RelatedPosts Tinubu to Adesina: Re-election, affirmation of Africa’s confidence in your ability Oguchi named D’Tigers player of the decade Pirates attack Chinese vessel off coast of Cote d’Ivoire, Nigerian Navy rescues crew members D’Tigers have arrived in Guangzhou in time for their classification game against Cote d’Ivoire on Friday. Having narrowly missed out of the second round ticket, the team has now set their sight on picking an automatic ticket to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Head Coach, Alex Nwora, said with the victory against Korea on Tuesday, there is everything to fight for, starting with the important game against their West African rivals. Nwora said: “The team has continued to improve and we hope to step it up on Thursday. “Tunisia, Senegal, Angola and Côte d’Ivoire will all be desperate to get the Olympic ticket. “So we must get our acts right and get the job done.” During the final phase of the World Cup qualifiers, Nigeria defeated Côte d’Ivoire in Lagos 84-73 points before suffering an away 72-46 points defeat in Abidjan to hand the Ivorians a World Cup qualification lifeline. Nwora said all records are now in the past with all teams in search of a ticket to Tokyo. He said: “We have played each other in the past but this is different. “The stakes are now high and we are all aware of that. “All the games we played in the past will count for nothing at this stage.” NBBF President, Musa Kida, said considering the financial implications of prosecuting the Olympics Qualification Tournament, it is important for the team grab the only ticket on offer for Africa at the World Cup. Kida said: “Inviting players, camping them and playing the OQT will involve money, which can be channeled to developing basketball back home. “The boys are fully aware of what is at stake and the need to continue their winning run.” For the team to stand a chance of qualifying, they must win their games against Côte d’Ivoire and host China to emerge as the highest placed team in Africa, having enjoyed better points deficit compared to the other four African teams.Tags: Cote d’IvoireD’TigersFIBA World CupGunagzhou
RelatedPosts Arsenal, Wolves want Michael Olise Spurs sign right-back Doherty from Wolves Wolves need more players next season, says manager Nuno Scottish Premiership side Rangers have started the discussion on signing Sheyi Ojo permanently from Liverpool.According to Football Insider, the club have talked internally about securing the forward on a permanent basis.Ojo has been turning heads since teaming up with the Ibrox Stadium outfit on loan from Premier League club Liverpool in the summer.The Anglo-Nigeria, who spent last season with Ligue 1 side Reims, where he failed to impress, has turned around his misfortune, scoring five goals and providing four assists in 17 appearances since his arrival at Ibrox.Rangers will be expected to part with a huge sum of money to land the 22-year-old, who has a long-term deal with the Reds.Ojo has been with Liverpool since November 2015 but has failed to break into the first-team, featuring only in 10 games since his signing.In an effort to gather experience and enjoy more playing time, the forward spent time on loan with Wigan Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham before joining Reims at the start of last season.Ojo will hope to make an impactful showing when Rangers take on Hearts in their next league game on Sunday.Tags: Rangers MoveWolverhampton Wanderers
RelatedPosts Runarsson joins Arsenal on four-year deal Arsenal, Wolves want Michael Olise Akpom pens Middlesbrough loan deal Arsenal have confirmed a temporary successor to Unai Emery for Sunday’s Premier League clash at Norwich City.The Gunners have pulled the trigger on Emery amid their worst run of results since 1992.Thursday’s Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt was the final nail in Emery’s coffin.Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg will take the reins for the time being.He was Emery’s assistant first-team coach before the axing.A statement from Arsenal read: “The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required.“We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach. We have full confidence in Freddie to take us forward.“The search for a new head coach is underway and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete.”Tags: ArsenalFreddie LjungbergUnai Emery
RelatedPosts Club’s server collapses over ticket demand for first Bundesliga game in 11 years Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France Nigeria records new COVID-19 infections, more deaths as figures rise to 57,242 A decision on the return date of the Bundesliga has been delayed until next week, meaning the very earliest German football could return to action will be May 16.The Bundesliga has been suspended since mid-March and a decision on a return date was expected to be taken this week, but that has now been delayed, according to multiple reports, dashing hopes that the game could return in Germany on May 9. “If we should start on May 9, we are ready. If it is later we will be ready again,” Seifert told a news conference last week.Seifert was speaking after a meeting with all first and second division clubs to finalise the health and safety measures needed so that games without spectators can be played again.A maximum number of 213 officials will be allowed inside the stadium, in the stands and pitch-side during the games, while another 109, including security staff, will be posted outside the stadium to ensure that fans do not gather outside the grounds.Players will be monitored by an appointed team health and safety official and will undergo regular testing.An infection to a player will be reported to authorities who will be in charge of any other steps. The team, however, will not be automatically quarantined.However, government talks on Thursday should provide further clarity on the readiness of the required infrastructure for football to return.Tags: BundesligaCoronavirusGermany
