Category Archives: South African Football

Match Highlights: Josef Zinnbauer’s Orlando Pirates Fail To Score Enough Goals – Again

Orlando Pirates have found it difficult to score goals lately. Their lack of goal scoring began at the tail end of last season and bled to the beginning of the new season. Coach Zinnbauer has changed the combinations for his Orlando Pirates team but they still don’t seem to have the cutting edge. Orlando Pirates have signed quality players in the transfer window and the pressure will be on the German coach to produce some form of silverware this season.



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Chiefs v Sundowns kekanakatsande

Chiefs v Sundowns: Absa Premiership Cup Final

Let’s begin by getting the ‘facts’ out of the way. If Sundowns win this game, they win the title. If Kaizer Chiefs win this game, they win the title. If this game ends in a draw, Kaizer Chiefs win the title. As you can see Mamelodi Sundowns need to win this game more than Kaizer Chiefs does. 

You: “…but after the game, there will still be three games left to play so…’🤷🏿‍♂️

Yes, I know but the result of this game will do one of two things: crush Kaizer Chiefs’ flakey moral or deal a death blow to Mamelodi Sundowns’ confidence. I don’t see any team recovering from an unfavourable result plus I’m a psychic. 

As the title says this is a cup final. Do or die. Wafa-wafa. Sure, Kaizer Chiefs have the advantage because they don’t need to win BUT, they’d be foolish to go in this looking for a draw. Mamelodi Sundowns got lucky on Monday with their last gasp win against Golden Arrows. Their confidence will be reaching its peak. 


Orlando Pirates Rely on Gabadinho Mhango

Kaizer Chiefs as currently constructed cannot match Sundowns pound for pound. They’d get knocked out before the first water break. It’s not that Chiefs don’t have good players, it’s just that they have not being utilized correctly (that’s another story for another writer).

The suspension of their leading goal scorer Samir Nurković and striker Leonardo Castro’s injury concerns are big blows. However, Sundowns aren’t great at defending quick counter-attacks. Ernst Middendorp may choose to replace the unavailable strikers with forwards that have pace.  

We’ll chat more about which team has the upper hand going into the huge clash tomorrow.

By @chizfootball (the greatest footy journo on the internet)

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Top 15 South Africa Players Who Surprisingly Didn't Have Outstanding International Careers

Top 14 South Africa Players Who Surprisingly Didn’t Have Outstanding International Careers

There have been players who’ve had very good careers domestically but, failed to impress or even get the opportunity to dazzle for Bafana Bafana at international level. Here are the top 14 players who had below par international careers:

Notable mentions 

Emmanuel ‘Scara’ Ngobese

14. Tefu Mashamaite

Caps for Bafana Bafana:

Reason for the below-average international career: His overall ability didn’t suit the international game. 

Tefu Mashamaite as a central defender came into prominence in Stuart Baxter’s Kaizer Chiefs.  Those sides prided themselves on defending well and attacking their opponents in broken play on the transition.

He helped Chiefs win a league and cup double in 2012/13 and captained them to another league double in 2014/15. 

Mashamaite was very intelligent at shutting down passing lanes and clearing aerial balls that came into the 18-area. 

In 2015 he won Footballer of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season and Absa Premiership Defender of the Season. 

His lack of game time at the international level may have been due to his lack of overall athleticism. Tefu was somewhat slow and wasn’t the strongest of defenders. 

13. Michael Manzini

Caps for Bafana Bafana: 3

Reason for the below-average international career: His prime came at a time when there was a glut of better players in his position. 

Michael Manzini was a defender who started and finished his career at Mamelodi Sundowns between 1995-2009.

He was a reliable and efficient captain who made well over 250 appearances for the Masandawana.

Manzini was a mainstay in Gordan Igesunds 2006–2008 Sundowns sides. Those teams could be described as one of the best in the PSL era. 

Unfortunately, not many national coaches thought he had what it takes at the international level.  

12. Lebohang “Cheeseboy” Mokoena

Caps for Bafana Bafana: 8

Reason for the below-average international career: Decisions on and off the pitch

A pimple-faced 17-year-old Cheeseboy burst onto the scene in the early 2000s. He graduated from the Orlando Pirates academy to their first team coached Kostadine Papic.

Mokoena is one of a few young players in South Africa who has the record of having represented his nation at all levels. Starting at Under-17, U-20, U-23, and then the senior team. 

He was lighting quick, with awe-inspiring skills (embarrassing to some), and a good finisher in front of goal. 

In the 2004/05 Mokoena won Orlando Pirates’ Most Improved Player of the Year award. A few months later he made his senior national team debut. 

After being disillusioned by failed moves overseas Mokoena’s form dropped. A move to Sundowns in 2009 saw his game time diminish. His career took a nosedive after that.

Mokoena was supposed to be South Africa’s next Steven Pienaar or Benni McCarthy. He let situations he could not control dictate the things he could.


