If there is a game that doesn’t disappoint in England it’s Preston vs Blackburn, this time they played to a thrilling 5 goal thriller, with Preston winning 3-2 and SA striker Tom Barkhuizen stole the show for Preston scoring a brace as they staged a come back to clinch it by three goals to two.
Bafana Bafana international Percy Tau has been named in Club Brugge’s Uefa Champions League squad to face Paris Saint Germain at the Jan Breydel Stadium tonight.
Tau and Brugge will look to continue their unbeaten run in all competitions this season.
The Belgian Jupiler League leaders are second in Group A of the Champions League behind PSG.
On match day two, Brugge stunned Spanish giants Real Madrid at their own backyard when they held the record champions league holders to a 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Since the 25-year-old didn’t feature for Bafana Bafana when they defeated Mali 2-1 in the recent international break, many would have been worried that he won’t be able to play for a week or two.
But the striker has since recovered and even featured in the league against Royal Excel Mouscron over the weekend, so he’s raring to go against PSG.
The striker will be hoping that his contribution of 4 goals and 5 assists in all competitions this season will persuade his manager Phillipe Clement to start him against the French giants.
But regardless of what happens tonight the South African star will certainly be involved as he is part of the match day squad for the game (see above).
The competition for places has been tough in Brugge’s attacking line with players like Diatta, Okereke, Dennis and Diagne battling it out for a spot in the starting XI.
For Tau, playing in the Champions League has many benefits.
When he moved from Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns to English Premier League side Brighton Hove & Albion, he couldn’t play in England due to work permit restrictions so he had to move to Belgian First Division side, Royal Union Saint Gilloise and now Club Brugge on loan hoping that those moves would get him enough points to get a work permit.
With him playing for a Champions League club that dream might come through next season, because playing in this competition earns a player points in the process of acquiring a work permit to play in the United Kingdom (UK).
With Bafana well outside the top 50 countries, Tau’s continuous participation in the Champions League may stand him in good stead.
By Prince Sobayeni
Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki was delighted with his winning start in charge of the senior national team.
Bafana managed a 2-1 victory over Mali in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, which was a Nelson Mandela Challenge in honour of SA’s first democratic president, who’s now late.
“It was a special one. You know, when you play in a match against Mali and you are honouring an icon like Nelson Mandela, being the head coach… it’s a very good feeling,” Ntseki reflected in conversation with the media.
“I really want to thank the management of Safa [SA Football Association] to have given me this opportunity.
“I think it’s an opportunity that comes once in your lifetime,” he said.
Bafana’s next match is a big one against Ghana away on November 11 as Bafana kick off their qualifying campaign for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
The SABC and SA Football Association (Safa) have announced that they have reached a 4-year agreement on the broadcast rights of SAFA matches and events.
The agreement will annually cover:
- 6 Bafana Bafana matches (3 home AFCON qualifiers; 2 international friendlies and the Nelson Mandela Challenge);
- 5 Banyana Banyana home friendly matches, inclusive of the Winnie Mandela Challenge;
- Domestic competitions including the U/19 Women’s National Championship Final, Burger King U/20 National Championships Final, U/23 Men’s National Championships FINALS, ABC Motsepe National Play Offs Final, KAY Motsepe Schools Final, Futsal and Beach Football National Championships FINALS as well as the SASOL Women’s League Finals and various SAFA National Women’s League matches;
- A weekly SAFA magazine show; and the
- SAFA Annual Awards.
The Nelson Mandela Challenge between Bafana Bafana and Mali will be broadcast today, live on SABC1 at 15:00.
Bafana Bafana will take on The Eagles of Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge this afternoon (4pm), looking to maintain their decent record against African opponents in this challenge.
The match will be a 14th against an African opponent in the Nelson Mandela Challenge, which honours the late SA president.
South Africa have managed 9 wins against countries within the continent with 5 defeats and one draw. They have also only failed to score in three of those matches but managed a total of 19 goals.
Head coach Molefi Ntseki has acknowledged that there is an added pressure playing in the Challenge given the stature of the man.
“Be it a home or an away game, the pressure and the weight of the match is still the same. We will be approaching the game the same way despite the fact that added pressure will be playing in the Mandela Challenge honouring the late President of this country Nelson Mandela.
“So yes, with that added responsibility we should definitely be able to deal with it because a win will always make all South Africans happy.”
In the overall 24 Nelson Mandela Challenge matches South Africa have won 12 matches with 5 draws and 7 defeats.
Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki is hoping for a positive start to his career as the head coach of the SA national team.
Ntseki filled the vacancy left by coach Stuart Baxter who resigned after the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
His first official assignment is against 57th FIFA ranked Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday afternoon. SA ranked 71st.
The former U/17 Men’s head coach admits it’s exciting times for him being on the bench for the first time as head coach.
