Caf Confederation Cup: Marumo Gallants stun AS Vita Club to reach play-off round

Caf Confederation Cup: Marumo Gallants stun AS Vita Club to reach play-off round | Goal.com

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Marumo Gallants FC reached the Caf Confederation Cup play-off round after stunning DR Congolese giants AS Vita Club in Kinshasa, DR Congo on Friday evening.

Bahlabane Ba Ntwa fought back to hold Vita Club to a 1-1 draw in the second round second-leg clash at Stade des Martyrs and they emerged 3-2 winners on aggregate.

Gallants came into the match leading on aggregate thanks to Celimpilo Ngema’s brace which inspired the PSL side to a 2-1 victory at Peter Mokaba Stadium last week Friday.

The visitors conceded 19 minutes into the game when Jacques Mangoba scored with a thunderous long-range shot which beat goalkeeper Washington Arubi hands down to hand Vita Club a 1-0 lead.

Thabo Mnyamane looked lively for Bahlabane Ba Ntwa as his free-kick narrowly missed keeper Nelson Lukong’s left upright as Gallants pushed for the equalizing goal. 

The Cameroonian shot-stopper then produced a fine save at the back post to deny former SuperSport United forward Mnyamane. 

Vita Club, who won the Caf Champions League title in 1973, were leading 1-0 during the half-time break with the two teams locked at 2-2 on an aggregate and the DR Congolese giants were leading on the away aggregate.

Mpho Maleka – Gallants’ interim coach – introduced Katlego Otladisa, who joined dribbling wizard Joseph Malongoane upfront as the away side looked to pile pressure on the hosts.

Bahlabane Ba Ntwa played long balls and set-pieces into the Black Dolphins’ box and they managed to snatch a late equalising goal in stoppage time. 

A long ball was played into the Vita Club box which the hosts failed to clear and Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo pounced and scored with a header at the far post in stoppage time.

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The goal ensured that the encounter ended in 1-1 draw and it was Gallants, who advanced to the play-off round of Africa’s secondary club competition.

Gallants, who are making their debut appearance in Caf competitions, and the other 15 winners on aggregate will be joined by the 16 losing teams from the Champions League second round.

The 16 winners from the Confederation Cup play-off round will advance to the group stage. 

Caf Confederation Cup: '10,000 fans allowed to watch Al-Al Ahly Merowe clash' – Gor Mahia

Caf Confederation Cup: ‘10,000 fans allowed to watch Al-Al Ahly Merowe clash’ – Gor Mahia | Goal.com

Goal Kenya.

Up to 10,000 fans will be allowed to attend the Caf Confederation Cup match between Gor Mahia and Al-Ahly Merowe on Sunday, the Football Kenya Federation Premier League side has announced.

It will be the first club game in Kenya that fans will be allowed to attend since they were banned from sporting facilities last year due to the Covid-19 protocols put in place by the state in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Approval

“Up to 10,000 fans would be allowed to watch our second leg of the Caf match against Al-Ahly set for Sunday at Nyayo Stadium after the ministry of health accepted the club’s request and the federation also approved it,” Gor Mahia announced on Friday.

The green light to have the fans at the stadium has come just days after Gor Mahia engaged in their 90th Mashemeji Derby against AFC Leopards. K’Ogalo emerged winners – courtesy of a goal by Boniface Omondi – and registered their 31st Premier League derby win against the rivals.

Although on Tuesday, as Kenya celebrated its Mashujaa Day [the Heroes Day], President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the lifting of the nationwide curfew, but the Ministries of Health and Sports have not given a directive on whether they will soon allow fans to start attending all the matches.

The Premier League started on September 26 and three games have now been played and as was the case with the previous season, no fans have been allowed to watch those games.

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, who have had to struggle with financial issues, have often been at the forefront calling for the stadium ban to be lifted as their fans’ contributions – via matchday tickets – is one of their major sources of money. 

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The 19-times Premier League winners – who were given a bye in the preliminary round will host Al-Ahly Merowe after picking up a 3-1 win in Cairo six days ago.

Samuel Onyango, Benson Omala and Jules Ulimwengu were K’Ogalo’s scorers in an encounter they had to fight back after going behind in the first half.

Tusker are Kenya’s representatives in the Caf Champions League and faced Egypt’s Premier League champions on October 16 without fans.

