CALL him King Sunday III, the COSAFA King, Warrior King or whatever name with a touch of royalty and, if you are taking about Africa’s most successful regional football tournament, it’s unlikely you will get critics throwing bricks at you for hoisting him on such a pedestal reserved for revered monarchs.
When someone finally decides to pluck a leaf from Memory Mucherahowa and writes a book about the COSAFA Castle Cup in an era where possibly this regional tournament would have long staggered into extinction, there will certainly be a special page reserved for this Zimbabwean coach.
For, choosing not to do that will not just be seen as an insult to the real story of this tournament, which this year celebrated 20 years after its inaugural edition with the Warriors making history by winning a record fifth crown after demolishing bitter rivals Zambia 3-1 in the final on Sunday, but will certainly be viewed as an aberration.
Welcome back home Mhofu. And, before we get lost in the mist of statistics that provide the soul of this piece, it’s important to tell you that while you were away on national duty in South Africa, one of your old boys Moses Chunga went on national television on Monday night to thank you for delivering this piece of silverware.
He also told the nation, using the massive reach that the weekly Monday night ZTV football magazine programme Game Plan has across the country, he was indebted to you for restoring the Warriors’ pride at this tournament after years of underachievement by our boys since we had last graced the winners’ enclosure back in 2009.
Chunga said it was an insult to this nation that the Warriors should be ranked among lightweights of the COSAFA Castle Cup, reduced to the Mickey Mouse football nations who have to start their adventure in the group qualifying stages because of our repeated poor showing there, given the talent around this country.
Play the video below:
Amid the explosion of joy at the Royal Bafokeng Palace on Sunday, after victory over the ultimate rivals had been secured, in comprehensive fashion and with a touch of class in which the attacking football of your players illuminated the mild winter afternoon, you might probably not have heard South African football commentator Mark Gleeson telling millions of television viewers across the continent that this was your 15th unbeaten match in this tournament.
Gleeson, who also writes for some of the world’s leading publications, is a man everyone in this part of the world respects, for good reason too, because he is considered the ultimate football encyclopedia in Southern Africa, the authoritative voice of the game who was even honoured by the CAF leadership for his services to African football.
He was the SuperSport commentator for our final against Zambia and did a pretty good job of it, as he usually does, and as you started that sprint, which appeared like a jog, onto the field to be with your players in their hour of success, Gleeson remembered the scar that the old injury that ended your career and makes you run in an awkward way, and used it as a sound-bite to his commentary. And if it was meant to honour you for the service you have given to his game, to remind his audience that you were not a Johnny-Come-Lately suddenly trying to parade himself as the master in this game, Gleeson really hit a bull’s eye.
Oh, by the way, this isn’t about Big Mark but about you, the man whose parents, somehow, aptly, chose a fitting first name for given your life in the public glare, and your greatest stories, have generally been told on any given Sunday.
Welcome home Sunday Chidzambwa. Of course, I have been doing the maths and your record in this COSAFA Cup, where you are unbeaten, doesn’t tell me that you have been involved in 15 matches, as previously broadcast and written, but that you have guided your Warriors in 16 games.
And you have won 13 and drawn 3, in the period spread over 17 years that you have been involved with this tournament, with your Warriors scoring 37 goals and conceding only seven and, if this was a league championship, this will give you 42 out of 48 points.
Now, that an impressive 87.5 percent success rate in this tournament although, given the ultimate mission is to try and win it, and you have done so on all the three occasions you have been asked to take charge of your Warriors in this tourney, others can rightly call it a 100 percent success rate.
There have been nine clean sheets by your men in those 16 matches and only two teams, Lesotho, has managed to score more than one goal in the 16 matches that you have presided over in the three COSAFA Cup tournaments.
Yes, Lesotho scored twice against your Warriors at Rufaro back in 2009 in a 2-2 draw, one of only three teams — the others being South Africa and Madagascar, of course, with a little bit of help from that Botswana referee who denied your boys two clear penalties — who have managed to scrap draws against your team in the COSAFA Cup.
And Lesotho, who are the only ones who appear to have perfected a way of piercing your defensive shields when it comes to this tournament, again scored three times in South Africa in that seven-goal semi-final thriller even though, as your boys always do under you when the COSAFA Cup comes along, you won that contest.
