2018 COSAFA Womens Championship, Semi Final: South Africa v Uganda

Banyana Sink Super Falcons

Banyana Banyana got their Africa Women’s Cup of Nations journey off to a flying start after defeating Nigeria 1-0 on Sunday.

The two sides were tentative in the early stages and still studying each other out. However, the Super Falcons saw a bit more the possession without creating much.

Mamello Makhabane had chance to break the deadlock for Desiree Ellis’ ladies two minutes before the half hour mark with a strike from outside the box that sailed wide.

Four minutes later, Desire Oparanozie had a wonderful opportunity to find the breakthrough for the Super Falcons after going through in the box unmarked, but she fired her strike over the crossbar.

Ellis’ charges had a good attacking spell towards the end of the half, holding Nigeria inside their own half and finding chances on set-pieces, but they could not get the breakthrough as the first stanza ended goalless.

South Africa came out firing against the Super Falcons in the early stages of the second stanza, continuing where they left off from the latter part of the first stanza but they just lacked the final pass in the last third.

Jermaine Seoposenwe came close to breaking the deadlock for Banyana eight minutes into the second half with a ricocheted effort that sailed just wide of the bottom corner.

Ellis’ ladies were losing their stranglehold on the Super Falcons after 65 minutes as the latter were slowing down the tempo of the match by making tactical substitutions.

One of those substitutes, Thembi Kgatlana finally broke the deadlock for Banyana five minutes before time with a smashing volley from a tight angle that sailed into the far corner.

Thomas Dennerby’s side were shell-shocked in the closing stages and although they showed fighting spirit, they lacked composure in the final third as Banyana held on for the win.

2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Qualifier: South Africa v Nigeria

Bafana Drop Points Against Nigeria

Bafana Bafana missed the chance to secure qualification to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after drawing 1-1 with Nigeria on Saturday.

Stuart Baxter handed a start to Cape Town City defender Thamsanqa Mkhize ahead of Ramahlwe Mphahlele, while Tiyani Mabunda and Hlompho Kekana partnered up in the middle of the park.

Ahmed Musa had the first chance at goal for the Super Eagles in the fifth minute after bursting his way into the edge of the box, but his curling effort was saved by Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

Nigeria took the lead in the tenth minute after a cross from Samuel Kalu deflected off Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi’s shoulder and sneaked in at Itumeleng Khune’s near post.

Bafana responded well by creating half-chances on quick transitions moments after conceding but they were not clinical enough in front of goals.

In the 26th minute, Lebogang Mothiba brought Stuart Baxter’s charges level with a simple tap in inside the box after Percy Tau eliminated two defenders before unselfishly setting up the France-based striker, 1-1.

The Super Eagles ended the half the stronger of the two sides although they were unable to restore their lead and went into the break level at 1-1.

The match was very tense in the first ten of the second stanza as the two sides were having a measured approach, although the Super Eagles shaded the possession statistics.

As a result, Baxter made his first change on the hour-mark by bringing on Orlando Pirates attacker Thembinkosi Lorch in place of the in-effective Thulani Serero.

The match was tentative 20 minutes before time as the Super Eagles were in no rush to go forward, seemingly holding out for a draw which was enough to see them qualify for the 2019 Afcon.

Kenneth Omeruo had a glorious chance to snatch the winner for the visitors 16 minutes before time with a free header inside the box that sailed agonisingly wide.

Bafana were lucky not to go behind as Musa thought he had got the winner for the Super Eagles seven minutes before time, but the goal was ruled out for offside, although replays suggest he was onside.

Baxter’s men lacked a sense of urgency in the closing minutes of the encounter and the sides ultimately shared the spoils.

Bafana can qualify for next year’s Afcon if they avoid defeat in their final encounter away to Libya.

Sven Vandenbroeck

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Chipolopolo’s 2019 AFCON dreams ended on Sunday away in Maputo losing 1-0 away to Mozambique.
A 62nd minute goal by Reginaldo Fait sealed Chipolopolo’s fate who had huffed and puffed for most of the opening hour of their penultimate Group K qualifier.
Fiat’s goal came just two minutes after seeing his initial effort fly just wide of goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene’s goal.
But Zambia did have a rush of adrenaline after that goal when coach Sven Vandenbroeck brought on midfielders Rainford Kalaba and Cletus Chama for Emmanuel Banda and Augustine Mulenga, in the 67th minute but Mozambique still looked confident on the ball.
Mozambique’s victory saw them make history following back-to-back wins over Zambia for the first time.
The Mamba’s beat Zambia by a similar margin in the  first leg  Group K qualifier on June 10, 2017 in Ndola.
The defeat left Zambia rooted at the bottom of Group K on 4 points after five games, three behind third placed Mozambique, who are now within earshot of the top two Namibia and Guinea Bissau who are tied on 8 points.
Meanwhile, this will be the first time Zambia will miss two successive AFCON’s in 46 years after failing to qualify for the 1970 and 1972 finals.
Agrey Chiyangi

