Local News - Issue 202

Orlando Pirates striker Lehlohonolo Majoro has been given a few days off to recover from injuries sustained during his car accident on Saturday. ‘Major’ was involved in a massive crash on his way to Pretoria to watch the Buccaneers in action against SuperSport United on Saturday. Majoro sustained minor injuries to his head, where he received a few stitches, and was expected back at training on Wednesday.  Pirates’ next match is against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup on Saturday. Majoro is a second Pirates player involved in a car accident after Rooi Mahamutsa survived a horror crash in Johannesburg last month. And earlier this week former Buccaneer Thulasizwe Mbuyane was in a bad accident, while another ex-Pirates player, Andile Jali, was involved in a fatal accident last month.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has reaffirmed the club’s participation in this year's CAF Confederation Cup. Kaizer Chiefs have chosen Dobsonville Stadium as the venue for their clash against ASEC Mimosas on April 20. After being knocked out of the CAF Champions League, Chiefs, as is the norm for teams knocked out in the third round of the premium competition, have to now play in the Confederation Cup for a place in the last eight of the competition. The eight winners of the play-off matches will go into the CAF Confederation Cup last eight group stages, consisting of two groups. - Full Story via Kickoff

Orlando Pirates fullback Thabo Matlaba started full training on Wednesday after recovering from an ankle injury. The South Africa international sustained the knock in the 1-0 loss to Mpumalanga Black Aces, and consequently missed this past weekend's defeat to SuperSport United. Pirates next face Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals at Loftus Stadium on Saturday. In other team news, winger Tlou Segolela picked up a slight thigh complaint against Matsatsantsa but he says it's nothing serious. “I got the knock in the first few minutes of the game, but it is not bad. I should be fine in the next few days,” Segolela told Bucs' official website.

Mamelodi Sundowns fullback Mzikayise Mashaba is set to make a speedy return after suffering a gash to his leg in the 1-0 win over title rivals Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend. Mashaba, who was forced off just before the break against Chiefs, had a scan - which confirmed no serious damage."He suffered an open wound, he went for an X-ray which came back fine, it's not cracked," says Downs official Thulani Thuswa. - Full Story via Kickoff

Former youth international midfielder Cyril Mashego's impressive showing at FC Cape Town has attracted the interest of several PSL clubs with Mamelodi Sundowns closely monitoring the 22 year-old. Sundowns have even sent its scouts to follow up on the performance of Mashego with Sundowns official Floyd Mogale having been spotted at FC Cape Town’s game this past weekend. Mashego – an Orlando Pirates development product – briefly played for Chippa United last season on-loan from The Bucs and joined FC Cape Town at the beginning of the year after being handed his clearance by Pirates. Also following on the progress of Mashego is Ajax Cape Town along with Chippa United. - Full Story via Kickoff

Chippa United players are already expected to be rewarded for their thrilling push for the National First Division crown, but other than being rewarded for being League Champions and clawing their way back to the Premiership, there could be more rewards on offer for the players. United closed in on their bid to secure automatic promotion to the Premiership after a hard fought 1-0 win over Black Leopards on Friday evening and are now ten-points clear at the top of the log, needing only three-points from their four remaining matches to secure promotion. - Full Story via Kickoff

The Chippa United chairman Chippa Mpengesi announced that they will keep coach Vladislav Heric next season. Mpengesi says that they have already started preparations for the new season. "We are retaining the coach," says Mpengesi. "The good thing this time around is that we have enough time to prepare for the Premiership. We won’t make the same mistakes that we made last time," he adds

Bafana Bafana have added one more international friendly to their schedule for next month. First South Africa’s senior men’s team will play Australia in Sydney on May 26 before taking on New Zealand with the date set to be confirmed. Bafana won the last match between the two countries with Bernard Parker scoring both goals for Bafana to win 2-0 during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in Rustenburg.

