Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Ambrose awaits Eagles recall

EFE Ambrose has not been called up for national duty since 2016, after losing his place at Celtics.
Continue reading Ambrose awaits Eagles recall at Vanguard News.

Alex Iwobi: Arsenal Star apologises to fans for defeat

Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi has a essage for Arsenal fans Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi has apologised for the defeat to North London rivals Tottenham, and urged the supporters to continually believe in the team.Harry Kane scored in the 49th minute to give Tottenham all three points in the derby.Iwobi was brought on for Mohamed Elneny in the 65 minute, and created a goal scoring opportunity for fellow substitute Alexandre Lacazette.The defeat will definitely have angered Arsenal supporters as it left them seven points behind Tottenham and in a difficult race to make a Champions League place.Iwobi had earlier this season apologised for partying a night before an FA Cup game. Iwobi posted on his Instagram account addressing Arsenal supporters, “Being an Arsenal fan myself, Saturday’s defeat was very disappointing and hard to take.”“I know it’s hard to believe but we know exactly how you are feeling.”He then urged the Arsenal fans to come and support the team in their next encounter.“We have another match in a few days and trust me we’ll be putting in 100% to try and make this right.“Massive love to all our fans for your support. #BIG17.”Arsenal travel to take on Swedish side Oestersunds in an Europa League round of 32 match, on Thursday, February 15.

 Sanchez’s Future Is Uncertain – Wenger

Arsene Wenger said Friday there is nothing “concrete” on Alexis Sanchez’s future despite reported interest from both Manchester clubs but stated he will only be sold this month if Arsenal can find a replacement.
Sanchez, out of contract at the end of the season, is expected to leave the north London club during the transfer window with young Bordeaux forward Malcom linked with a move to the Emirates.
Pep Guardiola’s bid to buy Sanchez collapsed at the end of the summer transfer window and City were widely expected to make another move for the Chile forward.
But Jose Mourinho’s United have reportedly thrown their hat into the ring, bidding around £25 million ($34 million, 28 million euros) to trump City’s £20 million offer as they seek to bolster their forward options and deny their bitter rivals.
When asked if United were interested in signing the player, Wenger said “nothing is really concrete at the moment”.
Questioned as to whether there was any truth in the rumour, the Arsenal manager was coy.
“You conclude that,” he said. “You could say that at the moment… it’s not that I don’t want to inform you, I don’t want to give you wrong information and at the moment I must say nothing is decided one way or the other.”
Wenger admitted a bidding war could help Arsenal but said that was not the current situation.
The Arsenal boss, whose side travel to Bournemouth on Sunday, said Sanchez would only be allowed to leave if they could get a new signing over the line.
“Of course I want a quick resolution,” he told reporters at Arsenal’s north London training base.
“Is he (Sanchez) replaceable in the way that we find exactly the same player? Certainly not, but there’s always a way to find a different balance.
“Alexis is an exceptional football player, he’s a world-class player and if that happens (and he leaves) we have to find a different balance in the team.”
Theo Walcott is another Arsenal player poised to leave this month, with Everton manager Sam Allardyce revealing on Friday that they are hopeful of sealing a permanent deal.
Wenger said he does not want the 28-year-old to leave, but conceded he cannot guarantee the forward playing time and an unlikely route into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup.
“Sam Allardyce has made that statement but Theo Walcott is here,” Wenger added.
“I have a good relationship with Theo and I don’t want him to be frustrated or lose an opportunity to go to the World Cup.”
AFP
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Nigeria’s Bobsleigh Women Savour Olympic Moment

Nigeria’s Moriam Seun Adigun (R) and Nigeria’s Akuoma Omeoga wave after the women’s bobsleigh heat 2 run during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Olympic Sliding Centre on February 20, 2018 in Pyeongchang.MOHD RASFAN / AFP
 
