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Banyana Banyana Share Spoils With Finland In Cyprus Women’s Cup Opener

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Banyana Banyana twice came from behind to hold Finland to a 2-2 draw in a thrilling encounter of the 2019 Cyprus Women’s Cup opener on Wednesday afternoon.

Head coach Desiree Ellis made six changes to the squad that played Sweden in the Winnie Mandela Challenge last month, with Refiloe Jane earning her 100th national team cap, as the captain on the day.

Though it was Finland who enjoyed much of the possession with Banyana Banyana struggling to maintain them, the two sides went into the halftime break deadlocked at 0-0.

The second stanza saw Finland picking up where they left off by troubling an unsettled South African backline.

Their resilience finally paid off when they took the lead as early as the 48th minute through Julliet Kemppi.

Ellis’ charges had to wait till the 70th minute to draw matters level through Leandra Smeda who coolly converted from the penalty spot after Jermaine Seoposenwe was brought down in the 18 area.

Seven minutes later, Finland took the lead once again through Adelina Engman.

This however seemed to spur the South Africans on who refused to lie down as they caused their counterparts problems at the back before finding the equalizer through Thembi Kgatlana.

The two sides shared the spoils, with Banyana Banyana next taking on Korea DPR on Friday.

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Football

UEFA Champions League Draw: Man City vs Tottenham, Liverpool play Porto…

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The UEFA Champions League offered some mouthwatering quarter-final clashes following the draw at the UEFA Headquarters  in Nyon on Friday.

With a new champion set to be crowned in May after holders Real Madrid were dumped out in the last 16 by an inspiring young Ajax Amsterdam outfit, this now sets out a real chance for at least six teams who have already tasted success at this level to once again add this prestigious trophy to their cabinets.

Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have been pitted against each other in an all-English Champions League quarter-final.

Manchester United take on Spanish giants Barcelona, while Liverpool will square up against Portuguese champions Porto. Ajax and Juventus meet in the other tie.

United have been forced to play their first leg tie at Old Trafford because both they and City cannot play in Manchester on the same evening.

The winner of the City and Spurs tie will take on either Ajax or Juventus in the semi-final.

Winners from the United and Barca clash will then go on to face the team that progresses between Liverpool and Porto.

The first legs will be played on April 9 and 10, the second legs on April 16 and 17.

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Football

Real Madrid Confirm Zinedine Zidane Reappointemnt After Sacking Santiago Solari

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Real Madrid have confirmed the appointment of former manager Zinedine Zidane following the sacking of Santiago Solari, with the French legend signing a contract until 2022.

Los Blancos decided to remove Solari as first-team coach following the club’s disastrous UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Ajax Amsterdam last week.

Solari’s job came under serious threat following Real’s 4-1 loss at home to Ajax which was followed by back-to-back El Clasico defeats against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu as they crashed out of the Copa Del Rey and fell 12 points behind their fierce rivals in La Liga.

Zidane’s first game back at the club will be at the Santiago Bernabeu against Celta Vigo on Saturday.

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Africa

Stuart Baxter Announces Bafana Bafana Squad For Crunch Libya Clash

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Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter announced his 24-man squad for the crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tie against Libya on March 24.

South Africa are in second place behind group leaders Nigeria and need just a point to all but secure qualification for the continental showpiece set for Egypt later this year.

Goalkeepers:

Darren Keet, Ronwen Williams, Bruce Bvuma

Defenders:

Thulani Hlatshwayo, Innocent Maela, Sifiso Hlanti, Daniel Cardoso, Rivaldo Coetzee, Aubrey Modiba, Buhle Mkwanazi, Thamsanqa Mkhize

Midfielders:

Bongani Zungu, Hlompho Kekana, Themba Zwane, Tiyani Mabunda, Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Thulani Serero, Thembinkosi Lorch

Strikers:

Percy Tau, Lars Veldwijk, Lebogang Mothiba, Lebogang Maboe, Keagan Dolly

Baxter’s charges will leave for Tunisia on Saturday, 16 March, in order to acclimatise to the conditions before the crunch tie.

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