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Mamelodi Sundowns Coaches And Player Win PSL Monthly Awards

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The Mamelodi Sundowns coaching duo of Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena continued their dominance as they won their third consecutive coach of the month after claiming the December 2021 gong.

The Brazilians continued their form and now have a 14 point advantage at the top of the Premiership standings over second place Orlando Pirates.

After inspiring a rejuvenation in Marumo Gallants, Dan Malesela was a close second in the Coach of the Month Award tussle.

The Sundowns coaches were not the only ones from their team to emerge victorious. Defensive star Andile Jali was named the player of the month, beating competition from Orlando Pirates’ Kwame Peprah, Chippa United’s Eva Nga and Royal AM striker Victor Letsoalo.

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“Jali was outstanding in December. He was a marvel to watch as he bossed the Sundowns’ midfield. His experience has been invaluable during a loaded period in December. The manner in which he broke down opponents’ attacks and in turn start build-ups to Sundowns attacks, which on some occasions led to goals has been very impressive,” commented the judging panel.

Kaizer Chiefs’ Nkongiphile Ngcobo was awarded the goal of the month voted by the fans following his left foot curler against Maritzburg United.

All award winners receive a R7000 award.

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First Leg Triumph Sees Orlando Pirates Through To CAF Confederation Cup final

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First Leg Triumph Sees Orlando Pirates Through To CAF Confederation Cup final

On Sunday night, Orlando Pirates reached the CAF Confederation Cup final after getting a 2-1 aggregate victory over Al Ahli Tripoli at a chilly Orlando Stadium.

Orlando Pirates is set to face either TP Mazembe or RS Berkane in the final who were set to meet in the second leg of the other semi-final later Sunday night.

This season CAF Champions League final will be hosted at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria on Friday.

Pirates may have blown hold and cold in domestic football as they lost out on all the domestic trophies but they’ve been on superb form on the continent as they lost only once in the group stage.

Pirates dominance was shown in the first leg of the semi-final after they defeated Tripoli in their own stadium under unfavorable circumstances of an artificial pitch, thanks to goals from Innocent Maela and Goodman Mosele.

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Pirates who won the Champions League in 1995, will be chasing a second success in African football, however that doesn’t mean they’ll automatically qualify for continental football next season.

That’s why the Bucs will have to ensure that they at least finish in the top three next season by winning their last three games of the season and hope that their counterparts lose points in the process.

Orlando Pirates came into the game knowing very well that their fate was in their hands if they were going to reach their first continental final since 2015 following an invaluable win in Benghazi,

Ali Abu Arqoub scored a late stunner to ensure that Tripoli got a consolation goal however Orlando Pirates in the end reached the continental final.

5000 supporters of the Bucs that flooded the chilly Johannesburg weather condition were indeed “The Happy People” at the end of 90minutes.

 

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Ernst Middendorp Thanks Maritzburg Chairman Following Victory Over Royal AM

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Maritzburg United coach, Ernst Middendorp has praised the impact made by club chairman Farook Kadodia’s ‘pep talk’ as they get ready to face in-form Royal AM in a big clash on Wednesday night.

“The chairman had a number of meetings with the players and staff and just reminded everyone how important it is to not allow the relegation battle to drag on until the last day. We needed to win this game in particular because we’re playing two away games after this,” said Middendorp.

“We are aware of what we need to do if we want to survive, we know how important it is to band together and fight for each other.”

The Team of Choice have leapfrog towards their bid for survival when they defeated Royal AM and claimed just their sixth win of the season.

The Pietermaritzburg-based club are four points ahead of 15th-placed Swallows FC, sitting 12th place on the DStv Premiership table.

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There was substantial movement in the relegation zone this week as both TS Galaxy and Baroka picked up maximum points, but Middendorp played down the fact that his charges were motivated by the results in and around them.

“Teams around us received surprising results, but you can’t predict these things and they didn’t have any impact on us, we just received amazing support behind the scenes and that helped us tonight,” he said.

Maritzburg have been tagged ‘the most consistently inconsistent’ side in the league following an unpredictable 2021/2022 season.

Maritzburg had last won a league match at the beginning of March, a shock result against champions Mamelodi Sundowns prior to their victory against provincial rivals Royal AM.

Clayton Daniels, the skipper of the club believes he and his teammates need to work on building on their confidence-boosting victories and use them as fuel for their upcoming matches.

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Mamelodi Sundowns Clinch Fifth Straight League Title

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DSTV PSL side, Mamelodi Sundowns have sealed a fifth consecutive league title following a goalless draw with Cape Town City on Wednesday evening.

Mamelodi Sundowns made two changes to the side that drew with Petro de Luanda in the CAF Titleholders League, as Grant Kekana and Aubrey Modiba were recalled while the Citizens were bolstered by the return of Mpho Makola, Mduduzi Mdantsane and Darwin Gonzalez.