Nigeria’s women’s bobsleigh team finished with the wooden spoon Wednesday but left with their heads held high after an emotional Olympic debut in the crackpot winter pursuit.
The plucky West Africans finished 20th in Pyeongchang, more than seven seconds behind gold medallists Germany in a sport where success and failure is measured in hundredths of a second.
But try telling that to Nigerian driver Seun Adigun and partner Ngozi Onwumere after a landmark appearance, cheered on by their families and a vocal pocket of Nigerian fans.
“It’s quite amazing, I’m overwhelmed with joy and overwhelmed with the idea of knowing that history was made and we gave everything we had to do it,” said Adigun, after bumping off several walls in a ragged final run.
“This was just one of those days that you can’t really describe,” she added. “Full of all kinds of emotions — full of relief, full of history.”
No African nation has won a winter medal but the Nigeria women plan to try again at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Nigeria’s Moriam Seun Adigun (R) and Nigeria’s Akuoma Omeoga compete in the women’s bobsleigh heat 1 run during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Olympic Sliding Centre on February 20, 2018 in Pyeongchang.Mark Ralston / AFP
“By God’s grace you will see Nigeria in Beijing,” said the Texas-based Adigun, after failing to improve on Tuesday’s personal best.
“We did everything we could. People are super-stoked back in Nigeria. We just pray all of our resilience does foster into some future athletes.”
‘The brakes broke’ 
Onwumere, who was a late replacement after Akuoma Omeoga fell ill overnight, added: “I can only express myself with tears, just because it’s been a long road and finally we’ve completed it. I can only imagine how it is back home in Nigeria.”
Nigeria’s Moriam Seun Adigun (L) and Nigeria’s Akuoma Omeoga wave after the women’s bobsleigh heat 2 run during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Olympic Sliding Centre on February 20, 2018 in Pyeongchang.MOHD RASFAN / AFP
The Germans won gold after Mariama Jamanka steered her partner Lisa Buckwitz their country’s first success in the event since 2006.
There was a gulf in class between Nigeria and Jamaica and the top three of Germany, the United States and Canada. But it mattered little to the tailenders.
Thirty years after the Jamaican men’s bobsleigh team took the world by storm at the 1988 Calgary Olympics, it was the turn of a hardy trio of women from the tiny Caribbean island to launch launching themselves down an icy chute at breakneck speeds.
“Cool Runnings” the re-run ended Wednesday with Jamaica finishing 19th as they became the first women from their country to compete at the Winter Olympics.
Pilot Seun Adigun of Nigeria takes a corner in the women’s bobsleigh training session at the Olympic Sliding Centre during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 18, 2018.Mohd RASFAN / AFP
“The brakes broke actually so that didn’t help on the way down,” revealed driver Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian.
“It wasn’t necessarily the result we were looking for but we’re pretty perseverant and resilient for a small island and we hope more of our islanders come out for winter sports.”
 
AFP
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China: Mikel Missing As Tianjin TEDA Crash Out Of FA Cup

Nigeria midfielder Mikel Obi’s Tianjin TEDA crashed out of the Chinese FA Cup on Wednesday, losing 1-0 to Beijing Guoan in the fifth round of the competition, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Jonatan Soriano was the match winner for Beijing Guoan. The Spanish forward scored the only goal of the encounter in the 69th minute.
Super Eagles captain Mikel has scored one goal in eight CSL games for Tianjin TEDA this season but did not feature in the Cup defeat on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old midfielder is expected to return to action for Tianjin TEDA when they take on Guizhou Zhicheng in their next league game on Sunday.
Tianjin TEDA are 12th in the table with nine points from eight CSL games.
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International Friendly: Super Eagles earn hard-fought 1-0 win over Poland

Abuja – The Super Eagles of Nigeria demonstrated their intention to impress at the 2018 FIFA World Cup by defeating Poland 1-0 at the Stadion Miejski on Friday in Wroclaw in an international friendly.
Victor Moses’ 61st minute penalty kick made the difference as the Eagles fought hard to earn a win over world number eight Poland.
Poland’s Jacek Goralski (2nd R) and Tomasz Kedziora (R) vie for the ball with Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo during the international friendly football match of Poland vs Nigeria in Wroclaw, Poland, on March 23, 2018, in preparation of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. / AFP PHOTO
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr made the most difficult call between the sticks, as he eventually went for Francis Uzoho.
The selection earned the youngster his first full debut for the Super Eagles and he gave a fairly good account of himself as proceedings went on in the match.
Elsewhere in the Eagles team, Joel Obi was given his first Super Eagles cap since his last outing in a friendly against Scotland in May 2014.
The Torino of Italy midfielder partnered Wilfried Ndidi in the middle of the pack, while Brian Idowu was also chosen ahead of Elderson Echiejile at left-back.
Eight minutes into the game, the Super Eagles were culpable, as hosts Poland almost took the lead after Robert Lewandowski hit the post from a sliding pass.
However, it was a physical contest between the Eagles and the Poles, leading to the removal of Polish Karol Linetty before the Nigerian side tried their bit to threaten their hosts with Moses picking himself up to curl a free kick past Lukasz Fabianski’s post in the 34th minute.
The Super Eagles had much to worry about between the sticks but Uzoho overcame his jittery start to the encounter and got down well to deny Lewandowski’s point-blank effort in the 51st minute to keep the hosts at bay.
However, it was the Super Eagles who had the upper hand as Moses was fouled in the area and the Chelsea man slotted in his spot kick perfectly to give Nigeria the lead.
With the morale-boosting win, the Super Eagles will now take on Serbia on Tuesday in London to consolidate their fine form en route the 2018 World Cup in Russia.(NAN)
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Pinnick tips Eagles to do well at AFCON 2019

