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Cape Town City Thrash Swallows FC To Reach MTN 8 Final

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Cape Town City Thrash Swallows FC To Reach MTN 8 Final

A brace from Bradley Ralani combined with goals from Fagrie Lakay and Edmilson Dove made the difference as Cape Town City advanced to the final of the MTN 8 following a 4-0 win over Swallows FC at the Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg.

The Western Cape based side won the tie 4-0 on aggregate.

Swallows made a fast start to the game as they probed the City defence. After taking time to adjust to the away territory, City made their first attacking foray after ten minutes as Fagrie Lakay managed to pick out Mduduzi Mdantsane who had a shot blocked.

The game had a fast start with both sides getting their opportunities but the speed did deteriorate after 20 minutes as heavy rainfall and wing impacted both sides.

Picked out well by Terrence Mashego, Ralani made his experience count as he remained composed and in Didier Drogba fashion, used his chest to control the ball before tucking it beyond Swallows goalkeeper Virgil Vries.

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In what would have been a relief for both sides, the rain and wind subsided ahead of the second half. Play was temporarily halted prior to the start of the second half but both dugouts would have been relieved that the suspension was just over five minutes.

Swallows made two attacking changes ahead of the second half as they introduced Strydom Wambi and striker Mwape Musonda.

Musonda very nearly drew Swallows level in the 52nd minute as he rounded City keeper Hugo Marques before his shot hit the upright. The conditions played a role as Marques slipped while coming off his line.

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Lakay doubled the lead for the Citizens in the 57th minute with an expertly chipped shot from a tight angle which gave Vries no chance of saving.

Lakay’s finish for his goal was brilliant but he missed a golden chance to notch his second just over a minute later as he found himself in a one on one situation with Vries before dragging his shot wide.

Sipho Sibiya almost certainly prevented Ralani from notching his second of the game just two minutes later as he successfully executed a last ditch effort to halt Ralani from scoring when he would have only had the Swallows goal in sight.

Ralani eventually did go on to notch his brace as he was presented with a tap-in by team-mate Mdantsane after Swallows were forced to push their players up front.

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The result presents City with an opportunity to win the MTN 8 for the first time since 2018. All that lies in their quest for the trophy is Mamelodi Sundowns who will also be eager to win the one trophy that he eluded them for 14-years.

Dove added insult to injury for Swallows in the dying minutes as he was presented with a free-header by the Swallows defence following a corner.

The result would also be a major relief to Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler given that his side have had a less than ideal start to the Premiership with five points after four games.

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Record-breaker Bernard Parker Kaizer Chiefs’ Hero Against SuperSport United

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Record-breaker Bernard Parker Kaizer Chiefs’ Hero Against SuperSport United

The resurgent Kaizer Chiefs continued their improvement as a brace from veteran Bernard Parker earned them a hard-fought 2-1 win over SuperSport United at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.

Parker, who became Chiefs’ all-time leading scorer in the PSL era with his brace, gave his side the lead in first-half stoppage time as he produced a calm finish beyond the reach of Ronwen Williams after being slipped through by team-mate Keagan Dolly.

SuperSport responded almost immediately, as Thamsanqa Gabuza got on the end of a Sipho Mbule free-kick with his head to equalize in what proved to be the final touches of the first half.

In almost identical circumstances to Chiefs’ first goal, Parker got his team’s second on the night as Dolly once again played him in early on in the second half.

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Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos was present in attendance watching the game and the inspiring recent form of Dolly both in terms of scoring and creating assists will surely put him on the national team radar for future selection.

The home started the game dominating possession. Kaitano Tembo’s side had their first good opportunity of the game after 12 minutes as Teboho Mokoena rose to meet a Mbule corner with his head but struck just wide.

Nine minutes later Mbule nearly came close to scoring for Matsatsantsa as his shot took a deflection which had Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi confused. Akpeyi was rather lucky that the shot was wide of his goal.

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With Chiefs starting to defend deeper after they took the lead for the second time early in the second half, SuperSport were consigned to some wasteful passages of play as Mokoena and Mbule tried long-range shots in quick succession which were wide instead of trying to craft out a clear-cut opportunity.

Parker was having a good day but things went pear-shaped for him mid-way through the second half as he was in pain with a hamstring injury. Unable to continue playing, Parker was replaced by Kearyn Baccus.

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Meanwhile, the loss for SuperSport means that they have suffered their first league defeat of the season. Mamelodi Sundowns are now the only team in the South African top-flight that has not yet tasted defeat this season.

Chiefs are now on a run of four league games without defeat and two consecutive wins, something that has been a rare run of form for them since the 2019/20 season.

Chiefs’ next game will be a home encounter against Stellenbosch FC in two weeks while SuperSport next travel to the Chatsworth Stadium to play against Royal AM, also in two weeks.

