South African Sports News – 28 October
Arrows shoot down hapless Ajax
Golden Arrows were crowned MTN8 champions in Soweto on Saturday night when they crushed Ajax Cape Town 6-0 in one-sided MTN8 final at the Orlando Stadium. In the process, Arrows won their first major trophy and a record
R8-million winner-takes-all prize.
The match was effectively over as a contest after 20 minutes when the KwaZulu Natal outfit took an unbeatable 2-0 lead courtesy of some positive attacking soccer and some shocking defending from a woeful Ajax outfit. Despite Ajax’s poor display it was an excellent win for Arrows and their 38-year-old coach Manqoba Mngqithi, who is one of a number of promising young coaches in the Premier Soccer League (PSL). Mngqithi deserves applause for his positive tactics of attacking and taking the game to Ajax and, if he keeps up this sort of approach, it will surely not be too long before Arrows win another major tournament.
Goals in the ninth and 48th minutes by Joseph Henyekane (pictured), Thokozani Mshengu (66th minute), Nhlanhla Zothwane (73rd minute), Njabulo Manqana (90th minute) and an embarrassing own goal by defender Deniss Ivanovs (20th minute) gave Arrows their massive win, which broke the South African record for the biggest winning margin in a final. Their crushing victory will also give Arrows a lot of confidence for their PSL campaign and, with Mngqithi and co at the helm, it won’t be surprising if the KwaZulu-Natalians win that trophy as well this season.
PSL season hots up
The PSL soccer season is really beginning to catch fire now with the top teams involved in some intense battles for supremacy. As usual, there are a host of matches taking place all over the country tonight with more to follow on the weekend. The pick of today’s matches is likely to be the clash between eighth placed Kaizer Chiefs (pictured) and highflying Golden Arrows at the Orlando Stadium at 7.30pm.
Arrows, who are currently lying ninth in this year’s standings, will be looking to repeat the form they showed against Ajax Cape Town in Saturday’s MTN8 final. However, the Amakhosi are unlikely to be easy pickings at home and Arrows will have to be on their very best form to pull off a win.
Although there are plenty of good match ups taking place over the weekend, the game to probably look out for is Saturday’s encounter between top of the table SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits who are currently fourth on the standings. Kick off at the Bidvest Stadium is at 8.15pm.
Results (left to right)
Santos 2 Free State Stars 2
Bidvest Wits 0 Black Aces 1
SuperSport Utd 3 Orlando Pirates 0
Bloem Celtic 0 Mamelodi Sundowns 2
Kaizer Chiefs 1 Moroka Swallows 2
Maritzburg Utd 1 Jomo Cosmos 1
SuperSport United 2 Santos 2
Fixtures (left to right)
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Platinum Stars
Maritzburg Utd vs Black Aces
Moroka Swallows vs Ajax Cape Town
Kaizer Chiefs vs Golden Arrows
Bloem Celtic vs Jomo Cosmos
Orlando Pirates vs AmaZulu
Bidvest Wits vs Free State Stars
Moroka Swallows vs Platinum Stars
Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates
SuperSport United vs Bidvest Wits
Maritzburg Utd vs Free State Stars
Ajax Cape Town vs Golden Arrows
Jomo Cosmos vs Mamelodi Sundowns
AmaZulu vs Santos
Bloem Celtic vs Black Aces
Safa replace one Brazilian with another
Meanwhile, the South African Football Association (Safa) have appointed Brazilian World Cup winning coach Carlos Alberto Parreira (pictured right) as the new Bafana Bafana coach. Parreira will replace fellow Brazilian Joel Santana who quit the post last Monday after a string of poor results.
Safa president Kirsten Nematandani officially announced that Parreira would be their coach of choice after a lengthy Safa National Executive meeting held at the OR Tambo Airport. However, the Brazilian will not be earning the huge R1.8-million per month salary he enjoyed in his previous stint at the helm of Bafana or the R1.4-million Santana earned each month. The 66-year-old Parreira had previously coached Bafana before relinquishing his post to return to his native Brazil citing his wife’s ill health.
Safa also announced that a third assistant coach would be added to help Parreira. The likely coach is SuperSport United’s Gavin Hunt who many felt should have been appointed instead of Parreira. The two current assistant coaches, Pitso Mosimane and Jairo Leal, have been retained. However, Hunt, Clive Barker and Jomo Sono will continue as assessors for Bafana.
