIRATES DIDN’T TRAIN FOR THE MAMELODI SUNDOWNS GAME

The DStv Premiership confirmed the news on their Twitter account on Monday, adding that assistant coach Diogo Peral will take charge of the team until further notice.

Riekerink, 58, was named Cape Town City coach in November 2019 following Benni McCarthy’s departure.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES | IT TOOK 991 DAYS FOR BUCS TO LOSE AT ORLANDO STADIUM!

Despite their struggles in recent weeks – which included a 5-1 home defeat against AmaZulu and a 1-0 loss to strugglers TTM – Cape Town City find themselves in seventh place in the DStv Premiership standings and virtually assured of their place in next season’s MTN8.

They will next be in action away to Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday, 12 May at 19:30.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

The club can confirm that it has placed coach Jan Olde Riekerink on administrative leave, with immediate effect.

Club assistant coach Diogo Peral will take charge of the team until further notice. pic.twitter.com/A4LYgR4OdK

— Cape Town City FC (@CapeTownCityFC) May 3, 2021

EXCLUSIVE | Zuma weighs in on McCarthy to Bafana Bafana debate

May 3rd 2021 at 08:22

Bafana Bafana legend Sibusiso Zuma has thrown his weight behind former teammate and AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy for the national team job.

McCarthy is reported to be the frontrunner for the Bafana Bafana plumb job following the South African Football Association’s (SAFA) failure to finalize the deal with Carlos Queiroz among other candidates.

READ | ZINNBAUER: ORLANDO PIRATES DIDN’T TRAIN FOR THE MAMELODI SUNDOWNS GAME

SAFA was expected to announce Molefi Ntseki’s successor over a week ago but that didn’t happen with the postponement of the announcement made public just hours before what was a scheduled press conference and unveiling of a new coach.

While SAFA released a statement on reports linking Benni McCarthy with the Bafana Bafana job, Zuma believes there’s no better candidate for the job than the former Porto FC striker.    

“As somebody I played with, I saw that Benni was always someone who wanted to end up coaching. He was always interested in the tactical part of football,” Zuma told TheSouthAfrican.com.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES | IT TOOK 991 DAYS FOR BUCS TO LOSE AT ORLANDO STADIUM!

Zuma has been following McCarthy’s coaching career closely, and he feels what his former Bafana Bafana teammate did at Cape Town City and is currently doing at AmaZulu could benefit the country’s football.  

“At Cape Town City… not really following closely but I saw Cape Town City playing a very attacking and beautiful football.

“Right now at AmaZulu, he just changed the whole team and they are number two in the league right now. He’s doing well for himself and the South African football as well,” he added.  

“So, as South Africa, I think we have a favourable chance of building with one of our own coaches; someone who won the (UEFA) Champions League, someone who was coached by top coaches.”

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Zuma said McCarthy is his favourite for the job, adding that he’s 100 percent behind his possible appointment as Bafana Bafana coach.

“I believe he’s the number one candidate right now and my favourite. I am 100 percent behind him for this job and I hope he gets it because it’s important for the country so that he can start changing things for us and for the guys who are playing right now. I think there is going to be an improvement,” he continued.     

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Asked if the perception that McCarthy may not be ready to coach at a national team level coupled with the fact that he’s only 43-years-old, Zuma said: “I don’t know what people say. I know what Benni has done. I saw him when he was playing and winning the Champions League.

“So, I don’t know if age is a matter in what we are talking about but we need to give our people a chance,” concluded Zuma.    

Vladislav Heric delighted with Chippa United’s fighting spirit

May 3rd 2021 at 08:13

Chippa United coach Vladislav Heric was impressed by the mental toughness of his players in their 1-0 win over Stellenbosch FC and will give them time off to recuperate.

READ | JOSEF ZINNBAUER DEFENDS SELFLESS LEADERS THULANI HLATSHWAYO

The Chilli Boys gave their DStv Premiership survival chances a much-needed boost with the win over Stellies – their second league win in succession.

Heric also revealed after the match that his charges are struggling with fatigue and will be given a few days off before returning to training refreshed.

READ | MANQOBA MNGQITHI SAYS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS PLAYED WELL BUT SHOWED ARROGANCE

“We are going to take two days off,” said Heric, according to Sowetan.

“I have to rest the players for two days and then we will come back on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and see how it goes.

“Friday we’ll train.”

On the match itself, he added: “We left everything on this field to win these three points which are vital to us.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

“We did not play an attractive game today, but we got the three points which is very crucial to us, especially in the second half.

“After the 1-0 lead we went into defensive mode completely and we waited on counters.

“We tried to refresh the front line and the sides.

“However we have to understand that the players played three games and it was very difficult for us.

READ | HUGE TRANSFER NEWS: PITSO MOSIMANE ISSUES INSTRUCTION: GET ME PETER SHALULILE!

