Local News - Issue 248



Tinkler Believes Pirates Can Win All Remaining Games
Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Eric Tinkler believes all the Buccaneers remaining 10 league matches are winnable, including the Derby against Kaizer Chiefs next Saturday. “We sat down with the players and I showed them our remaining fixtures,” Tinkler says. “I asked them to tell me; ‘How many points will we collect?’ And every single game that they looked at, I told them to be honest, they needed to be honest about what they felt they can attain. “The 11 games that were left [before playing Polokwane City], they believed we can win every single game. I said to them in order to do that, we need to go game by game. First three points was against Polokwane City, next three points is against Free State Stars [on Wednesday night]. “And then we will start focusing on the Chiefs game,” the former Bafana Bafana midfielder says. “What is important is we keep that consistency from now on. Yes we are going through a good run at the moment, but you become very vulnerable when you are at the top. So it is vitally important to stay focused, to keep on working exceptionally hard and to keep on believing and having a lot of faith. We have that right now.”

Orlando Pirates’ good run of form has enhanced caretaker coach Eric Tinkler’s chances of being offered a long-term contract by club chairman Irvin Khoza. Sources at the club say Tinkler has impressed Khoza since taking over the reins on December 4 following the resignation of former coach Vladimir Vermezovic. Pirates extended their winning streak to five matches on Saturday with a 3–1 victory over Polokwane City in a league match. The Bucs – who are yet to lose a game this year – are now 12 points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who are on 47 points. However, Pirates spokesperson Mickey Modisane says the appointment of a permanent coach is not a pressing concern at the moment.  “The decision that was taken is that Eric continues as the caretaker coach. The issue of a substantive coach will be dealt with at a later stage,” Modisane tells this website. “The focus right now is to make sure that we finish on the highest position possible on the log at the end of the season and also to make sure that we successfully defend the Nedbank Cup. We also want to make sure that we do well in Africa when we take part in the Confederation Cup. This is the focus at the moment,” he added.

Up to eight big-name players are in danger of missing the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on Saturday. Four players from Chiefs and five from Pirates are sitting on three yellow cards, meaning they cannot afford to be booked in their midweek Absa Premiership matches on Wednesday. Siphiwe Tshabalala, Tsepo Masilela, Siboniso Gaxa and Willard Katsande are the players on three yellows for Amakhosi. Kermit Erasmus, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Siyabonga Sangweni, Thabo Qalinge and Mpho Mvelase are the players walking a tightrope on the Buccaneers' side. Chiefs host Ajax Cape Town at FNB Stadium at 19h30 on Wednesday, while Pirates are away at Charles Mopeli Stadium, also at 19h30. Sifiso Myeni is suspended Pirates' game against Ea Lla Koto after picking up his fourth yellow card against Polokwane City, meaning he will be back for the Derby. 

South Africa will meet Botswana in the quarter-finals of the 2015 Cosafa Cup after the draw for the competition to be played in the North West province was made on Thursday. Bafana Bafana will meet The Zebras on May 25, and could yet need to beat one of the powerhouses of the continent if they are to lift the title after Ghana were announced as a guest nation along with Tanzania. Those two gained entry after Angola and Comoros declined their invitations to compete in the regional championship this year. Ghana must wait to know their quarter-final opponent, which will be the winner of Group B that contains Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius and Swaziland. Holders Zambia also face an anxious wait as they will take on the top team in Group A, which could potentially set up a crunch meeting with Zimbabwe, who they have met in the last two tournament finals. The other sides in that pool are Namibia, Lesotho and Tanzania. The fourth quarter-final sees Mozambique play Malawi. The pool phase will begin on May 17 and finish on May 22, with the cup semi-finals to be played on May 24 & 25. There will also be a plate competition for the losing quarter-finalists. Zimbabwe and Zambia have each won the Cosafa Cup on four occasions, with South Africa and Angola the only other teams to have claimed a tournament win. They have three titles each. South Africa’s last win came in 2008.

2015 COSAFA CUP FIXTURES
Group A
17/05 - Namibia vs Zimbabwe
17/05 - Lesotho vs Tanzania
19/05 - Zimbabwe vs Lesotho
19/05 - Namibia vs Tanzania
21/05 - Namibia vs Lesotho
21/05 - Zimbabwe vs Tanzania

Group B
18/05 - Seychelles vs Mauritius
18/05 - Madagascar vs Swaziland
20/05 - Mauritius vs Madagascar
20/05 - Seychelles vs Swaziland
|22/05 - Seychelles vs Madagascar
22/05 - Mauritius vs Swaziland

KNOCKOUT STAGES
Quarter-finals
24/05 - Ghana vs Winner Group B
24/05 - Mozambique vs Malawi
25/05 - Zambia vs Winner Group A
25/05 - South Africa vs Botswana

Platinum Stars have announced the signing of Senegal captain Bouna Coundoul. Coundoul was in the country looking for a PSL club, and revealed he had been shown around Dikwena's premises. The Rustenberg-based outfit are currently trying to secure a work permit for the 32-year-old goalkeeper, who boasts Africa Cup of Nations experience. "It is a privilege for me to have signed with Platinum Stars FC, and looking around I see professionalism," Coundoul is quoted as saying on Dikwena's Twitter account. "The team is run with professionalism, the staff members were welcoming and the environment is so friendly. I was shocked to see the facilities, and was so chuffed. This is like Europe, I tell you. The quality of the facilities is out of this world."