Goal Ultimate 11 powered by FIFA 22 | Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper!

Goal Ultimate 11 powered by FIFA 22 | Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper! | Goal.com

Goal’s readers are impressed by the German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as he was voted as the “best GK in the world” beating out top opponents to cement his position in the Goal’s Top eleven powered by FIFA 22 as we attempt to identify who you think are the best footballers around the world.

Manuel Neuer received 34% of the total votes, or approximately 3,865 votes, surpassing that of Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who received 28% of the total votes, or 28,936 votes.

In third place came Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who received 1,591 votes, or 14% of the votes.

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Fourth place went to Jan Oblak, who received 1,477 votes, or 14% of the votes, while German Mark Andre ter Stegen, who received 1,250 votes, or 11%, came in fifth place.

Wait for us next Monday in the right-back center vote. 

Orlando Pirates coach Ncikazi joins Mamelodi Sundowns' Mokwena in questioning Bafana Bafana and Broos

Orlando Pirates coach Ncikazi joins Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mokwena in questioning Bafana Bafana and Broos | Goal.com

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Orlando Pirates co-interim head coach Mandla Ncikazi says there is a communication problem between PSL coaches and the Bafana Bafana technical team.

This comes after Vincent Pule picked up an injury while on national duty for South Africa ahead of their two clashes against Ethiopia in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers earlier this month and the Pirates winger has since been ruled out of action to up to 12 weeks. 

While Bafana head coach Hugo Broos substituted Tshegofatso Mabasa just 35 minutes into their first match against Ethiopia in Bahir Dar as he felt that the Pirates striker was ineffective and he has since struggled to score goals for the Soweto giants. 

Ncikazi has joined Rhulani Mokwena in questioning Broos as the Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach blamed the national team after several Masandawana players picked up injuries while in the Bafana camp.

“The issue of communication with PSL coaches and national team, I don’t want to repeat what has been said by other coaches, but the fact that problems that other clubs are mentioning are also happening at our club just shows you that things are not done correctly,” Ncikazi told the media.

“I’ll give you an example of the previous coach where I was. I met him personally because he came to training to watch our team training session. He discussed things with the technical team and he addressed the players on his expectations.

“I would have expected that the same will continue, but to be honest it has never happened for whatever reason. It becomes very difficult, I have tried to communicate with some members but it should not be done that way.

“It should not be in isolation where a coach from one club must try and connect with the national coach because the structure must inform what are the expectations of the national coach from coaches.”

Ncikazi, who is working alongside fellow Pirates co-interim head coach Fadlu Davids, stressed that there should be a mutual understanding between Bafana and PSL clubs in order for players to avoid injuries.

“It is an area that needs to be ironed out because it will lessen the problems we have currently in terms of injuries of players,” he added. 

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“To give you an example, if we were having a loading session today and one of our players is selected to the national team tomorrow and they have a loading, already on that one, there is a risk of injuries.

“A better understanding and communication between the two parties will help the national team and will also help the clubs so that when our players come back from the national team they are still useful to the team. I think that is highly important but that’s not happening currently.”

Pirates are set to face Congo-Brazzaville side Diables Noirs in the Caf Confederation Cup second round second-leg clash on Sunday.

Orlando Pirates coach Ncikazi joins Mamelodi Sundowns' Mokwena in questioning Bafana Bafana and Broos

Orlando Pirates coach Ncikazi joins Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mokwena in questioning Bafana Bafana and Broos | Goal.com

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Orlando Pirates co-interim head coach Mandla Ncikazi says there is a communication problem between PSL coaches and the Bafana Bafana technical team.

This comes after Vincent Pule picked up an injury while on national duty for South Africa ahead of their two clashes against Ethiopia in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers earlier this month and the Pirates winger has since been ruled out of action to up to 12 weeks. 

While Bafana head coach Hugo Broos substituted Tshegofatso Mabasa just 35 minutes into their first match against Ethiopia in Bahir Dar as he felt that the Pirates striker was ineffective and he has since struggled to score goals for the Soweto giants. 

Ncikazi has joined Rhulani Mokwena in questioning Broos as the Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach blamed the national team after several Masandawana players picked up injuries while in the Bafana camp.