Nigerian Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick said he has high hopes that the Super Eagles will go far at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Continue reading Pinnick tips Eagles to do well at AFCON 2019 at Vanguard News.

Germany needs lethal finishers

Germany’s failure at the World Cup highlighted their need for a lethal finisher to bring goals to a toothless attack.
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NPFL: Kano Pillars win to go top of the League

Here is a roundup of matchday 11 fixtures in the Nigeria Professional Football League. Kano Pillars are back on top of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after the matchday 11 fixtures played on Sunday, March 4.Seven matchday 11 fixtures were played, which involved all three home teams picking up maximum points, three draws and an away win.A total of nine goals were scored, as Katsina United vs   Akwa United, Plateau United vs Yobe Desert Stars and Enyimba Int’l vs MFM FC were postponed due to continental engagements this week.Three home winsNasarawa United returned to winning ways as they defeated Wikki Tourists by a lone goal scored by Suleiman Mohammed in the 48th minute.Austin Obaroakpo’s goal in the 52nd minute proved to be the difference between Abia Warriors and Kwara United.Two second half goals saw Kano Pillars claim maximum points against Go-Round, Alassan Ibrahim converted a penalty in the 58th minute to give the home side the lead, while league top scorer Junior Lokosa sealed the three points with his goal in the 85th minute.Three drawsRivers United were held to a 1 – 1 draw by Ifeanyi Ubah, the away side took the lead when Onyekachi Chidume coverted a penalty in the 66th minute, but their lead was cancelled out by Oche Salefu’s equaliser in the 85th minute.El-Kanemi Warriors were forced to a goalless draw at home by visiting Niger Tornadoes, as both sides failed to convert their chances.Sunshine Stars had to come from behind to rescue a draw at home against Rangers Int’l.The away side took the lead in the 28th minute through Ifeanyi George, Sunshine equalised just before halftime through Nojeem Raji in the 43rd minute, as both sides shared the points at full time.Away winHeartland lost at home to Lobi Stars by a lone goal scored by Samad Kadiri in the 25th minute.   The NPFL continues with matchday 12 on Sunday, March 11.

Hazard, Nuno, Sturridge win Premier League monthly awards

The Premier League have announced the winners of the awards for the month of September. Chelsea star Eden Hazard has been named the Premier League Player of the Month award winner for his outstanding performances in September.The Belgium attacker beat Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, Leicester City’s  James Maddison, Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Willy Boly, Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette and Everton Forward Gylfi Siggurdson to emerge winner.Hazard scored a total of five goals in September which includes a hat-trick against Cardiff City and also a goal against Liverpool which preserved their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.  He replaces Tottenham Hotspur forward Lucas Moura who won the ward for the month of August and is expected to be in action when Chelsea travel to face Manchester United in their next Premier League game scheduled for Saturday, October 20.  Nuno Espirito wins Manager of the Month awardWolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito has emerged the winner of the Manager of the Month award for September.He replaces Watford boss Javi Gracia who won the award for the month of August.  Espirito who led Wolves to promotion is in his first season in the top flight beat multiple league winning coaches to the award. He beat Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and new Arsenal manager Unai Emery who won all his matches in the month. Espirito thanked his players and backroom staff and his players for helping him achieve the award.He said, “It reflects the hard work of everybody in the club.  “It represents the effort of everybody working here, everybody at Molineux, our fans, the players, everybody.”There’s no individual prizes in football, everything comes from the team.”Daniel Sturridge wins Goal of the monthLiverpool forward Daniel Sturridge has emerged the winner of the Carling Goal of the Month award for his finish in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Saturday, September 29 at his former club ground Stamford Bridge. Nominees for the award included Willian Borges, Wilfred Zaha, Hojbjerg, Ikay Gundogan and Alexandre Lacazette. Sturridge replaces Fulham midfielder Jean Michael Seri who won the award for the month of August. He returns to action when they take on Huddersfield Town in their next Premier League fixture.

