Highlands Park send Chippa packing

Gordon Igesund's Highlands Park edged Chippa United 2-0 in their Last 16 Telkom Knockout clash at the Makhulong Stadium on Friday night.

  • Highlands Park 2-0 Chippa United
  • Mbesuma scores on 11 minutes
  • Substitute Sitayitayi adds a second on 75 minutes
  • Highlands Park have two shots on target all match

Match summary:

Collins Mbesuma scored the opening goal of the game for his new manager after just 11 minutes before Edwin Sitayitayi secured the Premiership newcomers' progression to the next round of the lucrative competition with 75 minutes played.

Full report:

Marc Van Heerden had the first sight of goal from an early free-kick that he placed just over the Highlands goal before Tapuwa Kapini made light work of Thembinkosi Lorch's ninth minute strike at goal.

But the hosts were soon in the lead following a free kick awarded for a heavy challenge by Van Heerden on Brandon Theron.

Bongani Kama did well initially to clear Franklyn Cale's set-piece but Mbesuma was on hand to stylishly sweep home with the left foot.

Chippa went in search of an equaliser with Andile Mbenyane firing just wide as Kapini was forced to punch clear a Lorch corner midway through the first half.

Kapini then came to his side's rescue as he denied Menzi Masuku from close range, but Charlton Mashumba really should have added to Highlands' lead as he smashed a well-hit freekick just over the Chippa goal.

Masuku netted shortly after the restart but play was called back after the referee spotted a handball.

Kapini had to be alert with an hour played to deny Paseka Mako from close range but despite their dominance in possession, Chippa weren't too convincing at the back with Thanduyise Khuboni shooting just wide after connecting to a long ball over the defence.

But the visitors could do nothing to deny substitute Sitayitayi from dealing the killer blow as he nicked the ball off the toe of Van Heerden before neatly lifting the ball over Daniel Akpeyi as he tried to close the angle.

Betis stun Osasuna late on

A thumping, stoppage-time free kick from Felipe Gutiérrez saw Real Betis record a 2-1 win over Osasuna at Estadio El Sadar on Saturday.

Osasuna looked a real threat at times early on, with Alex Berenguer seeing his shot blocked, Didier Digard firing over the crossbar, and Roberto Torres skewing his effort wide, all in quick succession.

But it was Betis who took the lead through veteran winger Joaquín, who latched onto an assist from Petros on the left side of the box to fire it past Nauzet Pérez in goal.

Osasuna had more chances to draw level, with Oriol Riera seeing his header blocked from a Roberto Torres corner on the half-hour mark, before Sergio León fired an effort to the far corner in the 32nd minute, but saw it fly narrowly wide.

Having gone in a goal behind at halftime, Osasuna were level soon after the break, with Roberto Torres blasting it past Adán in goal in the 48th minute.

Emmanuel Rivière was then sent packing in the 86th minute for his reaction to a cynical foul. The Frenchman looked to be pulling away from his marker, but was pulled back with a tug on his shirt. He kicked out at his opponent in anger, for which he received his marching orders.

Betis took the lead soon afterwards in the first minute of added time. Felipe Gutiérrez stood over a freekick from a long way out, but produced a low-flying piledriver that zipped beyond the wall and into the bottom corner.

Zwolle bag big win over Excelsior

PEC Zwolle lifted themselves out of bottom place in the Eredivisie standings with a 2-0 win over Excelsior at Stadion Woudestein in Rotterdam on Saturday.

After a goalless first half, Queensy Menig put the visitors ahead just three minutes after the restart in the 48th minute, thanks to an assist from Youness Mokhtar.

The points were assured in the 88th minute when Ajax loanee Django Warmerdam doubled their lead, with New Zealand international Ryan Thomas providing the assist.

Their second win of the campaign lifts the Blauwvingers off the bottom of the Eredivisie standings, taking them up to 13th for the time being, while Excelsior are now set to slide down from their position of 10th when the rest of the Dutch top flight plays their 10th match of the season.

Manchester City v Southampton

Manchester City will be hoping to end a poor run of form with a win over an in-form Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

City are the Premier League leaders with 19 points from their opening eight games but come into this tie without a win in their last four games, having lost their first league match against Spurs before a 1-1 draw with Everton and a 4-0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League.