Parreira won the respect of the players when he was coach last time round and is expected to boost their moral and consequently their performance when he takes charge of the squad once again. Safa are hoping that Parreira arrives in time to take charge of Bafana ahead of their friendly matches on home soil against Japan on November 14 and against Jamaica three days later.
Brilliant Bravo blasts Cobras
Former West Indies player Dwayne Bravo steered Trinidad&Tobago to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over the Cape Cobras in the Champions League semi-final at Hyderabad, India on Thursday. Bravo hammered 58 runs off just 34 balls which included four fours and three sixes and featured in a valuable fourth wicket partnership of 93 runs with Daren Ganga (44 runs off 31 balls) to set up the win for the Caribbean franchise.
The pair came together with the score on 85/3 after 10.1 overs and faced the daunting task of chasing down the 175/5 scored by the South Africans. However, the always-dangerous Bravo smashed Rory Kleinveldt to the boundary in the final over to seal the win for his team. JP Duminy (pictured) had earlier plundered 61 off 40 balls with four fours and three sixes, and with Herschelle Gibbs (42 off 27 balls) had given the Cobras a competitive total.
However, the Cobras failed to defend their score against a rampant Trinidad. Adrian Barath (29 off 16 balls) and William Perkins (20 off 16 balls) scored 53 runs in the opening five overs with paceman Monde Zondeki, in particular, bearing the brunt of their assault. Bravo then picked up where they left off, smashing Kleinveldt and Vernon Philander all over the park to help steer his side to victory.
Duminy finished as the top run-scorer in the tournament and played a superb innings against Trinidad, but it was not enough to save his team from being knocked out of the competition after having promised so much in the early running. In the end, the Cobras were let down badly by a shoddy bowling and fielding display and Bravo and company made them pay dearly for their sloppy efforts. The tournament was eventually won by New South Wales who defeated Trinidad by 41 runs in the final the following day.
Triple ton Cook gets into the record books
Stephen Cook (pictured left) set a new South African first-class batting record when he scored 390 runs for the bizhub Highveld Lions against the Chevrolet Warriors in a SuperSport Series match at Buffalo Park in East London on Sunday.
Cook’s mammoth knock helped his team to a colossal 690/9, an overall lead of 158 runs on the first innings, before rain brought proceedings to a halt 30 minutes after the tea break leaving the umpires no choice but to declare the match a draw. The Lions’ opener batted for 13 hours and 58 minutes and faced 648 balls while notching up 45 fours and a six, before he was trapped leg-before by off-spinner Johan Botha shortly after tea.
The 26-year-old’s innings bettered the previous highest score by a South African of 356 scored by Barry Richards for South Australia against Western Australia in Perth during the 1970/71 season. The previous best individual first-class score by a South African on home soil was an unbeaten 337, which Daryll Cullinan achieved for Transvaal against Northern Transvaal in Johannesburg during the 1993/94 season. Cook also went past 5 000 first-class career runs during his knock and his innings was the 12th highest individual score in all first-class cricket.
It was also a great day for Lions batsmen Thami Tsolekile who, together with Cook, posted a record first-class sixth-wicket partnership for matches in South Africa. The duo notched up 365 runs in 107.4 overs, comfortably beating the previous record of 317 runs scored by Damien Martyn and Adam Gilchrist for Australia versus South Africa at the Wanderers during the 2001/02 season. Cook and Tsolekile’s record-breaking partnership was finally brought to an end when Tsolekile, with his score on 141, top-edged a delivery from off-spinner Michael Smith and was caught at mid-off by Rusty Theron.
Left-arm swing bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe, with 3/95 off 30 overs, and speedster Rusty Theron, with 3/57 off 22 overs, were the only Warriors’ bowlers who had anything to shout about on a day dominated by the batsmen. The Warriors has earlier posted 532 runs in their first innings with Ashwell Prince getting 154 and Botha 97. The Warriors’ next match is against the Diamond Eagles at Buffalo Park, East London on November 19 while the Lions tackle the Nashua Cape Cobras at Newlands in Cape Town a week earlier.
Dolphins and Lions fight to a draw
The weather had the last laugh in the SuperSport Series match between the Nashua Dolphins and the Nashua Titans, which ended in a draw at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday. The Dolphins scored 209/4 in their second innings, still needing 82 runs for victory before the contest was called off due to the overcast conditions.