Sammy Ameobi netted twice to leave Nottingham Forest with one foot in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs and Swansea’s hopes looking rather slimmer following a 2-2 draw at the City Ground.The Reds winger netted from the edge of the box in spectacular fashion in both halves, to cancel out a fine strike from Rhian Brewster and a controversial penalty by Andre Ayew. It left Sabri Lamouchi’s side sitting in fifth place, five points clear of seventh-placed Millwall, with two games to play – while Steve Cooper’s Swans sit a point behind Millwall in eighth, with Welsh rivals Cardiff currently holding on to sixth position.To add to Swansea’ woes they finished the game with 10 men following Kyle Naughton’s late red card.Swansea should have taken the lead when Ayew planted a header wide, while Connor Roberts also came close with a low, driven shot that found the side netting.So it was not a shock when their bright start ended with the visitors taking an eighth-minute lead. Jake Bidwell whipped in a low cross from the left side to pick out Brewster, who swept home an unstoppable finish from 10 yards.It was no more than Swansea deserved with Forest having looked tentative and uncertain. But the home side did eventually spring into life in the 20th minute when they equalised in spectacular fashion.It was Forest’s first meaningful effort on goal when Yuri Ribeiro fed the ball to Ameobi several yards outside the box.The former Bolton man surged forward a few strides before curling a precise, spectacular finish beyond the reach of keeper Erwin Mulder and inside the upright.Forest were growing into the game and a probing run down the right side from Lewis Grabban ended with a ball cut back across the face of goal that Swansea eventually cleared.Forest’s Tobias Figueiredo was then booked for a robust challenge, right on the edge of the box, on Bidwell. After Ameobi had been inches away from scoring a second for Forest with an angled shot, another challenge right on the edge of the opposite box – and again seemingly just outside – resulted in a penalty for Swansea in the final minute of the first half.Ryan Yates clipped Ayew, referee Oliver Langford pointed to the spot and the forward regained his feet to lift the ball to the right of Brice Samba, who had dived to his left, and Swansea had the lead at the interval.Forest levelled again 10 minutes into the second half when Ameobi conjured up another cracker.After being fed the ball by Carl Jenkinson on the right side, Ameobi cut inside Bidwell, powered towards the edge of the box and found the bottom corner with a precise, driven shot.RelatedPosts Arsenal, others rejected me — Ebere Eze FA Cup: Millwall ease past Newport to reach fourth round Nottingham Forest wants Sammy Ameobi When Bidwell delivered into the box again Ayew looked poised to put Swansea ahead for a third time, but Ribeiro and Samba managed to block between them.Swansea found themselves down to 10 men when Naughton launched into a bad challenge on substitute Alex Mighten, to earn an instant red card in the 82nd minute.—Tags: Andrew AyewCity groundMillwallSabri LamouchiSammy AmeobiSky Bet Championship
Champagne Fever put up a superb front-running performance to get Ireland off to a great start at the Cheltenham Festival in the opening William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Ruby Walsh set out to make all on the Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old (5-1), who had stablemate Un Atout for company for most of the way, with hot favourite My Tent Or Yours always close behind and looking a major threat as they turned into the straight. There was nothing in it between Champagne Fever and the sweetly travelling My Tent Or Yours as they jumped the final flight, but the front-runner responded to every call and forged ahead up the hill to win by half a length. Jezki finished third, a further two and a quarter lengths away. Press Association Walsh said: “He jumped like a stag and travelled really well. It’s magic – he just came alive the last fortnight. I didn’t ride him work last week but I was watching him work at the Curragh with Willie and we both kind of looked at each other. It was scintillating. “Patrick (Mullins, the trainer’s son) has always maintained he was a two-miler and an out-and-out galloper – he was dead right. He wasn’t doing a whole lot in front, but I knew AP (McCoy) was coming to me as I could feel the crowd revving up. “But, in fairness, when AP got to him, he stuck his head down and away he went again.” Mullins added: “It was a very brave performance from the horse to lead like that and jump like that. Ruby said he heard Tony McCoy coming up behind him and the horse just took off with him. “He knew he’d lots of horse. Ruby was trying to steady it and ride a tactical race – he obviously got it spot-on. It was fantastic to watch him coming up the hill. “He’ll go to Punchestown next and next season will all be about chasing. We’ve schooled him and he already jumps fences better than hurdles – he is electric over a fence.” McCoy said of My Tent Or Yours: “I was beaten by a better horse.”