Rowen Fernandez is set to leave SuperSport United at the end of the season. The former Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs man has found game-time tough to come by in the past two seasons following the emergence of Ronwen Williams. Fernandez’s contract at the club expires at the end of the season and he says he is considering his options at the moment. “My contract expires in June, so I’m looking at some options for next season,” he says. “I would still like to play for a few seasons … my body still feels good!” - Full Story via Kickoff

SuperSport United striker Mame Niang is hoping to bounce back into action soon after suffering an elbow injury against Maritzburg United last week. Niang collided with United defender Mohammed Awal in their 3-1 defeat, and Awal later received a few stitches on his head following the collision. However, the Senegalese striker says that his injury is not serious despite missing the league game against Orlando Pirates in Tshwane on Saturday. "I went for a scan and there is no major injury. I should be out for at least one week," said Niang.

Kinnah Phiri insists he calls the shots at Free State Stars after he and Mark Harrison were seen to be giving instructions simultaneously during the match against AmaZulu on the weekend. Ea Lla Koto lost 2-1 on Saturday, with on-loan striker Richard Henyekane scoring a late consolation after goals from Usuthu's Ayanda Dlamini and Ruzaigh Gamildien at Moses Mabhida Stadium. "I think you should know better now that you were following up the whole progress and the whole arrangement," Stars head coach Phiri said when quizzed on his assistant Harrison's role in Bethlehem. "I don't have to answer that. Instructions from the bench are controlled by the coach. If I'm sitting down, I will tell my assistant to talk to the players. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bidvest Wits' U-17 side beat their Kaizer Chiefs counterparts 3-0 on Sunday to claim Safa U-17 National Championship honours at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto. Thato Tsibolane, Peter Frosler and second-half substitute Khuzulwandile Vilakazi got the goals for the Charles Yohane-coached Students outfit. - Full Story via Kickoff

African football is fast reaching the new frontiers, CAF vice-president and COSAFA president Suketu Patel has proclaimed. Speaking at the Closing Ceremony of the three-day FIFA seminar at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg today, Patel said football is teamwork and the seminar which brought together 28 CAF association presidents, secretary-generals and technical directors was a massive success. “This was a ground-breaking workshop as it brought together the political, administration and technical aspects of the game in one room. There was enormous networking and plotting the way forward for African football,” Patel said. - Full Story via Sowetan

Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw is happy to have a full complement of players in camp as they step up preparations ahead of the international friendly against Zimbabwe at Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday. Pauw has called-up 31 players following the selection camp that took place two weeks ago as she looks to put together a strong squad for the CAF African Women’s Championships scheduled for Windhoek in October. - Full Story via IOL Sport

Mpumalanga Black Aces forward Thulasizwe Mbuyane says he does not remember how his car accident happened but assured fans that he is not seriously hurt. Mbuyane, who suffers from epilepsy, crashed his vehicle near the corner of Pomona Road and Koppie Avenue on the East Rand when travelling from his parents' home in Pretoria to his place in Kempton Park. The 30-year-old was then admitted to Arwyp Hospital for overnight observation. - Full Story via Kickoff

AmaZulu centre-forward Bongani Ndulula is happy to stay at club beyond the expiry of his contract at the end of June this year. The striker, who has scored some vital goals for the Durban side this season and most notably in a KZN derby against Maritzburg United, wants to extend his stay at the club. "I want to stay here for as long as I would love as I have an option on my contract and the club has been fantastic to me. I want to repay the faith that has been put in me by the coach," Ndulula said. - Full Story via Kickoff

Nike Chance Global Finalist Kurt Pienaar is currently training with the Kaizer Chiefs reserve side. Pienaar narrowly missed out on a spot at the Nike Academy last month, after being selected amongst the five Nike Chance Africa winners who travelled to Birmingham for the global showpiece. The 19-year-old midfielder is now keeping fit at Naturena in hopes of attracting interest in the PSL. - Full Story via Kickoff