“The issue of communication with PSL coaches and national team, I don’t want to repeat what has been said by other coaches, but the fact that problems that other clubs are mentioning are also happening at our club just shows you that things are not done correctly,” Ncikazi told the media.

“I’ll give you an example of the previous coach where I was. I met him personally because he came to training to watch our team training session. He discussed things with the technical team and he addressed the players on his expectations.

“I would have expected that the same will continue, but to be honest it has never happened for whatever reason. It becomes very difficult, I have tried to communicate with some members but it should not be done that way.

“It should not be in isolation where a coach from one club must try and connect with the national coach because the structure must inform what are the expectations of the national coach from coaches.”

Ncikazi, who is working alongside fellow Pirates co-interim head coach Fadlu Davids, stressed that there should be a mutual understanding between Bafana and PSL clubs in order for players to avoid injuries.

“It is an area that needs to be ironed out because it will lessen the problems we have currently in terms of injuries of players,” he added. 

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“To give you an example, if we were having a loading session today and one of our players is selected to the national team tomorrow and they have a loading, already on that one, there is a risk of injuries.

“A better understanding and communication between the two parties will help the national team and will also help the clubs so that when our players come back from the national team they are still useful to the team. I think that is highly important but that’s not happening currently.”

Pirates are set to face Congo-Brazzaville side Diables Noirs in the Caf Confederation Cup second round second-leg clash on Sunday.

Dominate Kaizer Chiefs, that's SuperSport United's target – Ronwen Williams

Dominate Kaizer Chiefs, that’s SuperSport United’s target – Ronwen Williams | Goal.com

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SuperSport United captain Ronwen Williams says they aim to “dominate” their upcoming clash with Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.

Matsatsantsa are set to welcome Amakhosi at Lucas Moripe Stadium as they look to maintain their unbeaten start to the current PSL campaign.

Chiefs have failed to defeat SuperSport in their last five meetings, but Willians insisted that previous results count for nothing. 

“The records don’t bother me at all. Every game is different – different players and approach,” Williams told the media. 

“But in saying that, it is our home game and we have done well. Last year we lost one game to Golden Arrows at home and we want to keep that going.

“We want to make it a fortress and this season we have kept that good momentum going at home, and that’s the main thing for us – to go out there and dominate.”

Amakhosi are coming into this clash oozing win confidence having thumped Chippa United 4-0 with Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly (brace) scoring for the Soweto giants.

Williams indicated that they have studied the Glamour Boys and that they need to find a way to keep Dolly and Khama Billiat quiet.

“Dolly and Billiat have come alive in the last few weeks, so it is not going to be easy but we are going out there to fight,” he said.

“We will stick to our game plan. We prepared well and we watched their game plan and analysed them. So it is going to be a tough one and a game of small margins.”

The accomplished goalkeeper lauded Chiefs mentor Stuart Baxter as a wonderful coach having worked with him at both SuperSport and Bafana Bafana.

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“It is always going to be a dangerous game. Chiefs are still one of the biggest teams in the country and have a wonderful coach,” he added. 

“I know him very well and it is not going to be easy. They are going to come out there and fight.”

SuperSport are currently placed second on the PSL standings – four points behind leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns, who will be in Caf Champions League action this weekend. 

'SuperSport United have to go out there and dominate Kaizer Chiefs' – Williams

‘SuperSport United have to go out there and dominate Kaizer Chiefs’ – Williams | Goal.com

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SuperSport United captain Ronwen Williams says they aim to dominate their upcoming clash with Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.

Matsatsantsa are set to welcome Amakhosi at Lucas Moripe Stadium as they look to maintain their unbeaten start to the current PSL campaign.

Chiefs have failed to defeat SuperSport in their last five meetings, but Willians insisted that previous results count for nothing. 

“The records don’t bother me at all. Every game is different – different players and approach,” Williams told the media. 

“But in saying that, it is our home game and we have done well. Last year we lost one game to Golden Arrows at home and we want to keep that going.

“We want to make it a fortress and this season we have kept that good momentum going at home, and that’s the main thing for us – to go out there and dominate.”

Amakhosi are coming into this clash oozing win confidence having thumped Chippa United 4-0 with Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly (brace) scoring for the Soweto giants.

Williams indicated that they have studied the Glamour Boys and that they need to find a way to keep Dolly and Khama Billiat quiet.

