BY DICKSON AGBO Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 75th international goal as Portugal trounced New Zealand 4-0 in Saint Petersburg on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the Confederations Cup. The Real Madrid star struck from the penalty spot on 33 minutes to fire the European champions in front before Bernardo Silva turned in a second goal four minutes later. Andre Silva added a third on 80 minutes before Nani completed the rout in stoppage time to ensure Portugal progressed to last four as winners of Group A, finishing above Mexico on goal difference. Mexico eliminated hosts Russia with a 2-1 win in Kazan to join Portugal on seven points, with Fernando Santos’ side to face the runners-up of Group B on Wednesday for a place in the July 2 final. Copa America holders Chile lead Germany on goal difference ahead of the final round of matches in Group B, although Australia and Cameroon...
A source close to the coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria Gernot Rohr has confirmed that Chelsea Ola Aina will still be in the frame for a call up to the senior national team of Nigeria even if he joins a team in the second tier of English football. Aina has already applied for a switch of nationality from England to Nigeria, but his switch is yet to be formally approved by FIFA, which is why he didn’t play for Nigeria in their 0-2 loss to South Africa in the AFCON 2019 Qualifiers. Former coach of the Super Eagles Sunday Oliseh introduced the rule of barring players playing in second tier league during his reign as coach of the team, but it appears Rohr isn’t keen on maintaining the rule. Aina is heavily linked with a move to the English Championship side Norwich City and Hull City from Chelsea in order...
Chile coach juan antonio pizzi believes more time is needed for new technology to be understood. This was after his team felt the positive and negative results of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system being tested at the Confederations Cup in Russia on Sunday. In beating Cameroon 2-0 in their opener at the Spartak Stadium on Sunday, Chile had a ‘goal’ disallowed on the stroke of halftime. It happened in a contentious decision where the VAR decided Eduardo Vargas was offside when he scored. But another referral by the referee at the end of the game saw Vargas get his name on the scoresheet after he netted again. Initially his effort was ruled offside only for the goal to then be awarded after being reviewed. “I think this system needs time. If I understand it correctly, we are trialling the system right now and there are maybe doubts because we are used to other situations...
BY DICKSON AGBO,ABUJA In view of the ongoing tournament,Russia defeated New Zealand in a 2-0 win at St. Petersburg yesterday.The hosts made a confident start to the Confederations Cup by impressing their fans to cruise the opponent. Three of the previous nine Confederations Cups have been won by the host nation and Russia, playing in the tournament for the first time, impressed with victory in Saint Petersburg. After having two early chances cleared off the line, they took the lead when Michael Boxall scored an own goal after Denis Glushakov had struck the post. Russia made sure of victory in the second half, with Fyodor Smolov’s third goal in four internationals ensuring president Vladimir Putin, who called for improved performances in the event, was applauding happily in the stands. New Zealand are now without a win in 10 Confederations Cup matches and struggled to make an attacking impression. Portugal and Mexico, who meet today, are...
Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho has sent his apologies to the coach of the senior national team of Nigeria Gernot Rohr for his poor conduct after he was substituted in Nigeria’s 0-2 loss to South Africa. Iheanacho was yanked off for Olanrewaju Kayode as Nigeria chased an equalizer. The forward strolled off the pitch slowly despite the Eagles trailing; he even had to be hurried off the pitch by a South African player. He grudgingly shook the hand of Rohr before heading to the bench, where he angrily kicked at a water bottle while ranting. 20 year old Iheanacho says he regrets his actions and linked it to the frustration of playing poorly. “I wish to apologize too for the way I reacted when I was substituted. I did it for myself because as a striker I should have at least got at least shot on target. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that. That’s...
Gernot Rohr has admitted that the Super Eagles of Nigeria still need options at left back despite the presence of Elderson Echiejile and new call up Maroof Youssef. Rohr made this known during the pre-match conference of the Super Eagles ahead of Saturday’s game against South Africa in the race to be at the 2019 AFCON in Cameroon. The coach has never hidden his desire to have one than one credible option for each spot in his team, but the left back position according to the coach ‎is one area where he is presently short of credible options bar regular left back Echiejile. “We will continue to invite players who are good enough. It is interesting to have at least 2 or 3 players for each position. For instance we are lacking in the left back position “, Rohr said. ” We’re searching for new position, the left back position for example. Not...
Bafana Bafana captain, Thulani Hlatshwayo has revealed Super Eagles ‘weak link’ as they face their perennial nemesis for all-important 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tomorrow in Uyo. He disclosed that his side knows what to do and will exploit the lack of pace in the Eagles’ defence to get a result against the three time African champions. Having never beaten Nigeria in a competitive game, Hlatshwayo knows that it will not be an easy task, although seems confident that they can break the jinx this time. “We know we are smaller than them as players‚ so we don’t want to play the long ball but catch them on the counter. They are big‚ but a bit slow. “It is going to be a grudge game for them. Knowing Nigerians‚ that’s how they are. They do have that arrogance they carry around. We have to be humble and make sure we don’t give Nigeria...
By Onukogu Kanayochuqu Jubal The NBBF presidential aspirant, Engr Musa Kida, has promised to pay equal attention to all the nation's six geo-political zones, if he wins the top seat of the sport federation. Ahead of the June 13,2017 national sports federation elections slated for Abuja, Kida debunked rumours making the rounds that he would relocate the NBBF's administrative headquarters to Lagos,if elected. He assured that for administrative purposes, the NBBF secretariat would remain in Abuja and that all zones would be given fair and equal attention in their quest to develop the game at the grassroots level. "If you take a careful look at the programmes that we have executed in the past, virtually all the zones have been affected positively. From the North West, North Central, North East, South South, South West and South East, all have benefitted from the Ahmadu Musa Kida Foundation-organised and sponsored programmes. Having stated that all the...
. Says Lagos State Deserves Pat On The Back The Nigeria Football Federation will soon embark on a nationwide developmental project for the Football Associations of the various States, in the form of mini Secretariats, so says NFF President Amaju Pinnick. Pinnick, while speaking at the Lagos State Football Association’s Ekofootball Review Public Presentation on Wednesday, said the project, to be financed by a major partner of the NFF, will see six such projects completed in Jigawa, Osun, Bayelsa, Borno, Kwara and Abia States before the end of this year. “We are working real hard to see that the focus returns to the grassroots. The States are closer to the grassroots and we have a responsibility to encourage them in that area, while we also work very hard to see that we qualify for the World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations championships. “Football administration is never a journey, but a destination....
The Super Eagles players and their fans are optimistic that the team will win the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Saturday in Uyo. Eagles’ defender, Trust Ekong, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday after the team’s training at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, that the players were poised to win. “It is going to be a good game, everyone is fit,’’ he said. “It will be a healthy competition, everybody is working hard to justify his slot.’’ NAN reports that Ahmed Musa, Kenneth Omeruo and Elderson Echiejile, who missed the first training session on Tuesday, were present in the Wednesday’s. Twenty-four players, including three goalkeepers are currently training in the team’s Uyo camp, which opened on Monday. Also, Eagles’ goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, said that they were ready for the game. He said that the other two goalkeepers, Daniel Akpeyi and Dele Alampasu, were...