Your Warriors have only trailed once, in your adventure in this COSAFA Cup, in that semi-final against Bafana Bafana at Rufaro on October 28, 2009, when Lennox Bacela shot his country into a first half lead to plunge more than 25 000 fans into silence.
How dare, I may ask, did they even doubt your men because your Warriors came fighting back, found the equaliser in the second half and in the penalty shoot-out lottery that followed, held their nerve to triumph.
Our colleagues, across the Zambezi, must be rowing tired of just your presence because, on the occasions we meet them in the final of this tournament and you are the one in charge — as was the case on Sunday — it always ends 3-1 in our favour.
It was the same story back in 2009 when a double by Nyasha Mushekwi and another goal by Cuthbert Malajila powered your boys to a 3-1 triumph in that final and, on Sunday, it was a similar score in Rustenberg.
By the way, why do players with a surname that starts with “M”, as was the case with your old name Marimo before it underwent major surgery and came out as Chidzambwa, and is the case with your nickname, clan name or whatever, Mhofu, always steal the show with the goals in the COSAFA Cup final in which you are the coach?
Albert Mbano and Zvenyika Makonese in that 2-1 win in Malawi in 2003, Nyasha Mushekwi and Cuthbert Malajila in that 3-1 win over Zambia at Rufaro in 2009 and Knox Mutizwa and Ocean Mushure in that 3-1 win over the Zambians in Rustenberg on Sunday?
Maybe, now that you are back home, King Sunday III, I will get a chance to find an explanation to all this?
Sixteen games, 13 wins, three draws, 37 goals, just seven against, it just doesn’t get better than this and, in case you doubt, ask the Zambians.
Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
Angola – FAF, ANCAF Agree On Creation Of Football League
The meeting between the Angolan Football Federation (FAF) and the National Association of Angolan Football Clubs (ANCAF) was a historic moment for the future of Angolan football. The objective was to address the creation of a future club league, which would involve changing the current Basic Law of Sports. This change would require a strong collaboration between the FAF and ANCAF.
To achieve this goal, the participants agreed to form a technical group made up of members from both organizations. The group will be responsible for creating a schedule of consensual actions to present to the clubs. This schedule will help familiarize the clubs with the operating model of Girabola, which is the current top-tier league in Angola.
The creation of a future club league is an important step for the growth and development of Angolan football. The league will provide a platform for the country’s top clubs to compete against each other, and will raise the standard of play in the country. This, in turn, will help produce better players and improve the national team.
Moreover, the creation of a future club league will also help to increase the popularity of football in Angola. The league will attract fans and provide them with a platform to support their favorite teams. This will also help generate revenue for the clubs, which can be reinvested into the sport to improve facilities, infrastructure, and the quality of play.
The meeting between the FAF and ANCAF was a positive step forward for the future of Angolan football. The creation of a future club league is a major step in the development of the sport, and will help produce better players, attract fans, and generate revenue for the clubs. The technical group created by the FAF and ANCAF will play a key role in ensuring the success of this initiative, and the participants are confident that this will be a positive change for the sport in Angola.
Tuchel’s Unwavering Commitment to Chelsea
Former Chelsea Football Club manager, Tomas Tuchel, was recently spotted in Australia Open, leading many to believe that he was harshly sacked after transforming the club and helping them win the Champions League. Despite being handed a reduced budget, Tuchel demonstrated his passion for the club by highlighting the changes to their away travel budget.
Tuchel said, “I think practically what’s changed is more for the guys who for example organized the journey to Lille because they had to figure out how we were arriving there.” He went on to add, “My last information was that we are getting a plane. So we can go by plane and come back by plane. If not, we’ll go by train. If not, we’ll go by bus. If not, I’ll drive a seven-seater!”
Thomas Tuchel spotted at the Australian Open. pic.twitter.com/YuhbpoRf8m
— Jackson Chelsea 💙🇦🇷 (@JacksonChelse17) January 26, 2023
The former manager showed his commitment to the club and h
is unwavering dedication to ensuring that they succeed by saying, “Honestly, I will do it. You can mark my words, I will do it to arrive there.” He further demonstrated his passion by saying, “If you’d asked me 20 or 30 years ago, to be in charge of a Champions League match what I was willing to do, I’d say: ‘Ok, where do I have to be and when?”
