Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Aiteo Cup: ABS bundles Enyimba out

Adeshina Gata, Yinka Adewale and Wasiu Alalade's heroic performances was enough for Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Ilorin FC, to bundle Enyimba International FC of Aba out of the Aiteo Cup (Federation) with a 2-1 victory.

It took the Saraki Boys only three minutes to go in front from the spot kick when Gata's clear cut chance found Wasiu Alalade.

Enyimba Ghanaian goalkeeper Dauda Fatau had brought down Alalade for the penalty.

The visitors capitalized on an ABS defensive mix-up when Ernest Governor's back pass was picked up by Ikechukwu Ibenegbu whose pass find an unmarked Eric Frimpong who easily tapped in from a close range in the 22nd minute.

12 minute later, ABS should have doubled the lead when Adeshina Gata's another clear cut chance was fired inches away from goal by Abubakar Chindo.

Three minutes before half time, Stephen Chukwude fantastic effort was well dealt with by Yinka Adewale in goal for ABS FC.

The Saraki Boys restarted the game better than the visitors as they pegged the Peoples Elephant to their half for most parts of the 2nd half.

One minute into the restart, Chindo's pass picked up Alalade who was unmarked to head past Fatau to restore the hosts' lead.

After the ABS second goal, the game became an end to end battle with the two sides searching for more goals.

In the 58th minute, Fatau had a wrong footing to dash an incoming Alalade the ball but the ABS striker slipped to give back the ball to the Enyimba's keeper to clear for safety.

Five minutes before time, Alalade was presented with another opportunity to score his second of the game but Fatau was well positioned to catch from close range.

Speaking after the game, Henry Makinwa, said the victory was a sweet revenge to Enyimba's 3-0  win on Sunday in Calabar during a match day 34 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) encounter.

"Today we played football tactically, technically, psychologically and physically to over power Enyimba.

"Going to Sunday's game, if we can beat Enyimba, we can beat Plateau United" Makinwa said.

His Enyimba counterpart, Gbenga Ogunbote, said his team paid was its complacency.

"It was an unfortunate one for us, sometimes you plan for something but you don't get it.

"We paid a high prize for complacency, the competition is the easiest way to a continental ticket" Ogunbote said

The Enyimba gaffer said there are four more games to determine a continental ticket for the Peoples Elephant.

Aiteo Cup: Round of 64 Fixtures and kickoff time

*Abakaliki*
NGWA FC (Ebonyi) VS FC GALADIMA (Kebbi)
 
*Owerri*
HEARTLAND FC (Imo) VS INSURANCE FC (Edo)

*Makurdi*
LOBI STARS (Benue) VS KATSINA UNITED (Katsina)

*Katsina*
KATSINA UNITED FEEDERS (Katsina) VS AKLOSENDI FC (Nasarawa) - (4pm)

*Jalingo*
AITEL FC (Taraba) VS UNICEM ROVERS (Cross River) – (4pm)
 
*Jos*
MIGHTY JETS FC (Plateau) VS SUNSHINE STARS (Ondo) – (4pm)

*Yenegoa*
BAYELSA UNITED (Bayelsa) VS FC ZAMFARA (Zamfara) - (4pm)

*Fufore*
ADAMAWA UNITED (Adamawa) VS CYNOSURE FC (Rivers)

*Nnewi*
FC IFEANYI UBAH FEEDERS (Anambra) VS JIGAWA GOLDEN STARS (Jigawa)
 
*Kano*
SAMBA KURNA (Kano) VS WIKKI TOURISTS FEEDERS (Bauchi)

*Ado-Ekiti*
EKITI UNITED (Ekiti) VS DOLPHINS FC (Kaduna)

*Portharcourt*
RIVERS UNITED (Rivers) VS FC ATETE (Delta)

*Warri*
DELTA WARRIORS (Delta) VS AYADE BABES (Cross River)

*Ibadan*
SHOOTING STARS (Oyo) VS DYNAMITE FC (Edo)