“Dolly and Billiat have come alive in the last few weeks, so it is not going to be easy but we are going out there to fight,” he said.

“We will stick to our game plan. We prepared well and we watched their game plan and analysed them. So it is going to be a tough one and a game of small margins.”

The accomplished goalkeeper lauded Chiefs mentor Stuart Baxter as a wonderful coach having worked with him at both SuperSport and Bafana Bafana.

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“It is always going to be a dangerous game. Chiefs are still one of the biggest teams in the country and have a wonderful coach,” he added. 

“I know him very well and it is not going to be easy. They are going to come out there and fight.”

SuperSport are currently placed second on the PSL standings – four points behind leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns, who will be in Caf Champions League action this weekend. 

North Africa vs West Africa: Who's made bigger Premier League contribution?

North Africa vs West Africa: Who’s made bigger Prem contribution? | Goal.com

Goal/Getty

Having matched Didier Drogba’s African record for goals in the Premier League last weekend, Mohamed Salah now looks set to eclipse it when Liverpool travel to Manchester United on Sunday.

If it now seems inevitable, it is for two reasons.

The first is the simple fact of the Egyptian’s form, and the stratospheric level he is now regularly operating at.

Watching Salah now seems like scampering down the stairs on Christmas morning to check under the tree: there are guaranteed to be treats waiting, some measure of wizardry with which to delight and thrill. It is a wondrous state for a player to be in, and even more so when he knows it himself like the 29-year-old clearly does.

The second is that, in scoring on the Reds’ visit to Old Trafford last season, Salah emphatically ended a personal league hoodoo in away matches against the Red Devils. In hindsight, it looks rather silly, but at the time his poor record in the fixture was a major talking point.

That lingering doubt now dispelled, the stage seems set.

Whenever he does hit 105 however, it will be significant in an even broader context than attaining the record.

As far as African imports go, the Premier League has, since inception, tended to provide the perfect stomping ground for West African players.

This is borne out by the rest of the African goalscorer top five – all are native to countries from that one region – but even beyond the forwards, it is footballers from West Africa that have fitted in most readily.

Think the likes of Michael Essien, Yaya Toure, Joseph Yobo, Kolo Toure, Abdoulaye Meite and Mikel John Obi, to name very few.

The reason for this is two-fold – both cultural and economic.

The Premier League has always prided itself on a hard, fast playing style based around physicality. As an idea, this is very much in keeping with the basis of football in West Africa; broadly speaking, North African football has been defined more by its technical aspects (in part due to proximity to Europe), while in East and Southern Africa football is not quite as popular, and lower population densities do not foster the sort of fierce competitive outlook that is found in West Africans.

Similarly, socio-economic factors come into play, especially in contrast to North African nations.

With corruption and a lack of infrastructure undermining local leagues in West Africa, those nations are compelled to export their talent for development.

As a result, there is a clear disparity both in quality and financial muscle between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa in the club game and, as an extension of this dynamic, less of an imperative on North African players to seek transfers to Europe.

This has fed into an insularity that has to this point limited the footprint of that region in the Premier League. Colonial and migratory patterns have seen players of Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian descent proliferate in France, but the Premier League has mostly remained under-explored territory.

There have been exceptions of course.

Noureddine Naybet had a brief but well-reviewed stint with Tottenham, Mustapha Hadji became a Coventry icon on the back of five years, Mido’s headstrong ways gave many English managers conniptions for close to a decade and Radhi Jaidi was a crucial part of Sam Allardyce’s muscular Bolton Wanderers outfit in the mid-noughties.

However, these names pale in comparison, both in terms of longevity and success, to some of the stalwarts from West Africa who have graced the Premier League – the list of Nigerians alone almost comfortably outstrips that of all the North African nations put together, and that’s not just in terms of quantity.

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The trend is starting to turn, however.

This is especially so in the past half-decade: Riyad Mahrez has won multiple Premier League titles with Leicester City and Manchester City, Ahmed Elmohamady has been a part of the furniture at Aston Villa since 2017 (and at Sunderland and Hull City for even longer) and Mohamed Elneny has been at Arsenal since 2015, claiming multiple FA Cups.

Salah eclipsing Drogba’s record would not only confirm this sea change but would also signpost the Premier League as a prime destination for the next wave of North African footballing talent.