Tuchel’s words show that he is a man of his word and is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that the club is successful. Despite being handed a reduced budget, Tuchel’s passion and commitment to the club remain undiminished. He remains an inspiration to many, and his words serve as a reminder of the importance of never losing sight of one’s goals, no matter what obstacles may arise.
Uganda Secures Victory Over Senegal in CHAN 2022
On Wednesday night, Uganda defeated Senegal 1-0 in the CHAN 2022 competition in Algeria. The Cranes’ captain Milton Karisa scored the lone goal in the 33rd minute to lead his team to victory on a chilly and rainy night at the 19 May 1956 Stadium in Annaba. The match was evenly matched with Senegal having a strong start, controlling the majority of the ball and putting pressure on the Ugandan defense. Senegal had several opportunities to score but were unable to convert. However, when Teranga Lions substitute Libasse Ngom was dismissed for a severe foul in the 83rd minute, Teranga Lions’ hopes of regaining parity were dashed, giving Uganda the numerical advantage it needed to hold on and defeat the West African powerhouses.
The Senegalese team had a strong start to the game, controlling the majority of the ball and putting pressure on the Ugandan defense. Senegal had several opportunities to score but were unable to convert. Lamine Kamara had a chance to score from a freekick in the 21st minute, but his shot went straight into the Ugandan wall. Frank Ssebufu fouled Moussa Ndiaye in the penalty area during an aerial tackle, and Tunisian referee Mehrez Melki pointed to the spot. Ousmane Diouf took the opportunity to score from six yards out, but Ugandan goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi stopped his shot to the right.
The match was intense from the start, with Senegal dominating possession and creating several chances to score. However, despite their strong performance, the Senegalese were unable to convert their opportunities, with shots being blocked by Ugandan goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi and going off-target.
In the 33rd minute, Ugandan striker Milton Karisa received a feed from Kenneth Semakula and made a tap-in past Senegal goalkeeper Pape Sy, giving the Cranes the lead. Despite this setback, Senegal continued to press forward and create chances, with Cheikh Sidibe and Cheikh Diouf both having opportunities to score.
However, in the 83rd minute, substitute Libasse Ngom was dismissed for a severe foul, giving Uganda the advantage they needed to hold on and secure the win. With this victory, Uganda now leads Group B with four points, followed by Senegal with three points. The Cranes will now look to continue their winning streak and secure a spot in the knock-out stage of the competition.
Gary Neville weighs in on Mohamed Salah’s form as Liverpool prepares for a crucial match against Chelsea
Manchester United legend Gary Neville has expressed his belief that Egyptian captain Mohamed Salah is not performing at the same level as he has in previous seasons. Despite the fact that Salah has scored 17 goals and provided six assists from 28 matches for Liverpool FC this term, Neville feels that the world class winger’s displays have tailed off a little.
The retired right-back believes that the departure of Senegal international Sadio Mane from Liverpool to Bayern Munich in June last year, as well as the club’s new attackers being raw, have contributed to this decline in form. “Salah’s not what he was in previous seasons, Mane’s gone and the others are a little rugged and raw around the edges,” said Neville on HITC. “There are things that you could argue are going against Jurgen Klopp, there’s no doubt.”
Liverpool have lost their last two matches in the Premier League and are out of the race for the championship, having had a somewhat inconsistent season. Despite the Reds’ struggles, Salah remains one of the top performers in the UEFA Champions League, currently tied as the joint-top scorer with seven goals from six matches.
The 30-year-old and his Liverpool teammates are scheduled to take on Chelsea FC in a crucial Premier League clash on Saturday at Anfield. This match will be an opportunity for Salah to prove to Neville and others that he is still capable of performing at the highest level. Regardless of the outcome, it is sure to be an exciting and closely contested match between two top teams in the league.
Mali’s diehard attitude earns draw against Angola
Mali head coach Diane Nouhoum praised his team’s never-say-die attitude after the 3-3 draw with Angola at the 2022 Africa Nations Championships on Monday. The Eagles battled back from behind on two occasions to earn a share of the spoils in their Group D opener at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran.