“Especially for our left and right backs. I couldn’t replace them because I had to press on the middle of the park.

“I put fresh and young players in that position and I am happy with those engagements.

“I am very happy to see the commitment of the players and the fighting spirit. I do believe we are going to have the same fighting spirit for the next game, which is the cup final.”

The win against Stellenbosch FC moved Chippa United to 14th place in the standings with 24 points after 26 matches.

They are two points ahead of TTM and the relegation zone, but have played two more matches.

They will next be in action in the Nedbank Cup final against, co-incidentally, TTM, on Saturday, 8 May at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Kick-off is at 18:00.

Massive transfer news: Pitso Mosimane issues instruction: Get me Peter Shalulile!

May 3rd 2021 at 07:14

Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has reportedly told the club to pursue the signing of Mamelodi Sundowns striker Peter Shalulile.

READ | MANQOBA MNGQITHI SAYS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS PLAYED WELL BUT SHOWED ARROGANCE

An unnamed source, quoted by Phakaaathi, claims that the Namibia international has shot to the top of Pitso Mosimane’s list of transfer targets.

The former Masandawana mentor is looking to build his own team at the Egyptian giants and is seemingly eager to make Shalulile one of his first signings.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

The former Highlands Park star joined the Brazilians at the start of the season and has been a revelation, scoring 17 goals and providing eight assists in 32 games across all competitions.

Thanks to his heroics in the Mamelodi Sundowns shirt, Peter Shalulile is said to have also attracted interest from an unspecified club in France.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Double injury scare for Mamelodi Sundowns ahead of Al Ahly showdown

May 3rd 2021 at 05:44

Mamelodi Sundowns received a double injury scare ahead of their CAF Champions League quarter-final against Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

READ | MANQOBA MNGQITHI SAYS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS PLAYED WELL BUT SHOWED ARROGANCE

After a three-match winless run in the DStv Premiership, Mamelodi Sundowns beat Orlando Pirates 3-0 in a convincing performance.

All three goals came in the second half at the Orlando Stadium courtesy of Ricardo Nascimento from the penalty spot (58th minute), Peter Shalulile (76th) and Lyle Lakay (80th minute).

The victory moved the Brazilians back to the top of the log.

However, their afternoon wasn’t all positive after both striker Kermit Erasmus and midfielder Aubrey Modiba picked up injuries.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

Kermit Erasmus fell to the ground after a collision at the end of the first half left him with an injury to his left foot.

The 30-year-old was unable to continue and was substituted at half-time by Gift Motupa.

Then in the 63rd minute Mamelodi Sundowns were hit by another injury to Aubrey Modiba who was brought off for Lyle Lakay.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: I COULDN’T BE PROUDER OF MY AMAZULU TEAM

The quarter-final draw of the CAF Champions League saw Mamelodi Sundowns pitted against Al Ahly in the stand-out tie of the playoffs.

Al Ahly will host Mamelodi Sundowns in the first leg in Egypt on the weekend of 14-16 May, with the second leg match will be held in South Africa on 21-23 May.

Masandawana will be holding thumbs their star duo will be fit to board the plane to Cairo next week.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Manqoba Mngqithi says Mamelodi Sundowns played well but showed arrogance

May 3rd 2021 at 04:52

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi was pleased with his side’s performance against Orlando Pirates, but also noted that there were signs of arrogance creeping in.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

Masandawana fell to second place in the DStv Premiership standings after AmaZulu beat Golden Arrows 1-0 on Saturday, but reclaimed the spot thanks to a 3-0 hammering of Orlando Pirates.

Although Manqoba Mngqithi was impressed by his players, he was also somewhat disappointed that they lacked humility.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: I COULDN’T BE PROUDER OF MY AMAZULU TEAM

They really fought. They knew how important it was. And I said it before the match that Sundowns is going to play,” he told SuperSport TV.

“And I knew we are ready psychologically. And we are ready physically to really fight. We could have done better. I still believe there were some opportunities that ended up not being utilised properly. But credit to be given to the boys. They put in a really good fight and we are happy that they stuck to the plan and the tactics on the day.

Manqoba Mngqithi added: “When we win we must always win with a lot of humility.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“And I was not happy with the sounds the players were making when we were keeping possession. That is a sign of arrogance and personally I am someone who doesn’t like people that are arrogant.

“We are playing against a very respectable brand and a team that really plays well. They have not lost too many matches. And it’s not by chance and now when you happen to beat them don’t think now you must embarrass and make them to look like they are amateurish.

“They have got some of their key players injured. Lorch was not here and you know what Lorch can do to us.

“But credit must be given to my boys.”

