Pre-World Cup: Eaglets bow to Senegal

first_imgRelatedPosts Jollof Rice, Akufo-Addo and other things we don’t like about Ghana, by Azu Ishiekwene Ex-Falcons, Golden Eaglets coach dies in Osun Dangote cement sustains 54,000 jobs in four African countries Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets surrendered a 2-1 advantage at the end of first half to superior second half performance from Senegal to lose 4-2 in their last group game at the UEFA/CAF U17 tournament in Turkey.Signs that it could turn out a bad day in the office for the five-time world champions manifested when forward Wisdom Ubani picked up an injury during the team’s warm up exercise, which subsequently ruled him out of the game. But despite the absence of Ubani, the Nigerian boys went into the game dictating the pace and opened scoring in the 13th minute through red hot attacker, Olakunle Olusegun, to make it his third goal in the tournament, having scored in both previous games against host nation Turkey and Guatemala.Senegal did not sit back to soak up the pressure, rather they launched attack after attack at their more illustrious opponents in the world of U-17 football and got rewarded for their efforts in the 29th minute courtesy of an own goal. Their celebration was cut short when they also suffered the same fate of an own goal in the 31st minute.  The scoreline remained at 2-1 at the interval.A more revitalised Senegal took the game to Nigeria in the second period, bombarding the defence of the Eaglets for the equalizer. They were rewarded with a penalty, which was converted for an equaliser in the 51st minute.It was indeed explosive West African youth football on display on a neutral ground in Turkey, but it was Senegal that went ahead to score two more goals to ensure 4-2 victory at the end of 90 minutes.Tags: Golden EagletssenegalUEFA/CAF U17last_img read more

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Genoa appoints Thiago Motta new coach

first_imgRelatedPosts Live stream Premier League, La Liga, Serie A on Showmax Pro this weekend Juve’s Pirlo gamble makes new Serie A season the most open for years Pirlo bags UEFA coaching badge Thiago Motta has been announced as Genoa’s new manager after the Italian side sacked Aurelio Andreazzoli on Tuesday.The 37-year-old, who played for Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Genoa, will be officially presented on Wednesday afternoon after taking charge. The club made Andreazzoli’s departure official on Tuesday on the back of a difficult run of form that left them in 19th in Serie A, dismissing a manager who only arrived in June in favour of Motta. Genoa are currently one point off the foot of Serie A after winning just one of their opening eight games.It is Motta’s first senior management role, although he has been in charge of PSG’s Under 19s since hanging up his boots in 2018.Motta will be in the dugout on Saturday night when Genoa welcome Brescia in the league.Tags: Aurelio AndreazzoliGenoaSerie Alast_img read more

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Wenger set to propose new offside law

first_imgRelatedPosts Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel Arsène Wenger is pressing to change the offside rule in his role as Fifa’s head of global development and his proposal could be passed in time for the Euro 2020 finals. The former Arsenal manager wants a player to be onside if any part of their body that can score a goal is behind or level with the relevant defender. His move follows a series of video assistant referee decisions in which goals have been disallowed because a player has been fractionally offside. A header by Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud against Manchester United on Monday was disallowed because part of his right boot was offside, for example, and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino had a goal disallowed because of an armpit offside against Aston Villa. “The most difficult (issue) that people have (with VAR) is the offside rule,” Wenger said at the Laureus Sports Awards in Berlin. “You have had offsides by a fraction of a centimetre, literally by a nose. It is the time to do this quickly. “There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player’s nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that. Instead, you will be not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker’s body are in front. “That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line.” Wenger’s proposals will be considered by the law-making body, the International Football Association Board, on February 29. The FAs of the four UK home nations and four Fifa representatives sit on the board and passing a motion requires a three-quarters majority. A change would come into force on June 1, shortly before the European Championship finals, which start 11 days later. The existing law says: “A player is in an offside position if: any part of the head, body or feet is in the opponents’ half (excluding the halfway line) and any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.”Tags: Arsene WengerChelseaFIFALiverpoolOlivier GiroudRoberto Firminolast_img read more

