SPORTS DAY: Klopp hails his Reds but job is not over

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SPORTS DAY: Klopp hails his Reds but job is not over

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

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SOCCER
Klopp hails brilliant Liverpool but job is not over
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp praised his team for their stunning first-half display in their 3-0 win over Manchester City at Anfield but warned that the two-legged tie was only at halftime. “First half was brilliant. It was how football should look,” said Klopp after his team blitzed City with three goals inside 31 minutes. “We knew about the quality of City but also about our quality as well. We were very active in all parts of the game, perfect in the spaces, very lively closing the gaps,” he said, before praising his defence.”
Awards clean sweep for Orlando Pirates 
Orlando Pirates may be caught up in their bid to usurp Mamelodi Sundowns from the log summit but their clean-out of the Premier Soccer League monthly awards is a sure indicator of their progress. Milutin Sredojevic collected his second coach of the month gong while dynamic midfielder Musa Nyatama received the player of the month award. Explosive Zambian import Justin Shonga's match-winning rocket against Chippa United in Port Elizabeth earned him the goal of the month award.
Chiefs opt to play Nedbank semifinal in Durban
Gauteng-based Kaizer Chiefs fans will have to travel to Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on April 21 if they want to watch their beloved club take on Free State Stars live in the semifinal of the Nedbank Cup. Chiefs have already played most of their Nedbank home fixtures (last-16 and quarterfinal) at homes away from home. But one would have thought giving Gauteng fans a taste of this cup run was long overdue‚ especially because this would have been their last chance before the final in Cape Town. The Premier Soccer League confirmed the semifinal venues on Thursday. The second semi sees Mamelodi Sundowns travel to Pietermaritzburg on Sunday‚ April 22 to face Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium.
Now it’s all about the grind‚ says Sundowns coach 
Forget the frills and thrills‚ it’s just bump and grind at this stage of the season‚ said Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane as his side kept their noses in front in the title race after Wednesday’s matches for all the top contenders. Sundowns scored in either half at Loftus Versfeld to beat Chippa United 2-0 and stay a single point ahead of second-placed Orlando Pirates‚ who won 2-1 against Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium. Downs have a game in hand as the season heads to an exciting conclusion. “We are just happy to park the points. You could see the game we played‚ no frills. Just grind it‚ get the points‚ get the goals and work harder,” Mosimane said. “What are you going to do with good football at this stage of the season when there are just five games left?” he asked.
CRICKET
Kagiso Rabada ruled out for three months
Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been ruled out for up to three months with a lower back stress reaction‚ said Cricket South Africa. Rabada felt tightness and discomfort during the fourth Sunfoil Test against Australia at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium‚ with subsequent scans revealing the injury. Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee said: “Kagiso has been diagnosed with a lower back stress reaction which will rule him out of cricket action for up to three months. He will need a month’s break from all physical activity before commencing with a rehabilitation programme to get him ready for the series against Sri Lanka in July. Rabada will be unavailable for the Delhi Daredevils in the upcoming Indian Premier League.”
Warner accepts fate for ball-tamperingDavid Warner left it late but he has accepted the consequences of masterminding the ball-tampering scandal that took the wheels off Australia’s tour to South Africa. Warner made his announcement just more than an hour before the deadline CA had set for appeals‚ and a day after co-conspirators Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft said they would not challenge their sentences. Earlier reports said Warner was considering challenging his sanction‚ while the Australian Cricketers’ Association have criticised the severity of the punishment the players have been given. A CA investigation found Warner had hatched a plot to roughen the ball with sandpaper during the third Test at Newlands last month.
Proteas coach sets sights on No 1 test ranking
For a man who arrived in South Africa just over six months ago to occupy one of the hottest seats in the country amid mixed reactions‚ Ottis Gibson’s start to his job as Proteas coach has gotten off to an impressive start. At the end of his 10th Test  against Australia at the Wanderers on Tuesday‚ Gibson reflected on the “enjoyable experience”‚ where South Africa have won eight Tests and lost twice‚ with pride. Gibson said the Proteas have set their sights on returning to the top of the pile in the coming months when they are scheduled to play against Sri Lanka‚ Zimbabwe‚ Australia and Pakistan.
RUGBY
Lions have Bok Combrinck back for Stormers
The Lions will have the steely resolve of Springbok Ruan Combrinck back on the right wing when they clash with the Stormers at Ellis Park on Saturday. Lions team: Andries Coetzee; Ruan Combrinck‚ Lionel Mapoe‚ Harold Vorster‚ Madosh Tambwe; Elton Jantjies‚ Dillon Smit; Hacjivah Dayimani‚ Cyle Brink‚ Kwagga Smith; Franco Mostert‚ Marvin Orie; Ruan Dreyer‚ Malcolm Marx‚ Dylan Smith. Substitutes: Corne Fourie‚ Jacques van Rooyen‚ Johannes Jonker‚ Lourens Erasmus‚ Marnus Schoeman; Marco Jansen van Vuren‚ Howard Mnisi‚ Sylvian Mahuza.
COMMONWEALTH GAMES
Fiji smell Blitzboks’ blood in Hong Kong
Fiji coach Gareth Barber can smell blood in the water as his side look to close the gap on South Africa‚ and even overhaul them‚ at the top of the 2017-18 HSBC World Sevens Series round seven in Hong Kong this weekend. South Africa have opted to take an inexperienced team to Hong Kong with five debutants and no players with more than 10 World Series appearances in the squad‚ while their stars are wrapped in cotton wool for next week’s Commonwealth Games. Blitzboks coach Neil Powell says this has been part of the planning‚ but it’s a high-risk strategy‚ especially as Fiji have picked their strongest team for Hong Kong. 
Henri Schoeman gains first gold for Team SA 
Henri Schoeman clinched South Africa’s first medal of the Commonwealth Games on Thursday afternoon as he surged in the run to take the triathlon gold. The Durbanite had been in the lead group with England’s all-conquering Brownlee brothers coming off the 750m swim water and the 20km ride‚ but when he put foot early in the 5km run‚ nobody responded. “I thought the guys were maybe just taking it easy on the first lap‚ maybe use the second lap to open up‚” said Schoeman‚ who won silver in the team relay at Glasgow 2014. “I just wanted to make sure I get my gap in the first lap and it increased and increased‚ got bigger and bigger.”
Reuters-AFP-TimesLIVE

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