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SA champions Sun downs fire blanks

Defending champions Sundowns lacked unfit forward Kermit Erasmus and long before the end ran out of ideas to penetrate a massed Tshakhuma defence.

Africa roundup: SA champions Sundowns fire blanks

Injured Mamelodi Sundowns forward Kermit Erasmus was sorely missed as they were held by Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in the South African Premiership.

A fluctuating start to the South African season by star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns continued when they could only draw 0-0 at home against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in a second-round league match. 

The 2016 African champions were surprisingly eliminated from a cup competition by Bloemfontein Celtic then rebounded last weekend by hammering long-time rivals Kaizer Chiefs in a league opener.

Baroka, a star-less northern region club who narrowly escaped relegation last season, are the only team with a maximum six points after two rounds in the richest African league.

South Africa

Tshakhuma, a second division club who bought the status of disbanding Bidvest Wits to get into the South African DStv Premiership, were expected to be whipping boys after a chaotic pre-season.

A change of coaches before they started playing, announcing the signings of players who joined other clubs and not providing transport for the squad, were among blunders highlighted by media.

Defending champions Sundowns lacked unfit forward Kermit Erasmus and long before the end ran out of ideas to penetrate a massed Tshakhuma defence backed by Zimbabwean goalkeeper Washington Aribi.

Egypt

Egypt football legend Hany Ramzy is raving about the way record eight-time African champions Al Ahly are playing under recently hired South African coach Pitso Mosimane.

“It is the first time I have seen Ahly pass the ball 41 times without an opponent touching the ball and this is a very positive phenomenon,” said the retired 123-cap defender.

Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mosimane has won four matches and drawn one in all competitions since replacing Swiss Rene Weiler, who could not agree contract renewal terms with the Cairo Red Devils.

Zambia

A FIFA ban preventing Lusaka Dynamos buying players has been lifted after the Zambian Premier League club paid money owed to Ghanaian goalkeeper Muntari Tagoe.

The club released the shot-stopper before his two-year term expired and initially refused to honour financial aspects of the contract.

A condition for FIFA lifting the suspension was that the Lusaka club pay Tagoe one million kwacha ($48,500/41,500 euros).

Guinea

Partizan Belgrade midfielder Seydouba Soumah has been omitted from the Guinea squad for two Cup of Nations qualifiers against Chad after being accused by officials last month of feigning injury.

Officials allege that the 29-year-old Conakry-born Soumah, who began his professional career with Ajax Cape Town, invented an injury to avoid joining Guinea in Portugal for a friendly match against Cape Verde.

Coach and former France star Didier Six included two locals — goalkeeper Moussa Camara and defender Abou Mangue Camara from CAF Confederation Cup semi-finalists Horoya — in a 23-man squad.

Tunisia

Tunisian and African giants Esperance have signed national team goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha from Saudi Arabian club Al Shabab on a two-year deal.

The 31-year-old will compete with Moez Ben Cherifia to be the first choice shot-stopper for the Blood and Gold after the departure of Remi Jeridi at the end of his contract.

Before moving to the Middle East, Mustapha play for CA Bizertin in his home city of Bizerte and Club Africain, the Tunis club who are arch rivals of Esperance.

Cameroon

Cameroonian Alexandre Siewe has been named the Confederation of African Football (CAF) communications director, filling a post vacant for 16 months.

The 49-year-old succeeds Malagasy Nathalie Rabe, the first female director, and is a former journalist with degrees from universities in France and Cameroon.

Siewe faces many challenges, including widespread frustration at a CAF website that is not updated regularly and media queries either being ignored or belatedly responded to.

Sudan

Al Hilal Port Sudan, the last club apart from Al Merrikh and Al Hilal Omdurman to be crowned Sudan Premier League champions, have been promoted back to the top flight.

Port Sudan triumphed in 1992 and since then Hilal have topped the final standings 16 times and Merrikh, who competed a hat-trick of titles this month, 12 times.

Sudanese officials said the 2020/2021 edition of a league ranked the 11th strongest in Africa will kick off on December 8 and finish on July 15.

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