So…after three months away from South Africa, spent in Bangladesh (where I dropped this little piece on y’all…if you haven’t read it yet, check it out. Do it.), I am back in Cape Town. So here we go.
The new PSL season kicked off this week, a welcome beginning after one of the strangest final days of any league, anywhere, back in May.
To give you a quick recap, Ajax Cape Town needed to win on the final day at home, in front of a packed house in the brand new Cape Town Stadium, assuming Pirates, who started the day below them by a point, would also win. Martizburg United, and the pressure, turned out to be too much, and Ajax amazingly went down to a 2-2 draw. Coupled with a Pirates win in Johannesburg, the title went to the Buccaneers. Ninety minutes from glory, the Mother City side was devastated at the final whistle. Wow.
New season, new hopes and dreams. Ajax has lost star Thulani Serero, more on that later, while the Bucs have picked up Benni McCarthy, who scored on debut. Chiefs kept their nucleus, as did Sundowns, mainly due to outrageous, and what I feel are damaging buyout clauses within the players contracts. Multiple European clubs showed interest in players like Katlego Mphela, but Sundowns simply refused to sell, and/or the buyout clause scared clubs away. Just selfish. Anyways, title is up for grabs, with the usual suspects all in the hunt.
Bafana in Europe
The big news on this front is Thulani Serero, one of the most exciting South African prospects in years, has taken his talents to Amsterdam, and Ajax. If you haven’t seen this guy in action, rectify that ASAP. By watching this:
He has performed solidly for the Dutch giants in their first two matches, laying on a neat assist in his second match. Although second choice to Dane wunderkind Christian Ericksen, Serero will not be on any bench for long. Fact.
Bongani Khumalo has started solidly in the Championship, along with Dikgacoi and Mokoena. The Belgian contingent has also started well, with multiple appearances for Davids, Claasen, Gaxa, Ngcongca and Keet.
Bafana take on Niger in September, and if they win AND Sierra Leone don’t defeat Egypt (a fairly likely scenario, although Niamey will be a tough away trip), then they are through to the 2012 AFCON.
In terms of the 2014 WC, Bafana will take on Botswana, the Central African Republic, and a yet to be determined side. The winner of this four team group will advance to a two legged playoff, the winner of which will head to Brazil. One word. Hectic. Just to be clear, the likely opponents in that two legged playoff could be one of: Cote D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, etc. Yikes.
SAFA and the New Kits
As I reported back in February, there was a typical fiasco involving the new kits for Bafana, as the contract with Adidas was not renewed. Contrary to what I predicted, SAFA did u-turn and decided to go with Puma. The results are somewhat bland. And like I predicted….it looks like, oh, well, EVERY single other Puma kit. Not cool Puma. Not cool.
So let’s get ready for a big season all around. Comments/questions/suggestions welcome as always.
More South Africa News
South Africa 1 Egypt 0
Wow. Just wow. Katlego Mphela struck with the last kick of the match, deep into second half injury time to defeat Egypt, 1-0, and spark scenes of pandemonium in Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.
The game seemed destined to peter out to a nil-nil draw, with Egypt controlling the majority of possession as the clock dwindled ... [read more]
SAFA Kits Fiasco
As quite excellently detailed today on footy-boots.com, SAFA has gotten itself into quite the morass regarding its kit sponsorship. With the yellow home strip made by Adidas becoming an iconic item during and after the 2010 World Cup, many observers expected Adidas and SAFA to cement their relationship for a ... [read more]
South Africa 2 Kenya 0
A decidedly uninspiring Bafana Bafana side downed Kenya on Wednesday at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, with Davide Somma and Steven Pienaar getting the goals in a 2-0 victory.
With previous, and much better, opponent Burkina Faso withdrawing from the fixture, SAFA scrambled to find a replacement, and settled for Kenya, the east African minnows who were ... [read more]
News and Notes
Some bits and bobs from the world of South African football as of late:
- The USA has cancelled a scheduled friendly with Egypt, which was to take place on the 9th, due to the widespread unrest in the country. Egypt had hoped to use this match as preparation for their qualifier against Bafana in March, it will be ... [read more]
World Cup Hero Looks to Move to UK
Bafana winger Siphiwie Tshabalala has been on trial at Nottingham Forest’s City ground as of late, with many in the UK reporting that it was a done deal, and he would be moving north to the Championship promotion hopefuls.
However, Forest manager Billy Davies has quickly refuted those claims, saying “We’ve looked at ... [read more]
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Club Football News
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Ketchup and mustard kits aside (no corner taken on color richness), this little clip from Aruba has so much going for it. From the mere fact it's a goalkeeper goal, to the Marco Tardelli-esque celebration of unadultered joy and childlike innocent, to the complete meltdown at the end by the ...
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this a great victory for South Africa!
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