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

SAFA upset at media leak linking Benni McCarthy to Bafana Bafana job

May 3rd 2021 at 03:38

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has moved to end speculation around who will become the next Bafana Bafana coach.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

AmaZulu boss Benni McCarthy has been hotly tipped to take up the role at the end of the current season.

AmaZulu are fighting for league honours and are currently in first place with 50 points, two clear of Mamelodi Sundows, albeit with having played three more matches.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

A SAFA media release on Sunday, read: ‘We have noted that various publications over the last week have reported the appointment of new Bafana Bafana coach as having been concluded.

‘Firstly, it was Carlos Queiroz then Pitso Mosimane and most recently AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy.

‘SAFA has always stated that the Technical Committee will submit their final recommendations to the SAFA NEC, the highest decision-making body, which will finally make the announcement once the process is concluded.

‘We note that the Benni McCarthy’s name comes at a time when AmaZulu are top of the log standings and it might appear that SAFA wants to derail the club’s good run.

‘We are happy with AmaZulu’s current good run but SAFA will announce the new incoming coach once the issue is dealt with by the NEC.’

SAFA on media speculation of new Bafana Bafana coach https://t.co/VyJYcziHEV

— SAFA.net (@SAFA_net) May 2, 2021

Benni McCarthy: I couldn’t be prouder of my AmaZulu team

May 3rd 2021 at 03:34

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy says he is proud of his players after they clinched a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows on Saturday.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

Usuthu beat Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium to move to the top of the DStv Premiership standings, before losing the position on Sunday when Mamelodi Sundowns thrashed Orlando Pirates 3-0 to reclaim first place.

McCarthy was delighted with the effort put in by his charges and backed them to challenge for the league title.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“The AmaZulu of Benni McCarthy do the talking on the field. I can’t be more proud of this group of players. They have proven themselves to be exceptionally equipped, useful, hardworking, determined, and they have abilities that you have not seen,” McCarthy told the Usuthu media department after the game.

“To do what they have been doing and they continue to do is just exceptional. I think maybe some of these guys need to go to the history books of AmaZulu because you are never going to have another exceptional season what these guys have done.”

He added: “Happy for the players and happy for the team, we march on. We came from the 13th place to do the impossible, and we are right up there on the table.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“This is a reward for the players for their hard work, the determination, the drive and willingness and having the winning mentality, just like the coach. I’m super proud. I even love these players.

“It was a tough game for us and the field didn’t help us because of the rain a day before, and we were not allowed to play the good football that we wanted to. It was exceptionally hard, controlling and playing.

“First half, I think we were by far the best team. We were good in every aspect of the game. We were first to every ball.

“It was unfortunate that we only scored in the last minute of the half to go up because we had two fantastic chances to score.”

Police investigate after Old Trafford officer requires emergency treatment

May 3rd 2021 at 03:26

Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation after an officer was left needing emergency hospital treatment following disturbances which led to the postponement of Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford.

WATCH | MANCHESTER UNITED FANS STORM OLD TRAFFORD

Fans broke into the stadium and invaded the pitch in protest at club owners the Glazer family, while outside the ground bottles and barriers were thrown at police officers and horses.

Two officers were injured, with one “attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment”, GMP said.

Assistant chief constable Russ Jackson said it was clear many demonstrators had no intention of protesting peacefully as he condemned their “reckless and dangerous” behaviour.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

He added: “The actions of those today required us to take officers from front-line policing and call in support from neighbouring forces to prevent the disorder getting worse. At different points, bottles and barriers were thrown, officers assaulted and people scaled the stadium structure creating risk for themselves and officers.”

The Red Devils were among 12 clubs that last month signed up for the breakaway European Super League, which collapsed within 48 hours due to huge, unrelenting pressure.

Those plans brought anger against the already despised Glazer family to a new level, with fans congregating at both Old Trafford and the Lowry, the team hotel in the city centre, to demand change ahead of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

Police said that by late afternoon around 200 protesters had gathered outside the Lowry and over 1 000 at the stadium.

There was an initial unspecified delay to the scheduled 16:30 kick-off before confirmation came through from United at 17:35 that the match had been postponed “due to safety and security considerations around the protest”.

A club statement read: “Our fans are passionate about Manchester United, and we completely acknowledge the right to free expression and peaceful protest.

“However, we regret the disruption to the team and actions which put other fans, staff, and the police in danger.

“We thank the police for their support and will assist them in any subsequent investigations.”

The Premier League said it understood the fans’ “strength of feeling”, but condemned “all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated Covid-19 breaches”.

It added: “Fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification.

“We sympathise with the police and stewards who had to deal with a dangerous situation that should have no place in football. The rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated in due course.”

Liverpool, another founding member of the Super League, said they were in “full agreement” with the postponement.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said on Twitter: “It is important to make clear that the majority of supporters made their protest peacefully today. However, there is no excuse for the actions of a minority who injured police officers and endangered the safety of others.