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Gerrard targets European qualification

first_imgLiverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes they have to produce a perfect finish to the season if they are to sneak into Champions League qualification. He added: “We want to push for the European places year after year. Hopefully it’s not too late but we will need to produce the perfect finish to sneak in the back door. “The top five places are the target. Let’s see what happens in other big games that are not in our control. Hopefully the teams above us will slip up. All we can control is our performances and our consistency and hopefully we will finish strong.” Liverpool overcame a significant hurdle with the 3-2 defeat of Tottenham yesterday, coming from behind for only the second time this season to beat a top-five side for the first time since Rodgers took over last summer. “I think this season has been slightly strange in the way that usually we do really well against the top sides and we slip up against the sides we should be beating,” Gerrard said. “But we have been putting those sides away quite comfortably with three, four and five-nils and looking really good. We haven’t got the points we’ve needed against the top sides. “This result and performance will give us great confidence and belief. Hopefully it will be a springboard for us to go on and finish the season really strongly. “At times we haven’t got what we’ve deserved against top sides but we can’t look for excuses. We are where we are and we need to take responsibility for where we are in the league.” The sixth-placed Reds are seven points adrift of Chelsea, current occupiers of fourth spot and with a match in hand. There are 27 points available to Brendan Rodgers’ side in the remainder of the campaign, which theoretically allows them to reach 72 points. With the requirement for attaining fourth place having reduced over the last couple of seasons – Tottenham finished with 69 last year compared to the 76 Liverpool required in 2007-08 – there still remains an outside chance. And England captain Gerrard said: “Liverpool don’t belong in seventh, eighth or ninth in the table.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Duo expected back for Newcastle clash

first_img Press Association Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini expects Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany to return from injury in time to face Newcastle on March 30. Mancini tried to inject some humour into proceedings by sporting a red nose, in recognition of Red Nose Day. However, the City boss accepted Kompany’s injury has proved rather more serious than initially believed. “It is difficult,” said Mancini. “Vinny is a really important player for us and now it is 45 days he has been out. It is a big problem.” It hardly helps City this weekend given they are facing Everton, who have proved a difficult opponent to overcome in recent times. The Toffees have won five of the last seven games between the pair, and drew at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season. “Every game against Everton is very hard,” said Mancini. “They are a top team who always play at 200 per cent. They have good players and a good manager.” Meanwhile, Mancini has rejected speculation that he will take over as manager of Zenit St Petersburg at the end of the season, joking: “It is cold here I think St Petersburg is (colder)? It is absolutely not true.” And Mancini also rejected the theory of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that a lack of English representation in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 1996 was a massive “wake-up call” for the Premier League. “Last year Chelsea won it and this year English football has three teams in the quarter-finals of the Europa League,” said Mancini. “For three or four years English teams have won, or been to the final. For one year, other teams have done it. When I read this thing about English football being down I thought it was stupid.” center_img Aguero has been struggling with a knee injury and Kompany has been out since January after suffering a calf problem in the FA Cup fourth-round victory at Stoke. “Sergio is in Argentina but he will come back on Sunday,” said Mancini. “Vincent is not in our plans for tomorrow. But I think he will be ready for the Newcastle game, like Sergio.” last_img read more

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Hangeland hoping to end Villa run

first_img Press Association Fulham captain Brede Hangeland is determined to end Aston Villa’s recent revival – and claim the victory that manager Martin Jol believes will guarantee their Barclays Premier League safety. Fulham’s five-match unbeaten run came to end at Newcastle last week, when the Magpies stole all the points with a last-gasp winner from Papiss Cisse. And Hangeland insisted the disappointment Fulham felt after that defeat will be channelled into Saturday’s trip to Villa Park. “It’s the worst way to lose a game,” he said. “We thought we’d done enough to get a draw so to lose it with virtually the last kick was tough. We’d defended pretty well – they’d had quite a few chances but it didn’t look like it would be their day. “So to lose in the manner we did certainly hurts but we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and forget about it now as we look ahead to the Aston Villa game.” Jol is waiting on the results of a late fitness test before he knows whether Cameroon midfielder Eyong Enoh will be available. Enoh injured his ankle during Fulham’s defeat to Newcastle and the Lilywhites are already without midfielders Steve Sidwell (suspension), Ashkan Dejagah (ankle) and Mahamadou Diarra (knee). Dejagah will undergo ankle ligament surgery next week, joining Diarra on the sidelines for the remainder of the season. center_img Villa have climbed out of the bottom three with a run of three wins in four matches but their position is still precarious, just two points clear of the relegation zone. Fulham are in mid-table but Jol is nervous about being dragged back into the scrap over the final seven weeks of the season and called for one more win to ensure their safety. “Every game in this league is tough but Villa are desperate for the points as they’re trying to avoid relegation,” Hangeland told Fulham’s official website. “They’ve come into a bit of form lately so they will be hoping for that to continue – but we want to win as well. If we can get back to the form we’ve shown this year then we have to be in with a shout.” last_img read more