The Saints were unlucky to lose 1-0 to Inter Milan in their European tie having beaten Burnley 3-1 in their last league tie that followed a win and two draws, leaving them in a respectiable eighth place with 12 points.

Ahead of this game, City boss Pep Guardiola said: "I’m thinking about Saints. I watched the Inter [Milan] game - Saints played amazing. It will be tough, but of course we need to win again."

Puel, meanwhile, added: "I managed against Pep early in his career and he has not changed his philosophy. But for us it is important to play our football and I think we can have a good game."

Pablo Zabaleta misses this clash with a foot injury along with fellow right-back Bacary Sagna who is hamstrung. 

Shane Long (hamstring) is unavailable for Southampton, while there will be late fitness tests for full-backs Ryan Bertrand, Matt Targett (both hamstring) and Cedric Soares (foot).

Bournemouth v Tottenham

Bournemouth will be hoping to keep their good form going against a Tottenham side that could go top of the table with a win in their lunch-time clash at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The Cherries are unbeaten in three leagues games and gave Mike Phelan's Hull City a 6-1 hammering at home last week after a 2-2 draw with Watford and a 1-0 win over Everton.

Spurs remain the only unbeaten Premier League team but come into this clash having drawn 1-1 with West Brom and 0-0 with Bayer Leverkusen last time out.

But heading into this tie, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says his team are much better prepared to face the London side after two heavy defeats last season. Spurs ran out 5-1 winners on the road before a 3-0 victory at White Hart Lane in the return leg.

Howe explained: "We had two very tough games against Spurs last season, but we’ve definitely learned from those experiences.

“I think we’re better prepared for these kinds of games. We’re more hardened to Premier League football and our belief and confidence levels are better than what they previously were, but we have to prove it on the pitch.

“Tottenham haven’t been beaten or conceded a goal from open play in the league this season, so they’re certainly in good form. For me, last season, they along with Manchester City were the strongest side we faced.

“It’s going to be a real test for us. They have an outstanding manager who in my opinion is up there with the very best. The intensity at which his sides play makes them difficult opponents.”

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says his side are, meanwhile, motivated by the prospect of claming top-spot in the Premier League, if only for a while - with league leaders Manchester City and second-placed Arsenal one point better off than the Argentine's charges.

He said: "It has to be a big motivation for us to finish the game, take the three points and be on top of the table. 

"It’s impossible to play for a better place and because of that the atmosphere was very good on the training ground today. 

"Our players are very conscious about that and it’s a good opportunity to see us on top of the table but first we need to win the game. 

"In front of us we have a very good team and a great manager like Eddie Howe. It will be a very tough game.”

For Bournemouth, Harry Arter faces a late fitness test as he struggles to recover from a knee injury while Max Gradel should be fit after suffering a hamstring injury, but Lewis Cook (ankle) and Brad Smith (foot) remain sidelined.

Danny Rose could be rested with a bruised foot as Toby Alderweireld ends a run of 46 consecutive starts as he sits out with a leg injury. And Harry Kane continues his rehabilitation from an ankle problem.

Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows

Orlando Pirates meet Golden Arrows for the second time this season, this time in a Telkom Knockout first round encounter on Sunday.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 3pm at the Orlando Stadium, the same venue where Bucs started their season in such a positive manner with a 3-1 league victory over Arrows, courtesy of a hat-trick by Tendai Ndoro.

However, things have changed somewhat since that game at the end of August as since then Pirates have crashed out of the MTN8 competition while they go into Sunday's match having drawn their last three matches.

Despite this, the Sea Robbers are still handily placed in the league, in third position.

Arrows, meanwhile, have shot up to joint first place, behind Kaizer Chiefson goal difference, after four wins and a draw in their last five encounters.

"We’re not the same team that played Pirates in the first league game," Arrows coach Clinton Larsen, a former Pirates player, explained.

"We have improved and it was good lesson for us to learn that first hammering by Pirates. We made a lot of defensive errors and we came back and worked on them and since then defensively we are very solid.

"We are one of the best [defensively] in the league and we want try and continue with that. We pride ourselves on our organisation and keeping clean sheets and I think the players have bought into that."

