Local News - Issue 204

Chippa Win Promotion To PSL
Chippa United coach Vladislav Heric is on cloud nine after his team won automatic promotion to the Premiership next season. United are back in South Africa's top tier after both Jomo Cosmos and Milano failed to achieve maximum points on Saturday. Cosmos were beaten 2-1 by Thanda Royal Zulu in KwaZulu-Natal while Milano played to a goalless draw against Maluti FET College in the Free State. The Chilli Boys are set to travel to Mpumalanga to face Witbank Spurs but the game is now just a formality as the Cape Town-based club is already back in the big league. - Full Story via Kickoff

The 2014 Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search kicked off to a fantastic start at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Tuesday. This unique football talent search by Nedbank that seeks to unearth the next football heroes of South Africa is back again this year, after being successfully executed across the country in 2013. Aspiring footballers in and around the beautiful province of Limpopo came in droves to the Peter Mokaba Stadium, heeding the call by Nedbank to come and grab the once in a lifetime opportunity to prove that anyone can be extraordinary. - Full Story via Kickoff

A first-half goal from Charlton Basson saw Ajax Cape Town defend their 2014 Metropolitan Under-19 Premier Cup title when they beat Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 on Monday afternoon. Ajax held on for victory as they won their second consecutive Metropolitan Under-19 Premier Cup tournament. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bidvest Wits defender Thomas Sweswe is likely to leave the club at the end of the season. Sweswe has not had any game time at Wits this season due to the foreign quota. The Zimbabwean defender will be released by the Students at the end of the season. "He is one of the players leaving Wits and will not be retained for next season," said a club source. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns have suffered a major blow after midfielder Khama Billiat was ruled out of action for the remainder of the season. Billiat suffered a foot injury during the Nedbank Cup game against Orlando Pirates at Loftus Stadium two weeks ago. The Zimbabwean international suffered the same injury in February this year. Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane confirmed the bad news to Brazilians fans but said he was happy that striker Katlego Mashego was back from injury and now available for selection. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs had the ignominy of being the only side beaten at home in the Play-off Round of the 2014 CAF Confederation Cup at the weekend, though all eight ties remain in the balance. AmaKhosi, fielding a weakened side, lost 2-1 at ‘home’ in Dobsonville to Ivorian side ASEC Abidjan, who will be heavy favourites for the return leg this coming weekend. Goals from Zagbayou Eurand and Boua Koffi Davy – either side of Matthew Rusike's strike – means Chiefs need to score twice in Cote d’Ivoire to advance. And with coach Stuart Baxter likely to send a weakened team again in a competition he has made it clear he has little time for, Chiefs appear to be heading out. - Full Story via Kickoff

The South African U20 Men’s National Team lost 1-0 to Malawi in a practice match played at Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville, Soweto on Saturday. Malawi were using this match to prepare for their U20 World Youth Championships preliminary second leg qualifier against Botswana next weekend. The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw in Malawi. - Full Story via Kickoff

Zimbabwean striker Kuda Musharu is expected to complete his brief trial stint with AmaZulu on Friday in line to return home to feature for his club How Mine this weekend. Musharu has been training with the Durban club for the past week and a half but his trial has been complicated by the fact that Usuthu had to travel to Platinum Stars in mid-week. Gibson Mahachi, the player’s agent, says Musharu is expected back in Zimbabwe this weekend in time to play for his club How Mine who travel to face Chapungu on Sunday. - Full Story via Kickoff

South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan says local football’s controlling body will waste no time in deciding Gordon Igesund’s future. Igesund, who last week was found not guilty of instructing players to go on strike during the African Nations Championship earlier this year and colluding with agents on national team selection, is in the last couple of months of his contract which ends at the end of June. However, Bafana Bafana will be playing in the qualifiers of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations from September to November and with this in mind, Jordaan says the association is well placed to make a quick decision on Igesund’s future. - Full Story via Kickoff

The South African Football Association says it is high time a selection panel is put together to assist the Bafana Bafana coach in team selection. SAFA are now in the process of ensuring that there can never be a way in for agents to influence team selection. The association's president Danny Jordaan explained: "This is a matter that has now been referred to the technical committee to say when it comes to the selection of the national team; there must be a clear selection criteria which must be explained to the coach and agreed upon. - Full Story via Kickoff

Veteran left-back Tsietsi Mahoa could be leaving Bloemfontein Celtic at the end of the season as the club remains silent in committing to a new deal. Mahoa has been at Celtic since 2010 but with management still to initiate any talks regarding a new contract, the 31-year-old appears likely to leave the Free State capital upon the expiry of his current deal. Though he has played the most games of all left-backs at the club this season, Mahoa has this year been substituted in most of the games that he has started, throwing a hint that he is gradually falling out of favour. Mahoa is sitting on a contract that was extended for a further year last season.