Premier League Threatens Legal Action Over Saudi Piracy

File photo: King Salman of Saudi Arabia
 
The English Premier League said Tuesday it is taking steps to bring legal action in Saudi Arabia to resolve a piracy issue over the televising of its matches and to protect its authorised broadcaster Qatar-based beIN Media Group.
The EPL said it had seen “compelling evidence” that all 20 of its matches shown over the first two weekends of this season’s campaign had been broadcast illegally by a pirate TV channel called “beoutQ’.
BeIN Sports was only recently awarded the exclusive broadcasting rights across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for another three seasons up to the 2021/22 campaign after paying ‘tens of millions’ for them.
“The Premier League takes piracy in all its forms extremely seriously and is committed to working with its broadcast partners and regulatory authorities in territories all around the world to stop the non-authorised exploitation of its content,” read a statement from the EPL.
“As such, the Premier League has appointed legal counsel in Saudi Arabia to begin the process of bringing legal action against the parties involved in this piracy.
“Given the strong copyright framework in Saudi Arabia, the Premier League is confident that the Saudi Arabian authorities will ultimately uphold its clear rights when the action is commenced.”
It is the latest development in a long-running war over illegal broadcasts fuelled by a diplomatic crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this month BeIN — which has paid billions of dollars to secure exclusive rights to broadcast English Premier League and French Ligue 1 matches live — said it had “irrefutable evidence” that beoutQ was illegally showing hundreds of live European football matches.
It added they were being carried on the Saudi-based satellite provider Arabsat.
US company Cisco Systems, Swiss firm NAGRA and Overon, based in Spain, carried out the research for beIN.
BeIN claims that since last October the pirate channel beoutQ has been illegally transmitting its broadcasts.
Saudi Arabia and Arabsat have denied any links with beoutQ.
The piracy scheme operated during the 2018 World Cup in Russia after beIN said tournament matches were illegally broadcast.
The row has been dragging in major sporting federations, alarmed that expensively-acquired television rights may be at risk.
In July, FIFA said it was preparing to take legal action in Saudi Arabia against pirate broadcasters.
The piracy issue has surfaced at a politically sensitive time in the Gulf, with Doha boycotted by Riyadh and other neighbours, in a highly fractious diplomatic and economic dispute.
AFP
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Fellaini will decide Man Utd future – Mourinho

 
Jose Mourinho has acknowledged that Marouane Fellaini holds the balance of power in his Manchester United contract negotiations, but believes the midfielder wants to stay.
Fellaini
Fellaini’s contract at Old Trafford expires in June, and he has so far refused to agree an extension despite offers from the club.
The Belgium international, 30, gave an interview earlier this week in which he criticised United for not offering him a new deal last season.
Fellaini came off the bench to score United’s winner in a 2-1 victory over Arsenal last weekend, and has been linked with a number of clubs across Europe, as well as a move to China.
“I’m still positive. He’s important. He’s a player that I like,” said Mourinho. “But he has a different position in relation to other players with contracts. We can control other players’ destiny but in Marouane’s case, the destiny is in his hands.
“He knows I want him to stay, the club wants him to stay, he has an offer from us and it’s up to him to say yes or no.
“I am still positive, as he likes to be here, he likes the feeling of the manager trusting him and I think there is a good chance for him to stay. But if he leaves, so be it.”
Mourinho takes his team to Brighton in the Premier League on Friday knowing that a victory would all but secure second place, their best finish for five years.
– Lukaku misses out –
United will be without top scorer Romelu Lukaku, who is recovering from the ankle injury that forced him off during last Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal.
However, Mourinho is hopeful that the Belgian striker will recover in time to face their former club Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 19. “I hope so,” Mourinho said. “It looks positive.”
Mourinho meanwhile, has indicated he is leaving Eric Bailly out of his team at present in order to give other defenders a chance of making their countries’ World Cup squads.
Bailly will not be going to Russia as Ivory Coast failed to qualify, but Argentina’s Marcos Rojo, England pair Chris Smalling and Phil Jones and Sweden’s Victor Lindelof all have varying hopes of making the tournament.
“Honestly, my work is not about World Cups and preparing players for the World Cup or giving chances to players at the World Cup,” said Mourinho.
“But he’s the only central defender whose country is not at the World Cup, so if I have to make a kind of more emotional effective choice to help my players, he’s the one I’m not going to help.”
Mourinho added that defenders Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind remain part of his plans despite a lack of chances this season, as long as they want to remain at the club.
“They are part of my plans. I think when a player wants to go, if that’s the case and when the right offers arrive in the club, we study that – because we always try to have the players happy.
“So if happiness for them means leaving, let’s see what happens. But they are in my plans. I don’t want to sell. I want to keep.”
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Victor Moses: Super Eagles star was given extended break to celebrate his 1st wedding...