Bucs coach Ertugral, who had a spell in charge of Arrows, is not as happy as Larsen about the way his own defence has been shaping up, with his side having conceded a number of soft goals this season.

"We are not playing that well at the moment, the patterns are not right, the organization is not that good, a lot of elements we need to look in to, we are definitely not very happy. We need to work better as a team, we are still having too much individual play," he said.

"Even last season we had defensive issues, I didn't take over a team that conceded 15 or 20 goals, so I knew the challenge was there. We need to trust each other more, but new players have come in, others have left and no one has a magic stick, this takes time.

"We played against Arrows in the first game in the Absa Premiership and we won that game, but we saw how good they are as a team. They are on top of the log in the league and you don't do that by mistake, but through hard work and commitment."

Arrows will be without striker Lerato Lamola, who is nursing an injured ankle, while Lehlohonolo Nonyane faces a late fitness test. Kudakwashe Mahachi is back in contention after recovering from an arm injury.

Ertugral has several concerns asstrikers Ndoro and Thabiso Kutumela both face late fitness tests, while Edwin Gyimah, Gladwin Shitolo and Nkosinathi Mthiyane are all sidelined with injury. Neither side has any suspensions.

Kaizer Chiefs v Maritzburg United

Kaizer Chiefs will be looking to build on their recent good league form with a victory over Maritzburg United in a Telkom Knockout first-round game at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The match kicks off at 20H15 and will see the two coaches - Steve Komphela of Chiefs, and Maritzburg's Ernst Middendorp, both up against their former clubs.

The two teams have already met in the league, Amakhosi recording a 2-0 home victory over the KZN side.

The Glamour Boys, who lost last season's TKO final 3-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns, are currently on a red-hot run of form, having put their early season struggles behind them with a four-match winning streak.

Not so for the Team of Choice, who after a positive start to the season have gone five matches without victory.

But Komphela won't be taking anything for granted, understanding the difference between league form and the unpredictable nature of cup competition.

"Form is something that inspires you, but it’s a different competition, it’s a once off thing," he said.

"A victory can be very deceptive - you might think everything is intact. We need to manage the inside pressure, there has to be harmony because on the back of harmony you get good team spirit and you get results.

"When you are playing in the league it is different because you know you have 30 rounds. When you are facing a knockout competition, it’s do or die.

"You have a situation where you only have one shot, one bullet to hit this monster, if you miss you are gone, you start to shake and shiver and we don't want to get into that mode," he concluded.

Kaizer Chiefs will be without midfielder George Maluleka, who is suspended, but otherwise have a clean bill of health.

There are still question marks over the match fitness of Maritzburg striker Andrea Fillecia, but other than that, Middendorp also has all his players available.

West Ham United v Sunderland

West Ham United will look to record their second consecutive victory when they host bottom side Sunderland in a Premier League encounter on Saturday.

The Hammers head into the encounter having recorded their only league victory of the campaign in a 1-0 win in a London derby with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park last week. 

Both sides have a number of injury concerns with West Ham's Andy Carroll set to be sidelined for a lengthly spell after his latest knee injury, which coach Slaven Bilic labelled a 'killer blow.'

"It’s a killer blow knowing how good an influence he was last year for us, whenever he was starting a game or coming on from the bench.

"I thought he would miss one game so to still be without him it’s a massive blow for us. He’s positive and hopefully he is going to be back in a few weeks’ time," he told reporters.

In addition Arthur Masuaku, Gokhan Tore, Sam Byram, Darren Randolph and Diafra Sakho will all be unavailable due to injury. Ghana international forward Andrew Ayew returned to training earlier this week, but will not feature in a bid to improve his fitness.

A total of seven players are sidelined through injury for Sunderland, including: Sebastian Larsson, Fabio Borini, Jan Kirchhoff, Vito Mannone, Adnan Januzaj, Jason Denayer and Lee Cattermole, whilst Moyes could call on Lamine Kone and Patrick van Aanholt who earlier this week returned from injury.

David Moyes' side are the only team in the league who are yet to register a victory in the league campaign thus far and have collected a mere two points from their eight matches played.

Despite pressure mounting on the former Manchester United mentor, Moyes revealed that the supporters understand the club's dire situation in addition to saying that their injury woes are easing.