Chiyangi looking forward to Young Buffaloes date

Green Eagles coach  Aggrey Chiyangi is looking forward to next week’s date against  eSwatini club Young Buffaloes when they play their continental competitive debut in the  2018/2019 CAF Confederation Cup.
The continental competition first-timers will host Young Buffaloes in their preliminary round, first leg fixture on November 27 in Choma.
“I think every draw that comes out is a good draw because when you qualify  to compete in a tournament,  your expectations  should be to make sure that whichever team a comes your way, you just have to compete against them,” Chiyangi  said.
“We expect that the players will continue pushing very hard in training and we as coaches are also making sure to remind them of the competition we are in.”
Eagles will travel to eSwatini for the final leg on December 5.
Winner will be home in the second round, first leg during the weekend of December 14 to hosts Nasr Athletic Hussein Dyey of Algeria or Diables Noirs of Congo Brazzaville.
The away date is set for December 21-22 in the battle for a place in January’s pre-group stage.
Meanwhile, Eagles have  just returned from a three-match tour of Botswana  where  drew 1-1 against Jwaneng  Galaxy,  lost 3-0  to champions Township  Rollers and beat BDF XI 2-1.
Charles Bwale Zambia U20 coachjpg

Bwale welcomes guest side DRC to COSAFA U20

Young  Chipolopolo Zambia coach Charles Bwale admits late entry and COSAFA U20 guest  side DR Congo will posed a greater challenge for them in Group  A.
DR Congo are a late addition to the COSAFA U20 Cup that Zambia is hosting from December 2-14,  after Reunion withdrew from the competition due to logistical  reasons.
Other teams in Group A are Malawi and Mozambique.
Strangely, despite 80 years of cross-border rivalry, it will be the first time Zambia and DR Congo will be meeting at junior level.
“I haven’t seen much of Congo in terms of their youth development but I have been following them at senior level,” Bwale said.
“But I believe their football is similar to our football so definitely we expect a fair challenge from them.
“So if you now look at how our group stands, it is the group of death with the inclusion of Congo. So it will be very exciting.”
Young Chipolopolo will host DR Congo in their opening Group A match on December 2 at Nkana   Stadium.
Meanwhile,   Bwale and his team enter the second week of the pre-tournament camp in Lusaka with  28 players in camp hoping  to make  the  final 21.
The team includes three foreign-based players namely UK-based striker Mwiya Malumo,  midfielder Edward Chilufya of Djurgardens in Sweden and goalkeeper Bradley Mweene  from  Amatuks in South  Africa.
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Shepolopolo star striker suspended for AWCON opener

Shepolopolo have suffered another big blow ahead of their 2018 Women’s AFCON Group B opener on Sunday against Equatorial Guinea, with news that  influential striker Barbara  Banda is suspended.
Banda will miss the Group B clash against the two-time champions in Cape Coast after accruing two yellow cards in the qualifiers.
Shepolopolo coach Bruce Mwape described  the development as a setback.
The development comes just days after the team lost second choice goalkeeper Catherine Musonda sustained an ankle injury that ruled her out of  the tournament.
“Somehow it is actually a drawback but we will try by all means to work with the players that we have,”Mwape said.
“The last time we played a friendly against Ghana, Barbara wasn’t with the team but we managed to beat Ghana.”
Banda missed the friendly played in Lusaka on November 3 due to a month-long trial spell in Spain where she subsequently secured a two-year deal with top women’s club Logrono.
Shepolopolo rallied from two-down at halftime to beat Ghana 3-2.
 “This time around this different ball game all together. We would have loved to have her in the team because she is actually our dependable player,” Mwape added.
Meanwhile, Shepolopolo face Equatorial Guinea for the first time.
Shepolopolo are in a tough Group B that contains four-time runners Banyana Banyana  South Africa and the defending champions The  Super Falcons Nigeria.
Sven Vandenbroeck

Zambia battle for survival in Maputo

Chipolopolo battle the odds on Sunday when they visit Mozambique to play a must-win 2019 AFCON Group K qualifier in Maputo.
Zambia must win this penultimate group stage qualifying match or will see their 2019 AFCON dreams end with a match to spare.
After four games played,Chipolopolo  are bottom of Group  K on 4 points, three less than second placed Mozambique who are tied on 7 points with leaders Namibia.
Guinea Bissau are third on 4 points and were in action on Saturday away to Namibia.
Both sides come into the match with a lot of pressure with the hosts heading into  Sunday’s fixture,  after two successive Group K  defeats in October at the hands of  Namibia.
Chipolopolo,  too lost traction after losing 2-1 away to Guinea Bissau on October 14 following a bright start under new coach Sven Vandenbroeck who had won one and drew  one match.
“We do not have to lie; it is a must-win game for us but also for them. On one hand, it is an easy task, you know you have to win and on the other,” Vandenbroeck said.
“It is an easy thing in our mind because we know the direction, we know what we have to do, and it will be a difficult task on the pitch. Not because I am not confident, I am confident in our skills and how we play.”
Chipolopolo will also be out to restore some pride against The Mambas, after losing 1-0 at  home in Ndola on June 10, 2017 in  their opening Group K match.
Moreover, Chipolopolo’s unbeaten away competitive record against Mozambique is now one of the few honours they hope to maintain   in what has been a rough 2019 qualifying campaign.
Nkana FC coach Beston Chambeshi

