The Tickets for the MTN8 semi-final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs at Lucas Moripe Stadium are officially sold out. The PSL announced on Friday. They also confirmed that the tickets for the semi-final between Orlando Pirates and Stellenbosch FC are selling fast.

ALSO READ: Black Leopards coach Alejandro Dorado resigns

Gates will open at 11:00 and ticket holders are also requested to arrive early to ensure smooth entry to the match venue.

PSL ISSUE WARNING AS MTN8 SEMI-FINAL TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT

“The PSL is working closely with the South African Police Service and several other safety and security role players to ensure that the MTN8 semi-final fixtures are safe and secure. As part of the stringent security measures around the stadium, people engaging in illegal behaviour such as ticket peddling will face immediate arrest. There will be no tickets sold at the stadium,” the league said in a statement.

“Meanwhile, tickets for Sunday’s semifinal between Orlando Pirates and Stellenbosch FC at Orlando Stadium are selling at a rapid rate. spectators are urged to secure their tickets at Ticketpro Outlets promptly to avoid disappointment.”

KAIZER CHIEFS BATTLE IT OUT WITH MAMELODI SUNDOWNS FOR FINAL SPOT

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena is expecting Kaizer Chiefs to be a tough nut to crack. Sundowns also have an edge over Amakhosi after scoring away in the first leg at FNB Stadium.

 “It’s going to be a very difficult game because contrary to what the results suggest. We play against a very good side and a very improved Kaizer Chiefs team,” he said.

“I watched their Royal AM game and I watched their game against SuperSport last night. I saw a completely different side to the side that played against us at FNB. They are a good side and they’ve got some good players. They’ve improved, they create quite a lot more chances,” he added.

By Khotso Ramalatswa 

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has credited the Orlando Pirates technical team for the work they’ve been doing since the 2023/24 season began.

Sundowns will lock horns with the Buccaneers at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday evening. They will be looking to continue with their impressive record in the league against the Buccaneers.

ALSO READ: Black Leopards coach Alejandro Dorado resigns

The DStv Premiership champions have managed to collect the maximum points against the Soweto giants in both home and away matches last season against Pirates.

A victory or a stalemate for Masandawana in Wednesday’s encounter will reward them to be the winners of first Q-innovations with one game to spare. But Mokwena insists things have changed in a positive way at Orlando Pirates under Jose Riveiro.

HUGE IMPROVEMENT IN ORLANDO PIRATES TECHNICAL TEAM

“I think first there’s been big coaching improvements, you can see it with the team. There’s clarity in some of the organisational forms, that is supported by when you look at the numbers and form in relation to how they’ve started,” Mokwena said ahead of the game.

He added: “They’ve conceded six, but that’s not the data that’s most important, it profiles their form. What profiles their playing system is that they have averaged 60% ball possession, which means as compared to last season. They keep more of the ball this season.

“They play faster, average 20 seconds per possession span, ours is a little bit more because we play a little bit in moments. We have a different way of playing, they create a lot of situations from crosses, averaging nine crosses per match.

Bafana Ba Style are ahead with eleven points to Pirates who have two matches to play. Sundowns will be looking to capitalise on the absence of Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo. He is ruled out of the match through suspension after accumulating four yellow cards.

By Katleho Hlalele

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Mosa Lebusa has revealed what Rulani Mokwena has told them about Orlando Pirates striker Zakhele Lepasa ahead of their midweek encounter.

Lepasa has been the difference in Pirates front three this season alongside Monnapule Saleng and Rethabile Mofokeng. The 26-year-old has contributed eight goals in all PSL competitions for the Buccaneers.

MAMELODI SUNDOWNS HAS A PLAN FOR INFORM ORLANDO PIRATES STRIKER?

The Brazilians defender says the current form of Lepasa it’s goes unnoticed for the country but they have a plan to not give him the chance.

“First of all, he is in unbelievable form. I think it’s good for the country. But we focus more on the team. We try to make sure that we cut the supply to him and make sure that we don’t give him a chance,” Lebusa said.

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Mosa Lebusa has revealed what Rulani Mokwena has told them about Orlando Pirates striker Zakhela Lepasa
Mosa Lebusa

Lebusa added that head coach Rulani Mokwena who worked with Lepasa when he was at Orlando Pirates has given them some methodology on how to naturalise the striker.

“It’s very important, he [Rulani Mokwena] was telling us about watching the methods. He underlines some of the things that we don’t pick as players.”

MOSA LEBUSA ON WHAT RULANI MOKWENA SAID ABOUT ZAKHELE LEPASA

“We get to know more about a player. Luckily, he [Rulani Mokwena] worked with him [Zakhele Lepasa]. He was telling us more about what we are up against.”