The game got off to a lively launch as Neo Maema was denied an early thing for the hosts from a sonorous shot that was punched down by Citizens goalkeeper Hugo Marques.
But, Marques was fortunate not to concede in the first quarter of an hour after Rushine De Reuck guided a title over the bar after the Angolan shot- breach missed the flight of Modiba’s cross in the box.

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The Brazilians had a bright launch in the alternate stanza as Maema came near to breaking the impasse with a strike from the edge of the box that was smothered by Marques.

The defending champions changed their tactics just before the hour- mark, as Divine Lunga replaced Brian Onyango and just after that they brought on the fresh legs of Gaston Sirino in place of Themba Zwane outspoken.

The home side continued to press forward for the winner but their instigation was intruded by the injury of Rushine De Reuck who was stretchered off in the last ten twinkles and they took the occasion to make a triadic attacking change that included Thabiso Kutumela, Lesedi Kapinga and Sphelele Mkhulise.

The Brazilians went each out in the dying twinkles but they couldn’t take their chances, as City held on for the share of the pillages. The point was enough to hand Evenfalls a fifth straight league title.

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Swallows Will Approach Remaining Games As Cup Finals – Skipper Lebohang Mokoena

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Swallows Will Approach Remaining Games As Cup Finals - Skipper Lebohang Mokoena

Lebohang Mokoena, skipper of Swallows FC believes his side will have to approach their final four league matches of the campaign as though they’re mug tests.

The Dube Birds most lately recorded a hard- fought comeback 3-2 victory over Baroka FC on Sunday.

“We had to throw everything at them. At one stage we had four strikers in the box and it paid off for us,” said Mokoena.

“With the supporters being back after so many years, it was important to give them this victory. Them supporting us also motivated us as we knew that we had nothing to lose. Knowing where Baroka is in the log, we knew that it would be possible for us to get three points.”

Swallows’ coming game on May 3 against AmaZulu will be an intriguing match as it’ll see them reuniting with former head coach Brandon Truter who replaced Benni McCarthy in March for the first time since they sacked him in December.

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“I want the guys to put their heads down, feet on the ground and understand that we must play each and every game as though it’s a cup final. It does not matter who plays. They need to put their bodies on the line and understand that the team comes first. The guys don’t drop their heads. Even when we score three goals, we know that we are capable of scoring four. If it does not happen, it does not happen,” said Mokoena.

The DSTV PSL side are presently position on points with 15th place TS Galaxy who enthrall second last place, and are on course to contend in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) creation/ deportation playoffs during the off season.

Baroka FC are dead last and fated for possible relegation to the second-tier of South African football. Bakgaga is five points adrift of Galaxy.

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Graeme Smith Grateful His Name Has Been Cleared Of Racism

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Graeme Smith Grateful His Name Has Been Cleared Of Racism

Former Proteas Men’s captain and Cricket South Africa (CSA) Director of Cricket Graeme Smith has admitted the “ unwarranted allegations of racism” against him have been “ exhausting and abstracting.”

Smith was cleared this week of all three charges related to contended ethnical demarcation by a two- man arbitration panel appointed by CSA.

The 41- time-old was under scrutiny following the CSA’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) commission’s report, which had made conditional findings that Smith had engaged in prejudicial geste involving thenon-selection of former gate keeper Thami Tsolekile in the period 2012-2014, the appointment of Proteas Men’s trainer Mark Boucher over Enoch Nkwe in 2019, and the contended turndown to work with Black leadership at CSA.

Commenting on Advocates Ngwako Maenetje SC and Michael Bishop’s ruling, a “completely vindicated” Smith said: “I’m grateful that my name has finally been cleared. I’ve always given South African cricket my utmost, as a player, captain and administrator, over the last 20 years. So, to hear these baseless allegations of racism being made has been extremely difficult, both for me and my family.

“It has been exhausting and distracting, not least because South African cricket has also been going through a well-publicised rebuilding process which has required a lot of attention.

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“I’m just pleased that we have now gone through a robust arbitration process before independent, objective arbitrators and I have been completely vindicated.”

Smith’s attorney David Becker was inversely pleased that his customer had been cleared off these “ vexatious claims”.

“Unfortunately there were a multitude of opportunistic claims and insinuations made before the SJN which were not properly tested and were clearly false,” said Becker.

“The allegations made against Graeme Smith in particular were made by a small group of disgruntled individuals with an obvious agenda to tarnish his good name and have him removed as the Director of Cricket.

“These vexatious claims and insinuations were serious and defamatory. Graeme has every right to feel aggrieved by these personal attacks. However, it is a testimony to his character and leadership that he has held his head up high throughout this process, focused on the job at hand and continued to play a hugely significant role in assisting South African cricket.”

Smith’s contract as CSA’s Director of Cricket expired at the end of last month.

He has since decided to move on to other business gambles and is presently stating in India.

CSA has been ordered to pay all Smith’s costs associated with the arbitration process.

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