*Lafia*
NASARAWA UNITED (Nasarawa) VS MFM FC (Lagos)

*Gombe*
1. DOMA UNITED (Gombe) VS ADAMAWA UNITED (Adamawa) – (2pm)

2. FC YARMA LIGHT (Gombe) VS FC IFEANYIUBAH (Anambra) - 4pm
 
*Osogbo*
1. EDE UNITED (Osun) VS SAKABA UNITED FC (Kebbi) - 2pm

2. OSUN UNITED (Osun) VS COAL CITY YOUTHS (Enugu) - 4pm
 
*Lokoja*
1. FC LOKOJA (Kogi) VS EL-KANEMI BABES (Borno) – (2pm)
 
2. KOGI UNITED (Kogi) VS RANGERS INT'L (Enugu) - 4pm

*Ilorin*
1. KWARA UNITED (Kwara) VS SOKOTO UNITED (Sokoto) – (2pm)

2. ABS FC (Kwara) VS ENYIMBA FC (Abia) –  4pm

*Bauchi*
WIKKI TOURISTS (Bauchi) VS PLATEAU UNITED (Plateau)

*Umuahia*
ABIA WARRIORS FC (Abia) VS CROWN FC (Oyo)
 
*Abuja*
FRSC FC (FCT) VS POTISKUM ACADEMY (Yobe) – (2pm)
 
*Ijebu-Ode*
ALMAR (Ogun) VS SPARTAN FC (Lagos

*Akure*
MOYERO FC (Ondo) VS AKWA STARLETS (Akwa Ibom)

*Thursday,17th August*

*Lokoja*
1. NIGER TORNADOES FEEDERS (Niger) VS FC ABUJA (FCT) - 2pm

2. NIGER TORNADOES (Niger) VS EL-KANEMI WARRIORS (Borno) - 4pm

*Hadeija*
HALFA FC (Jigawa) VS AKWA UNITED FC (Akwa Ibom)

*Thursday,24th August*

*Damaturu*
YOBE DESERT STARS (Yobe) VS KANO PILLARS (Kano)

Liverpool one leg into Champions League group stage after win over Hoffenheim

It was indeed a special night for 18 year old Liverpool right back, Trent Alexander-Arnold as he made his champions league debut scoring his first Liverpool goal with a wonderful freekick which set the English team on their way to a 2-1 Champions League play-off round victory away at Hoffenheim in Tuesday's first leg match.
 
Liverpool, without brazillian star Philippe Coutinho, had it very difficult against a Hoffehiem side unbeaten in 17 games at home.

With a jittery performance and a penalty saved by Mignolet in the early stage, Liverpool dug deep and got inspiration from an unlikely source.

Liverpool broke through Sadio Mane, who went past two defenders before being brought down.

Then shockingly stepped up 18 year old right-back Alexander-Arnold who bent in the freekick with the goalkeeper rooted to his spot.

Liverpool got the second through a controversial fashion.

Mane was fouled and Liverpool's Wijnaldum followed up with a quick freekick while the ball was still rolling, the ball was squared up to James Milner down the left whose attempted cross was deflected in off defender Havard Nordtveit to make it 2 nil.

Substitute Mark Uth pulled on back for the hosts in the 87th minute with a half volley to make it 2-1.

A result Liverpool take to Anfield next week knowing they fully well that focus must not be lost.

Ronaldo, Messi, Buffon shortlisted for UEFA Player of the year award

Gianluigi Buffon, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been shortlisted for the UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award.

The trio were initially part of a 10 man nominees for the 2016/17 UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award.

The award presentation will take place at the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 24 August.

The final shortlisting of just three players was selected by a jury comprising the 80 coaches of the clubs which participated in the group stage of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, along with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA's member associations.

The UEFA's Men's Player of the Year Award recognises the best players, irrespective of nationality, playing for a club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the past season.

Players are judged on their performances in all competitions – domestic, continental and international.

The final result was based on the total number of votes cast by the coaches and the journalists. The coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.

