Look, it is only the second time in Maritzburg United FC’s history that they reach the final of an Absa Premiership trophy and hopefully we can go all the way and win the trophy. We had many chances, clear chances and we failed to score. Our transitions were very good and I think in the first half we let Kaizer Chiefs off the hook – we should have scored more. That is why I was angry, ha, ha. But, on a serious note, we should have scored more because Chiefs gave us too much space to operate from. When you get such chances against a good side like Chiefs, you need to do all you can to punish them. We had about six clear-cut chances. It would not have been fair for us to lose this game after playing so well in the first half. We should have scored more and put the game to bed, but we failed to do that. However, credit to the boys, they fought hard. But I told them at half time that it was very important to kill off the game. Be 3-0 up at half time and the game is over. We had a chance to do just that. We could have killed the game because I felt there was an opportunity for us to bury them. No disrespect to Chiefs, but I think with the clear-cut chances we created, we should have really hit them with five or more. We managed to get behind their fullbacks. We exploited the space behind both (Reeve) Frosler and (Njabulo) Blom very well.
On neutralising Nurkovic
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We have a problem
For this reason, Clinton Larsen was shown the door as head coach, but still, under new mentor Norman Mapeza, the struggle persists, although they did win two games on the trot recently.
They have the character
Cut Lehlohonolo Seema’s skin andhe’ll probably bleed green andwhite – such has been the man’s loyalty to Bloemfontein Celtic. Born and bred in neighbouring Lesotho, the Mangaung outfit is a club that’s always had a pull factor on him. So much that it is they who pulled him from obscure Bantu United from the mountainous kingdom in 1998, and he would go on to represent the club until 2006 when the allure of Orlando Pirates, understandably, proved too great a pull factor. Yet even a five-year spell with the Soweto giants, which included a season-long loan stint at Mpumalanga Black Aces, would not prevent him being pulled back in the direction of Siwelele, albeit to begin a coaching journey in the junior ranks. The next step was to become an assistant, a job he performed with aplomb, before being called on to take the hotseat together with John Maduka after the departure of Steve Komphela at the tail end of 2018. Much against general expectation, the duo has done fairly well, if Celtic’s off-field troubles of the recent past are to be taken into consideration. Soccer Laduma’s Beaver Nazo sat down with Seema to discuss this, that, and the other.
They are on another level
Before signing for Mamelodi Sundowns last season,Lyle Lakay knew that he would be used as a leftback and not in his preferred left wing position, something that he surprisingly did not have a problem with. In his first season with the club last term, he played a key role as they went onto win an unprecedented ninth Absa Premiership league title. This season has been a bit of a slow one for Lakay, who has been used mostly as a substitute, but there’s still a lot of football to be played both locally and on the continent, so he has time to fight for his place in the starting line-up. In this interview, the former Cape Town City and Bloemfontein Celtic player chats to Soccer Laduma’s Tshepang Mailwane about his time at the Tshwane giants so far, their chances of winning the CAF Champions League and why he believes they can close the gap on current Kaizer Chiefs, who have been in fine form since the start of the campaign.
Middendorp holding a divided Chiefs camp together
Lionel Messi 2019 Ballon d'Or winner
Messi claims record Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo snubs gala
Jose Is Back, Will He Last?
Jose Mourinho has re-turned with a bang! Not many would have thought Tottenham Hotspur would sack Mauricio Pochettino after the Argentine led them to the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League final, and even fewer would have thought chairman Daniel Levy would replace him with Jose Mourinho.
It Was Challenging
Imagine the scene…you are playing a game of your life, fighting to qualify for the Olympic Games through the lifeline of the third and fourth place play-off.
No Disrespect To Chiefs, But…
On how he masterminded victory over Chiefs
He Is Not Personal
He may not be gettingregular game-timedomestically with Bidvest Wits, but attacking midfielder Gift Motupa is making a name for himself in this season’s CAF Confederation Cup. The 25-year-old player has bagged six goals in the campaign so far, inspiring the Clever Boys to the group stages of a CAF club competition for the first time in their history. It has not been the same in the domestic league though, with just one start so far and one goal. Having done so well in the Confederation Cup, he will no doubt be hoping that coach Gavin Hunt will give him more opportunities to play in the Absa Premiership as the Braamfontein-based outfit looks to challenge for the title. In this interview with Soccer Laduma’s Tshepang Mailwane, Motupa expresses his excitement about qualifying for
That's Me Wherever I Go
As a coach, former Kaizer Chiefs striker Wedson Nyirenda prides himself on being blessed with the mentality of a winner. So much that when talking about his past achievements in the realm of coaching, you can almost never miss the sparkle in his eye, and often this trip down memory lane will be accompanied by a smile that tells a story of contentment and achievement. He has built up a reputation, across all three countries he has worked in, of turning socalled ordinary teams into respected outfits. He did it with Baroka FC, helping them to annex the 2018 Telkom Knockout trophy much against many people’s expectations. However, the going has since gotten tougher, and the Limpopo side is (still) struggling to score goals this season. What is going on? Is Nyirenda going to jump ship and go back to his previous role as Zambia national team coach, as the rumour mill seems to suggest? Nyirenda provides the answers in this chat with Soccer Laduma’s Beaver Nazo.
AFC Championship: Kansas City 38, Buffalo 24
A DAY TO REMEMBER
NEWS & NOTES
The Raiders had one of the easier schedules in 2020 and got only eight wins to show for it. Things won’t get any easier in 2021, either.
AFC WEST ROUNDUP
The Chargers fired coach Anthony Lynn after four seasons.
THIS IS THE WAY
Bills defense creating identity after difficult start to season
‘We keep fighting and that is a great ingredient'
The Raiders reached their bye week feeling pretty good about their 3-2 record. A win over the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs provided much of that optimism, but as head coach Jon Gruden was quick to point out, there is still plenty of room for improvement before Las Vegas can truly be considered a contender in the AFC. Then again, the win in Arrowhead might just be the key to getting the team on a more consistent path. Gruden talked about the victory over Kansas City and some of the Raiders plans for the bye week, along with other topics, during his daily meetings with reporters.
Rookie receiver doing damage downfield
AFC WEST ROUNDUP
Head coach Vic Fangio has been under fire for many reasons, but he got a little breather following Denver’s win in New England. Fangio’s defense sacked Patriots quarterback Cam Newton four times and forced three turnovers, helping offset an average day from the Broncos offense. That left Denver at 2-3, still on the outside looking in, in the AFC West, but in much better shape than had the Broncos lost and dropped to 1-4. …
AFC WEST ROUNDUP
AFC WEST ROUNDUP
GROWING WITH GAROPPOLO
49ers confident they and QB can find greatness together
The Greatest Games
As the NFL celebrates its 100th anniversary, we count down the top 100 games in Dolphins history