“This could be an important moment to change football for the better. We should all condemn violence of any kind and keep the focus on the behaviour of those at the top of the game.”

Manchester United Supporters Trust wants the Government to act to prevent single private shareholders holding majority ownerships in football clubs.

It said in a statement: “On the back of the indefensible ESL proposals, and an ‘apology’ from the Glazers which we do not accept, we need to give fans a meaningful share in the ownership of United and a meaningful voice in how it is run.

“The Government now needs to act. That has to mean a process which results in fans having the opportunity to buy shares in their club and more to the point no single private shareholder holding a majority ownership of our football clubs which allows them to abuse that ownership.”

Orlando Pirates | It took 991 DAYS for Bucs to lose at Orlando Stadium!

May 3rd 2021 at 02:50

Orlando Pirates suffered a 3-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday afternoon, and it was their first league loss at the Orlando Stadium in almost three years.  

Prior to Sunday’s defeat, Pirates had last lost a league match at the venue on 15 August 2018.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

And that’s when they were narrowly beaten by the now defunct Bidvest Wits through a Gladwin Shitolo own goal.

Since that defeat, Pirates went on to turn the Orlando Stadium into a real fortress as none of the 15 PSL teams could beat them at their own stadium in 991 DAYS – that’s two years, eight months, and 18 days.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

They went on to play 38 league matches at Orlando Stadium – and none of those ended in defeats.

That’s excluding the Soweto derby loss to Kaizer Chiefs in February 2020, where, while it was a Pirates home game, the match took place at the FNB Stadium.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

In the 38 league matches played at the Orlando Stadium between 15 September 2018 and 18 April 2021, Pirates won a whopping 22 while the other 16 league matches ended in draws.

Pirates will be at home again against Black Leopards on 5 May, and they will look to return to winning ways and improve their position on the PSL log.

Kick-off for that encounter is at 5PM.

Kaizer Chiefs get vote as best team in SA from unlikely source

May 2nd 2021 at 08:53

Man of the match Neo Maema says Kaizer Chiefs are still the best club in South Africa after his Bloemfontein Celtic side held the Soweto giants to a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED THE NEXT BAFANA BAFANA COACH

Maema pulled the first goal back for Phunya Sele Sele after receiving a backheel from Ndumiso Mabena to side-foot past Amakhosi goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.

And the 25-year-old said that despite Kaizer Chiefs’ woes and six-year trophy drought, they are still the best team in the country.

“First of all, I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for this opportunity,” Maema told SuperSport TV.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“Without him we wouldn’t have been here. It was not an easy game to play against the best team in the country despite what they are going through. They’re still the best.

“It was tough going 2-0 down in the first 20 minutes. It wasn’t easy for us to come back. But I’m glad that we got a point.

“It’s like the 26th game of the season so it wasn’t easy. The muscles. Especially going towards the end of the game.”

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY CALLS ON A FAVOUR FROM ORLANDO PIRATES

Kaizer Chiefs get vote as best team in SA from unlikely source

Man of the match Neo Maema says Kaizer Chiefs are still the best club in SA after his Bloemfontein Celtic side held the Soweto giants to a draw.

Benni McCarthy calls on a favour from Orlando Pirates

May 2nd 2021 at 07:20

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has called on Orlando Pirates to do the country and his side a favour and make the title race more interesting by beating Mamelodi Sundowns at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Kick-off is at 15:00.

Usuthu claimed a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows in the Durban derby at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday which took them two points ahead of former league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, but crucially having played two more games.

It might just be the perfect time for the Buccaneers to face the Brazilians, who are on a four-match winless run.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH LATEST: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK!

And Benni McCarty wants an Orlando Pirates win not just for his side but for the fans, whom he says deserve an exciting finish to the season after being restricted from attending matches for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now we’ll see how the magic unfolds (today), hoping Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns provide a very good game. We’ll see what happens in that match and we are hoping it becomes interesting,” said Benni McCarthy.

“In the year that we’ve had, with Covid-19 and the new Dstv Premiership title and all the excitement that it provides, you want it to go to the last day of the season.

“I hope that Pirates do the country and everyone a favor, by doing what they should be doing. They can’t be hammered three times in a row by one team.

“So I’m backing my boys in black, hopefully they come through for us and then we take it further down to the wire with Sundowns, because that’s what the fans need.

“That’s what the fans need, because they are not allowed to come to the stadium. So if they can’t be here let’s give them something to really sit on the edge of the seat until the last match of the season.”

READ | FORMER BAFANA BAFANA COACH BACKS BENNI MCCARTHY FOR THE JOB

Benni McCarthy: Three pros and cons for taking the Bafana Bafana job

May 2nd 2021 at 03:57

SAFA has confirmed it has agreed terms with a new Bafana Bafana coach with speculation rife that it could be Benni McCarthy.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH LATEST: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK!