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Bramble: Di Canio has much to learn

first_img Press Association Di Canio arrived at the Stadium of Light on a rescue mission in April and, despite achieving his goal of Premier League survival, ruffled plenty of feathers with his outspoken approach. Striker Connor Wickham was compared to a “playboy model” and, while some on the outside may enjoy Di Canio’s candour, Bramble says it has not gone down so well inside the Sunderland dressing room. Bramble, whose contract with the Black Cats expires this month, told the Daily Telegraph: “I’ve never played under anyone like him and I’ve played for some of the best managers around. Steve Bruce, Roberto Martinez and Sir Bobby Robson. He thinks he knows everything, but he has got a lot to learn.” Defender Titus Bramble has accused Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio of being a “strange person” and has told the Italian he has a lot to learn about dealing with players.center_img He added: “He’s got a long, long way to go before he gets anywhere near as good as Sir Bobby Robson. He’s a young manager trying to stamp his mark on things, but he’s making some big mistakes. “He’s targeted the easy players, the ones who are leaving anyway, trying to show he’s the boss. I was fined for not going to a weights session. Everyone else at the club thought it was ridiculous, but he’s trying to be tough. “He comes out in the media and hammers players and he hasn’t said a word to them. He’s never said anything like that to his (Wickham’s) face. He’s 19 and the manager is battering him in the media.” When Di Canio was initially appointed the debates surrounding him were over his political preferences given his previous statements he was a fascist – something he later denied. For Bramble, though, his attitude to players was the only problem he encountered. “He’s a good coach on the training pitch,” he added. “Everything is so detailed. He’s one of the best I’ve played for in that respect, but his man management skills need a lot of work. I never got any impression he was racist. From what I saw of him, he doesn’t care about a player’s colour or creed. “Obviously, we were aware of the fascism thing, and the pictures of him doing the salute in Italy, but I’ve always refused to prejudge anyone and he never gave any indication he held those sorts of views.” last_img read more

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O’Donovan forces replay

first_img Both goalkeepers were called into action, with Clare’s Pa Kelly denying Daniel Kearney and Anthony Nash saving from Darach Honan. But they were knocked back by three second half goals from a Rebel side that had struggled to find the net throughout the season. All that changed in a drama-packed classic at GAA Headquarters when Anthony Nash, Cionor Nash and Pa Cronin all blasted in majors to derail the Banner title drive. Patrick Horgan finished with 10 points, while Clare’s Colin Ryan went two better with a magnificent dozen. In the minor final, Patrick Curran inspired Waterford to a first title in 65 years with a 1-7 tally. Curran slotted over six first half scores to give Waterford the edge, and they led by 0-12 to 0-9 at the interval, with Darragh Dolan and Ronan O’Meara scoring three each for Galway. Brian Molloy brought Galway level midway through the second half, but Curran drilled home the only goal of the game in the 56th minute to settle the contest. Clare and Cork will meet again to decide the destiny of the Liam McCarthy Cup after a momentous All-Ireland SHC decider finished level at Croke Park on 0-25 to 3-16. Clare corner back Domhnall O’Donovan popped up with a last-gap equaliser deep into stoppage time to rescue a Clare side that had looked winners all the way. Colin Ryan converted five first-half frees, and two points each from Tony Kelly and Podge Collins eased Clare into a 0-12 to 0-10 interval lead, with Patrick Horgan hitting seven of Cork’s scores. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Gloucester sign Afoa

