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.

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.

'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. 

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. 

Gerrard to Aribo: 'You are better player when you play angry for Rangers'

Gerrard to Aribo: ‘You are better player when you play angry for Rangers’ | Goal.com

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Rangers coach Steven Gerrard has lauded Nigeria international Joe Aribo for his display in the 2-0 win over Brondby in the Europa League at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on Thursday night.

The hosts needed just 18 minutes to open the scoring through another Nigeria international Leon Balogun, who converted a precise James Tavernier corner-kick.

With 30 minutes on the clock, Kemar Roofe scored the second to ensure the Scottish champions won comfortably.

But it was Aribo’s performance that caught the eye of the Liverpool legend owing to his impact in the match.

“I never said stand up and be counted, I think he always gives you that. He is a great kid, he wants to learn, he wants to grow,” Gerrard told BT Sport as quoted by All Nigeria Soccer.

“What I have said to Joe [Aribo] is you are a much better player when you play angry in a nice way, flex your muscles. 

“I thought his first 45-minute performance [on Thursday night] was outstanding, that is probably the reason why he tired a little bit, but he has played a lot.”

In the previous week, the midfielder was part of the Super Eagles squad that played the Central African Republic in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

After a shock 1-0 loss at home, Nigeria went on to win the second meeting 2-0 to maintain Group C’s top spot.

Meanwhile, the Rangers manager believes it will be tough to continue having the player with that quality.

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“He has been away on international duty but if he can find that performance consistently over 90 minutes, we will be lucky to keep hold of him,” Gerrard concluded.

After their recent win, Rangers are now placed third in Group A with three points, six fewer than French heavyweights Lyon who have won all three their matches. 

Sparta Prague are second with four points after a win, draw and loss while Brondby are bottom of the table with just one point after a draw and two losses.

Osimhen equals Mertens' Napoli record with goal in Legia Warsaw thrashing

Osimhen equals Mertens’ Napoli record with goal in Legia Warsaw thrashing | Goal.com

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Victor Osimhen has become the second Napoli player to score in three straight games in a European competition in the 21st century after Dries Mertens.

Osimhen scored Napoli’s second goal in their 3-0 thrashing of Legia Warsaw in a Uefa Europa League game on Thursday.

The 22-year-old started the encounter on the bench and he was introduced for Hirving Lozano, just before the hour-mark.

Both teams were tied for the majority of the game but Lorenzo Insigne broke the deadlock for Napoli in the 76th minute and his Nigerian teammate  doubled the lead, four minutes later.

Another substitute Kostas Manolas also registered his name on the scoresheet, five minutes into the stoppage-time.

Osimhen has now scored four goals in three Europa League matches this campaign and he also has a tally of five goals after seven league appearances for the Serie A leaders.

The former Lille talisman is the second-highest scoring player in the Europa League this season alongside Leicester City’s Patson Daka who scored four goals in a game after Cameroon’s Karl Toko Ekambi who has five goals for Lyon so far.

Senegal defender and captain Kalidou Koulibaly produced a solid defensive performance that helped the Parthenopeans keep a clean sheet and grab their first group win.

The Serie A leaders surged to the summit of Group C with four points after three matches but Legia Warsaw remain unmoved at the top of the table, despite the loss.

At the end of the match, Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti urged his players to maintain the performance they showed at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

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“Forward we have talented players and we know that the goal can always come,” Spalletti told the club’s website. “But we must always keep balance during the game so that we can then have the possibility of looking for success until the end.

“The intelligence of my men is fundamental. When a player plays for others, he knows that he himself can benefit. This group had a desire for redemption after last year and is proving its worth.

“We are all playing for the same goal and we want to lead the way in Europe. We need to win the next few races to be able to aim for first place in the group.”

Nigeria defender Balogun scores maiden Europa League goal in Rangers win

Nigeria defender Balogun scores maiden Europa League goal in Rangers win | Goal.com

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Leon Balogun scored his first Uefa Europa League goal in Rangers’ 2-0 triumph over Brondby on Thursday night.

Balogun’s breakthrough in the European competition came just a few days after he broke his international duck for Nigeria in a 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central African Republic.

The Super Eagles centre-back started the game alongside his compatriot Joe Aribo and they ensured Steven Gerrard’s side get their Europa League campaign up and running with a crucial home victory.

In the 18th minute, Balogun rose highest to find the back of the net with James Tavernier’s cross, and it was also his first goal for the Gers in a competitive fixture since he joined them on a permanent deal in July 2020.

Shortly after the opening goal, Kemar Roofe made it 2-0 with his 30th-minute goal that sealed maximum points for the hosts at Ibrox Stadium.

The two teams struggled to find the back of the net after the restart but Balogun was replaced by new Super Eagles invitee Calvin Bassey in the 64th minute while Zambia striker Fashion Sakala replaced Alfredo Morelos in the 71st minute.

Balogun made his first appearance in the Europa League back in November 2016 when he was at Mainz 05 and the encounter ended in a 6-1 loss to Anderlecht.

The victory came as a relief for Rangers after they lost their first two matches to Lyon and Sparta Prague.

Steven Gerrard’s men are now third in Group A table with three points after three matches. In the other group fixture, 10-man Lyon edged Sparta Prague in a seven-goal thriller.

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Cameroon striker Karl Toko Ekambi scored a brace as the Ligue 1 club extended their perfect run and dominance in Group A with a 4-3 away win.

Luka Haraslin’s first-half double gave the hosts a bright start but Toko Ekambi found the back of the net in each half to secure maximum points for Peter Bosz’s side.

Lyon ended the encounter with 10 men after Malo Gusto received a second yellow card in the 74th minute but it did not deter them from leading Group A after gathering nine points from three games while Sparta Prague are second with four points.

Samatta hurts parent club Fenerbahce with goal in Royal Antwerp draw

Samatta hurts parent club Fenerbahce with goal in Royal Antwerp draw | Goal.com

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Mbwana Samatta scored the opening goal for Royal Antwerp in their 2-2 draw against his former club Fenerbahce in a Uefa Europa League encounter.

The former Genk striker returned to Belgium on a season-long loan in August after finding it difficult to impress in Vítor Pereira’s team.

Samatta has struggled to get goals in the Belgian First Division A this campaign and he is currently enduring a six-game goal drought, however, his form in the European championship has been inspirational for Royal Antwerp.

He has scored two goals in three Europa League matches so far, the first one came in their 2-1 loss to Olympiakos on September 16.

On Thursday, Samatta got the Belgian visitors off to a flying start at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium with his early goal in the opening two minutes.

The Tanzania star’s opener was also a disappointing record for Fenerbahce, being the earliest goal they ever conceded in the Europa League history (1:48).

It did not take long for Pereira’s team to respond as Ennner Valencia grabbed the equaliser in the 20th minute.

After missing a penalty in the 36th minute, Valencia made up for it by putting Fenerbahce in the lead after converting from the spot on the stroke of half-time.

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After the restart, Pieter Gerkens ensured both teams shared the spoils with his 62nd-minute equalizer for Antwerp.

Samatta played the entire duration for the Belgian club while Nigeria’s Alhassan Yusuf saw 63 minutes of action before his substitution.

Fenerbahce, on the other hand, had Anglo-Nigerian Bright Osayi-Samuel and DR Congo international Marcel Tisserand in action from start to finish.