Orlando Pirates’ good run of form has enhanced caretaker coach Eric Tinkler’s chances of being offered a long-term contract by club chairman Irvin Khoza. Sources at the club say Tinkler has impressed Khoza since taking over the reins on December 4 following the resignation of former coach Vladimir Vermezovic. Pirates extended their winning streak to five matches on Saturday with a 3–1 victory over Polokwane City in a league match. The Bucs – who are yet to lose a game this year – are now 12 points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who are on 47 points. However, Pirates spokesperson Mickey Modisane says the appointment of a permanent coach is not a pressing concern at the moment.  “The decision that was taken is that Eric continues as the caretaker coach. The issue of a substantive coach will be dealt with at a later stage,” Modisane tells this website. “The focus right now is to make sure that we finish on the highest position possible on the log at the end of the season and also to make sure that we successfully defend the Nedbank Cup. We also want to make sure that we do well in Africa when we take part in the Confederation Cup. This is the focus at the moment,” he added.

Kaizer Chiefs qualified for the CAF Champions League first round on Saturday with a 3-1 aggregate win against Botswana side Township Rollers. They will now face North African giants and three-time African champions Raja Casablanca, who cruised to a 6-2 aggregate win against Diables Noirs.  Casablanca have lifted the Moroccan Cup seven times, and were league runners-up last year. They are the only Moroccan club to have competed in the Fifa Club World Cup twice – in 2000 they only made it to the group stages, but in 2013 the club ended the competition as runners-up. In African continental competition they have also enjoyed considerable success in their 13 outings, having won the CAF Champions League three times (1989, 1997 and 1999). Despite being the joint fifth-most successful club in the CAF Champions League, Raja have not managed a better finish than the semi-finals since 2005. Coach Jose Romao played as a defender for Guimarães in Portugal’s Primeira Liga, as well as for a number of other clubs in Portugal during a career spanning 14 years.

Sundowns cruised into the next round of the CAF Champions League after a comfortable 3-0 win against St Michel of the Seychelles. A Surprise Moriri brace and a late Katlego Mashego strike means the Brazilians advance 4-1 on aggregate, having drawn 1-1 in the island nation two weeks ago. 

AmaZulu have cleared the air regarding the suspension of Carlington Nyadombo. Usuthu coach Steve Barker announced last week that the Zimbabwean midfielder had been suspended ‘indefinitely’. This followed allegations from some of the club’s fans that Nyadombo was using muti and was to blame for AmaZulu’s poor run. However, Usuthu publicist Philani Mabaso says the suspension had nothing to do with the muti claims, but rather about missing his flights and dishonesty. “The reports that the player is suspended for muti is not true,” Mabaso said. “We suspended the player because he missed a flight for our game against Celtic [which AmaZulu lost 3-0] and for dishonesty.” Mabaso says AmaZulu are yet to set a date for the player to face a disciplinary committee.  

Amajita have been boosted by the availability of PSL trio Dumisani Msibi, Morne Nel and Dumisani Zuma for the upcoming CAF African Youth Championship. SuperSport United's Msibi and Nel, and Zuma of Bloemfontein Celtic, have been released by their clubs after completing their duties in the league on Sunday. Amajita have been drawn with Ghana, Zambia and Mali at the continental tournament, which kicks off in Senegal on March 8.

Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Eric Tinkler has stressed the need for South African clubs to take CAF competitions seriously in the wake of Bidvest Wits' exit from the Confederation Cup. Wits crashed out of the event after an embarrassing penalty shootout defeat to Royal Leopards of Swaziland on Saturday. The Students surrendered a 3-0 lead from the first leg before going down 6-5 from the spot. Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns advanced to the first round of the Champions League on the weekend after winning their respective preliminary round ties. Pirates will start their Confederation Cup campaign against Uganda Revenue Authority on the weekend of March 13-15 after being given a bye. “It is important that all South African teams take it very seriously,” Tinkler said. “I think over these years, we have come to experience that if we can qualify for these type of tournaments. If we can go as far as possible, it not only bodes well for the clubs, but it bodes well for our national teams. I think we will reap the rewards when you look at the Under-17s now reaching the Final. We will reap those rewards in four years' time. Unfortunately sometimes you got to be looking to the future not looking at the present. I think clubs need to do that, they need to look at what they will gain from it, maybe not today, but maybe in a couple of years' time. It's always sad to see Wits go out, I think we would have loved them to continue in the tournament. We didn't have the opportunity to play yet, but I can tell you that we are taking this competition seriously.”