Andrew Hall on 10 and David Miller, who was yet to open his account, were at the crease for the visitors when the umpires called a halt to proceedings. The KwaZulu-Natalians were well placed to pull off a win at 152/2 before quick bowler Morne Morkel trapped Loots Bosman (pictured) lbw for 53 off 125 balls. The hard-hitting Bosman had shared in a third-wicket partnership of 59 with Ahmed Amla, brother of team-mate Hashim, who scored 37.
Amla then departed just one run after Bosman when he was clean bowled by Morkel. Amla’s dismissal opened the door for 20-year-old Cameron Delport to play an enterprising knock of 36 off 32 balls, which put the Durban based team back in the hunt for a win. However, the youngster was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the head by a bouncer from the always-aggressive Dale Steyn, which, together with the inclement weather, ended the Dolphins’ chances of victory.
The home side had begun the day on 187/7, an overall lead of 214 runs, with the visitors in search of quick wickets to give themselves any hope of victory. Morkel (11) and Paul Harris (30 not out) contributed a further 24 runs to the overnight total before the former was trapped lbw by Louw.
However, the Dolphins’ hopes of wrapping up the innings were dashed by a determined ninth-wicket stand between Harris and Steyn who made an unbeaten 26. The pair put on 52 runs off 97 balls before the declaration came just over an hour before lunch, which meant the KwaZulu-Natalians needed 291 runs to win the game. The Titans’ next outing is against the Diamond Eagles in Bloemfontein on November 26, while the Dolphins will face the same team on November 12.
Cavaliers and Leopards go one up
The Boland Cavaliers and the Platinum Leopards both came away with wins in their respective Absa Currie Cup promotion/relegation matches played on Saturday. In Wellington, the Cavaliers held on to defeat First Division champions, the Pumas, 36-35 at the Boland Stadium while in Potchefstroom, the Leopards survived a spirited challenge from the SWD Eagles to prevail 47-42 at Olen Park.
Both matches featured plenty of entertaining, running rugby with 10 tries being scored in the Wellington game and eleven in the other. The Leopards ran in six tries to the five scored by the Eagles while the Cavaliers and the Pumas shared five apiece.
Boland Cavaliers 36 – Tries: Zandré Jordaan (2), Marnus Hugo (pictured), Wendal Wehr, Penalty try. Conversions: Justin Peach (4). Penalty: Peach.
Pumas 35 – Tries: Allistair Kettledas (2), Hyron Thyse, Jacques Coetzee, Jaco Bouwer. Conversions: Braam Pretorius (2). Penalties: Pretorius (2).
Platinum Leopards 47 – Tries: Jovan Bowles (2), Shuaib Samaai (pictured left), Danie Dames, Basil de Doncker, Theo van Wyk. Conversions: Cecil Dumond (4). Penalties: Dumond (3).
SWD Eagles 42 – Tries: Bobby Joubert, Dougie Hellmuth, Jandre’ Blom, Junior Leota, Baldwin McBean. Conversions: Ricardo Croy (3), Blom. Penalties: Croy (3).
Both teams will face each other again this weekend with the Eagles and the Leopards doing battle at the Oteniqua Stadium in George and the Pumas and the Cavaliers squaring off at the Pumas Stadium in Witbank.
Mixed results for SA fighters overseas
Former International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight champion Francois ‘The White Buffalo’ Botha (48-4-2, 28 KO’s) successfully defended his lightly regarded World Boxing Foundation (WBF) heavyweight title against 39-year-old Pedro Carrion (8-2, 6 KO’s) in Dessau, Germany on Saturday night.
The 41-year-old Botha won an unpopular majority decision over the 6’7’ Cuban at the Anhalt Arena with the judges giving the verdict to the South African by scores of 114-110, 115-115 and 114-113. Botha has difficultly landing punches on his much taller opponent, who enjoyed a five inch height advantage over the South African.
The bout proceeded at a slow, mostly uneventful pace and at times resembled nothing but a glorified sparring session. However, given that the combatants had a combined age of 80, this was not surprising. After the bout, Botha said that he injured his right hand in the opening round, which prevented him from throwing meaningful punches. The win kept Botha’s career alive, although, based on his performance on Saturday, he would have little chance of pulling off a win against a legitimate top ten contender – something which Carrion is clearly not.