Caf Champions League: AmaZulu will produce ‘something magical’ against TP Mazembe – McCarthy

Caf Champions League: AmaZulu will produce ‘something magical’ against TP Mazembe – McCarthy | Goal.com

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AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy is confident they will produce “something magical” against Tout Puissant Mazembe and reach the group stage of the Caf Champions League.

Usuthu have already landed in Lubumbashi for the first round fixture having battled to a 0-0 draw in the first leg at Moses Mabhida Stadium on October 15.

Ahead of their second leg at Stade TP Mazembe on Saturday, the former Bafana striker has warned the Democratic Republic of Congo giants they have what it takes to do “something magical” and qualify for the group stage for the first time in the club’s history.

‘We can produce something magical’

“After our win against TS Galaxy we shift our focus to the game against TP Mazembe and we go there hoping not to lose so we can get into the group stage of the competition,” the 43-year-old told the media.

“It is Champions League and we are one match away from qualifying to the group stage for the first time in club’s history, so I am excited and also nervous at the same time because we know, they have won the Champions League five times, they have good pedigree but we can go there and get the result we want.

“We did not get the result we wanted from the first meeting but we have a chance when we play them away, we can go there and bring home a good result, we have a chance to go and do something special, something magical that has never been done by AmaZulu in the club’s history.

“So I think we are still in the game, we will give our best, we know what to expect and what we need to do and we are ready to battle and open another chapter.”

‘We won’t give them respect’

His sentiments come after forward Augustine Mulenga warned Mazembe they will fight from the first whistle so as to get a positive result.

“I think we can look back TP [Mazembe] is a big club with a big history in the African continent and on Saturday I am sure we will go there and fight,” Mulenga told Goal.

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“We give them respect but this time we won’t give them respect because we also want to get a win and proceed to the group stage of the competition and I am sure the game is not going to be easy for us, it is going to be tough but we must work extra hard from the first whistle until the end.

“I am sure the game we played on Tuesday gave us a bit of a boost for Saturday’s game because winning away from home is not easy.

“We showed the character from the first whistle until the end and I am sure everyone who is here in Congo is looking forward to giving his best so that we can beat Mazembe on Saturday.”

‘Super Falcons comes first’ – Red-hot Oshoala unruffled over international goal drought

‘Super Falcons comes first’ – Red-hot Oshoala unruffled over international goal drought | Goal.com

Victor Adigun

Asisat Oshoala claims personal achievements are immaterial as long as the Nigerian women’s national team keep winning.

The Barcelona goal machine has been in grand form in the 2021-22 campaign – scoring nine times in her last eight fixtures for the Spaniards in all competition.

Despite her industry on the international scene, she has been unable to re-enact her Barcelona scoring form for the nine-time African champions, with her last Nigeria goals coming against Equatorial Guinea in February.

Against the Nzalang Femenino, Oshoala found the net on four occasions in the Super Falcons’ 9-0 in a Turkish Women’s Cup outing.

The 27-year-old’s inability to score against Ghana in Wednesday’s Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualification in Lagos extended her international drought to six games.

Regardless, the former Liverpool and Arsenal star states the goals would come, insisting that victory for Randy Waldrum’s squad supersedes her individual aspirations.

“To be honest, I understand the emotion and everything that come from the fans,” Oshoala told Goal.

“It’s a beautiful thing that women’s football today is getting more attention to the point that the fans are expecting certain things from certain players.

“I am really happy about that but also, I need everyone to understand that sometimes in football, the team comes first, and individual feat can come in later.

“What delights me is the fact that we defeated Ghana and the fact that we will play the return leg with more confidence. Who says I can’t score in Ghana?

“To my fans who expected me to score in the first leg, I am sorry I didn’t give you guys goals, but I still have many games to play for the Super Falcons.”

Uchenna Kanu’s brace powered Nigeria to a 2-0 win over the Black Queens at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos.

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Expectedly, Oshoala will shoulder the Falcons’ goalscoring responsibilities when they take on Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo’s women in the reverse fixture on Sunday.

The winners on aggregate will square up against Niger Republic or Cote d’Ivoire in the second round.

Morocco 2022 will be used to determine Africa’s qualifiers for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup billed for Australia and New Zealand.