Jackson Mabokgwane’s season with Mpumalanga Black Aces is over after suffering a foot injury last week Wednesday. The 26-year-old limped off after 14 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Stadium, with his replacement, Bafana Nhlapo, ending up as Man of the Match. “The injury has been troubling him for the past few weeks,” coach Clive Barker said after the match. “He is set to go for surgery.”Mabokgwane is currently on loan at AmaZayoni from Bidvest Wits.

Orlando Pirates are close to securing the signature of Mame Niang, while Platinum Stars midfielder Issa Sarr has also joined the Soweto club's wishlist. It was revealed last Monday that Pirates are interested in Mame Niang from SuperSport United. The Senegalese striker then surfaced at Orlando Stadium a day later to watch Pirates' win over Maritzburg United, further fuelling reports of his move to Bucs next season. Sarr could be in the black and white colours next season depending on ongoing talks between Dikwena and Pirates. - Full Story via Kickoff

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has confirmed the date, times and venues for the 2013/14 Nedbank Cup Semi-Finals. The first semi-final clash will be between Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday, 03 May 2014. Kick-off is at 15H00. Later that night, KZN-based Maritzburg United will welcome Soweto Giants Orlando Pirates at the Harry Gwala Stadium. Kick-off is at 20H15.
Nedbank Cup Semi-final Fixture List:
Saturday, 03 May 2014
Bidvest Wits vs. Kaizer Chiefs- 15h00 (Bidvest Stadium)
Maritzburg United vs Orlando Pirates- 20h15 (Harry Gwala Stadium)

Latvian defender Ritus Krjauklis has surfaced at FK Spartaks Jurmala in his homeland after quietly cutting ties with Ajax Cape Town. The 27-year-old played eight games for Ajax after joining the club at the start of the season on the recommendation of then-Urban Warriors coach Muhsin Ertugral. However, Krjauklis's future in the Mother City was left in the balance once Ertugral left Ikamva during the Premiership festive break. - Full Story via Kickoff

SA players abroad:
Lebogang Phiri helped his Danish side Brondby take a giant step towards UEFA club competition football next season when he appeared in the 3-1 victory over Sonderjyske on Friday night.
May Mahlangu made a second appearance in four days for Swedish side IFK Goteborg as he works his way back from nine months on the sidelines with an Achilles injury. The Bafana Bafana midfielder came on for the same amount of time in Sunday’s 1-1 draw Kalmar.
Ayanda Nkili started again for Orebro as they let a late lead slip to draw 2-2 with Brommapojkarna, while Mark Mayambela (Djurgarden) and Sive Phekezela (Gefle) were again missing through injury.
Having missed the midweek win at Everton through injury, Kagisho Dikgacoi was back in the Crystal Palace side as they won 1-0 at West Ham United in the English Premiership.
Steven Pienaar was again missing for Everton through injury as they won 2-0 at home to Manchester United to keep pace with Arsenal in the race for fourth place and the UEFA Champions League.
Dean Furman played the full 90 minutes for Doncaster Rovers in the English Championship as they held Millwall to a 0-0 draw. Doncaster remains just a single point above the relegation zone with two matches left to play.
Andrew Surman started and Tokelo Rantie was a second half substitute as Bournemouth’s hopes of reaching the promotion playoffs received a blow as they were held 2-2 by Ipswich. The Cherries are three points off sixth place, but still one of a number of clubs in with a chance of reaching the post-season competition.
Kgosi Ntlhe started for Peterborough United as they won 4-1 at home to Carlisle United. They need just one more win to seal their playoff position.
Anele Ngcongca played for Belgian side Genk as they secured a fine 1-0 win over title-chasing Anderlecht, but remain bottom of the championship playoff table.
Andile Jali made a fourth straight start for KV Oostende as they won 2-0 away at Lierse to stay on course for the UEFA Europa League play-off final in Belgium. Oostende lead their mini-group by four points with two rounds of matches and will take on the top side in the other pool for a place in European club competition next season should they stay at the summit.
Darren Keet, out for the remainder of the season after shoulder surgery, watched from the stands as Kortrijk lost 2-1 at Mechelen to drop to second in their pool.
Ayanda Patosi came off the bench to help Lokeren to a 3-2 victory over Zulte-Waregem in their championship playoff. Lokeren remain fifth after the win.
Sergio Marakis scored a first ever senior goal for Portuguese side Maritimo as they won 3-1 at home to Academica. The Johannesburg-born defensive midfielder was later replaced in the game.
Ricardo Nunes started for Bulgarian side Levski Sofia as they lost 3-1 to city rivals CSKA, but there was no sign of Keegan Ritchie as he was absent from Slavia Prague’s loss in the Czech Republic that has seen them slip into the bottom two.  
Siyanda Xulu remains on the sidelines with an ankle injury at Russian outfit FC Rostov.