The other players who made up the rest of the top ten were:
4: Luka Modrić (Croatia, Real Madrid) 
5: Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid)
6: Paulo Dybala (Argentina, Juventus)
7: Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid)
8: Kylian Mbappé (France, Monaco)
9: Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Bayern München)
10: Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden, Manchester United)

Messi and Ronaldo have both won the award twice previously – Messi in 2010/11 and 2014/15, and Ronaldo in 2013/14 and 2015/2016.

Other players who have won this accolade are Andrés Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona) in 2011/12 Franck Ribéry (France, Bayern München) in 2012/13.

The UEFA Men's Player of the Year award also complements four new positional UEFA Champions League awards, which will crown the best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward of the 2016/17 Champions League season. These awards will also be presented during the group stage draw on 24 August.

BUFFON, RONALDO AND MESSI 2016/2017 STATS

Lionel Messi:

Honours:
Copa del Rey

Domestic league:
Appearances: 34
Goals: 37
Assists: 9

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 9
Goals: 11
Assists: 2

Cristiano Ronaldo:

Honours:
UEFA Champions League Spanish Liga
FIFA Club World Cup

Domestic league
Appearances: 29
Goals: 25
Assists: 6

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 13
Goals: 12
Assists: 6

Gigi Buffon:

Honours:
Serie A
Coppa Italia

Domestic league
Appearances: 30
Clean sheets: 13

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 12
Clean sheets: 9

Source: uefa.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

AITEO Cup: Nigeria Football Federation reads riot act to match officials.

The Nigeria Football Federation today has aired a powerful message and warning to all of the officials who would be assigned for matches in the 2017 FA Cup now branded as the AITEO Cup competition which starts on Wednesday to conduct themselves creditably or have their names permanently get delisted.

Chairman of the NFF Referees Committee, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf, at the end of the committee’s meeting in Abuja on Monday (Today) spoke through the NFF official website; thenff.com that any referee found wanting would not only have their job taken from them but could also face the wrath of the law.

Alhaji Yusuf stated, “The NFF Referees Committee has decided to go tough on erring referees. For several years, we worked very hard to try and get sponsors for the oldest football competition in this country, but could not for one reason or the other. Now that we have one in AITEO, we will do everything humanly possible to guard that relationship jealously."

He also went further to state that, “Any referee found to be involved in any shenanigan, or deemed to be outright incompetent or mischievous, will be summarily dealt with.

We are tired of complaints about referees. We are ready to throw out as many as are found culpable, and will be ready to have only few competent and self –respecting persons take charge of matches,”

On the issue of appointing match officials for the competition, Alhaji Yusuf said, “Only the FIFA referees and elite referees would be involved. No National League or Nationwide League officials. We want the best arbiters available to take care of the matches and give credibility to the competition.

“The glamour of this much loved competition must return in full force and in even greater glory.”

This for sure is an emphatic statement from the NFF, as we are all set for the AITEO Cup viod of any controversies.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo gets 5 matches suspension over referee shove

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has today been suspended by the LaLiga disciplinary panel for five games after shoving the referee in reaction to his red card during the super cup clash against Barcelona on Sunday.

Ronaldo reacted angrily after the referee took the decision to issue him a second yellow for diving and thereby sending him off not long after he had put Real-Madrid ahead in the second half, a game which eventually went Madrid's way with a 3-1 victory.

Ronaldo had initially been booked for taking off his shirt in celebration after restoring Madrid's lead, a celebration which also saw him perform the Messi-like show at the Santiago Bernabeu of holding the jersey and displaying it to the crowed.

The Spanish Football Federation panel have now issued their decision on the said incident by issuing Ronaldo a five-game ban and also following it up with a fine.

Cristiano Ronaldo will now miss as it stands: Barcelona (H)
Deportivo (A) Valencia (H)
Levante (H) Real Sociedad (A)

By Emmanuel Ndibe

Assad thanks Lagos fans after winning ITTF Nigeria Open 2017

For the support he has always enjoyed whenever he is playing in Lagos, Egypt’s Omar Assar believes the fans played a crucial role in his triumph at the ITTF Nigeria Open ‘Lagos 2017’.

