Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos kept his nerve to score a late penalty kick and help his side secure a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Getafe on Thursday.
It was a sixth consecutive La Liga victory for them, and it helped to take his side one step closer to winning the title.
Ramos coolly passed the ball into the net to break the deadlock in the 79th minute after Dani Carvajal was felled by the trailing leg of Getafe’s Mathias Olivera.
Olivera was earlier denied a penalty kick, after being knocked over by Carvajal.
The late strike felt harsh on Getafe, who had squandered a couple of chances to take the lead.
But Zinedine Zidane’s side once again saw out a difficult game to capitalise on FC Barcelona’s 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
Real Madrid, who have not won the title since 2017, lead the table on 74 points, four ahead of Barca with five games left.
They have a superior head-to-head record over the Catalans, which would give them the trophy if both teams finished the season level on points.
“Today was like a final for us and that’s how we approached it,” said Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal.
“Getafe caused us plenty of problems, particularly in the first half. But we put in a serious performance and are delighted to be taking the three points home with us.”
Real Madrid were without joint-record signing Eden Hazard through injury, and their fitness troubles continued when defender Raphael Varane was forced off in the first half with a head injury.
Eder Militao replaced him.
Real Madrid’s neighbours Getafe have a reputation for being one of the toughest teams to break down in the league, which they certainly lived up to.
Real Madrid struggled to carve out many clear chances.
Their best effort before the penalty kick fell to Vinicius Jr., who busted a gut to get on the end of a cross.
But he failed to generate enough power to beat Getafe goalkeeper David Soria.
Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois made an outstanding early save to repel a deflected shot from Getafe’s Xabier Etxeita.
He watched on as Jaime Mata fired narrowly over the bar after a giveaway from Real Madrid defender Ferland Mendy.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Sen. Ubah, Obikwelu return as Anambra FA Chairman, Vice through e-voting
Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, President of FC Ifeanyi Ubah has been re-elected as Chairman of Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) for a second term, in an election conducted through electronic voting on Sunday.
Jude Obikwelu, a long time vice-chairman of the association was returned unopposed.
The result of the elections was signed by Jude Anayadufu, chairman of the 2020 AnSFA electoral committee and issued to newsmen by Obinna Dike, Head of Media and Publicity, on Monday in Awka.
Philip Balepo, a veteran journalist was also elected into the board as a first timer.
Other elected members of the board were Joe Amene, Uduh Kingsley, Amuzie Cyprain, Obiefune Collins, Adinnu Okezie and Ada Edward.
Elections were also successfully conducted into 19 Local Football Councils (LFC) while in Orumba South, forms were returned late and bye election would be held on a later date.
“The elections held on August 2, 2020 with Obinna Dike as the Returning Officer for the LFC, while Godwin Madubuko was the Returning Officer for the Board Elections.
“In the LFC elections, there was a tie in the Chairmanship position for Onitsha South with option of a coin toss. A bye election will be conducted for Orumba South LFC which returned forms late. Other 19 LFCs were through”, the statement said.
“The Electoral Committee thanks the candidates, delegates, agents, stakeholders, media and the government for their collaboration in ensuring a smooth electoral process.
“Appreciation also goes to the Nigeria Football Federation and Sports Ministry for their roles in the elections,” it stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Anambra FA elections originally scheduled for July 27 and July 28 were suspended on the orders of the state government that it would violate COVID-19 rules.
The election had reached advanced stage with conclusion of sales and return of forms, screening, appeal and final briefing for all candidates and delegates eligible to participate in the quadrennial election before it was called off by government.
The electoral committee communicated the development to the AnSFA which met and gave it powers to conduct the election through virtual processes.
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Hagi no longer manager of his own club
Romania great Gheorghe “Gica” Hagi stepped aside as manager of his own club Viitorul Constanta on Sunday following a poor run of performances.
Hagi said in a statement that “together with the president of the club we will have to find a new manager in the next days”.
Viitorul failed to qualify for the playoffs between the top six teams in the domestic league.
Hagi, nicknamed “The Maradona of the Carpathians” and considered Romania’s all-time greatest player, founded Viitorul in 2009 and still owns the club.
It is known for nurturing young talent in the Black Sea state.
He led his club to their maiden Romanian title in 2017 and the Romanian Cup as well as the domestic Supercup last year.
Hagi, who won 124 international caps and went to three World Cups, played for several top European clubs including Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
He won the UEFA Cup with Galatasaray in 2000.
The 55-year-old has also coached the Romanian national team, Steaua Bucharest, Politehnica Timisoara, Bursaspor and Galatasaray.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Rangers register for 2020/2021 season
This was contained in a statement by the club’s Spokesman, Norbert Okolie in Enugu on Monday.
Okolie cited the club’s General Manager, Davidson Owumi, as saying the aim was to step ahead of other clubs both on and off the pitch in readiness for the season.
The general manager said that the club had applied to the various agencies of government relevant to the game.
”Letters have been sent to the Nigeria Police, Fire Service, Enugu State Emergency Agency and Enugu State Waste Management Authority.
“Medical institutions also received a letter for necessary inspections and certification of our playing facility, including the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium (NAS), Enugu.
”It is our firm belief that we can get all these done on time for the country’s upcoming football season,” Owumi said.
The club’s Team Manager, Amobi Ezeaku, also said the processes for the decontamination of Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in preparation for the season had commenced.
”Safety and security are paramount in every football game, hence the early licensing procedures for the season,” he said.
Ezeaku thanked concerned agencies in the state for their cooperation in 2019/2020 season.
Edited By: Joe Idika/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Xavi tests positive for Coronavirus ahead of Qatar league restart
Xavi, who renewed his contract with the Qatari club on July 5, said he would go on to self-isolate as his team prepare for their first match on Saturday.
“Today I won’t be able to join my team on their comeback to the official competition,” Xavi said in a statement.
“David Prats, coach to the Al-Sadd reserves, will be there on my behalf as head of the technical staff.
“When the health services allow it, I will be very eager to return to my daily routine and to work.”
Al-Sadd, who are third in the table, play Al-Khor on Saturday with five rounds remaining.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)