German Bundesliga club Hannover 96 have joined the race to sign Bafana Bafana defender Anele Ngcongca. Hannover’s interest in Ngcongca comes soon after media reports suggesting that Turkish giants Galatasaray want to sign the defender from his Belgium side Genk ahead of next season. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mpumalanga Black Aces midfielder Themba Zwane has set his sights on a move abroad. The 24-year-old, who is on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns, has been a revelation as AmaZayoni have defied the pre-season predictions to shoot up to fifth in the standings. Zwane, who Aces coach Clive Barker has likened to Doctor Khumalo in his heyday, admits he doesn’t know what will happen when the loan deal expires. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m hopeful of an overseas move,” he said. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune will undergo a diversion programme after the state withdrew charges of reckless driving against him. ‘Spiderkid’ was caught doing 173km/h in a 120km/h zone in Centurion in January and, after three postponements, a verdict was finally delivered in the Lyttelton Magistrate’s Court. “We confirm that the charges have been withdrawn,” his lawyer William Maodi said. “Mr Khune will be administered to a diversion programme which will include him doing hours directed to community service and road safety awareness campaigns.”

Chippa United striker George Akpabio's fine performances for the Chilli Boys have earned him the option to return to Ajax Cape Town next season. Akpabio is on loan from Ajax Cape Town and his contract with his parent club is set to expire at the end of the season. Urban Warriors coach Roger de Sa says that the club has an option to renew his contract, with the player and club set to exercise that option. “I spoke to George and the club has also spoken to him, we want to extend our deal with George,” said De Sa. “We had an option to extend and we have taken that option.” Akpabio has played an instrumental part in Chippa's quest to return to the Premiership, helping them to move within three points of automatic promotion. - Full Story via Kickoff

SA players abroad:
Ngcongca scored his first goal of the season to help his Belgian side to a 1-1 draw with Ayanda Patosi’s Lokeren in the championship playoffs. Both Bafana Bafana stars started the match and in a week in which he was linked with a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray, Ngcongca stole the headlines when he equalised at the back post.
Jali took the field as KV Oostende were held to a 0-0 draw by Waasland-Beveren in the UEFA Europa League playoffs. The Bafana midfielder played the full 90 minutes.
Furman played in Doncaster's 3-1 loss at home to fellow strugglers Birmingham City. It was his first start since returning from national team duty against Brazil over a month ago.
Kagisho Dikgacoi starred for Crystal Palace as they took a giant step towards English Premiership safety with a 3-0 win at fellow strugglers Cardiff City. Palace are now seven points above the drop-zone and have a game in hand.
Tokelo Rantie was an unused substitute but Andrew Surman started as Bournemouth kept their hopes of reaching the English Championship promotion playoffs with a 2-1 home win over QPR – The Cherries’ fourth win in a row. They remain five points behind Reading in the last promotion place with six matches to play in the regular season.
Darren Keet’s Kortrijk were held to a 1-1 draw by Sporting Charleroi in the other playoff pool.
Phakase Mngadi stayed on course for promotion from the Belgian second-tier when his side Eupen thumped Excelsior Virton 4-0. Mngadi was replaced in the second half, while Ntuthuko Radebe did not play at all.
Mark Mayambela was replaced a minute before halftime with injury during Djurgarden’s 3-0 win at home to Halmstad in the Swedish top-flight on Sunday.
Surprise Ralani missed the opening game of the season for Swedish second-tier side Landskrona through injury as they lost 3-1 at Husqvarna.
Kamohelo Mokotjo did not feature for PEC Zwolle in their 1-0 loss to Groningen after being laid low by an ankle injury, while Thulani Serero also missed Ajax Amsterdam’s 1-1 draw at Vitesse with a slight muscle problem.
Daylon Claasen was a second half substitute as his Polish side Lech Poznan crushed Jagiellonia Bialystok 6-1 to cement second place in the league.
Siyanda Xulu made his first start since November as FC Rostov kept up their fine form with a 2-0 win away at Krasnodar in the Russian Premier League. A run of seven games without defeat has seen Rostov rekindle hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League next season. They currently sit six points off fifth place with five games left to play.