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Cricket SA Apologise For Faf Du Plessis And Imran Tahir IPL Social Media Gaffe

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Cricket SA Apologise For Faf Du Plessis And Imran Tahir IPL Social Media Gaffe

Cricket South Africa have expressed their regret related to their “unintentional” omittance of former Proteas captain Faf du Plessis and Imran Tahir in a social media post on Saturday morning.

Cricket SA posted a congratulatory message on Instagram to fast bowler Lungi Ngidi for being part of the Chennai Super Kings’ Indian Premier League winning team.

The irony of the post was that Ngidi did not play in the final against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai on Friday evening, but Du Plessis had in fact won the Player of the Match award for his breathtaking 86 off just 59 balls to spearhead the Super Kings charge to their fourth IPL title.

The Instagram post, which has since been deleted by Cricket SA, prompted a response from Du Plessis, who stated “Really….” before former Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn climbed into the debate, posting that it was “disgusting” that Du Plessis and Tahir were omitted.

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“CSA regrets any unintended harm that may have been caused by the social media post, which went out this morning. There was no intention to purposefully omit any player. We apologise UNEQUIVOCALLY to all impacted persons,” the CSA Marketing department stated.

Independent Media understands that Cricket SA have social media guidelines that stipulate they specifically highlight nationally contracted players in their posts.

Du Plessis and Tahir, who both served the Proteas for almost a decade, are both no longer contracted to CSA as they play as “free agents” in T20 Leagues around the world.

This is the latest indicent between CSA and the “free agents” after both Du Plessis and Tahir were left out of the Proteas squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup despite publicly stating their availability for the global tournament.

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Cricket SA Director Graeme Smith explained their omission at the squad announcement last month.

“When you are working with free agents you have to come together. You have to find that balance that works for both the team and the free agents,” said Smith. “With Faf in particular we struggled to find that balance.”

Steyn weighed in on this discussion too after the IPL final.

“You have to feel for Faf. I feel for Faf,” Steyn said of his former Proteas captain on ESPN Cricinfo’s T20 Timeout show.

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“He is in the country where the T20 World Cup is about to happen and he almost scored 90 in an IPL final and he is going to be on the next plane EK475 back to Cape Town in two days. I can’t even talk about it, but it blows my mind.”

South Africa’s highest wicket-taker in Test cricket also shared some words of wisdom with Cricket SA after they blocked the comments section on the now deleted post.

“Here’s some advice. Do the right thing. Delete the post and add all the men involved, save yourself the embarrassment and ridicule,” Steyn posted.

“CSA opening a can of worms for themselves with their Twitter and Instagram. Whoever’s running those accounts needs a talking too (sic).”

 

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PSL Won’t Allow Fans To Return To Stadiums Anytime Soon

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PSL Won't Allow Fans To Return To Stadiums Anytime Soon

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) decided on Wednesday that fans will not immediately be permitted to re-enter games.

The news came amidst Bafana Bafana’s 1-0 2022 World Cup qualifier win over Ethiopia on Tuesday where 2000 fully vaccinated fans were allowed to attend.

“Until further notice, the PSL Covid protocol continues to limit attendance to 165 persons required at the match. The Executive committee has targeted the MTN8 final on the 30th October as the ideal match to test the protocols that will be put in place,

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“The Executive committee will again meet within the next 7-10 days to access the outcome of the consultation process. The PSL will communicate the approach that will be implemented after the meeting.

Meanwhile, the league governing body also encourage football fans to get vaccinated so that things can eventually return to normalcy.

“The PSL calls upon all supporters to support the Government’s stance on the importance of vaccinations and the achievement of herd immunity. The sooner sufficient South Africans are vaccinated, the sooner supporters will be able to return in numbers,” said the statement.

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Meanwhile, Champions Mamelodi Sundowns have made a clean sweep of the latest DStv Premiership player and coach awards for the period August to September 2021.

Striker Peter Shalulile has been named ‘Player of the Month’ and co-coaches Manqoba Mnqgithi and Rhulani Mokwena lifted the ‘Coach of the Month’ award.

Sundowns have made a terrific start to the 2021/22 DStv Premiership season and after rounds have opened a four-point lead at the top of the latest standings.

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Shalulile, last season’s runner-up on the leading goalscorers list, has been in red-hot form since the start of this campaign.

He has scored five goals in the opening six league matches, contributing close to half the number of goals (11) scored by Sundowns in the league to date.

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Bad News For Kaizer Chiefs As They Lose Samir Nurkovic To Injury For Two Months

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Bad news for Kaizer Chiefs as they lose Samir Nurkovic to injury for two months

Kaizer Chiefs have suffered another blow in their slow start to the season as they will have to make do without the services of striker Samir Nurkovic for two months due to injury.

