Traffic: SAFA APPOINTS KROL AS BAFANA COACH

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Ruud Krol (Chris Ricco/BackpagePix)PHOTO: Ruud Krol (Chris Ricco/BackpagePix)



 

CAPE TOWN – Former Orlando Pirates coach Ruud Krol will lead Bafana Bafana.

According to a report from Mail and Guardian, the former Zamalek mentor will take over the coaching responsibilities at South Africa’s senior men’s team.

Safa president Danny Jordaan is expected to unveil the new Bafana Bafana coach next week following a lengthy search for Shakes Mashaba’s replacement.

Mashaba was axed by Safa in December of 2016 when he was found guilty of misconduct following his utterances towards Safa officials after his side beat Senegal 2-1.

“He has coached in his native Holland. But he has also worked mainly in Africa since 1994 when he took charge of the Egyptian U-23’s and later the senior team, and what appears to have given him an added advantage is that he is available to start working without delay,” said a source to The Mail & Guardian.

“Safa stated openly when they advertised the post that the criteria required for a successful Bafana Bafana coach would be an intimate and extensive knowledge of the African game.

 

“The criteria as elucidated by Safa goes on to point out that the successful candidate must have an excellent understanding of the South African playing philosophy, or playing style, as some people like to describe our approach to the game.

“In fact, it goes on to explain that he must have international coaching experience with a good track record allied to a vision and passion for football development and good player management to complete Safa’s Vision 2022.”

 

The Citizen

 

CAPE TOWN CITY STUNNED BY RAG-TAG DIVISION 2 ACORNBUSH

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 PHOTO: Moseamedi Judas started for Cape Town City, but was unable to break down the Acornbush defence. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePix



 

CAPE TOWN – Football doesn’t respect reputations or log positions. Cape Town City found this out to their detriment when they crashed out of the Nedbank Cup on Sunday afternoon, losing 1-0 to Nelspruit-based Second Division side Acornbush United.

City have had a fantastic season so far. Last year they won the Telkom Knockout, and they are currently in a lofty second place on the PSL standings.

In the build-up to the fixture against Acornbush, the Cape club’s coach Eric Tinkler spoke at length about the need to guard against complacency.

After defeating Mamelodi Sundowns last week, he knew that he had to keep his players grounded. He spent the entire week drilling this into the team at training. But it all appears to have been for nought as City failed to overcome a lower-tier side they should, in truth, be beating quite easily.

But this “David v Goliath” scenario is at the core of the lure of football. It’s also the beauty of this competition, based on the popular FA Cup, which allows lower-league sides the opportunity to match their ability against their more illustrious top-flight opponents.

Tinkler had promised to make a few changes for the Acornbush game to allow a few regulars some rest, and that translated into starts for Letsie Koapeng, Judas Moseamedi, Vincent Kobola and a debut for new Zimbabwean goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva.

While City had the possession, they couldn’t break down the resolute defence of the Second Division side. Against the run of play, Acornbush scored in the 41st minute – and that was it.

Try as they would, City just couldn’t find a way back into the game.

So, on reflection, Tinkler will probably be pondering on how effective his message against complacency was.

Based on the result, it would appear that it didn’t sink in – and the coach will be demanding a far more improved effort in the Free State on Saturday, when they take on Bloemfontein Celtic in a PSL fixture.

Meanwhile, NFD side Stellenbosch FC may have crashed out of the Nedbank Cup, but they emerged with great credit from the 3-0 defeat to PSL giants Kaizer Chiefs at Athlone Stadium on Saturday night.

While the popular Soweto club deserved the victory, on the balance of play, the score-line certainly wasn’t a reflection of how well Stellenbosch performed on the night.

Stellenbosch wanted to use the occasion against Chiefs to expose the club. They are just six months old. Previously the NFD franchise of Vasco da Gama, the club was relocated to Stellenbosch and renamed.

The top priority is to get the team to the PSL – and they will view the outing against a team as good as Chiefs as a valuable learning experience.

“I’m very proud of the team and the way they performed,” said Stellenbosch coach Sammy Troughton.

Stellenbosch FC coach Sammy Troughton. Photo: Chris Ricco, BackpagePix

“The aim was to give Chiefs some competition and a stiff challenge, and I think we managed to achieve that.

“There were a few blunders which led to the goals – and, at this level, and against a team with the quality of Chiefs, you will be punished.