Giving Aidan O’Brien his fourth Derby trial winner of the week, the Galileo colt – sent off at prohibitive odds of 2-13 – took over from Dont Bother Me around five furlongs out and it looked like he would win with real ease when going clear with quarter of a mile to run. He had to get a reminder from Joseph O’Brien, however, and in the end was pushed out to beat Loch Garman, with Little White Cloud running an eyecatching race in third. Press Association A length and three-quarters was the winning margin and O’Brien senior said: “That all went to plan. We had to go on with him or it would have been a very steady pace. “He has just ticked over since the last day. You would have to be happy with him. He is lazy in front but he gave a good blow afterwards. He loves fast ground as he is a great mover. “The three owners will decide where he goes next. It’s going to be an interesting Dante now (at York on Thursday).” O’Brien is expected to run Leopardstown maiden winner Indian Chief in the Knavesmire feature. Coral and William Hill kept Battle Of Marengo at his respective pre-trial price for the Investec Derby on June 1. David Stevens for Coral said: “His backers would surely have hoped for a more impressive performance, although the betting suggests he remains the leading Ballydoyle contender following a week in which the team have won all four colts’ trials.” But Stan James were more impressed, cutting Battle Of Marengo to 4-1 second-favourite from 5-1. Spokesman Joseph Burke said: “There are no stamina doubts regarding Battle of Marengo whatsoever and he appears to possess just the right combination of speed and staying power to win a Derby.” Battle Of Marengo was left generally unchanged by bookmakers for Classic glory after a workmanlike success in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
“I’m sad to be leaving, but it is in the best interests of both myself and the club,” he said. The 34-year-old had made 145 appearances for the Swans since joining on a free transfer from Southend in 2008, and helped them win promotion to the Premier League through the play-offs in 2011. But Gower has found opportunities limited since Michael Laudrup succeeded Brendan Rodgers and, having spent the latter part of the season on loan at Charlton, has decided to end his spell in south Wales. Mark Gower and Swansea have agreed to terminate the midfielder’s contract a month early. Press Association
Murtagh’s efforts carried Ireland home by just one wicket, with a solitary ball to spare, in the ICC World Cricket League clash at Stormont after the Scots had looked set to snatch a vital victory. Ireland’s last pair needed nine from the last three balls when Murtagh suddenly changed the game by hitting Rob Taylor for a maximum down the ground and following up with another boundary. Ireland captain William Porterfield, who scored a century against England, carried on where he left off in Malahide by rattling up 62 from 64 balls with 10 fours. But he fell soon after the dismissal of his opening partner Paul Stirling (30) and Ireland struggled to recover the momentum. Former captain Trent Johnston did weigh in with 24 from 34 balls but it was not until Sorensen got to work, putting on 29 for the ninth wicket with Murtagh, that hopes were truly revived. It seemed over when Sorensen swung and missed after coming down the pitch to Machan, but Murtagh held his nerve. Scotland had sensed victory when the dangerous Max Sorensen had been stumped off the bowling of Matt Machan in the penultimate over after a match-changing 31. Prior to that Ireland had slumped from 95 without loss to 180 for eight in pursuit of 224, Majid Haq taking three for 26. The defeat means Scotland, who play Ireland again in their final game on Saturday, can no longer climb into the eight-team competition’s second qualification spot. They will have one last chance in a qualification tournament next year. Ireland, the leaders of the WCL, have already booked their place at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Scotland posted 223 for nine from their 50 overs thanks largely to an unbeaten 91 from their South African-born captain Preston Mommsen. Although wickets fell at regular intervals, Mommsen shared in important partnerships of 60 for the fourth wicket with Calum MacLeod (21) and 44 for the ninth with Safyaan Sharif (26). Mommsen hit 10 fours in his 122-ball knock, holding the innings together after Machan’s promising start was ended on 27 by Sorensen. Somerset spinner George Dockrell, who struggled in the one-day clash with England earlier this week, was the pick of the Irish bowling with four for 24 from his 10 overs while Sorensen took two for 37. Press Association Tim Murtagh smashed a six and a four in the final over as Ireland ended Scotland’s hopes of automatic World Cup qualification with a dramatic win in Belfast.