“Exciting moments that come with very big responsibilities, knowing that it’s your first match and you feel you have to play to win the match of which it’s a very positive feeling. But one also has to understand that in a game of football anything can happen,” Ntseki said.
“Having said that, we are going to give Mali the respect they deserve. When you look at Mali in the CAF and FIFA rankings they are above us. But we are in a very good mood in camp and the players, staff and everybody is looking forward to this match and as a result I think we are very positive and confident that on the day we will do well.”
The match starts at 15:00 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. This will be the 25th Nelson Mandela Challenge match for Bafana and a 14th time they face an African opponent in the challenge.
Mothobi Mvala of Highlands Park has been called up to take the place of the injured Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu.
The Amiens FC star is the third player to be withdrawn from the squad due to injury after both goalkeeper Brandon Petersen and defender Thamsanqa Mkhize were replaced by Ricardo Goss of Bidvest Wits and Tshepo Rikhotso of Bloemfontein Celtic.
All the 23 players have reported for national team duty including Belgium-based Percy Tau and Kamohelo Mokotjo who plays his club football in England.
Mvala has already joined his compatriots in camp in Port Elizabeth as he arrived on Tuesday night.
The midfield workhorse will be part of the training squad this afternoon where Bafana Bafana will have a session open to the public – taking place at the Wolfson Stadium in KwaZakhele at 15h00.
Bafana Bafana take on Mali in the 2019 Nelson Mandela Challenge scheduled for Sunday.
The clash will take place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Kickoff is at 15h00.
Bafana’s updated squad…
Goalkeepers: Darren Keet (OH-Leuven, Belgium), Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Richard Goss (Bidvest Wits).
Defenders: Erick Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhle Mkhwanazi (both Wits), Thapelo Morena, Mosa Lebusa (both Mamelodi Sundowns), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Tshepo Rikhotso (Bloemfontein Celtic).
Midfielders: Kamo Mokotjo (Brentford, England), Lebohang Phiri (Guingamp, France), Mothobi Mvala (Highlands Park), Dean Furman (SuperSport), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier, France), Thulani Serero (Al Jazira, UAE), Thato Mokeke (CT City)., Themba Zwane (Sundowns), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates)
Forwards: Percy Tau (Club Brugge, Belgium), Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg, France), Bradley Grobler (SuperSport), Kermit Erasmus (CT City).
Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has called on all ‘unknown’ South African football players in foreign countries to come out and avail themselves for the national team.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the Nelson Mandela Challenge match with Mali on Sunday in Port Elizabeth, he revealed that they have been monitoring the progress of a few players including Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Kearyn Baccus.
Baccus who started out at Sydney FC’s youth set-up (Australia) in 2008, expressed his interest in playing for Bafana.
“Last week I was made aware that Kaizer Chiefs player Kearyn Baccus also qualifies to play for South Africa so the monitoring and the profile has already started so that when we bring him in, we will have an understanding on what value is he bringing in,” Ntseki said.
“We have some of the players that we don’t know of that are very good wherever they are. I am saying if ever we do have such players let them come and say I am a South African and I want to play for my country, then we will do all the assessment and profiling and if ever we are happy then we will bring them in.”
The former U17 national team mentor also disclosed that they are monitoring the progress of Preston North End Midfielder Tom Barkhuizen (pictured above).
The 26-year-old was born in England but has a South African grandfather.
Polokwane City goalkeeper Cyril Chibwe has explained his decision to choose the Zambian national team over Bafana Bafana.
Chibwe has been called up to the Chipolopolo squad for their friendly international matches.
Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki made a revelation on Monday that the 26-year-old keeper was contacted for a call up to Bafana for the Nelson Mandela Challenge against Mali in Port Elizabeth on Sunday but declined.
“We made a small research on Cyril Chibwe from Polokwane City. He is a South African – he was born in the North West, so we sent a call up to him to join us for this camp but unfortunately he will be playing for his father’s country which is Zambia,” Ntseki confirmed.
But the keeper who was born to a South African mother says the decision to choose Zambia was to honour his father who was a footballer but never represented the national team.
“My father was a football player in Zambia but never got to represent the national team. So, I am fulfilling not only his dream but mine as well to represent Zambia. It was a decision that I made on my own and discussed with family before accepting (the call-up from Zambia),” Chibwe tells FARPost.co.za.
“Yes, I was contacted by a SAFA representative, letting me know of the call up for Bafana Bafana.
“But I explained my situation as I had already been in contact with representatives in Zambia regarding representing the Chipolopolo team,” Chibwe adds.
His Father, Paul, played as a centre-back for Strike Rovers and later Nchanga Rangers (Zambia) in 1985 before joining Umtata Bush Bucks in South Africa in 1989.