first_img Afoa’s family were unable to settle in Northern Ireland, returning to New Zealand last year, and t he 36-cap front-rower had been expected to return to his native Auckland next summer to fight for a place in Steven Hansen’s All Blacks squad. But Gloucester’s rugby director Davies revealed Afoa will aim to reunite with his wife and two children at Kingsholm next season instead. Davies said: “His family played a big part in it all. “One of the problems he’s had at Ulster is that his family didn’t really settle there and have gone home, so that’s put a bit of pressure on him, understandably. “So that was fundamental in the decision-making process and, if we’re being frank, he could have gone to France for more money. “It had to be right for him and his family. “He feels his family can settle here. “John sees Gloucester in a similar position to where Ulster were a few years ago. John Afoa has rejected more lucrative offers from France and a crack at the Rugby World Cup in 2015 to reunite his family in Gloucester, according to Nigel Davies. Press Association Ulster’s scrum cornerstone will quit Ravenhill at the end of the season to switch to the Aviva Premiership and the Cherry and Whites. Gloucester have secured the 30-year-old tighthead’s services on a long-term contract, fighting off a host of English and French suitors, as well as the New Zealand Rugby Union. “Ulster have had a big investment programme over the last three to four years, recruiting real quality players, and that’s impacted on their performances. “He can see parallels with the potential there was at Ulster as there is now at Gloucester. “He wants to bring his family across from New Zealand and he can see them settling for the next few years in Gloucestershire. “Jimmy Cowan met with him and spoke candidly about life at Gloucester, (co-owner) Ryan Walkinshaw and other board members were involved in selling the club to him too.” The IRFU’s whopping 26million Euro deficit from their well below-projected five and ten-year debenture seat sales in July will impact most heavily on the Irish provinces. Ireland’s RaboDirect Pro12 clubs will be asked to pick up more squad budget costs than ever before for next term. The squeeze will only inhibit their bargaining and buying power where high-profile imports like Afoa are concerned. Ulster have been able to retain Ruan Pienaar on a new deal but across the board the Irish provinces have to tighten belts. Gloucester boss Davies said Afoa’s capture signals a return to heftier squad investment from the Cherry and Whites, especially in their tight-five. Further front-five recruits are in the offing at Kingsholm, though the club are yet to confirm a deal for Ospreys hooker Richard Hibbard despite widespread speculation he will follow Afoa to England’s south west. Davies said: “It is absolutely a statement of intent. “It signifies a clear change in direction in terms of strategy for the team. “The side has gone a particular way for the last four or five years in terms of recruitment and the rugby it wants to play. “And I think what’s been evident is that particularly in the Aviva Premiership, your ability to compete up front is your most important facet really. “We just need to bring that steely forward pack edge back to Kingsholm, which is what we’ve traditionally been known for. “I think Kingsholm lends itself particularly well to a forward pack dominant on the front foot, and that’s what we need to get back to. “This is part of that process. “We’ve got a reasonably young pack of forwards, so to bring some front-five players in of this experience and quality will add to what they currently are as well as what they do as individuals too.” last_img read more

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Moyes makes demands of Januzaj

first_img Yet Moyes is getting irritated by the treatment being meted out to Januzaj, who had a reasonable penalty claim turned down when he was levered out of the way by Mark Noble. “We will have a word with him because his job is to make sure he does things right,” said Moyes. “But I am concerned about how many tackles he is having to take in every game. “He is getting tackled and kicked more than anybody. “He thought Collins was going to have a scythe at him and he was going to ride it. It looked a bit worse than it was.” United have been down this road before with Cristiano Ronaldo and could do worse than get Ashley Young to have a word with his team-mate given the England star has had his own issues with diving in the past. Over the past couple of games though, Young has been attempting to stay on his feet, and bouncing back up immediately if he has hit the deck. In addition, the former Aston Villa man has scored a couple of wonder goals, following up his first for 19 months at Stoke on Wednesday by curling home a delightful effort from Wayne Rooney’s lay-off to wrap up a fourth win on the trot for United. “It is like when buses come along, you get two at once,” said Young. “To get two in a week is fantastic. I am not too sure what the secret is. Shooting I guess.” Young needs to rediscover the form he showed in 2011 to become a regular feature in Moyes’ new-look United, and give him a chance of making the England World Cup squad. More immediately, he will be one of the players United need to spark at Hull on Boxing Day as they hunt a fifth successive win. It is a measure of the difficulties United have had this season that they will celebrate Christmas Day in their lowest position of the entire Premier League era. Their troubles do seem to be easing though, which cannot be said of West Ham, who were awful, remain perilously close to the drop zone and face Arsenal at Upton Park next. “We are not concerned because there is a lot of quality in our dressing room,” said long-serving defender James Tomkins. “That is the most important thing. We are experienced in this league and have experienced problems before. Hopefully we can get out of it.” Januzaj has been one of the enduring shining lights in a difficult transitional season at Old Trafford. The 18-year-old has started United’s last three Barclays Premier League games and chose Saturday’s 3-1 win over West Ham to score his first goal on home soil. David Moyes is happy to use tough love on Adnan Januzaj to ensure the Manchester United youngster fulfils his massive potential. Press Association What a beauty it was too as Januzaj stepped inside James Collins, taking him out of the play completely, before drilling home an impressive shot. Little wonder the United fans have taken him to their hearts. Moyes is mindful of expecting too much too soon from the youngster. However, that should not be confused with letting Januzaj have an easy time. “We are always going to be hard on Adnan,” said Moyes. “We will push him all the time to get more off him. He is an exceptional talent and, for an 18-year-old, he is doing remarkably well. “We have to be mindful of his age but we are really pleased with how he is doing.” Given his public stance on the curse of diving, Moyes will be uncomfortable about the fact that Januzaj has now been booked for it twice this term. His fall at the weekend was dramatic as Collins pulled out of an intended challenge, leaving the youngster flying through the air over nothing. last_img read more

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