On Friday SAFA sent the tails of the South African football fraternity wagging after confirming, they had finalised the contract of the new Bafana Bafana coach.

The country’s football governing body went as far as stating that they intend on making an official announcement in the coming week, with speculation rife on Saturday that it could be Amazulu coach Benni McCarthy.

READ | FORMER BAFANA BAFANA COACH BACKS BENNI MCCARTHY FOR THE JOB

McCarthy, who remains as Bafana Bafana’s all-time leading goal scorer, has been the talk of the local football scene in recent months, with his Durban-based side picking up scintillating form which has seen Usuthu sit on top of the log at the time of writing this article, having held on to beat neighbours Golden Arrows on Saturday. But Mamelodi Sundowns, who play Orlando Pirates on Sunday afternoon will have their two games restored after full time.

READ | IS SAFA TERRIFIED BENNI MCCARTHY WILL GIVE THEM HELL?

With the way he has turned Amazulu around this season, it is perhaps no surprise why McCarthy has been linked with the Bafana Bafana hot seat but is he the right man for the job? Here are three reasons why he could be, as well as three reasons why he might not be.

Pros to Benni McCarthy being Bafana Bafana coach

1. Young coach

At 43-years old McCarthy is a lot closer with regards to age, to the current generation, as opposed to the last three Bafana Bafana mentors. It is also then perhaps no coincidence that he has often appeared as close with his group of players at both Cape Town City and Amazulu.

That could be, exactly the type of figure Bafana Bafana players need at the moment with morale seemingly at an all-time low. Additionally, if Safa is serious about their long-term “visions” then maybe starting from scratch with a young squad and players who could grow together, might be the best way forward.

2. Winning momentum

Amazulu have hit the DStv Premiership League by storm this season, and their nine victories in their last 10 matches have catapulted them to being serious league contenders. McCarthy has been largely instrumental in that, as he has recruited well and to suit his image of how football should be played.

Bafana Bafana will need a coach who has a clear plan and vision as to how he wants to play football, as well as someone who can identify the correct players to fit his system. McCarthy may have shown that he already has those attributes, and that may be what attracted Safa to him if reports are to be true.

3. Stature in football

With the accolades of being the only South African to lift a Champions League trophy, as well as being Bafana Bafana’s top goal scorer, there is no doubting that McCarthy’s presence automatically demands respect in local football circles.

A lot of the players he would be calling up would either be looking up to him or have ambitions of achieving what he has in the game. That alone will have players listening attentively to every instruction he shares.

Many would argue that wouldn’t have been the case with recently fired Molefi Ntseki, with him not having the most colourful senior football CV to his name.

Cons to Benni McCarthy being Bafana Bafana coach

1. Inexperienced

The other side of being a young coach is the lack of experience it may come with. Although McCarthy has a Uefa Pro Coaching license to his name, international football is not often regarded as the most suitable environment to breed a young coach.

Young coaches also often need time to build, but Safa having disposed of two coaches in the last two years doesn’t seem like an organization that is willing to afford a Bafana Bafana coach that luxury.

2. Cape Town City tenure demise

Although McCarthy’s Amazulu has been hot form under his tutelage so far, Cape Town City was also a consistent exciting threat under the Cape Town-born mentor even winning an MTN 8 title in 2018.

But his tenure dried up very suddenly in 2019 going for large winless streaks and often cutting a frustrated figure who had ran out of plans before being shown the door.

The concern now may be that McCarthy could suffer another deflation period that could see him run out of ideas for Bafana Bafana which is the last thing the country needs at international level.

3. Club coaching career rebuild

This job offer would come at a precarious time for McCarthy, having started to repair and rebuild his coaching reputation which would’ve no doubt had a few wondering if he wasn’t just a “one-hit wonder”.

He has clearly started a project with the right ingredients to be formidable at Usuthu, so would leaving that for a potentially short international coaching career really be the best option for him?

Pitso Mosimane lays first brick in Al Ahly’s new mega stadium – PICTURE

May 1st 2021 at 16:37

Pitso Mosimane was given the honour of laying the first brick in the construction of Al Ahly’s new 60 000 seater stadium.

READ | WE HAVE NEW LEADERS IN THE DSTV PREMIERSHIP!

The 56-year-old coach of the Egyptian giants did so on Saturday, 1 May.

One of Mahmoud El-Khatib’s first promises to Al Ahly supporters after his 2017 election as club president was the construction of the first independent stadium for the club at El-Sheikh Zayed city in Cairo.

READ | DID SAFA LIE ABOUT HAVING A COACH TO NAME?

When he announced the project El-Khatib confirmed that the stadium will have 60 000 seats, which would make it the third largest stadium in Egypt after Borg El-Arab (86 000) and the Cairo International Stadium (74 100).

READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DUO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF LUXURY SUVS

It is set to be designed by Populous, the same architecture company that designed Arsenal’s stadium The Emirates and Wembley Stadium.

DStv Premiership: Fixtures, results and kick-off times – 1 May 2021

May 1st 2021 at 13:15

With the 2020/21 DStv Premiership season rapidly reaching its conclusion, another bumper round of fixtures will take place over the upcoming weekend.

READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DUO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF LUXURY SUVS

Everyone is still chasing Mamelodi Sundowns atop the standings with the chasing pack looking for some favours from the Brazilians’ opponents.

At the bottom, Black Leopards have it all to do.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LEGEND SHOWS OFF NEW R1 MILLION-PLUS RIDE

DSTV PREMIERSHIP FIXTURES AND RESULTS:

FRIDAY, 30 APRIL

Maritzburg United 1-1 Swallows

SATURDAY, 1 MAY

TS Galaxy 1-0 Cape Town City

Chippa United 1-0 Stellenbosch FC

Bloemfontein Celtic 2-2 Kaizer Chiefs

Golden Arrows 0-1 AmaZulu

Tshakhuma FC 1-2 Black Leopards

SuperSport United 1-1 Baroka FC

SUNDAY, 2 MAY

Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns – 15:00

Kaizer Chiefs v Bloemfontein Celtic result: Amakhosi blow handy lead

May 1st 2021 at 10:55

Kaizer Chiefs took a 2-1 lead into the half-time break in their DStv Premiership match against Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday.

AS IT HAPPENED | KAIZER CHIEFS V BLOEMFONTEIN CELTIC

Amakhosi took the lead as early as the third minute thanks to a goal from Happy Mashiane.

Eric Mathoho then doubled Kaizer Chiefs’ advantage with a goal in the 13th minute.

READ | GAVIN HUNT COMMENTS ON KAIZER CHIEFS’ CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

Credit to Bloemfontein Celtic for not rolling over as they cut the deficit with a goal in the 22nd minute by Neo Maema.

Early in the second half Bloemfontein Celtic completed their comeback from the penalty spot thanks to Sepana Letsoalo.

Despite their defeat, Kaizer Chiefs remained ninth in the standings with 29 points after 25 matches.

They will next be in action away to TTM on Tuesday, 4 May at 17:00.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL? IT COULD HAPPEN!

TEAMS:

Bloemfontein Celtic

Mabokgwane, Baloyi, Ngobeni, Chabalala, Rikhotso, Phalane, Mahashe, Maema, Kobedi, Mabena, Letsoalo

Substitues: Chaine, Van Der Ross, Lingwati, Potsane, Mashikinya, Ncobeni, Fikizolo, Mangweni, Sera

Kaizer Chiefs

Akpeyi, Zulu, Cardoso, Mathoho, Ngezana, Mashiane, Blom, Parker, Baccus, Manyama, Nurkovic

Substitutes: Bvuma, Katsande, Mphahlele, Castro, Kambole, Agay, Frosler, Sasman, Zuma

Incredible scenes as AmaZulu overtake Mamelodi Sundowns in DStv Premiership log!

May 1st 2021 at 10:55

Mamelodi Sundowns unbelievably are no longer the log leaders in the 2020/21 DStv Premiership standings!

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL? IT COULD HAPPEN!

Not so long ago the Brazilians were coasting to a fourth consecutive – and 11th overall – PSL title.

But coupled with their own dip in form and the stellar play of AmaZulu in particular, Mamelodi Sundowns’ advantage atop the log was just ONE point heading into this weekend’s matches.

READ | GAVIN HUNT COMMENTS ON KAIZER CHIEFS’ CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

And thanks to AmaZulu’s 1-0 away win over Golden Arrows in the KwaZulu-Natal derby, Benni McCarthy’s men now LEAD the standings by two points.

Luvuyo Memela grabbed the only goal of the match in first-half stoppage time.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

Usuthu’s lead may only last 24 hours, however.

Mamelodi Sundowns are in action on Sunday, 2 May when they travel to play Orlando Pirates (15:00).

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

But that won’t be an easy clash and even though they will have three matches in hand prior to kick-off, the pressure is now squarely on Mamelodi Sundowns’ shoulders as the season rapidly draws to a close.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH NEWS: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK

AmaZulu now have 50 points after 26 matches.

They will next be in domestic action at home against Baroka FC on Tuesday, 11 May at 15:00.

Percy Tau could start for Brighton against Leeds United

May 1st 2021 at 07:25

An injury to Adam Lallana has put Percy Tau in contention to start Brighton’s Premier League clash with Leeds United.

Tau hasn’t featured in a matchday squad for Brighton since returning from international duty. The 26-year-old was forced into an extended quarantine as part of lockdown regulations after returning from South Africa.