Top 10 Best GoalKeepers In the Absa Premiership

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Best South African Strikers

Top 10 Strikers in South African History

It may be hard to imagine now but once upon a time, South Africa produced the continents finest strikers who plied their trade abroad and locally. Here are the top 10 strikers in South African history (in order): 

10. Daniel Mudau

South African Caps: 16

South African Goals: 3

Career goals for club and country: 165

Strengths: Finishing and positioning

Daniel ‘Mambush’ Mudau spent 11 of his 12-year career at Mamelodi Sundowns where he is the all-time top goal scorer for the club

Mambush didn’t have much of an international career because, in his prime, South Africa was stacked with striking talent. His 16 international caps for Bafana might have been a little fewer than what he would have wished for, but Mudau was part of Clive Barker’s Africa Cup of Nations winning squad in 1996 on home soil.

Mudau was a ‘Fox in the Box’ type forward. A deadly striker, He scored most of his goals in the 18-area, not particularly skilful but scored a lot of goals. 🦊

9. Pollen Ndlanya

South African Caps: 29

South African Goals: 5

Career goals for club and country: 98

Strengths: Strength and shot power

After signing for Kaizer Chiefs at a young age, Pollen Ndlanya only managed to play four games for Amakhosi before he sent packing to Manning Rangers.

At The Mighty Maulers, ‘Trompies’ proved his worth scoring 24 goals in 66 games and had Chiefs regretting letting him go.

They ask for love back, he returned to Chiefs, and his second spell proved to be more fruitful than his first. 

Ndlanya represented Bafana Bafana between the years of 1997-2001. He would get scattered game time. He was favoured by some coaches and not even considered by others. 

Pollen Ndlanya was a big strong forward who was nimble for his size. Technically gifted and lethal in front of goal. 

He became one of only two South African strikers at the time to achieve scoring 100 goals in the PSL after Mudau during the 1998/1999 campaign. 💯

8. Tokelo Anthony Rantie

South African Caps: 40

South African Goals: 12

Career goals for club and country: 47

Strengths: Pace and finishing

Even though Tokelo Rantie has had a troubled few years in recent times. He makes this list because of his potential. We can’t understate his quality as a striker.

At 22, after spending most of his career on loan overseas from the Stars of Africa Academy, he got a permanent move to Swedish side Malmö FF. Only after a year, he transferred to England’s Bournemouth for a reported club-record fee at the time of £2.5 million. After playing the majority of the games in his first season, due to injuries and form, he started getting less playing time. 

Rantie scored crucial goals for South Africa in big qualification games. Like the brace in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification 2-2 draw against Nigeria in 2014. Or, the 1-0 win against the Super Eagles in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification in 2017. 

Rantie is still only 29. He hasn’t played much football in three years because of the aforementioned personal problem. Should he get his head right, Tokelo has a lot more to offer South African football. 🇿🇦


Top 5: Commentators in South African Soccer

7. Sibusiso Zuma

South African Caps: 66

South African Goals: 13

Career goals for club and country: 146

Strengths: Pace, skill and acrobatics

Zuma started his career at African Wanderers at the age of 20 but really made a name for himself at Orlando Pirates where he, as a winger, scored 37 goals in only 70 appearances.

His good form had caught the attention of European sides. In June 2000, Zuma joined Danish club F.C. Copenhagen, where he shined as a player.

Zuma began his career on flanks terrorising defenders with his blistering pace and skill. In Europe, he was used more as a striker because of his speed and finishing ability. 

In 2001, Zuma was tied for 29th place for the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year award. Quite an achievement for a South African player.

Outside FC Copenhagen’s Telia Parken Stadium, there is an inscribed statue of Zuma. 

In 2013, Zuma’s bicycle kick was voted the greatest moment in the history of F.C. Copenhagen.  

I once came across Sibusiso Zuma once, at a bank. As much of a football fan as I am, I didn’t feel the urge to ask for an autograph or more appropriately a picture for Instagram. This is not because I don’t like the guy or anything. It’s because he isn’t as revered here as he is in Copenhagen.

Zuma had a fairly good international career.  He has represented South Africa 66 times, he represented us at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and, he was the captain of South African National team at the 2006 African Cup of Nations tournament. But, his emergence came at a time where the national team’s form was declining and we didn’t have access to the Danish league to share in his success over there. 🇩🇰

6. Katlego Mphela

South African Caps: 53

South African Goals: 23

Career goals for club and country: 101

Strengths: Strength, finishing and shot power

As a 19-year-old teenager Katlego Mphela moved from Jomo Cosmos to RC Strasbourg in Ligue 1 (France). He didn’t get much game time in his two seasons there, in which one he spent on loan at French Ligue 2 side Stade Reims. 

He came back to South Africa played a couple of season at Supersport United but came into prominence with his move to Mamelodi Sundowns. Killa scored 48 goals from 118 appearances and won his fair share of medals at Chloorkop.

One of, and maybe perhaps, Mphela’s greatest Bafana Bafana moment came in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup third-place playoff against Spain. Coming in as a substitute Mphela produced arguably the goal of the tournament.A 30-yard pile driver of a free-kick which turned out to be the last action of the 90 mins. It sent the game into extra time. South African eventually lost the tie but he then became a fixture in the national team. He scored an impressive 23 goals from only 53 games.

Mphela was a strong striker who had a fierce shot hence his nickname ‘Killa’. He made intelligent runs and his reading of the game was excellent.

His form fell off a cliff once he joined Kaizer Chiefs but he was getting on in age and had some off the pitch issues too. He may have had a better career if he made better decisions but there is no doubting his quality. 💀


Top 10 Best GoalKeepers In the Absa Premiership

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