Yaya Toure grabbed the only goal as Manchester City finally saw off dogged Stoke 1-0 to claim three crucial Barclays Premier League points. Dzeko incredibly failed to make a clean connection when picked out unmarked, with an open goal, two yards out. In the end it mattered little as City, without another league game until March 15, got back to winning ways. Manuel Pellegrini’s men were sluggish in the first half and struggled to piece together meaningful attacks. That Samir Nasri, who did not start against Barcelona, was one of their brighter players added to a feeling that Tuesday’s high-intensity game must have taken its toll. Pellegrini, who kept faith with much-maligned defender Martin Demichelis after his red card nightmare in the Champions League, had demanded a high-tempo start. That failed to materialise and it was Stoke, playing their first game in 10 days and fresh from a training camp in Dubai, who looked the better side. Peter Crouch headed wide and Glenn Whelan shot straight at Joe Hart from distance. Fernandinho also tested Asmir Begovic with a long-range strike but Stoke came back with Jonathan Walters blasting wide and Charlie Adam forcing Hart into a fine low save. Press Association Fernandinho brought down Peter Odemwingie with a poor tackle just outside the box but Adam hit a poor free-kick. Adam was a transgressor himself soon after as he clumsily brought down Nasri to earn a booking but City could not take advantage from the set-piece. City finally started to assert themselves as half-time approached. Toure combined nicely with Alvaro Negredo before blasting over. Negredo was then involved again, playing a neat one-two to tee up Dzeko outside the box and the Bosnian only narrowly missed the target. Fernandinho then rifled a shot at Begovic as City looked to carry some momentum into the second half. City did show more urgency after the restart but Stoke defended well. Pellegrini hoped the introduction of Stevan Jovetic just before the hour might provide the spark. The Montenegro striker struck a sweet shot from outside the box but Begovic grabbed at the second attempt. And soon after Jovetic was limping off after picking up an injury. It began to look like Stoke could be the next side to take an unexpected point off City, who were frustrated at Norwich a fortnight ago. But this time City made sure pressure told. Nasri came into the middle and fed Aleksandar Kolarov out wide. He immediately whipped the ball into the middle and Toure, who had been driving forward at every opportunity, got in front of a defender to divert the ball past Begovic. The relief around the stadium was evident and Dzeko should immediately have doubled the lead. The Bosnian was presented with a glorious opportunity as Jesus Navas pulled the ball across goal but he somehow contrived to completely mis-kick. Stoke cleared and Dzeko, furious with himself, kicked out at the post in anger. His embarrassment did not end there as his extraordinary miss was replayed a number of times on the big screen. City remained on the front foot though and Begovic tipped around a shot from Javi Garcia. Toure had another shot blocked by Erik Pieters but Stoke almost snatched a late equaliser as former City man Stephen Ireland volleyed wide. After two league games without a win and a defeat to Barcelona in midweek, City were facing more frustration at the hands of their former manager Mark Hughes when Toure struck after 70 minutes. Stoke had the better of the first half at the Etihad Stadium but City finished strongly and would have won by more had Edin Dzeko not produced a remarkable miss.