"I was with a lot of the supporters branches this week, talking to them, and I think a lot understand the situation. They have been excellent. They understand they've been through the barrel with managers and need some stability.

"To be fair, the situation is improving.

"Kone and Patrick both trained yesterday and will be available for selection tomorrow.

"We don’t think Adnan is as bad as we first thought, and with a bit of luck we are hoping he could be back training with us by the middle of next week.

"Jason and Catts are close, and they might come into training over the next week. Jason is not so bad, but Catts we are not quite as sure about. Seb is doing great - he is out running, doing bits with the ball, and is way ahead of schedule.

"Vito is out on the grass doing a bit of light handling work with the goalkeepers. Kirch is making progress, and we don’t think he will be out for as long as we thought.

"The only one out of the whole group who looks to be quite a distance away is Fabio Borini. He is still recovering, but has a way to go," he told reporters.

Swansea v Watford

Swansea will look to get back to winning ways when they host Watford in a Premier League encounter at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

The Swans have equalled their worst-ever start to a campaign having collected a mere four points from a possible 24 with their only victory coming against Burnley in their first league encounter of the season.

Having lost 3-2 against Arsenal in a tightly contested league encounter last week, Swansea find themselves in trouble languishing in 19th position, but new coach Bob Bradley is adamant that one victory will be able to help his side turn the corner on a disastrous run thus far.

"If you look at the way the team has played in recent years, you can easily say this is a team that has shown itself to be a mid-table-type team with the possibility of being in the top 10," he told reporters.

"Whether we're in a relegation fight for two more weeks, four more weeks, six more weeks, it depends. If we can get on a good run and start to get confidence I doubt whether that's going to be a question I face every week."

The Welsh outfit will be without the services of Jefferson Montero, who has been struggling with a calf-injury, however winger Mo Barrow and forward Fernando Llorente are expected to make their returns from injury and feature against Watford.

The Hornets enjoy a far-superior record heading into the encounter having collected four points in their last two games against Middlesbrough and Bournemouth respectively. Walter Mazzarri's side can take confidence from their 1-0 victory against Boro, which was their first clean sheet in 13 league games.

The result was said to be overshadowed by a post-match argument involving attacking duo Jose Holebas and Etienne Capoue, however, the Watford mentor quickly dismissed these reports - suggesting that the argument is indicative of the Hornets' desire to improve.

"Even in training they usually play on the same side, so they are always both talking to each other and trying to improve each other.

"They are always telling them what position they should be playing, go further forward, go further left, go further back. They are always talking to each other, they are very good friends.

"And I am actually very happy about this, because for me the fact that they talk a lot on the pitch and in training shows that they want to improve their football," he told reporters.

Defender Craig Cathcart and forward Isaac Success have been ruled out due to a muscle cramp and a groin injury respectively, whilst Miguel Britos has recovered from the knock he picked in the victory against Boro.

The two side's face-off at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, October 22nd at 16h00.

Ranieri has 'no plans' of retirement

Leicester City head coach Claudio Ranieri says he has no plans of retirement yet after turning 65 on Thursday.

Ranieri's career looked to be on a downward spiral after a disastrous spell with the Greece national football team where he failed to win in his four games in charge and oversaw an embarrassing 1-0 loss at home to the Faroe Islands.

His appointment with the Foxes drew severe criticism from former players and the British media, but the Italian defied all odds by leading the relegation favorites to the English Premier League title.

Now, the former Chelsea manager claims he's been invigorated by the club's historic success and plans to manage as long as he can possibly can.

"Until I feel an old man, I keep going, I continue. As long as I enjoy and feel good. For me it is my life, my job. I want to continue for [a] long [time]," he told reporters.

"At 35 I said, 'At 50 I finish.' But then at 50 I said 'Why now? 55.' Then five by five, step by step. I am 65, now I continue until 70.

"The life is fantastic, every job is difficult, but it is important to be strong inside because you don't know what happens in life. You can go down but if you are strong you can wake up again.

"When I came to Leicester I came with the priority to build a squad to achieve Europe and then the Champions League -- the project of my owner. 

"Now we have won but I've forgot, for me we don't win. I continue to build what the chairman asked me the first night."