Local News - Issue 279

Telkom Knockout Quarter-Finals Confirmed

Kaizer Chiefs will visit Mpumalanga Black Aces, while Mamelodi Sundowns will meet Free State Stars in the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout. The Premier Soccer League decided the match-ups via a draw at their offices in Johannesburg on Monday. Holders SuperSport United were paired with topflight returnees Golden Arrows. Orlando Pirates must still entertain University of Pretoria in the last-16 of the competition on October 16. The game was rescheduled to accommodate Bucs' CAF Champions League commitments. The victor will take on Maritzburg United in the next round of the tournament. "If Orlando Pirates beat AmaTuks, Pirates face Maritzburg United at home. If Tuks win, they play Maritzburg away," said PSL general manager Derek Blanckensee.

TKO quarter-final draw:
1) Free State Stars vs Sundowns
2) SuperSport vs Golden Arrows
3) Mpumalanga Black Aces vs Kaizer Chiefs
4) Orlando Pirates vs Maritzburg United
4) Maritzburg United vs University of Pretoria

Orlando Pirates say they have not received any official notification from CAF regarding the Confederation Cup Final dates and venues. One of the Confederation of African Football’s official Twitter accounts revealed yesterday that Pirates would host the first leg at home and Etoile du Sahel would play the second leg in Tunisia. However, Bucs administrative officer Floyd Mbele says that the club has not yet received any communication from CAF regarding which team will play at home in the first leg. The home team in the first leg is decided by a drawing of lots. The two-legged 2015 CAF Confederation Cup Final is scheduled to be played on the weekends of 20-22 November and 27-29 November, with the exact dates and venues still to be announced. Prior to Mbele's call, Pirates had already listed the dates on their official website as 20 November (H) and 29 November (A), with the home leg first and away leg second. Pirates reached the final by beating Al-Ahly 5-3 on aggregate, while Etoile edged Zamalek 5-4 across two legs in their last-four tie. Meanwhile, Bucs' flight home from Egypt has been delayed. The club said on Twitter: "The plane to Dubai has been delayed by 45 mins due to a Military flyover. The airport will be shutdown momentarily. We now board at 12H30."

Ajax Cape Town striker Tashreeq Morris has signed a new contract with the club which will keep him at Ikamva for the next four years. The 21-year-old, who is expected to make his return from a knee injury in January, has been with the MTN8 champions since 2005. "It’s a good feeling knowing that I’ll be at Ajax for even longer now," Morris told Ajax's website. "This club has helped me a lot from a very young age and I’m doing what I can to repay the faith everyone at the club has shown in me.”I want to thank the management at the club for this opportunity to renew my contract once again. "The last two seasons have been a blessing for me. I know that I’ll have many more great seasons with the club." Morris was the Urban Warriors' top scorer last season with nine goals.

Banyana Banyana and Equatorial Guinea played to a goalless draw in the first leg of the final 2016 Rio Olympic qualifier at Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa. The hosts created better chances of the match but failed to convert those that came their way as they go into the second leg away from home without a goal to defend. The two teams meet again in two weeks’ time on Sunday, 18 October at Estadio de Bata. Kick-off is at 17h00. The winner qualifies for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

Polokwane City coach Kosta Papic is back at the club after missing three training sessions. The
Serbian was allegedly suspended with pay after Rise and Shine’s 2-1 defeat to SuperSport United in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout on Wednesday last week. As a result, Papic was not at training on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with Makweni Mayala tasked with training the boys with the help of the physical trainer. The team didn’t train on Sunday. Papic then returned to training on Monday and according to a Polokwane City player, he informed the players he had sorted out issues with the club boss Johnny Mogaladi.

Malawian midfielder Gerald Phiri Jnr will have to wait longer before becoming available to play as Bidvest Wits continue to work on issues relating to his registration with the PSL. Phiri signed for Wits three months ago from Zimbabwean club Caps United but is yet to be registered with the PSL due to some delays in the processing of his paperwork. His registration was initially delayed by a temporary ban on his former club that prohibited them from transferring players but those sanctions were lifted towards the end of August, paving the way for the completion of Phiri’s move. However, further delays related to paperwork have meant he remains unregistered two months into the season. Wits still have one foreign spot open after registering Papy Faty, Wangu Gome, Kris Bright and Joaquim Lupeta as four of the five foreign players each club is allowed to register.

WIN the Ultimate Fan Trip to watch Liverpool play Man United LIVE at Anfield!

Thanda Royal Zulu coach Thami Ngubane will be entitled to a fair hearing following his suspension last week, this is according to club chairman Pierre Delvaux. Ngubane has been suspended on full benefits in what Delvaux refers to as a sensitive issue which is ‘not performance related though whose symptoms determine how well the team does’. The Richards Bay-based club has in the meantime elevated Asanda Mvalo to stand in as caretaker in the same way he did last season when Ngubane dumped them for fellow First Division club Royal Eagles. Thanda are winless in five games and languishing fourth from bottom. Ngubane ditched Thanda in November last year after being enticed by the financial carrot that had been dangled by Eagles but was then shown the door at the end of the season. He then decided to track his way back to Thanda at the beginning of this season.