Depu (12′, 26′) had twice given the Black Antelopes the lead and Gilberto (72′) added a third, but the Mali team did not give up. Hamidou Sinayoko (23′) initially restored parity before Yoro Diaby (79′) and Ousmane Coulibaly (83′) struck late on to keep the West Africans’ tournament hopes alive.
Nouhoum expressed pride in his players for not throwing in the towel as the point meant that Mali have now gone four editions without losing their opening game at CHAN. He said, “Impossible is nothing. We Malians do not give up. We kept believing even when the odds were against us in the game. We kept fighting and we eventually got a positive result in this very tough game.
“We came back from behind and this is the best thing that I can ask from my team. Of course, we have a different team from the one that reached the final two years ago in Cameroon, but we are proud of today’s performance.”
Nouhoum went on to say that, despite the challenging circumstances and the different team composition, the team was still able to achieve a positive outcome. He also emphasized the importance of having a never-say-die attitude, as it allowed them to come back from behind and secure a draw.
The coach now turns his focus to next Tuesday’s clash against Mauritania at the same venue in a bid to secure top spot in the group. He believed that with the same never-say-die attitude, they can achieve a positive result in this match as well.
83’ Incroyable 😳 mais c’est dingue ce qui se passe à Oran 😱 Le Mali revient au score à quelques minutes de la fin du match, grâce à Ousmane Coulibaly – entré plus tôt dans le match – pour l’égalisation 3-3 !!!!! #MALANG #CHAN2022 pic.twitter.com/MXkQI8ToIn
— Dounia Mesli (@Mesli_Dounia) January 16, 2023
The 7th African Nations Championship Kicks off tonight
The football match between Algeria and their neighbors Libya will mark the beginning of the 7th edition of African Nations Championship(CHAN). The match will take place in the brand-new Nelson Mandela stadium in Algiers, which was officially inaugurated on Thursday evening. The stadium, located in Baraki, southeast of Algiers, has taken almost 20 years to come out of the ground. The construction of the stadium was launched in 2009, but it faced several years of long stoppages before being delivered.
The stands will be packed this evening as fans gather to watch the opening match and CAF President Patrice Motsepe officially launch a CHAN that he announces as “the most successful in history.” The CAF President believes that Algeria has world-class facilities and that is why the organization has increased the prize money for the competition, in order to encourage African nations to promote the local player and develop football in the continent.
It is worth mentioning that Patrice Motsepe carefully avoided the subject of the pending participation of Morocco, which was finally validated in the evening. The absence of the double title holders would have undermined his ambitions for the tournament. The Atlas Lions will once again be the favorites as the competition brings together 18 nations for the first time, divided into five groups.
The competition will be watched by thousands of fans and is expected to be one of the most exciting and competitive CHAN tournaments in recent years. The teams will be competing for the title of African champion and the chance to represent Africa in the FIFA World Cup. The tournament will also provide an opportunity for local players to showcase their skills and gain recognition on a larger stage.
Cameroon Hopes Of Qualifying For World Cup Over After 4-0 Defeat To Nigeria
Hugo Broos admitted that Cameroon’s 2018 World Cup qualification hopes are all but over following their 4-0 defeat to Nigeria on Friday in Uyo.
The Super Eagles are top of Group B on nine points after three matches, seven ahead of African champions Cameroon.
They meet again in Yaounde on Monday, with Broos admitting there is nothing but pride at stake.
“There is no pressure anymore on Monday, Nigeria have nine points, we have two points,” Broos said.
“But there is only an honour to defend, there is no importance to this. I just hope my players will have the same mentality that I have – that they will fight on Monday till the last minute – to beat Nigeria.
“If we had won this game, we would have a chance, but we lost it and I hope everyone will learn from this.”
Goals from Odion Ighalo, John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho sealed the win, with Broos refusing to hold any hopes of a ‘miraculous’ route to Russia.
“Why should we have a chance to the World Cup? We need to win all three games and Nigeria have to lose all three games, I don’t think that will happen,” said the Cameroon boss.
Cameroon are the reigning champions of Africa after their triumph over Egypt in the Nations Cup final in Gabon earlier this year.
The Indomitable Lions have played at seven Fifa World Cups and their best outing was at the 1990 World Cup where they reached the quarterfinals.