“It’s nice having to be tested. He is a person that is really in form and needs you to have high concentration levels. And you have to be on your toes every time. I think the whole team has to be on their toes. It’s a big game. In a game of that magnitude, everyone wants to play well.”

Masandawana will lock horns with the Sea Robbers on Wednesday evening at Orlando Stadium.

By Katleho Hlalele

AmaZulu FC have confirmed the signing of former Orlando Pirates midfielder, Ben Motshwari for the remainder of the season. They also have an option to renew at the end of the season.

Motshwari spent the past five seasons at the Buccaneers but seems to have fallen out of favour with coach Jose Riveiro.

AMAZULU FC SECURE THE SIGNATURE OF BEN MOTSHWARI

AmaZulu president, Sandile Zungu has also confirmed the arrival of the 32-year-old into the team.

“We welcome Ben into the team and trust that he will settle in well and make a good contribution in Pablo Franco’s side,” said Zungu.

He also went on to rubbish media rumours that Namibian left back Riaan Hanamub was a wanted target by certain PSL clubs.

“The rumours about Hanamub are malicious. We have not been approached by any club regarding his services. He is not for sale,” he said.

Ben Motshwari joins AmaZulu FC from Orlando Pirates
Ben Motshwari and Monnapule Saleng

ORLANDO PIRATES BID FAREWELL TO VETERAN MIDFIELDER   

Meanwhile, Pirates have also issued a statement bidding farewell to Motswari. “Today, we bid farewell to Ben Motshwai. Ben’s journey with us has come to an end as he embarks on a new chapter,” the club said.

“In the world of football, where finesse and technique often take centre stage, there emerges an occasional warrior whose grit, determination, and bulldog approach define their legacy more than any flashy skill.

“Ben Motshwari is one of those players who embodies the spirit of a true football gladiator. Much like the legendary Gennaro Gattuso, Motshwari’s approach to the game was defined by heart and tenacity,” they said. “Every time he stepped onto the pitch, he gave his all for that Orlando Pirates jersey.

With over 130 appearances for the club, the 32-year-old has left his mark. Motshwari’s journey with us has also been marked by highs and lows. But through it all, his commitment to the team has never wavered,” the statement continued.

“On behalf of the Orlando Pirates family, we want to express our deepest gratitude to Motshwari for his unwavering commitment and dedication.”

By Khotso Ramalatswa 

Jwaneng Galaxy head coach Morena Ramoreboli is excited to face Orlando Pirates in the second preliminary round of the CAF Champions League. But Ramoreboli is also aware that his team will have to work hard in order to do well in the CAF inter-club competition.

Galaxy progressed to the next round of the continental tournament after beating Ugandan side Vipers 3-2 on aggregate. Meanwhile, Pirates knocked out Djabal Club in order to progress to the next round.

ALSO READ: Markram inspires Proteas to a win against Australia 

The Bloemfontein-born says his team is excited to be one step closer to the group stages of the CAF Champions League.

“We’re very excited to progress to the next phase of the Champions League preliminary games. It was not easy to plan for Vipers,” Ramoreboli told LimSportsZone in an exclusive interview.  

Jwaneng Galaxy head coach Morena Ramoreboli is excited to face Orlando Pirates in the second preliminary round
Morena Ramoreboli

MORENA RAMOREBOLI BANKING ON HOME SUPPORT

The Bafana Bafana COSAFA Cup coach believes supporters will play a significant role when his team faces the Sea Robbers away from home. However, they have prepared for those aspects in case they happen at Orlando Stadium.

“African football is African football you go away supporters will play an important role in making things difficult for you. But I think we were very fortunate that in our preparation we tried to touch on all those aspects.

“In making sure that we understand there’ll be a phase in a match where we will have to defend [and] maybe touch the ball less and have less offensive elements in our game,” he added.

SECOND TIME LUCKY AGAINST ORLANDO PIRATES?

Ramoreboli has the upper hand against the Buccaneers after beating them 4-1 in a shocking defeat in 2013 when he was still the head coach of Maluti FET College. He is hoping his team will do well against a big giant like Orlando Pirates and represent Galaxy with pride.

“It’s exciting to face a big team like Orlando Pirates, it’s a motivation to all the players, technical team as well as the management of the club. Because everybody wants to do well against a bigger club. We will do our best to make sure that we represent the country well and we represent the Galaxy family with pride.

“Best teams in the continent are recognized by being involved in the Champions League. We also want to do well in the Champions League, we also want to perform well.

