Connect with us

Sport

12th African Games: Makanjuola and teammates can help Nigeria to golden outing in football event

Published

on

Nigeria will get their campaign in the men’s football event at the 12th African Games in Morocco underway on Friday by meeting Burkina Faso at the Stade Moulay Hassan in Rabat.

The Flying Eagles are representing Nigeria at the tournament which became an under-23 event since 1991, but they have a huge task of living up to the billing.

Nigeria have won six medals from eight appearances in the tournament’s past 11 editions, winning gold once, silver twice and bronze three times.

This may perhaps be a high hurdle to scale for the team which could only reach the Round of 16 at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup at Poland in June.

But coach Paul Aigbogun and his technical crew colleagues look to be getting it right and better with the present squad to Morocco 2019, different from the one to Poland 2019.

The team to the African Games is an entirely home-based set of players, who have also tasted action at the African under-20 championship in February at Niger Republic.

Their experience should come in handy, especially against Group A rivals South Africa whom they twice drew goalless with in Niger Republic.

They first drew their first meeting at the group stage, before losing to them 3-5 on penalty kicks in the third-place match.

Two players will however stand out in the team ——— Success Makanjuola and Emeka Chinonso ——- from Abuja-based Water FC which now have a growing reputation for finding hugely talented players.

This African Games campaign therefore offers tricky wing player Makanjuola, who was voted a man-of-the-match at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, another opportunity to showcase his skills.

His ability on the ball has been quited evident in the games he featured in for the Flying Eagles, and he has only been impressing more and more with his skills.

Makanjuola’s technical ability is already precocious, while his mentality is something else, enabling him to quickly adapt to Aigbogun’s style of play.

“In the role Makanjuola plays, you have to know when to drop back and when to make runs. The beauty of Makanjuola’s game is that he plays like he’s been doing it for five years.

“He has embraced the fluidity of the Aigbogun-managed side by drifting around. This is often dangerous, with darting runs coming down the centre as well as the left wing.

“This young Nigerian has something else. Something that goes beyond technical analysis. He has the same spark you see in players who go on to be world-class.

“We’re already getting glimpses of the Makanjuola the world will soon come to know.

“He already has somewhat of a signature play, flying down the left-hand side of the box, cutting in at the edge and putting in a really threatening cross.

“Nobody seems to be able to stop him, because he flicks the ball past them and follows it with good pace.

“This youngster really could be the most exciting man in football. He’s certainly exciting enough to warrant the hype he has generated in the past few months,’’ David Abiona, a football enthusiast who has been on the Flying Eagles’ trail since January said.

Makanjuola is therefore going to be one of the most-talked about youngsters in the Flying Eagles squad, with more to be heard about him at the African Games.

STJ/OLAL

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

Sport

Medvedev shocks world number one Djokovic at Cincinnati Masters

Published

on

Stunner

Mason (U.S.), Aug. 18, 2019 A resilient Daniil Medvedev stunned world number one and holder Novak Djokovic in the Cincinnati Masters semi-finals on Saturday.

The ninth seeded Russian stepped up his game after losing the first set and took the victory 3-6 6-3 6-3.

“I was so tired in the first set and playing Novak, I thought I’m not going to be able to keep the intensity,” Medvedev said in a courtside interview.

“Then there was one momentum change in the second and I just started playing unbelievable.”

Medvedev, who also beat Djokovic in April at Monte Carlo, will play Belgian David Goffin in the final on Sunday.

The 16th seeded Goffin beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 in the other semi-final.

“I’m really happy,” said Goffin. “I’ve played the best tennis here in the past few years… It’s a great moment for me.”

A quick break saw Goffin surge to a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line in the first set.

Gasquet grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second set before Goffin claimed five of the next six games.

He won the set and the match when a Gasquet backhand was long.

Goffin had received a walk-over into the semi-finals after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw due to food poisoning.

“It was almost a day off, so I was fresh and physically 100 percent today to play against Richard,” the Belgian said.

Goffin added that he was “lost” after the walk-over.

“I didn’t know what to do. Do I have another practice session, go to the physio and have some treatment? I didn’t know,” the Belgian said.

“I decided to go on the court for some practice and do what I normally do after.”(Reuters/NAN)

OLAL

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

Continue Reading

Sport

Manchester City held by Spurs in controversial VAR decision

Published

on

Draw

Manchester(U.K), Aug. 17, 2019 Manchester City had a late goal from Gabriel Jesus ruled out by VAR video review as they drew 2-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday — their first league home game without victory in nearly eight months.

An outstanding game of football, with two teams of technically gifted players competing at a relentless tempo was decided by a video review, which spotted a handball which would never have been given under the previous laws on handling.

Jesus drove in what looked like the winner in added time but while City were celebrating, the VAR review had spotted the ball brushing the arm of City defender Aymeric Laporte before the Brazilian struck home.

The new handball ruling has removed the need for intent to be considered. Even accidental contact with the hand is enough to rule out a goal.

The drama — and the bitter feeling of celebrating victory only to end up seeing it taken away — was all too familiar for City who had exited the Champions League in April to Spurs when they had a late ‘winner’ from Raheem Sterling ruled out by VAR.

“To be honest I thought it was a goal. It’s a bit unlucky for City. Anyone can have a different interpretation of the moment. But we are very pleased with the point,” said Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

“I looked to the screen and realised there was a handball which is good for us and unlucky for City but there are many games ahead. For now we just need to enjoy the moment,” he said.

The drama and controversy will overshadow an excellent encounter which City dominated for large stretches.

Pep Guardiola’s side had taken the lead in the 20th minute when Kevin De Bruyne swung in a cross from the right which Sterling met at the back post with a textbook header.