Meanwhile, at the Agua Caliente Casino in California, USA, Mexican Tomos Rojas successfully defended his interim World Boxing Council (WBC) super flyweight title against South African Evans Mbamba on Saturday night. The 29-year-old Rojas (32-11-1, 22 KO’s) knocked the 28-year-old Mbamba (16-1, 8 KO’s) down once in the third and eleventh rounds to prevail by scores of 119-108 and 117-109 (twice). It was a dominant performance by the highly experienced Rojas who has shared a ring with many top calibre fighters, including the likes of the fearsome punching and legendary Mexican world champion, Jorge Arce.
The loss was a major disappointment for Mbamba, who will now have to return to the drawing board to figure out what went wrong on Saturday night. Rojas, on the other hand, can look forward to a December bout with highly regarded Australian Vic Darchinyan.
In local action, Mfundo Gwayana retained his South African junior flyweight title when he recorded an easy TKO victory over Thabo Sishwane in Mdantsane, East London, on Friday night. Southpaw Gwayana nailed Sishwane with a left cross forcing referee Andile Matika to call a halt to the bout at two min, six secs of the 10th round with the challenger lying face down on the canvas.
Sishwane paid the price for not taking proceedings seriously. He often danced around the ring with his hands by his side instead of focussing on the job at hand and showed a reluctance to fight the champion. It was this lack of focus that allowed Gwayana to land the decisive blow, which ended the fight. The champion improved his record to 11-3-1 (6 KO’s) while the challenger dipped to 6-3 (1 KO) and, based on this performance, did not deserve a shot at a national title.
On the same bill, Tshepo Lefele retained his South African mini-flyweight title when he knocked out Mawanda Sineko in the sixth round. Lefele (16-4, 10 KO’s), was outboxed by Sineko (20-10-2, 7 KO’s) through the first four rounds, but started to rally in the fifth.
Early in the sixth round, Lefele staggered Sineko with a right to the head and then sent the challenger crashing to the canvas with a vicious right to the jaw prompting referee Allen Matakane to call a halt to proceedings at 2:35 of the round. It was Lefele’s second successful defence of the title he won from Gideon Buthelezi in September last year.
There’s going to be plenty of action for fight fans to feast their eyes on this weekend when former International Boxing Organisation (IBO) junior lightweight champion Zolani Marali (20-3, 13 KO’s) squares off against current WBF lightweight champion Mlungisi Dlamini (20-0-1, 12 KO’s) for the IBO lightweight belt. Marali and Dlamini will clash for the vacant title at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, on Saturday night in a tournament promoted by Golden Gloves.
On the same bill, undefeated Tommy ‘Tommy Gun’ Oosthuizen (pictured right) will swap leather with Tshepang Mohale (7-2, 6 KO’s) in a super middleweight bout, while Malawian Isaac Chilembe (13-1, 8 KO’s) will do battle with Frenchman Doudou Ngumbu (20-0, 9 KO’s) in a contest for the WBC International light-heavyweight title.
South African athletes excel in England
South African half-marathon and 10km champion Stephen Mokoka finished second behind Britain’s Mo Farah in Sunday’s Great South Run in Portsmouth, England. Farah spent much of the race duelling with the South African, but held on to break the tape in 46 minutes and 25 seconds for the 16.09km course. Mokoka, who has had an excellent season and was the country’s top finisher at the World Half-Marathon Championships in Birmingham earlier this month, finished just a second behind Farah.
South Africans Rene Kalmer (pictured) and Tanith Maxwell finished fourth and 13th respectively in the women’s race, which was won by Ines Monteiro of Portugal, who clocked 52:32. Ana Felix was second in 53:58 with Australian Benita Willis third in 54:41. Kalmer was a further 30 seconds behind, finishing in 55:11 and one position ahead of former world marathon champion Catherine Ndereba.
Maxwell started quickly and covered the first 5km in 17:22, but she was unable to maintain the torrid pace and had to be content with a modest 58:58. South Africans have a good track record in the event, which was won by Gert Thys in 2000 and Hendrick Ramaala in 2004.
The New York City Marathon will be taking place over the weekend and Ramaala, currently South Africa’s leading distance runner, is expecting a tough challenge from Martin Lel when the 37-year-old lines up at the starting line on Sunday.