Black Leopards coach Zeca Marques is delighted with the start of his coaching tenure in the National First Division, as he looks to guide the Limpopo-based side back to the top-flight. Leopards are on a four-match win streak since Marques took over at the start of 2015, having scored 14 goals in their four matches thus far this season. “It’s been brilliant,” the former Moroka Swallows coach said, “and a great team effort. Everyone here is working hard, and that’s why we’re getting the results.” Leopards are now up to seventh in the NFD standings, just ten points behind leaders Golden Arrows, and Marques pinpoints their good run to the contribution of all involved at Lidoda Duvha.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter indicated Siyabonga Nkosi could get more game-time after the playmaker netted the winner against Township Rollers in the Champions League. "Siyabonga received important game time today, doing well. His performance has been noticed and it has made him selectable for the upcoming matches," Baxter told Chiefs' official website. Nkosi has made three starts in the League this season, netting once.

Maritzburg United coach Steve Komphela says he is not concerned despite his team’s goalless draw with Free State Stars meaning it is now eight matches in all competitions without a win for the Team of Choice. "If you worry what is going to help you? Worry is no solution in any predicament," Komphela said. "Of course it is a concern but what is important... are you creating chances? Do you see some light at the end of the tunnel? Yes we do, and by our standards, based on what we did in the first 10 matches, we shouldn't [worry] … this is how it is; just deal with it," the coach continued.

Thabo Matlaba says Orlando Pirates will keep believing that they can still catch Kaizer Chiefs at the top of the Absa Premiership standings. With the Soweto Derby coming up next week, Matlaba says it’s important that they stay focused on their goal. The coach told us that we must believe and win all our games,” the left-back said after the game. “Maybe we will catch Chiefs, I don't know, but we have to believe and know that each and every game is important.”

University of Pretoria's reserve side won the inaugural Multichoice Diski Challenge by edging Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 on penalties in the final on Saturday afternoon. The match ended 1-1 in regulation time, with Rheece Evans cancelling out Botshelo Mfulwane's opener for Tuks at the Nike Football Centre in Soweto. Rodney Ramagalela added a second goal for Downs in the 105th minute, but Ngcobo hit back soon after. Earlier Mpumalanga Black Aces claimed bronze by beating SuperSport United 2-1 at the same venue.
Tuks XI: Ngubeni, Nkwana, Kekana, Robertson, Sibande, Nzimande, Motlhatsang, Ketjijere, Mfulwane, Ngcobo, Mathosi.
Downs XI: Ngobeni, Evans, Babile, Zulu, Skippers, Matima, Mbhele, Ngubane, Mokoena, Ntlaba, Tau.

The South Africa Under-17 team went down 2-0 to Mali in the 2015 CAF African Youth Championship Final in Niamey on Sunday night. Amajimbos ended as runners-up, while Guinea claimed third place earlier on Sunday after beating Nigeria 3-1 in the third-place playoff. Coach Molefi Nseki will be proud of his side's achievements and will now turn his attention to preparing the team to compete at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
The South African beach soccer team is gearing up for the Power Horse Beach Soccer African Trophy Durban 2015 from March 6-8. South Africa head coach Brook Ntokozo has been diligently working since being informally introduced to beach soccer in 2003, to build a programme he can be proud of.  At this moment, that is exactly what the coach is feeling. He is the perfect man for the job as he was formally trained, along with other South African players and personnel, by Fifa Instructor and Asian Beach Soccer champion Marcelo Mendes in 2006. The team has come a long way since 2006 and, now, Brook and the team are currently preparing for the Power Horse African Trophy Durban 2015 set to take place from the 6-8 March, which they are hosting and which will give them the chance to take on the best sides in the continent.  Approximately one month later, the South African national side will be fighting for a berth in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015, with the CAF Qualifier taking place in Seychelles. There have been ups-and-downs for South African beach soccer but under the direction of their coach, things look to be pointing up as the 54 million-person country will be united in just a few short weeks, under the umbrella of beach soccer of course. “We are all very excited for this event as we will be forming and showing one culture to the world”, stated Ntokozo as he proudly discussed the bright future for his team and country.  The event will gather eight nations from Africa and will show the world how high the quality of African beach soccer has become. The South African coach believes this is the perfect opportunity to showcase that fact, with the biggest year for beach soccer all over the globe, already under way. Ntokozo continued by saying, “Have I been surprised by the team? Of course, and in a good way. The players from inland, where there are no lakes or an ocean, have really outdone themselves. We invited many of them to our training sessions to spread the word and maybe develop a few but they had great character and skill already.”  That kind of natural ability will help carry South Africa to where it needs to go, especially with the prospect of a national league starting up, which will surely increase awareness and skill sets for players all over the country. Expectations may be high for the 2015 season but the coach wanted the fans to first know, “We are extremely grateful for these opportunities and while we have learned so much since 2006, there is a lot more left to learn and I believe the biggest thing right now is getting the players on the big stage, such as the Power Horse African Trophy.” His team will be the number one seed in the playoff format tournament and they will first take on the eighth seed Seychelles on Friday at 16h45 on Durban's South Beach.