 “And, we will have to fight and get through to the group stages. It’s not going to be easy but we will give it our all and make sure that we progress to the next stage of the Champions League,” he ended.

The champions of Botswana Premier League will host the Orlando Pirates in the first leg of the second round at National Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

By Katleho Hlalele

Orlando Pirates have progressed into the second round of the CAF Champions League. This follows a 3-0 victory against Djabal Club in the second leg of the CAF Champions League First Preliminary round encounter at Orlando Stadium.

The Buccaneers got their opener in the first half from in-form Zakhele Lepasa in the 25th minute of the match.

ALSO READ: Ex-Sundowns star impressed by new Kaizer Chiefs signing

Djabal failed to clear their lines from a set piece which allowed Lepasa to head in with the assist of a blunder from the opposition goalkeeper Mihissoini Annisse.

The Sea Robber sustained their dominance in the second half with Kabelo Dlamini almost extending the lead for Pirates nine minutes into the second stanza but his shot went wide.

Orlando Pirates progressed to CCL second preliminary round
Zakhele Lepasa

Patrick Maswanganyi extended Pirates lead with a powerful shot outside of the box before Lepasa completed his brace in the 63rd minute.

ORLANDO PIRATES HAVE PROGRESSED TO NEXT STAGE OF CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Pirates are through to the second round of the CAF Champions League Preliminary round after beating 4-0 on aggregate.

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder, Solomon Mathe has insisted that Mamelodi Sundowns will not find it difficult to dominate the Premier League Soccer football, even in the 2023/2024 season.

Sundowns have won the Premiership title six times in a row, and have collected some domestic official Cup competitions trophies along the way. This came after they had won the CAF Champions League title back in 2016.

And this season, Rulani Mokwena’s side got off to a flying start. They have won all their five games both in the league and the MTN8, this includes the hard-fought 2-1 win against rivals, Kaizer Chiefs at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Mother’s Day.

WHY MAMELODI SUNDOWNS ARE LIKELY TO WIN THIS YEAR’S LEAGUE TITLE

Speaking exclusively to LimSportsZone, Mathe, who enjoyed enormous success with the now-defunct Platinum Stars, said that Sundowns are likely to win their seventh consecutive league title, looking at the quality they possess.

“It’s too early (to say who will win the league) now, maybe after ten games we will know which teams are going to compete for the title,” Mathe told LimSportsZone.

Ex-Orlando Pirates midfielder makes Mamelodi Sundowns bold League claim
Mamelodi Sundowns XI

“But, Sundowns will compete to defend their title. They have quality players and everyone knows their roles. They looked solid in their first games.

“Sundowns are united, and they know how to win games. All players know their roles. They are consistent in terms of performance, so that gives them an advantage.”

WHY ORLANDO PIRATES FAIL TO STOP MASANDAWANA?

While admitting that Pirates have a chance to start this season at the top of the pile, and actually challenge Sundowns, Mathe has explained what he thinks makes the Sea Robbers fail to challenge for the league title.

“Sundowns play as a team, while Pirates have some individuals who want to shine. If Pirates’ players can play as a team, they can stop Sundowns,” Mathe said.

“Pirates have a great squad. But they need to be consistent, you can’t win while you are still dropping points unnecessarily.

“You can’t win a match by five goals and then draw the next game. But, I think the reason there’s no consistency is because of changing the team now and then.”

Masandawana are on top of the DStv Premiership table with nine points, leading the Buccaneers by five points clear after three games into the season. Both clubs have advanced to the MTN8 semi-finals.

By Clifton Mabasa

Mamelodi Sundowns have been doing as they please in South African football since coach Pitso Mosimane‘s era. Mosimane laid a foundation after taking over the reins from the Dutch coach, Johan Neeskens, in December 2012. Sundowns went on to win the CAF Champions League in 2016 as well as premiership titles along the way and since then, they have become a monster team in South African football to date.

Now the question is, can anyone show up to finally stop Masandawana’s momentum? LimSportsZone editor Clifton Mabasa looks at whom, he thinks, can challenge the champions.

WHY ORLANDO PIRATES STAND A CHANCE

Without any doubt, football wise, Pirates can be the team to challenge Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2023/2024 season, despite their awful start in the league. The Buccaneers have had some epic cup battles with Sundowns lately, winning the MTN8 twice and the Nedbank Cup between 2020 and 2023.

This strongly suggests that they have all the attributes to take anything at stake, to take whatever comes their way. Pirates have a great chance and have the potential to go to the next level.