“But we stuck at it, even when we were one or two goals behind. We kept trying and had some good phases of play.

“I think the entire team deserves congratulations for the way they played, and I’m sure it will stand us in good stead in the future.

“Look, the main aim is to get the club promoted to the PSL. So we’ll take the positives from the defeat to Chiefs, and hopefully use the experience gained in our upcoming games.”

As it turned out, it wasn’t a good Saturday for Cape teams in the competition.

Three played, three lost.

In addition to Stellenbosch’s exit, Ajax Cape Town surprisingly went down 4-3 on penalties to KZN Second Division campaigners KwaDukuza United, while FC Cape Town were beaten 2-0 by Baroka FC.

Cape Town All Stars will be in action on Wednesday when they host PSL big guns Wits at Athlone Stadium (7.30pm).

 

Independent Online

 

XABI ALONSO (35) CONFIRMS RETIREMENT THIS JUNE

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Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso says he will retire at the end of the season. Photo: Reuters/Albert Gea



BERLIN – Spanish World Cup winner and double European champion Xabi Alonso, 35, confirmed Thursday that he will retire at the end of the season when his Bayern Munich contract expires.

“It was not an easy decision but I think it’s a good time,” Alonso told Bayern Munich’s TV channel.

“I want to finish my career at the highest level, and Bayern is the highest level,” added the former Liverpool, Real Madrid player and 2010 World Cup winner.

Defensive midfielder Alonso is the oldest member of the Bayern team, but can still command a first-team place under Carlo Ancelotti alongside Chile’s Arturo Vidal.

Bayern are into the Champions League’s quarter-final draw on March 17 and are bidding to repeat their 2013 treble of European, Bundesliga and German Cup titles.

“FC Bayern are grateful to a man and a great player, who has been superb for Bayern both on and off the pitch,” said club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Alonso arrived in Bayern for the 2014/15 season after playing for Liverpool and Real Madrid.

He was part of two historic Champions League title wins.

He played in Liverpool’s 2005 fight-back in Istanbul and was involved in Real Madrid’s 2014 triumph when they won ‘la Decima’ – the European Cup for the tenth time.

So far with Bayern, he has won two Bundesliga titles and one German Cup title with Bayern, with the Bavarians currently dominating both competitions.

Alonso has won 16 titles for club and country, including the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European championships with Spain, making 114 international appearances.

He retired from international duty in August 2014.

Confirmation of Alonso’s retirement means the German giants will lose significant experience for next season.

Club captain and ex-Germany skipper Philipp Lahm has also confirmed he will hang up his boots in June.

 

Iol News

 

CAPE TOWN CITY – THE FUTURE OF CAPE TOWN FOOTBALL

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web_photo_soccer: Photo of a soccer ball and boots. Uganda ended an almost four decade wait for a place in the African Nations Cup finals.© Wikimedia Commons Photo of a soccer ball and boots. Uganda ended an almost four decade wait for a place in the African Nations Cup finals.




Cape Town clubs has rarely been a destination for players outside of the Mother City, writes MAJEDI CORNELIUS.

For the first time in a very long while, Capetonian footballers have that sparkle back in their eyes and the panache back in their feet.

A city that has boasted unrivalled football talent that has lit up South African pitches and abroad.

Just think of the likes of Benni McCarthy and Quinton Fortune.

However, Cape Town clubs has rarely been a destination for players outside of the Mother City.

Since the arrival of Cape Town City at the start of the 2016/2017 season, Cape football once again seems to be hitting all the right notes.

Already champions in the Telkom Knockout competition and fighting for league honours against the experience and guile of the ‘big’ clubs in their maiden season is notice as to what this club can achieve.

CT City are owned by former professional footballer and businessman John Comitis, who is no stranger to the game.

The former Ajax Cape Town founder went on to express his dream for the club and promptly recognised thirty life-long memberships of former legends of the game in Cape Town as ambassadors of the club.

This in itself could be written off as a marketing ploy, but is quite a clever move by Comitis — every successful club thrive on legends that create an atmosphere of dedication around the club and sets the bar for the next generation to aspire to.

A couple of notable mentions were the likes of Boebie Solomons, David Nyathi, Farouk Abrahams and Pepe Dos Santos amongst others.

Another part of Comitis’ long-term plan for football dominance is that scheme of uniting all of Cape Town under one banner with their Dream100 philosophy.