2019 AFCON – Cameroon, Gets Ready
Cameroon’s bid to host the 2019 AFCON, the biggest football event in the continent has kept football fans wondering if the country will meet up with CAF’s expectations.
Photo de: 2019 AFCON: Cameroon in the heat of preparations
These sceptics point to the slow progress of work at the construction sites and facilities that will host participants during the 2019 AFCON.
On Thursday 20th July 2019, a CAF executive meeting in Rabat, Morocco made reforms some of which directly concern Cameroon.
1-The number of participating countries at the AFCON competitions increased from 16 t0 24.
2-The tournament moved to the months of June and July from the innitial January.
In view of the new developments, many Cameroonians took to the social media and other media platforms to express worries concerning Cameroon’s readiness to host 24 instead of the 16 countries.
They argue that work has to speed up and the innitial four stadia and three training grounds earmarked to serve during the competition will not be enough.
Before the changes, the sixteen teams to participate at the 2019 Cameroon AFCON had to be divided into four groups.
Group A to be positioned in Yaounde
Group B,Douala and Limbe
Presently, the 24 teams has to be grouped in six.
The most probable option at present is to have Limbe which served as a play ground during the 2017 Women AFCON host a group.
Yaounde with the Ahmadou Ahidjo and the Olembe stadia, can host an additional group.
Thankfully the Italian company,n, Piccini, charged with the construction of the 60000-seater capacity football structure in Olembe only recently assured the public that it will meet the deadline .
Another change in Cameroon’s favour is the competition month that has been moved from January to June.
The gives the country an additional six months
Though many think the 2018 Presidential elections will be a distraction from a smooth preparation, the Minister of Sports and Phisical Education, in a recent media outing, was very reassuring.
As the CAF executive meeting continues in Rabat Morroco, many expect other changes
Liberia- Lone Stars Gear Up for Mauritania 2018 CHAN Tournament
The national football team Lone Star have begun preparation ahead of their first match against Mauritania in the 2018 African Nations Championship qualification on Friday, July 14, in Monrovia.
The tournament will involve only non-professional players; that is, players who play in the domestic league.
According to the Liberia Football Association, 26 players have been selected from the various clubs in the domestic league and will today begin training sessions at the LFA Technical Center in Careysburg.
A total of 48 CAF member national teams are split into zones according to their regional affiliations.
Liberia is in Zone A (West) along with Mauritania, Sierra Leon, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Gambia, and Mali.
Four winners from the first round matches will move to the third round, where the last two winners of the zone will qualify for the last 16 of the tournament.
A total of 16 teams will qualify to play in the final tournament including Kenya, who qualified automatically as host nation.
The 26 players selected by the LFA are:
- Tommy Song’o (LISCR FC)
- Arlington Sengbeh (BYC)
- Abdulai Koulibaly (MC Breweries)
- Darius Kai (LISCR FC)
- Nuwo Johnson (FC FASSELL),
- Malaika Cooker (Watanga),
- Daniel Woto(LISCR FC)
- Aloysius Simujla(FC Fassel)
- Carlos Williams (Watanga)
- Kemoh Kamara(BYC)
- Alvin Maccornel(FC FASSELL)
- Prince Balde (MONROVIA CLUB BREWERIES FC)
- Richard Lloyd (LISCR FC)
- Saah Nyumah(LISCR FC)
- Wilton Ninneh (NIMBA UNITED)
- John Jaysay(FC FASSELL)
- David Tweh (BYC)
- James Wlatee (FC FASSELL)
- Kelvin Potis (WATANGA)
- Curtis Koon (MONROVIA CLUB BREWERIES FC)
- Prince Saydee (BYC)
- Terrance Tisdell (FC FASSELL)
- Christopher Jackson (LISCR FC)
- Van Dave Harmon (BYC)
- Mustapha Lomell (NIMBA UNITED)
- Mark Paye(BYC)
Football – Senegalese international, Pape Ndiaye Souaré Is Fit To Return After Injury (Video)
Senegalese international Pape Ndiaye Souaré, who suffered a serious car accident last September, was dismissed from the Premier League and deprived of CAN with the Lions of Senegal. On these videos, the Lion seems to regain its form.
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