But City’s advantage lasted less than three minutes as Erik Lamela fired Spurs level after he was expertly picked out by Tanguy Ndombele.

The setback failed to hold back Guardiola’s side and it was no surprise when Sergio Aguero restored their lead in the 35th minute, with De Bruyne once again the provider with a low ball superbly turned in at the near post by the Argentine.

Again City camped in the Spurs half, peppering Hugo Loris’s goal, but once more the visitors fought back.

Mauricio Pochettino sent on Lucas Moura as a substitute and the Brazilian scored with his first touch, beating Kyle Walker to head in a Lamela corner.

Then came the late drama and controversy as VAR once again stole the headlines. (Reuters/NAN)

MUYI/AFA

Edited by Felix Ajide

 

Continue Reading

Sport

NYG Elimination: Team Edo male cricket defeats Team Delta

Published

on

Qualification

By Monday Ajogun

Asaba (Delta) The Edo male cricket team on Saturday, scored 76 runs while Team Delta scored 74 runs, in the ongoing South South Zonal elimination of the National Youth Games (NYG) in Delta.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the South-South Zonal elimination is held preparatory for the 5th edition of the NYG, scheduled to hold in Kwara State between Sept. 7 and Sept. 17.

Speaking with the Nigeria News Agency shortly after the match, Team Edo Head coach, Theophilus Ibodeme, expressed delight with his players’ performance.

“My team scored 76 runs for the loss of six wickets in 13.4 overs, while team Delta scored 74 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 19.3 overs.

“Victor Samuel and Courage Adjuwanou both of team Edo bowled 3 wickets in four overs and two wickets in four overs respectively.

“Harrison Diyyo and Reuben Ogereka both of team Delta scored 21 and 15 respectively.

“At the end of the game Edo won by four wickets, and I am sure they would retain the position of the national youth games championship at the end of the competition in Kwara,” he said.

Continue Reading

Sport

NYG Elimination: Team Edo female cricket defeats Team Delta

Published

on

Qualification

By Monday Ajogun

Asaba (Delta) The Edo male cricket team on Saturday, scored 76 runs while Team Delta scored 74 runs, in the ongoing South South Zonal elimination of the National Youth Games (NYG) in Delta.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the South-South Zonal elimination is held preparatory for the 5th edition of the NYG, scheduled to hold in Kwara State between Sept. 7 and Sept. 17.

Speaking with the Nigeria News Agency shortly after the match, Team Edo Head coach, Theophilus Ibodeme, expressed delight with his players’ performance.

“My team scored 76 runs for the loss of six wickets in 13.4 overs, while team Delta scored 74 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 19.3 overs.

“Victor Samuel and Courage Adjuwanou both of team Edo bowled 3 wickets in four overs and two wickets in four overs respectively.

“Harrison Diyyo and Reuben Ogereka both of team Delta scored 21 and 15 respectively.

“At the end of the game Edo won by four wickets, and I am sure they would retain the position of the national youth games championship at the end of the competition in Kwara,” he said.

Continue Reading

Sport

Funds threaten D’Tigers world cup campaign

Published

on

The senior National Basketball men’s team, D’Tigers’ earlier scheduled trip to China in continuation of their preparation for the FIBA World Cup may have suffered a setback over paucity of funds.

The Nigeria Basketball Federation is said to be struggling to raise funds for the tour.

This was made known to journalists on Saturday by the General Manager of the team, Musa Adamu when asked about the team’s planned trip for the FIBA 2019 World Cup in China.

The News Agency ot Nigeria reports that the competition dunks off on Aug. 31, and has Nigeria in Group B with Russia, Argentina and South Korea

Nigeria had lined up series of warm up matches in Shanghai, China to further fine tune the team’s preparations.

However, Adamu said paucity of funds may cause serious blow to the team’s preparations.

According to him, efforts to secure funds from the Federal Ministry of Sports for the trip has not yielded result.

“I cannot tell you exactly when the team is leaving for China, the basketball federation has been doing a lot for this team.

“We started this elimination over a year ago and now going to two years and the federation has been funding the trips for each window.

“Each window, we had to bring players, fly them down, accommodate them and also pay insurance, and all these things have been done singlehandedly by the federation.

“What we’ve heard are just promises from the ministry to support us, but we are still expecting and hoping that they will do so before we leave for China,” Adamu said.

Adamu, an ex international, said that despite plans to adequately prepare the team for the apex global sports fiesta, the unavailability of funds might just be the clog in the wheel of the team’s preparation.

“The team is here in Nigeria, so we hope that they will act because we don’t know when we will leave. There are no funds available for now.

“The federation is looking up to the Ministry with the hope that the funds will be released for us to leave on time.”

Adamu applauded the Engr. Musa Kida led NBBF board for their selfless sacrifice throughout the qualifiers.

The D’Tigers general manager appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to interven, so as to save the country from global embarrassment.

“I wish to appreciate the federation, the President, Engr Musa Kida and the board, they  have been doing so much for this team and basketball and I think it’s time for government to step in and assist us.”

Adamu revealed that the current players in camp are talented, motivated and ready to represent Nigeria well.

“I will like to use the forum to call on the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari to turn his eyes a little bit to the D’Tigers because they are also a national team.

“We are expecting support from him to release funds for our team to be able to participate in this World Cup.”

Adamu noted that Nigeria was the first country in the world to qualify for the World cup, but may end up not participating in the competition.

“We have come a long way. We have a very good, ambitious and motivated team. We really hope that the President will try to help his children, his people, to be able to participate in this World  Cup, ” Adamu said.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

Continue Reading

© 2019 NNN NEWS NIGERIA. All Rights Reserved.