A philosophy where 100 amateur clubs with roots in the Cape Flats, Nyanga and the City centre are under the guidance of the PSL team thus strengthening coaching, administration and ultimately football in Cape Town along the way.

Of course the pay-off for City would be the instant scouting network that they have thus created, which could help them play catch up and eventually overtake the development links of clubs like Ajax and Santos who have longer standing roots in these communities.

Although the PSL states that only five non-South Africa nationals are allowed to be registered per team, a good mix of foreign players together with local talent seems to be the right balance on the pitch at the moment under the tutelage of former Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler.

The difference in football culture compliments each other on and off the field as professionalism is highlighted amongst the Cape side’s players.

An accomplished display from the young club to date shows what can be achieved football-wise in the shadow of Table Mountain.

 

News24

BARCA’S MIRACULOUS COMEBACK STUNS THE WORLD

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Barcelona became the first team in Champions League history to overturn a four-goal deficit in a knockout tie as a stoppage-time goal by Sergio Roberto completed an extraordinary 6-1 victory over Paris St Germain on Wednesday.

Edinson Cavani looked to have wrecked Barcelona’s dreams by volleying in an away goal to make the score 3-1, but two late strikes from Neymar set up a thrilling finale before Roberto scored to seal a 6-5 aggregate win for the Spanish side.

Barcelona began to believe in the impossible dream of clawing back their shock 4-0 loss from the first leg when Luis Suarez headed over the line in the third minute, and a Layvin Kurzawa own goal gave them further hope before the break.

Barcelona began to believe in the impossible dream of clawing back their shock 4-0 loss from the first leg when Luis Suarez headed over the line in the third minute, and a Layvin Kurzawa own goal gave them further hope before the break.

Lionel Messi’s penalty five minutes into the second period had the Nou Camp on its feet, but Cavani’s strike in the 62nd was a sucker punch to Barca’s ambitions from which Luis Enrique’s side took a while to recover.

A curled free kick from Neymar in the 88th minute gave them hope, and the Brazilian converted a penalty before substitute Roberto slid in to knock the ball beyond Kevin Trapp from a chipped free kick and send Barca through to the last eight.

An electric atmosphere gripped the Nou Camp before kickoff after Suarez and Luis Enrique had said they truly believed a comeback was on, and the players caught the wave of optimism by swarming all over PSG from the first whistle.

Trapp struggled to cope with the early pressure and flapped at a high ball, allowing Suarez to jump ahead of him and force the ball over the line.

PSG had a penalty appeal turned down when Julian Draxler’s low cross struck Javier Mascherano’s arm, but it was one of few forays forward from PSG in the first half as Barca did all the attacking.

The Catalans owed their second to another piece of slack defending, however, as Iniesta nudged his way past Marquinhos in the area to knock the ball back into the danger zone, and it bounced off the swinging leg of Kurzawa and into the far corner.

PSG riled Barca supporters by coming back on to the pitch after the break a few minutes late, but the Nou Camp was soon celebrating a third as Messi powered a penalty past Trapp after Neymar had been tripped by Thomas Meunier.

Cavani hit the post, but made amends by smashing a loose ball home, although he should have added another but was denied by the feet of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

At the time it did not look to be a crucial miss, but Barca had other ideas, scoring three times in six minutes to complete an incredible comeback.

Reuters/Iol News

 

Images: Twitter

Cape Town City To The Top

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ABOVE: Cape Town City captain Lebogang Manyama says his team mates deserve all the praise for his goal in Friday’s win over Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePixIol News


 

CAPE TOWN – Lebogang Manyama was once again the toast of the Mother City after his 11th league goal of the season propelled Cape Town City to a 1-0 victory over PSL and African champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Athlone Stadium on Friday night.

But in his trademark self-effacing manner – and attitude that, in fact, permeates the entire City squad – Manyama (pictured) preferred to deflect the individual praise and heap all the credit on to the rest of the team.

“It wasn’t about me,” said Manyama. “It was about the whole bunch of teammates that work very hard behind the attackers. They give us the freedom to go forward…

“We knew we were up against the best team in Africa. We had to give them the respect, but the question was always about whether they were ready for the pace that we were going at them. We knew we had to be patient and you saw in the last 20 minutes that we had them at sixes and sevens. In this team, we work very hard for each other.”

Manyama explained how City went about exploiting the Pretoria team’s frailties.