Percy Tau could start for Brighton 

Brighton boss Graham Potter says the South African star is back in contention to face Leeds United on Saturday afternoon. It would be Tau’s first Premier Leage start since the club’s reverse fixture against Leeds in January.

The knock to Lallana could see Tau handed a starting berth in the number 10 role that the former Liverpool man has made his own this term. Potter had previously expressed a desire to deploy Tau in the role which he feels the former Mamelodi Sundowns star is better suited to than a striking or winger position.

“Adam Lallana had a bit of a tight calf and has been recovering. Hopefully he will train on Friday, but there’s nothing fresh apart from the Sheffield United game,” Potter told the club’s official website.

‘His chances of playing are OK, we will make a decision on him after Friday’s session. Percy Tau trained this week, so he’s back in contention.”

Percy Tau
John Stones (left) of Manchester City in action against Percy Tau (right) of Brighton during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Brighton Hove Albion in Manchester, Britain, 13 January 2021. EPA/Laurence Griffiths

Tau had endured a frustrating run where he was named on Brighton’s bench for ten matches in a row without getting onto the park.

Seagulls eager to bounce back

Potter hopes that Brighton can pick themselves up after a dissapointing loss to basement boys Sheffield United as they seek to secure Premier League football next season.

“Prior to last Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Sheffield United, it had been a very good period for us, where we picked up valuable points against European-chasing Everton and Chelsea,” Potter wrote in his match programme notes. 

“Last time out at the Amex, I thought we were the team most likely to win, but Everton defended well when they needed to. We nullified their attacking threat but just lacked that bit of quality in the final third to get ourselves over the line. Overall, though, I was pleased with the performance and the intent we showed against a very good side.”

Brighton will face Leeds from 16:00 (SAST) on Saturday 1 May.

Manchester City vs Brighton Hove Albion

John Stones (left) of Manchester City in action against Percy Tau (right) of Brighton during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Brighton Hove Albion in Manchester, Britain, 13 January 2021. EPA/Laurence Griffiths

Kaizer Chiefs v Mamelodi Sundowns in CAF Champions League final? It could happen!

May 1st 2021 at 05:58

It will take a couple of victories from both sides over some formidable opposition, but Kaizer Chiefs could face Mamelodi Sundowns in an all-South African CAF Champions League final!

READ | GAVIN HUNT COMMENTS ON KAIZER CHIEFS’ CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

The two Mzansi teams were drawn on opposite sides of the draw on Friday.

Kaizer Chiefs would’ve been happy enough with their quarter-final opponents Simba SC.

Amakhosi will host the first leg on 14-15 May and will look to take a handy lead into the second leg a week later in Tanzania.

Should Gavin Hunt’s men emerged victorious, they will take on either MC Alger or Wydad Athletic Club in the semi-finals.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

Meanwhile, Mamelodi Sundowns face a blockbuster last 8 tie against former coach Pitso Mosimane’s new side, Egypt’s Al Ahly.

Al Ahly have blown hot and cold in recent weeks and if the Brazilians can pick up a goal – or more – in the opening leg in Cairo, they will fancy their chances of progressing to the semi-finals after the second leg in Pretoria.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

Should that be the case, in the last 4 Masandawana will take on either CR Belouizdad or Esperance de Tunis in what looks on paper like a winnable match.

Mamelodi Sundowns won the title back in 2016, while Kaizer Chiefs have never reached the quarter-finals in their history, let alone the final.

The final is scheduled for Saturday, 17 July.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH NEWS: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK

Pitso Mosimane in fiery press conference after latest Al Ahly setback

May 1st 2021 at 02:45

Pitso Mosimane has reacted angrily to some of the questions posed in the post-match press conference following Al Ahly’s draw with El Gouna on Friday, 30 April.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

After a poor performance and a waste of the possession advantage they enjoyed in the first half, the substitutions Mosimane made at half-time bore fruit when Taher Mohamed’s stunner gave them the lead after 57 minutes.

However, his goal wasn’t enough as a late header from former Al Ahly star Mohamed Naguib ensured the spoils were shared.

The draw with El Gouna was the fourth for Al Ahly this season with the setback keeping the defending champions in second place in the league table with 37 points and two games in hand over log leaders Zamalek on 40 points.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

According to the KingFut website, Pitso Mosimane started the press conference following the match by saying: “We lost two new points.

“Among the matches we played recently, this match was by far our lowest performance. We did not perform with the intensity required for a match like that.

“The first half was like training. We possessed the ball. We did not try to score. We were supposed to go forward and try to score goals, and in the second half we tried.

“Against Zamalek, we did not give them a chance to play, today we gave El Gouna the chance.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH NEWS: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK

“I cannot talk about fatigue because we made substitutions. Four new players participated in the match.