Lel hasn’t run a marathon since winning the London race in April 2008, but the 31-year-old is a class act and Ramaala won’t be underestimating the Kenyan who won the New York event in 2003 and 2007, and has three London Marathon titles to his credit.
But Lel won’t be the South African’s only major opposition. Ramaala will be up against the likes of Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, a four times Boston marathon champion and former Chicago Marathon winner, Olympic silver medallist and twice world champion Jaouad Gharib of Morocco, defending champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil and Kenyan Patrick Makau, the second fastest half-marathon runner in history.
Ramaala, who leaves for New York on Wednesday, has been in top form this year, finishing fifth in London in April in his second fastest time of two hours, seven minutes and 44 seconds and hopes to reproduce his New York performances from 2004, when he won the race, and 2005 when he finished second.
VW pair clinch rally title
Reigning South African rally champions Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries (pictured) successfully defended their titles on the Toyota Dealer Rally that ended near Bapsfontein on Saturday. The pair steered their Class S2000 BP Volkswagen Polo into second position on the season-ending rally, which was won by team-mates Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson in 1 hour, 43 mins and 35.9 seconds, with Fekken and Aries just 24.6 seconds adrift.
At the start of the rally only one point separated Fekken and Arries and the Toyota Castrol Auris team of Johnny Gemmell and Peter Marsh. The Toyota crew needed to finish ahead of Fekken and Aries to score their maiden SA National Rally Championship titles, but this was not to be as the Auris’ engine blew up on Saturday morning, ending a season-long challenge.
The event lost some of its allure once it became evident that there would be no stopping Fekken and Arries from winning their second consecutive national championship. Rookie national championship driver, Tjaart Coetzee (Midas Subaru) and his co-driver Etienne Lourens triumphed in Class N4. It was Coetzee’s first class win on a national rally.
Lindani lands Highveld Classic after playoff
Lindani Ndwandwe (pictured) won his second Sunshine Tour title on Sunday when he beat Alex Haindl on the opening hole of a sudden-death playoff at the R500 000 Highveld Classic at Witbank Golf Club.
The duo finished on 19-under-par 197 for the 54-hole tournament only for Ndwandwe to triumph in the playoff by birdying the 18th as opposed to Haindl who could only manage par. Ndwandwe’s previous victory came in the 2002 Western Cape Classic, so it was a long wait for the tall Durban Country Club professional.
After making just one bogey in his opening two rounds on his way to 16-under ahead of the final round, Ndwandwe dropped two shots in his final nine to allow the fast closing Haindl to force the playoff.
Top 12 finishers (South African unless stated)
197 – Lindani Ndwandwe 62 66 69
197 – Alex Haindl 63 67 67
198 – Doug McGuigan 65 69 64
199 – Alan McLean (SCO) 68 66 65
201 – Brandon Pieters 66 69 66
202 – Jacques Blaauw 65 71 66, Darren Fichardt 68 68 66, Ulrich van den Berg 65 70 67, Warren Abery 68 67 67, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 67 67 68, Grant Muller 66 68 68, Trevor Fisher Jnr 69 64 69
The next tournament on this year’s Sunshine Tour is the R705 000 Platinum Classic which will be held at Mooinooi Golf Club from Thursday till Saturday.
Arrows shoot down hapless Ajax – Photo – Joseph Henyekane: Source – www.mtn8.mtnfootball.com
PSL season hots up – Photo – Kaizer Chiefs: Source – www.ru.oleole.com
Safa replace one Brazilian with another – Photo – Carlos Alberto Parreira: Source – www.cosafa.com
Brilliant Bravo blasts Cobras – Photo – JP Duminy: Source – www.cricketworld.com
Triple ton Cook gets into the record books – Photo – Stephen Cook: Source – www.cricinfo.com
Dolphins and Lions fight to a draw – Photo – Loots Bosman: Source – www.mysportsblog.wordpress.com
Cavaliers and Leopards go one up – Photo – Shuaib Samaai: Source – www.daylife.com
Mixed results for SA fighters overseas – Photo – Tommy Oosthuizen: Source – www.flickr.com
SA athletes excel in England – Photo – Rene Kalmer: Source – www.chasingglory.org
VW pair clinch rally title – Photo – Hergen Fekken and Pierre Arries: Source – www.quickpic.co.za
Lindani lands Highveld Classic after playoff – Photo – Lindani Ndwandwe: Source – www.flickr.com