“Samir had surgery last week. They found a little tear in the cartilage of the right knee. The surgeon says he could be out between six to eight weeks,” Chiefs’ physiotherapist David Milner said in a statement.

“They smoothed out the cartilage. Overall, the operation was a success, and he will be reassessed by the surgeon in a week’s time.

“We will have a clearer idea as to what is going on and plan the recovery process. We believe the timeline provided is one we can work with for now.”

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The Soweto giants have made a slow start to the season under Stuart Baxter. They have won just one out of their six league games to date and entered the international break with just six points following their most recent 1-1 draw with AmaZulu.

Chiefs are looking defensively weak and lack firepower in front of goal given that they have so far conceded eight goals while scoring four.

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Nurkovic is arguably one of the most lethal finishers in the Chiefs camp and this will definitely be a major blow to the team’s plans for the coming games and coach Baxter.

Chiefs’ next game will be an interesting clash with Chippa United next Saturday. The game will see the Amakhosi reunite with Gavin Hunt for the first time since they sacked the four-time league-winning coach in May.

Meanwhile, Royal AM are set to face punishment after owner Shauwn Mkhize was seen handing out what appeared to look like R200 notes to players as a bonus following their 2-1 KwaZulu-Natal derby win over Maritzburg United last weekend.

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In videos which emerged on social media, it appeared as though players were hesitant about amidst situation.

“The main charge is (to Royal AM) paying someone involved in a football match, a player or club official, money with regard to that match, “We have had quite a lot of kick back from supporters on this.” said PSL prosecutor Nande Becker.

In addition to being charged for the handing out of money, the PSL are set to charge Royal AM for other reasons.

 

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Stuart Baxter’s Kaizer Chiefs Drop More Points In Clash With Marumo Gallants

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Stuart Baxter’s Kaizer Chiefs Drop More Points In Clash With Marumo Gallants

Kaizer Chiefs produced yet another anaemic performance in a goalless draw against Marumo Gallants in Sunday evening’s DStv Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The goalless stalemate will ensure that the beleaguered Chiefs will remain in a lowly 13th position. Gallants have yet to record a win this season. After four matches, they have yet to score a Premiership goal this season and remain in 15th position.

Both goalmouths were subjected to early action after the defences struggled to clear their lines with first-time efforts. To compound matters, players in the striking zone were looking to make passes when a direct approach might have yielded reward instead.

Chiefs were particularly guilty in this regard, and Khama Billiat was reluctant to pull the trigger in front of the opposition posts.

Gallants midfielder Katlego Otladisa produced the first-half’s best scoring attempt in the 14th minute with a powerful header but was denied by Chiefs aerobatic goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi who parried the effort after a full-length dive.

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Up to around the half-hour mark, Chiefs enjoyed greater possession but made no impact on the game as they lacked cohesion. Passes went astray especially when they made their way towards the final third. By the time the teams changed ends, Chiefs had not managed a single shot on target. In stark contrast, Gallants managed three in the opening stanza.

On the half-hour mark, the Gallants No 10 Celimpilo Ngema, who plays behind the team’s lone striker in an unusual 4-4-1-1 formation, rifled a long-range shot that struck Akpeyi on the chest. Ngema tried his luck again just ahead of the break when Akpeyi was well off his line, but his parting shot ballooned hopelessly wide.

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Most of the first-half action was in the areas on both sides of the halfway line.

Towards the end of the first half, Chiefs were playing the percentage game but to no avail. They couldn’t induce a measure of fluency in their playing patterns to set up scoring chances.

Gallants took the initiative when second-half play started, and their pressure earned them a corner five minutes later. However, their set-piece was ineffective, and Chiefs dealt with the threat easily.

Chiefs were equally ineffective at set-piece time, a few minutes later. A close-in free-kick some 15 metres from the Gallants penalty area saw Billiat’s tame strike land safely in the hands of Washington Arubi, Gallants’ Zimbabwean goalkeeper.

Just past the hour mark, Chiefs finally managed some telling sorties deep into the opposition half, and Gallants’ defence were hard-pressed to contain the threat.

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There were some promising moves, but it all went pear-shaped after Chiefs were reduced to 10 players in the 76th minute when Sifiso Hlanti collected a second yellow card and was sent off by the referee Philangenkosi Khumalo.

A moment later, Gallants midfielder Thabo Mnyamane rose well to meet a free-kick and managed a powerful which Akpeyi pushed out. The ball struck the post and rolled away harmlessly.

Ten minutes from the end, referee Khumalo red-carded Ngema after he kicked the ball into Billiat chest after he had taken a tumble after a tackle.

In the final minute, Chiefs squandered two clear-cut scoring chances, but it would have been a travesty of justice if they claimed a hit-and-run win, since Gallants, who enjoyed far more scoring opportunities, were the better side on the day.

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