SA team
Goalkeepers: Mojalefa Magabe (MJ), Zuko Mdebelele (Wayen)
Defenders: Fani Shange (Fani), Minenhle Ndlovu (Mokababa), Prince Gumede (Nesta)
Midfielders: Ceaser Maswanganyi (Ceaser), Enerst Mahlaba (Skhalo), Sunnyboy Mahlangu (Darty)
Forwards: Mzwamandla Shazi (Mzwua), Mandlenkosi Mjandane (Power)

Fixtures
6 March              
13h00 Morocco - Côte d'Ivoire
14h15 Senegal - Mozambique
15h30 Nigeria - Ghana
16h45 South Africa - Seychelles
7 March              
13h00 Loser Match 4 - Loser Match 1
14h15 Loser Match 2 - Loser Match 3
15h30 Winner Match 2 - Winner Match 3
16h45 Winner Match 4 - Winner Match 1
8 March
13h00 Winner Match 5 - Loser Match 6
14h15 Winner Match 5 - Winner Match 6
15h30 Loser Match 7 - Loser Match 8
16h45 Final - Winner Match 7 - Winner Match 8

Kaizer Chiefs have wished Amakhosi legends Neil Tovey and John 'Shoes' Moshoeu a speedy recovery from their respective health issues and have since been discharged from hospital. Tovey, 52, suffered a heart-attack on Tuesday, while Moshoeu, 49, was recently hospitalised due to illness. The former Bafana Bafana stars were an integral part of the ‘Class of 96’ which won the Africa Cup of Nations on home soil. “It was with great shock that we heard about the triple heart-attack our Amakhosi legend Neil ‘Mokoko’ Tovey suffered on Tuesday,” Chiefs marketing director Jessica Motaung told the club's website. “We have been in contact with him and we are happy to hear that he’s on the road to recovery. Like Neil, Shoes is a player who we will always respect. They were both fantastic players wearing the gold and black. However, above all, they are great human beings. We also want to wish Shoes strength on his journey to get well soon.”

SA players abroad: Andile Jali made his return from injury, May Mahlangu scored his first goal in Turkey, while Thulani Serero impressed for Ajax Amsterdam on the weekend.
ANDILE JALI
Jali returned to action for Belgian side KV Oostende following injury, coming off the bench with 25 minutes to go in their disappointing 3-0 loss at Westerlo.
MAY MAHLANGU
Mahlangu scored his first goal for new Turkish side Konyaspor as they held giants Fenerbahce to a 1-1 draw. The Bafana Bafana discard netted in the eighth minute.
THULANI SERERO
Serero was again influential for Ajax Amsterdam as they claimed an excellent 3-1 win at runaway league leaders PSV Eindhoven. Probably too late to wrestle back control in the title race though.
DEAN FURMAN
Furman’s Doncaster Rovers moved back into the promotion play-off places in League One as they claimed a 2-0 success against Colchester United, with the Bafana skipper playing the full game.
KAMOHELO MOKOTJO
Mokotjo started for FC Twente as they let a late lead slip at home to struggling NAC Breda for yet another disappointing 1-1 result.
ANELE NGCONGCA
Ngcongca played in a comfortable 2-0 win for Genk at bottom side Lierse that leaves his side outside the top six on goal-difference only with two rounds of the regular season left to play.
TOKELO RANTIE
Rantie came off the bench for the final five minutes but could not help his Bournemouth side to a win as they were held 0-0 by Blackburn Rovers.
AYANDA PATOSI
Patosi could not help Lokeren avoid defeat as the team’s top-six chances suffered a near-fatal blow as they lost 1-0 at rivals Charleroi.
KGOSI NTLHE
Ntlhe played as Peterborough United kept alive their promotion hopes with a 2-0 home win over Bradford City.
NHLAKANIPHO NTULI
Ntuli was an unused substitute for Jong FC Twente in their 2-1 win at Sparta Rotterdam on Friday.
LEBOGANG PHIRI

Phiri played the full game for Danish side Brondby as they were held 1-1 at home by FC Midtjylland.