“I thought, on the night, that Sundowns’ weaknesses were actually our strengths. Their defence was very slow, so we let them have the ball while we were patient, and we kept on catching them on the counter. We knew we were going to have a whole lot of chances and it was just a matter of burying them. We could have scored more, but we will take it, it was a great performance from the whole team.”

City coach Eric Tinkler was in awe of the effort put in by his team

“The victory was all down the players, the work ethic they showed, and the defensive discipline too,” said Tinkler. “But it was an entertaining game for everybody, back and forth, the chances they had, the chances we had, but I think overall we deserved the win. It’s important, if you want to be title contenders, you’re going to have to go and win the rest of the games to ensure you can stay with the likes of Sundowns.

“Yes, Sundowns lost tonight, but if they win two of the games they have in hand they’ll go above us, that’s just the harsh reality, so we have to continue winning if we really want to consider ourselves title contenders.”

Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane agreed with Tinkler’s assessment that Friday’s defeat doesn’t really damage the Pretoria club’s title ambitions.

“It wasn’t a title-defining game,” said Mosimane. “We’re in a position that it’s okay to take a loss.

“We lost to a good team, they’re very good on the break, well organised, they don’t commit, and they deserved the win. They lost many chances they could have scored, we lost many chances to score, but that’s the game.

“We have surpassed our objectives at this stage of the season. We are fine. We just lost to a good team. They are very good, they have a very good attack, they must get the credit.”

Weekend Argus / Iol News

LIVERPOOL TOOK THE NIGHT 3 -1

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Roberto Firmino of Liverpool Scores the opener for liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on March 4, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool – It was an exceptionally hard fought-out-night at Anfield yesterday when the unpredictable host tackled their top-four and title rivals Arsenal football club in a thrilling encounter that saw the two English giants perform one of the best episode in football theatre. Though it was an entertaining showpiece all 90+ minutes, the host was out to make up for their mid-week flop to reigning champions Leicester City and the ever bubbly Anfield fans  who also was up to the accession.

 

In what could be classed as a high quality and intensity football match that no doubt can stand for ‘A match of the season’ with due respect  to other encounters we are yet to see; we have to applaud the two teams for giving their best at a night when all they were required of was only their best. Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on March 4, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

 

Goals from Roberto Firmino, Mane and Wijnadum with Welbeck pulling one back for the visitors’ just minutes after the restart of the second half, saw both players and managers pull their tricks and skills to the very much anticipated response from the Anfield crowed.

 

 

Liverpool led most of the match with Firmino’s goal at the 9th minute followed by Mane who was played through also by Firmino to slot home from a close range 6 minutes from the break. From left to right, Milner starts the move and it ends with Firmino finding Mane in the box on the right, and he finishes with a flourish.Alex Iwobi of Arsenal (L) puts pressure on Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool (R) during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on March 4, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

A revitalized Ansenal came back into the game with a hard worked  out goal and could have made it 2-2 if not for a fine save from Simon Mignolet, when Olivier Giroud  curled in his killer header to the far corner; the Liverpool Goalkeeper who had a good night pushed the ball up his goal bar and to later grab it comfortably.

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet in action during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

3 – 1 it ended at Anfield but it was a superb and fantastic game irrespective of the outcome which now take Liverpool to 3rd position pushing Arsenal out of the top four and champions league qualification area.

 

LIVERPOOL 3 1 ARSENAL
HT 2-0
  • Roberto Firmino9
  • Sadio Mané40
  • Georginio Wijnaldum90+1
  • Danny Welbeck57

New Bafana coach to be announced next week

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ABOVE: Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt is reportedly one of the men on the Safa shortlist for Bafana coach. Image by: Lefty Shvambu/Gallo Images/Times Live


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The announcement of the new Bafana Bafana coach will only be made next week‚ according to the South African Football Association.

“The naming of new @BafanaBafana coach has been postponed to next week as we need the coach available at the Press Conference!” the tweet read.

Former Bafana and Portugal and current Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has been hotly tipped for a return‚ with TMG Digital reporting ex-Zambia‚ Ivory Coast and Morocco coach Herve Renard as strong opposition.

Former Orlando Pirates and Egypt coach Ruud Krol; Hugo Broos‚ who won the Africa Cup of Nations with Cameroon in February‚ and Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt have also been named as being on a Safa shortlist in reports.

The new coach will replace Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba‚ who was sacked following a disciplinary hearing in December.

– TMG Digital/TMG Sport/Times Live