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Coach Beston Chambeshi has had a productive season with Nkana,  despite finishing the  year at number two on the FAZ Super Division table.
He guided Nkana to their first competitive league cup win since 2000 when they lifted the  2018 Barclays Cup, a debut for the Kitwe club since the inaugural competition was held  in 2007.
We caught up with Chambeshi for a review and forecast heading into 2019.
Q: How can you sum-up the 2018 season?  You finished runners-up in the league, won the Barclays Cup and Charity Shield?
Beston Chambeshi:  It was not an easy 2018 season there was a lot of competition. If  you  look at the  first half of  the season, we struggled here and there, but we came back strong in the  second half  when we went 21 games without a loss. It was a difficult season but I am happy with the work we put in with the  technical staff ,the sponsors  and  the clubs  executive.
Q:  What’s your reaction to the CAF Champions League draw against UD Songo of Mozambique?
BC: The draws are fair; we expected to play any team. We arealso happy to meet a team from the same region and we play a similar type of football, so we shall prepare for the  game with a serious approach.
Q: Are you happy with the team you have assembled for the CAF Champions League?
BC: It is a balanced team; we have brought in some foreign players who have national team experience. We also have youth players too who are coming up like midfielder Harrison Chisala and defender Moses Nyondo.  We have also brought in goalkeeper Allan Chibwe and Kelvin Mubanga both from Power Dynamos. It is a good mixture of players and we will see how we will do in the Champions League.
Q: Meanwhile, after the departure of your top scorer this season on 20 goals, Idris Mbombo, who has moved to Al Hilal in Sudan, some people have cast doubt your remaining strike force.
BC: He did his best and we cannot run away from that fact but we cannot cry over one player and we just have to believe in ourselves. But we have the replacements,  you saw  the way we played against Young Buffaloes in the Barclays Cup final, it shows we are  trying to get each and every player to score for the team.
Zesco United FC players during in mini conference the interval

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Nigerian striker Quadri Kola Aladeokun is looking forward to playing for defending FAZ Super Division champions Zesco United.
Aladeokun has joined Zesco from eSwatini giants Mbabane Swallows on a two-year deal.
“My expectations are high but the most important thing in football is for a player to give 100 percent because when you are employed by a team you have to give 100 percent to make sure that you don’t let them down. I will try my possible best to help the team go further. I am here for a job. I am employed by Zesco United so I have to do my job,” Aladeokun said.
“I am here to assist the team to make the team to at least get to the group stages of the Champions League and try to get to the finals and maybe God can do something for Zesco. I know and believe with the spirit I brought to Zesco United I will try possible best.”
Aladeokun is the only foreign signing Zesco have acquired so far for their 2018/2019 continental and league campaigns.
Zesco has also signed defenders Mwila Phiri from Green Eagles and ex-Kabwe Warriors captain Clement Mwape.
Striker Lewis Macha has joined as a free agent from South Africa PSL giants Kaizer Chiefs.
green eagles

Eagles end Botswana tour with a win

Zambia’s 2018/2019 CAF Confederation representatives Green Eagles on Thursday ended their three-match tour of Botswana with a win after recording a draw and loss in their opening games.
Eagles have just end six-day end of season tour of Botswana that they were using as part of their preparations for their debut continental campaign.
Spencer Sautu and George Chaloba were on target in the 35th and 62nd minutes  respectively to  guide the Choma side to a 2-1 win over Botswana Defence Forces  XI.
The win came just 24 hours after Eagles lost 3-0 to defending Botswana league champions Township Rollers.
Eagles kicked off their tour on Monday with a 1-1  draw against Jwaneng Galaxy.
“The aim was to get   the players have a feel of playing against foreign team. We know  that  we have competed in our league  but we wanted play against a team from another country with a different  culture and different way of  playing,”  Eagles coach Aggrey  Chiyangi said.
Eagles will host Young Buffaloes of eSwatini in their CAF Confederation Cup first round , first leg fixture on November 27 and travel for the last leg on December 5.
Winner will be home in the second round, first leg during the weekend of December 14, to hosts Nasr Athletic Hussein Dyey of Algeria or Diables Noirs of Congo Brazzaville