The Egyptian who made history as the first player to win the men’s singles title thrice as well as unbeaten in all his participation in the tournament is willing to return to Lagos for the competition.

To claim the title in 2017, Assar beat India’s Sarthak Gandhi in the final 4-0 (11-6, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8).

With the win, Assar maintains his perfect record in Lagos, having now won the tournament on each occasion he has played.

“I feel very wonderful wining this competition again. This competition is very special for me because it being hosted in Lagos.

The fans in Lagos have been very supportive in me claiming the title.

So I need to ensure I play very well because many people are waiting to see me winning the title.

From the start of the tournament, there have been a lot of improvements among the Nigerians and Egyptians, while I am particularly thrilled with the performance of the Indians,” said Omar Assar.

Assar, who is Aruna Quadri’s partner in men’s doubles, believes the Nigerian would return stronger following his round of 16 exit.

"Aruna Quadri and others played really well. But I am always proud whenever I and Aruna Quadri play in the final of any major event because it helps to promote the sport in Africa.

Aruna Quadri is a very good player and I am sure next he will make a comeback and have better competition next time,” he said.

Dina Meshref made sure Egypt doubled down on the titles, defeating Russia’s Olga Kulikova in the final of the Women’s Singles.

It was a 4-0 (11-4, 16-14, 12-10, 11-6) victory for Meshref, who dropped only two games during the event. It was the Egyptian’s third attempt at the title, and it turned out to be third time’s lucky, having made the quarterfinal in 2014, and final in 2015.

As Africa’s number one player, she kept continental pride and made sure the title stayed on home soil for the first time in the event’s history.

 

'Chelsea is treating me like a criminal' - Diego Costa

Want a way Chelsea striker Diego Costa has aired his disgruntled feeling towards manager, Antonio Conte and further accused the Premier League club of treating him like a Criminal.

Diego Costa was Chelsea's top scorer with 20 goals last season as they secured a second league title in three years but as it was reported, Conte has since informed the Spain international that he will not feature in his first-team plans for the new season.

According to Goal, his Former club Atletico de Madrid looks a better option for Costa, who is presently picking up fines as he refuses to return to Chelsea and train with the reserves.

"I wouldn't be allowed access to the first-team dressing room and I would have no contact at all with the guys," he explained. "I'm not a criminal! I don’t think it is fair after all I have done to be treated like that.

"They gave me a week extra off [at the start of pre-season training] but since then it's fines all the way.

"I am open to being a year in Brazil without playing, even if Chelsea fine me for a year and don't pay me," he said.

By Emmanuel Ndibe
Edited by Cosmos Chukwuemeka

Source : Goal.com

Ronaldo scores, sees red as Real Madrid defeat Barcelona in Spanish Super Cup

The much anticipated clash had so many factors at stake, like "How will barcelona fare without Neymar" and Can Zidane move closer to securing another title for RealMadrid.

After the first half ended goalless with few clearcut chances created, Real-Madrid went a goal up early in the second half through an own goal from defender Gerard Pique but the Catalonia giants levelled few moments later through Lionel Messi's from the penalty spot, a penalty which was won by Luis Suarez in a controversial manner.
Ronaldo put Real-Madrid back in front with a sweet goal, he then took his shirt off, did his muscle celebration and then displayed his "Ronaldo 7" jersey to the fans which earned him a yellow card.

Surprisingly two minutes later, Ronaldo earned a second yellow card for going to ground easily in the penalty area, and off he was having earlier been booked for taking his shirt off in celebration and risks further punishment when he shoved the referee in the back before leaving the field.

Barcelona got all men forward as they pushed for an equaliser but were further punished by Marco Asensio's fine strike.

A result which gives Barcelona a tough mountain to climb at the second leg in the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday next week.