“But with the participation of the fatigued players, the intensity of our performance increased.

“I do not make excuses, the match today was like training, it was not like a match, we tied and we were punished.”

Regarding the accusation of retreating into a defensive mode, Pitso Mosimane angrily replied: “I have involved Salah Mohsen and Afsha. Are these defensive substitutions? The only defensive substitution was Mohamed Hany.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LEGEND SHOWS OFF NEW R1 MILLION-PLUS RIDE

When asked about resting Afsha and Amr El-Sulya, he replied: “Some will ask why I rested this player or that player, but I rested them because they feel very tired and I have given the opportunity to other players such as Kahraba and Nasser Maher.”

“Any technical failure, I bear, and we were supposed to end the match in the first half, but we did not do it,” he added.

Al Ahly will next be in action away to 11th-placed Ghazi El Mahalla on Monday, 3 May at 21:30 SA time.

Al Ahly’s title push dented with Egypt Premier League stalemate

May 1st 2021 at 02:34

Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly failed to move within a point of Egyptian Premier League leaders Zamalek after playing out to a 1-1 draw against El Gouna on Friday.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH NEWS: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK

Al Ahly started the match four points behind log leaders Zamalek and began the clash in fine form.

However they weren’t able to find an opener despite enjoying the vast majority of possession.

The match was deadlocked at 0-0 at half-time.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

However, Al Ahly’s substitutions and fresh legs helped fashion the first goal after 57 minutes when Taher Mohamed scored the opener from a ball by Akram Tawfik.

Al Ahly were made to pay for squandering several opportunities with just four minutes to go when Mohamed Nagieb headed home the equaliser to deny Pitso Mosimane’s men the full three points.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

Al Ahly now trail Zamalek by three points, but do have two matches in hand.

Al Ahly will next be in action away to 11th-placed Ghazi El Mahalla on Monday, 3 May at 21:30 SA time.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LEGEND SHOWS OFF NEW R1 MILLION-PLUS RIDE

Swallows in stalemate for a staggering 16th time v Maritzburg United

April 30th 2021 at 13:44

Swallows FC recorded their 13th 1-1 draw of the season against Maritzburg United after Sifiso Hlanti’s strike cancelled out Travis Graham’s opener at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH NEWS: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK

With four minutes gone Swallows centre-back Njabulo Ngcobo miscontrolled the ball allowing Bongokuhle Hlongwane to pounce and feed in Thabiso Kutumela on the left and he cut back inside before curling a decent effort narrowly over the bar.

In the 20th minute, Givemore Khupe was shown a yellow card for a foul on Hlongwane on the edge of the box however Kutumela’s free-kick lacked the direction. Soon after, Maritzburg midfielder Daylon Claasen’s flick-on found Hlongwane, who struck from range but it went wide of the left-hand upright.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

Hlongwane and Kutumela combined again as the former played in the latter down the left and he squared the ball back into the box to Claasen, who scuffed his shot and it fell into the path of Hlongwane, whose left-footed effort on the turn was straight at Swallows shot-stopper Virgil Vries.

Maritzburg took the lead in the 49th minute. Graham intercepted a sloppy pass from Swallows central defender Wandisile Letlabika and some neat one-touch football saw the ball returned to Graham and he struck a fierce shot into the corner from a tight angle on the right-hand side of the box from close-range.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

The Birds equalised 10 minutes later. Musa Nyatama released Zaphaniah Mbokoma down the right and he delivered into the box to Hlanti, who side-footed the ball as it came across him into the bottom left corner for a superb finish.

The Team of Choice had a good opportunity to double the lead soon after. Bandile Shandu played an excellent one-two with Hlongwane and surged into the box but his effort missed slightly to the left.

In the 73rd minute, Dan Morgan raced around Ngcobo and fed in Kutumela and his shot was saved in the bottom right corner.

The last clear-cut chance of the encounter fell to the Team of Choice. The ball was delivered into the box and centre-back Clayton Daniels rose highest but it went over the bar as the sides had to settle for the share of the spoils.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LEGEND SHOWS OFF NEW R1 MILLION-PLUS RIDE

Bafana Bafana coach latest | Deal struck, announcement ‘next week’

April 30th 2021 at 13:15

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has finalised outstanding matters with the new incoming Bafana Bafana coach and the announcement will be made next week.

MUST READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DRAW PITSO MOSIMANE’S AL AHLY IN CAF CL QUARTER-FINALS!

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

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

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ WORST FEARS REALISED IN CAF CONFEDERATION CUP LAST 8 DRAW

South Africa are drawn in Group G for the 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifiers, together with Ghana, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

Bafana Bafana kick off their World Cup campaign with an away match against Zimbabwe in the first week of June 2021.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LEGEND SHOWS OFF NEW R1 MILLION-PLUS RIDE

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