Orlando Pirates captain Oupa Manyisa will be in training this week working on his upper body after undergoing successful surgery for a fractured ankle. Manyisa was discharged from Linksfield Hospital last week, according to the club's website. "According to the medical report, the operation went as scheduled without any complications. Manyisa was discharged from Linksfield Hospital earlier in the week and can start with upper body training from next week." The 27-year-old midfielder sustained the knock during Pirates’ goalless League draw against Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium on September 22. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo is participating in light training sessions as he continues his recovery from a knee injury. Mhlongo suffered an ACL tear during Bucs’ 1-0 League defeat to SuperSport United on August 11.

Chippa United midfielder Lerato Chabangu is eager to repay the faith shown in him by the club after he missed out on a move to Bidvest Wits. The 30-year-old left relegated Moroka Swallows at the end of last season with the hope of joining Wits, but failed to win the approval of coach Gavin Hunt during a one-month trial. However, Chabangu is back in the topflight, having made his United debut in their Telkom Knockout last-16 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday at Lucas Moripe Stadium. The former Mamelodi Sundowns playmaker admits he expected to land a deal with the Clever Boys. “I thought I will get a job there. But life goes on and I got a job now and I have to keep on pushing myself. But I forgot about it and my focus is here at Chippa. I'm looking forward to work here. I have to give it back to Chippa after they showed trust in me.”

Polokwane City remain in negotiations with star midfielder Cole Alexander over a new contract following his return to action last week. Alexander has featured in the last two games for Polokwane against Orlando Pirates and Chippa United after being frozen out in the opening four games of this season due to contract-related issues. The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in both games and even provided an assist in the defeat to Chippa. It has been revealed that Polokwane’s offer of a new three-year deal remains on the table. It is believed coach Kosta Papic exerted his influence to pave the way for Alexander’s return. Alexander was a key man for Polokwane last season going as far as being nominated for the Footballer of the Season and ABSA Premiership Midfielder of the Season awards.

Despite poor performance in the National First Division, Moroka Swallows boss Leon Prins says he still has faith in coach Ian Gorowa. Swallows, who are now playing in first division after being relegated from the Premier League last season, currently sit 12th on the log after six games. They have conceded nice goals in their last three games after being humbled by Mbombela United 2-0, Amazulu 4-0 and Royal Eagles, who beat them 3-2 this past weekend. However, club boss Prins says there is no need to the press panic buttons despite the club's poor performances so far. Following the Fifa international break, the Dube Birds face a tough fixture as they play host to current NFD table-toppers Baroka FC.

South Africa have dropped one spot to 73rd in the latest FIFA world rankings. Bafana Bafana are ranked 17th in Africa. Argentina are setting the pace globally, with world champions Germany, Belgium, Portugal and Colombia completing the top five. Algeria, Afcon winners Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Tunisia and Senegal are the top five in Africa.

SA players abroad:

Andile Jali got one over Ayanda Patosi, Mandla Masango and Dino Ndlovu scored, while Thulani Serero featured off the bench in Europe on the weekend.

Daylon Claasen’s 1860 Munich were involved in their fourth draw in a row in the Bundesliga II and they finished 1-1 at Arminia Bielefeld. Claasen was introduced with 17 minutes to go.

Kagisho  Dikgacoi played for Cardiff City as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Andile Jali got one over Bafana teammate Ayanda Patosi when the pair met in a Belgian league clash on the weekend. Both started, but Jali played the full 90 minutes and Patosi was hauled off just before the hour-mark. Oostende won 2-0.

Darren Keet’s Kotrijk came from behind to grab a point at bottom side Westerlo, a result which leaves them ninth in the table.

Mandla Masango came off the bench to score for Randers as they won 2-1 at home to Hobro, his second of the season.

Tefu Mashamaite played for Hacken in the Swedish top-flight but they were beaten 3-1 by league leaders Norrkoping.

Kamohelo Mokotjo played the full game for FC Twente as they lost 3-1 at AZ Alkmaar to drop into the relegation places in Holland.

Dino Ndlovu scored his sixth goal in as many games this season when he netted from the spot in the 2-2 draw with Ayia Napa in the Cypriot league.

Anele Ngcongca started on the bench but was introduced for French Ligue 1 strugglers Troyes after just nine minutes in their 1-0 home loss to Guingamp.

Lebogang Phiri played the full game for Brondby in Denmark as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Esbjerg.

Ntuthuko Radebe’s Eupen kept up their form in the second-tier with a 5-1 win at Heist to stay in the top three. The South African did not feature though.

Thulani Serero came on midway through the second half for Ajax Amsterdam as they went down 2-1 at home to PSV Eindhoven on Sunday.

Luther Singh was replaced with 18 minutes to go as his second-tier side in Sweden, GAID, were humbled 4-0 by Östersunds FK.