OPINION: Who can challenge Mamelodi Sundowns dominating football display?
Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrate

COACH JOSE RIVEIRO’S INFLUENCE

Following the arrival of the Spanish coach, Jose Riveiro, whose appointment in June 2022 left South African football lovers in a perplexed state as many thought he lacked experience—the Soweto giants have been displaying good football.

In fact, the Buccaneers have, of late, been the one team who gave Sundowns tough times whenever they met. Judging by their last few games of last season.

Riveiro’s side turned out to be the second-best side in the DStv Premiership last season. The coach led the Sea Robbers to an unforeseeable level of success in his first season. This should be a special notification to everyone that something special is being done.

The Vigo-born coach made Pirates to be arguably the most dominant club that can challenge the unconquerable Sundowns in the league. And verily, when the two teams lock horns in a particular match, fans witness a better game of football.

MZANSI’S FOOTBALL DEVOTEES LOVE PIRATES’ APPROACH

And now, many of Mzansi’s football lovers have given their honest verdict on Pirates’ style of play. Interestingly, among those, is coach Pitso Mosimane—who has not given many positive views when it comes to foreign coaches.

However, speaking to Power FM Sport Show back in June, the former Al Ahly coach said: “Firstly, I must congratulate the Buccaneers for winning two trophies. The coach, first year, two trophies. I am very much impressed by his formations and tactics. He is very spot on.”

“He knows his stuff, he is very calm and humble, and he has also done very well. You know my opinion about European coaches in South Africa. This is what we want to see, this is a value add, brilliant. This is what we need from European coaches in South Africa.”

So basically, this speaks a lot about the Pirates we are all seeing in this year’s DStv Premiership campaign.

WHAT MAKES THE BUCCANEERS A POTENTIAL CHALLENGER TO MAMELODI SUNDOWNS

Another reason that makes Pirates a potential challenger is that they know how to recruit quality players.
Pirates possess some of the best players in the country. Their scouting department has not been sleeping on duty lately.

The Buccaneers’ strategy of bringing players on board in recent years has and will continue to pay off.

Nonetheless, we will see how it will unfold, as the season goes.

By Clifton Mabasa

Affectionately known as the Chairman in football circles, Mashudu Mundalamo Tshikundamalema’s untimely departure is so difficult to digest.

Despite his ‘unequivocal’ love for Orlando Pirates, the Chairman was neutral and objective towards any football club. As I was waiting for his educated analysis in a game in which Pirates walloped Sekhukhuni 5-0 in the MTN8 I just saw the devastating news trending.

ALSO READ: TRIBUTE: Milton Nembidzane a football fanatic of note

Mundalamo Tshikundamalema was full of life and his sense of humor was undoubtedly beyond unreasonable doubt. He was a football fanatic of note, his post-match analysis and predictions inspired many.

The football fraternity has been disarmed with a soldier who dedicated his entire life to football. Apart from the game, he was a husband and a father who valued his family wholeheartedly.

 Rest in Peace Chairman Mashudu Mundalamo

REST IN PEACE MASHUDU MUNDALAMO

I can boost by saying I was very fortunate to even spend some time with him. During the festive holidays, we would arrange a social meeting with Alex Netshapasha (Phalaphala FM news reader) who introduced me to Mundalamo.

By the time of penning this tribute, I was still struggling to come to terms with the sudden passing of the Chairman.

Finally, I would like to plead with local business moguls to honour him with the annual Mashudu Mundalamo Tshikundamalema Chairman soccer tournament in his village of birth.

Rest well Chairman.
Once and always
Buccaneer of note.

By Khathu Ishe Mafadza 

The Draw for the MTN8 semifinal matches was conducted at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday evening. This follows the completion of the quarterfinal matches this weekend.

It also comes after the last quarterfinal match between SuperSport United and Stellenbosch in Polokwane.

THE BIG THREE CONFIRM THEIR PLACES IN THE LAST FOUR   

In the first quarterfinal, Mamelodi Sundowns beat Moroka Swallows at Lucas Moripe Stadium. Orlando Pirates walloped Sekhukhune United 5-0 at Orlando on Saturday. Zakhele Lepasa scored a hat-trick for the Buccaneers, his first for the club.

MTN8 semifinal draw confirmed

On Sunday, Kaizer Chiefs beat Cape Town City 2-1 at Athlone Stadium to also secure a spot in the semis.

MTN8 SEMIFINAL DRAW

Stellenbosch v Orlando Pirates

Kaizer Chiefs v Mamelodi Sundowns

The MTN8 semifinal first leg will take place on Saturday, 1 September while the second leg will take place on Saturday, 23 September.

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