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Zimbabwe keep clean sheet in AFCON friendly draw with Nigeria

Zimbabwe beat Comoros 2-0 last Saturday and drew 0-0 with Zambia three days ago.

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afcon 2019
Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria

Africa Cup of Nations outsiders Zimbabwe kept a third consecutive clean sheet in warm-up matches by drawing 0-0 with title contenders Nigeria in rain-lashed Asaba on Saturday. 

Zimbabwe, who will be  in Group A with hosts Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, beat Comoros 2-0 last Saturday and drew 0-0 with Zambia three days ago.

Not conceding a goal in 270 minutes will encourage coach Sunday Chidzambwa and his team before they face Mohamed Salah-inspired Egypt in the Cup of Nations opener on June 21 in Cairo.

Nigeria, who will meet Guinea, Burundi and Madagascar in Group B, dominated possession in challenging conditions at the Stephen Keshi Stadium.  

But a Super Eagles attack that included Alex Iwobi of Arsenal could not find a way past giant Zimbabwe goalkeeper George Chigova.

Iwobi did come close to ending the stalemate late in the second half with a shot from outside the box that flew just above the crossbar.

In northern Portugal, Angola scored twice within a minute midway through the second half via Ladislau and Mabululu to beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in another warm-up match.

Angola are in Group E at the Cup of Nations with Tunisia, Mali and Mauritania while Guinea-Bissau will face defending champions Cameroon, Ghana and Benin in Group F.

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Southern Africa Sports

Manyama’s brace secures win for Kaizer Chiefs

The former South Africa midfielder opened the scoring after five minutes in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd at Makhulong Stadium

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Manyama's brace secures win for Kaizer Chiefs

Lebogang Manyama ended a 26-month South African Premiership goal drought by scoring twice as Kaizer Chiefs began the new season with a 3-2 win at Highlands Park Sunday.

The former South Africa midfielder opened the scoring after five minutes in front of a capacity 10,000 crowd at Makhulong Stadium 45 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg.

After Highlands had gone ahead with goals either side of half-time from Rodney Ramagalela and Namibian Peter Shalulile, Manyama struck again on 50 minutes to equalise.

An Eric Mathoho shot seven minutes from time which took a wicked deflection won the match for Chiefs, one of the most popular football clubs in the country but without a trophy since 2015.

“We have been through a rough patch over the last couple of years but I think today we showed what can be achieved and the team can only get better from here,” Manyama said.

It was an encouraging start for Chiefs at a ground where few visiting teams win as the Soweto outfit seek to put a disastrous last season behind them. 

They finished a humiliating ninth in the Premiership and were stunned by second-tier TS Galaxy in the FA Cup final.

Chiefs changed coaches midway through the 2018/2019 campaign with German Ernst Middendorp replacing Italian Giovanni Solinas.

“We had the edge over Highlands Park in quality and had to be patient,” said Middendorp, who has been resident in South Africa for more than a decade.

“The crowd was amazing today and this is the season where we have to play for our supporters. We attract many capacity crowds and then do not show up.

“But I think the situation is going to get better,” added Middendorp, who previously coached Chiefs a decade ago with minimal success.

Chiefs lie fourth after the opening round, behind Bidvest Wits, Orlando Pirates and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns on goal difference.

Golden Arrows and Polokwane City were the other clubs to secure maximum points in the opening round.

Sibusiso Mbonani scored a minute before half-time to earn Polokwane a 1-0 away win over Black Leopards, who hired French coach Lionel Soccoia during the close season.

Soccoia replaced Maltese Dylan Kerr, who quit after complaining of constant interference from club officials. 

Arrows netted in the first minute of the second half through a Michael Gumede lob to edge Maritzburg United 1-0 in Durban.

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Cricket South Africa sacks Gibson and his entire coaching staff

The clean-out comes shortly before a tour of India next month during which South Africa will play

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South Africa's head coach Ottis Gibson sacked

Ottis Gibson and his entire South African coaching team and management staff have lost their jobs, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Sunday. The decision, taken during a board meeting last week, follows a disastrous South African World Cup campaign in which the Proteas finished seventh of the 10 teams.

The clean-out comes shortly before a tour of India next month during which South Africa will play their first three Test matches in the new world Test championship.

In a statement, CSA said a football-style team manager would be appointed, who would take charge of all aspects of the national team, including the appointment of a coaching staff, the captain or captains and medical and administrative personnel.

The team manager will report directly to a Director of Cricket, a new position. Former South African player Corrie van Zyl, currently in charge of cricket pathways at CSA, will be acting Director of Cricket until a full-time appointment is made.

The statement said Van Zyl and CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe would appoint an interim management team for the tour of India as well as an interim selection panel and captain. Faf du Plessis, the current captain, was on Saturday night named South African Cricketer of the Year and it would be a surprise if he was replaced.

Sunday’s statement said none of the current team management, including coaches, would be retained. “This change will herald an exciting new era for the SA cricket and will bring us into line with best practice in professional sport,” said Moroe.

Former West Indian player and coach Gibson was appointed South African team coach in 2017. His contract was due to expire next month.

Gibson said during the recent Cricket World Cup that he was keen to continue in the job but his prospects plummeted when South Africa were among the first teams to be eliminated from contention for a World Cup semi-final place.

Van Zyl, 57, played in one unofficial Test during South Africa’s years of isolation and in two one-day internationals in 1992 following the country’s return to official international cricket. He had a brief spell as South African coach between 2009 and 2011.

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Ex-South African footballer Marc Batchelor killed in drive-by shooting

Police said the motive of the attack was unknown and that no arrests had yet been made

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Ex-South African footballer Marc Batchelor killed in drive-by shooting
Former South Africa footballer Marc Batchelor was shot dead in an apparent targeted killing late July 15, 2019, as he drove home in Johannesburg, police said. (Photo by Siphiwe SIBEKO / POOL / AFP)

Former South African footballer, Marc Batchelor was shot dead in an apparent targeted killing on Monday evening as he drove home in Johannesburg, police said.

“He was driving to his house and he was accosted by two guys on a motorcycle,” police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini told reporters.

“They fired shots at him and he died in his vehicle and the suspects drove away without taking anything.” 

“This happened outside his house in Olivedale (northern Johannesburg).”

Police said the motive of the attack was unknown and that no arrests had yet been made.

Local media carried photographs showing his bullet-riddled car window.

Batchelor, 49, played for South Africa’s two largest rivals teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, as well as Mamelodi Sundowns, Moroka Swallows and Supersport United.

He had a long-running feud with Paralympic sprint star Oscar Pistorius who was convicted of murdering Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

Batchelor claimed the sprinter threatened to break his legs in a dispute over a girlfriend.

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