By Emmanuel Ndibe

Ronaldo likely to miss up to 12 matches for shove on referee

Cristiano Ronaldo could miss as many as 12 matches through suspension after referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea  included the Real Madrid star's shove on him after issuing him a second yellow card in his match report.

Ronaldo removing his shirt after scoring and displayed it to the fans in a Messi-like celebration to earn a yellow card in the Spanish Super Cup first leg against Barcelona.

Few minutes later, Ronaldo was issued a second yellow card for an alleged dive in the box by the referee which propelled him to momentarily lose his temper and then shoved the referee.

Referee Ricardo de Burgus included the incident in his post-game match report, writing: "Player: Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro. Once the red card was shown, the player pushed me slightly in a sign of disagreement."

The alleged shove could attract a ban of 4 to 12 matches according to Article 96 of the Spanish federation's rule book, which deals with "Slight violence towards referees" and recommends a suspension of 4-12 matches as punishment for the action.

By Emmanuel Ndibe
Source: Goal.com

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Aruna Quadri knocked out of ITTF Nigeria Open

Bode Abiodun caused a sensation in the third round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open in Lagos as knocked out tournament favourite, Aruna Quadri

Against all odds, Abiodun defeated compatriot and top seed, Quadri in six games (11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9) to reserve his place in the last eight.

Earlier in the year, he came third in the group behind Frenchman Andrieu Landrieu and the Slovak Republic’s Jakub Figel at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest in January.

That was his only international competition prior to the Lagos Open.

Presently Bode Abiodun has no world ranking, his most recent position being no.200 earlier this year in May, a listing which enabled him to occupy the no.9 seeded position in Lagos.

The highest of his career was in October 2010 when he was named at no.126.

Conversely, Quadri Aruna presently stands at no.29, having been at no.25 from September 2016 to earlier this year in January.

Injury ends Usain Bolt final race at World athletics Championship

Usain Bolt pulled a muscle injury on the last leg of the 4x100 metres relay final at the World Athletics Championships on Saturday and this effectively ended an amazing career for the Jamaican.

Bolt had taken the baton for Jamaica a few metres adrift when, straining hard to catch the leaders, he suddenly suffered a hamstring injury, began hobbling and ended up coming to a halt after doing a forward roll on the track.

After a short while, though, the 30 year old world record holder rose gingerly to his feet and limped across the line to huge cheers from the 56,000 crowd.

Britain, surprisingly. went on to beat the United States in a tight finish.

The 60,000-capacity stadium was primed for one last Bolt show, one last "To the World" pose after a victory, but the injury effectively ended Bolt's career on a low as his body can no longer hold up.

His teammates on the once-fabled Jamaican sprint squad were far from impressive.

Bolt had just too much to make up in the final 100 metres as both Britain and the US were ahead and even Japan was even.

As Bolt fell to the ground, the leg with the golden shoe giving way, the crowd still went wild because the home team went on to win gold in 37.47 seconds, 0.05 seconds ahead of the US.

The brilliantly executed race by Nigeria-born Chijindu Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake gave Britain gold in 37.47 seconds, breaking an 18-year-old national record, and the world title for the first time.

The result means Bolt, 100 and 200m world record holder, finishes his career with 14 world career medals, one behind American Allyson Felix, to go with eight Olympic golds.

Amid wild home celebrations, Bolt was attended to by medics, but refused a ride in a wheelchair off the track, instead finally getting up and limping alongside his teammates through to the finish line and then off into the stadium for treatment.

It was a sad exit for an athlete who has lit up the track when the sport has been dragged through its worst-ever crisis, racked by doping and corruption scandals that went to the very heart of athletics' governing body.

Since confirming his sprinting dominance with triple gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Bolt spent nine seasons amassing 19 global golds, 14 of which have come in individual events.

And because of his charismatic personality, Bolt is recognized as one of the world's most successful sportsmen.

According to Forbes, he earned $34.2m last year alone.

By Cosmos Chukwuemeka
Source: Al-jazera

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