Super Eagles boss Rohr permitted Moses to stay back and celebrate wedding anniversary with his wife. Chelsea star Victor Moses was given an extended break to celebrate his first wedding anniversary with his wife before joining Super Eagles camp ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.Moses joined up with the Super Eagles in London in the morning of Thursday, May 31, missing the whole camping in Nigeria and the 1-1 friendly draw against DR Congo on Monday, May 28.The forward arrived at the team’s Wembley Hilton hotel hours before the rest of the squad touched down from Nigeria. According to Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr, the 27-year-old asked for an extended break after winning the FA Cup title with Chelsea to spend his first wedding anniversary with his wife.”After the FA Cup Final, he told me it was the first anniversary of his wedding and if I could give him two days to celebrate, I said ‘no problem’,” Rohr told Kwese Sport.Moses and wife Moses got married to his longtime partner in May 2017.  The Chelsea star and his wife have a six-year-old son Brentley and a three-year-old daughter Nyah.Not much is known of Moses’ wife who is said to be an English woman of Nigerian descent.Moses has managed to keep his family away from the public although he brought them out last year at Stamford Bridge while celebrating the Premier League title with Chelsea.

Salah Named Arab Player Of The Year

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah Photo: Paul ELLIS / AFP
Liverpool and Egypt striker Mohamed Salah was named Arab Player of the Year for 2017 on Monday in a poll of around 100 sports journalists from several Arab countries.
Salah, 25, has been an instant success at Liverpool since joining from AS Roma, scoring 17 goals in the Premier League already and 23 in all competitions.
He also helped Egypt to qualify for this year’s World Cup finals in Russia.
Syrian winger Omar Khribin, who plays for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, came second and another Syrian player, Omar Al-Soma, of Saudi side Al Ahli, was third.
Salah is also favourite to win the African Player of the Year title which will be announced in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Thursday.
AFP
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Imoh Ezekiel: Nigerian forward moves to Spanish side Las Palmas

Imoh Ezekiel becomes the latest recruit by Spanish side Las Palmas Nigerian forward Imoh Ezekiel has completed a move to Spanish Side UD Las Palmas.Ezekiel moves to the Spanish side from Turkish outfit Konyaspor, and at his unveiling he admitted he did not settle well in Turkey.”it cost me to adapt to Turkish football, my family did not feel happy and that is why we decided to look for another destination.”  Las Palmas sports director Toni Cruz stated that the signing of Ezekiel was to give the coach more attacking options as they continue to battle to avoid relegation.”He’s a ‘9’ different in speed, he’s experienced in European football despite his youth, we believe in him, he’s owned and able to stay longer, With this signing we give one more chance to our coach up front.”Ezekiel stated at his unveiling that he ready to start playing, “I am ready to play, but now it all depends on the coach, I am very happy to have signed at UD Las Palmas, it is a great opportunity for me to play in the best league in the world and against the best players.”  Ezekiel who was in the Olympic team with Etebo and admitted he has not called his compatriot “I have not called him yet, I want to surprise him” he said The new recruits joins fellow compatriots Oghenekaro Etebo who  moved on loan to the Spanish side from Club Desportivo Feirense and Emanuel Emenike who completed a loan move from Olympiacos. Ezekiel spoke about his speed and other attributes he has to offer, and believes he can make Nigeria’s World Cup team.”I consider myself a high speed striker. I will do everything possible to make a good season with UD Las Palmas.” he saidThe 24-year-old was of Nigeria’s bronze medal winning team at 2016 summer Olympics in Rio.He could make his debut when Las Palmas host Sevilla on Saturday, February 17Ezekiel played in Belgium for Standard Liege and Anderlecht, then travelled to played for Al-Arabi in Qatar, before his move to play in  Turkey for Konyaspor.