Ireland, France and South Africa all promised millions in the bank, great stadiums and “the best tournament ever” before figuratively plucking on the emotional heartstrings as they sought to earn the right to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
There were contrasting emotions for the two South African clubs left in continental club competition as SuperSport United booked a first-ever semifinal place in the African Confederation Cup but Mamelodi Sundowns had their dream of retaining the African Champions League shattered.
Chippa United twice struck the woodwork against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on a chilly holiday Sunday afternoon but failed to deliver a first victory for new coach Teboho Moloi as the game ended goalless.
Orlando Pirates did not hang their heads going an early goal down‚ if anything growing in strength‚ said Bucs coach Milutin Sredojevic‚ taking the positives from a first league defeat of the season against Bidvest Wits.
Defending Champions Mamelodi Sundowns’ almost two-year dream run in continental football crashed to an end with their 3-2 penalties 2017 Caf Champions League quarterfinal defeat against Wydad Casablanca in Morocco on Saturday night.
Aiden Markram has described being confirmed to open the batting with franchise teammate Dean Elgar against Bangladesh during the two-match test series starting in Potchefstroom on Thursday as a “dream come true”.
SuperSport United left OR Tambo International Airport early on Friday morning for Zambia‚ with a strong warning from coach Eric Tinkler that they need to be smart and switched on if they are to return with an African Confederation Cup semifinal place.
New Chippa United coach Teboho Moloi wants the club to turn their two home grounds in the Eastern Cape into virtual fortresses where visiting teams come away with nothing‚ starting with Sunday’s Premier Soccer League clash against Bloemfontein Celtic.
Wydad Casablanca’s gamesmanship and shenanigans ahead of their second leg of their Caf Champions League quarterfinal against Mamelodi Sundowns have seen Downs officials driving around Rabat for days looking for a training pitch.
Fadlu Davids hopes his young Maritzburg United charges can slot into a less pressured routine after a helter-skelter start to the season with their MTN8 semifinal appearances and back-to-back matches against Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.