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Angola’s coach afraid of Eaglets’ attack

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Angola head coach Pedro Dos Santos has declared the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria’s attack as dangerous as the two teams clash in the second group game of the on-going CAF U-17 African Cup of Nations.

Dos Santos said the Golden Eaglets underlined how lethal their attack was after the five-time world champions netted five times from 31 attempts on goal in their opening fixture against Tanzania but he believes they can still shock the more illustrious opponents.

”This is a big opportunity for us because if we win this game, we will have a good chance of going to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil,” he told reporters.
”The confidence and motivation level of my players has soared after beating Uganda in the opening match.

”We watched Nigeria against Tanzania, and they are a good team especially in attack. But we will map out a strategy to contain them and possibly win.”

His player Afonso Binga added: ”We are confident of victory against Nigeria. They are a strong team but we are ready to take them on.

”We are not scared by the fact that they scored five past Tanzania, it happens in football. We are a different team and we have prepared well.”

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CAF Champions League: Enyimba in tricky tie against old foe Al-Hilal

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CAF Champions League: Enyimba in tricky tie against old foe Al-Hilal

 

The sole surviving club in the CAF Champions League, Enyimba, will be facing a tricky tie when they square up against old for, Al-Hilal in the first round of the competition.

 

Apart from their maiden appearance in 2002 and then in 2014, reigning Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Enyimba have always made it at least to the group stage of the CAF Champions League each time they compete in the competition.

 

After failing to make the cut in the past three seasons, Enyimba are back to compete in the continent’s premium club competition, and they have just one more hurdle to overcome to make it to the lucrative group stage.

 

Usman Abd’Allah’s men did well in the preliminary round where they dispatched Rahimo FC 5-1 over two legs to set up a tasty clash against the Sudanese club.

 

The same cannot be said of Al Hilal, which only progressed via the away goals rule having played a disappointing barren draw at home, and then forced Rayon Sports to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in Kigali.

While that singular unconvincing show may not be enough to downplay Al Hillal‘s chances against Enyimba, the fact that the Sudanese giants have failed to make it beyond the first round on three occasions in their last four attempts affords room for optimism.

 

However, Enyimba forward, Stanley Dimgba believes it would be wrong to tip either team as favourites for the group stage.

 

“Yes, it is true that we beat Rahimo 5-0 in our last match, but for me, no two games are the same,” he told Goal.

 

“Al Hilal are a big team in Africa, they have won the Champions League before just like us and they qualify almost every other year for this competition, so they have all the experience.

“We have to give our very best, we have been working hard and, by God’s grace, we will get a good result.”

 

Interestingly, these two sides are no strangers to each other, having met in the 2008 and 2011 editions.

 

In 2008, at the quarter-final stage, Enyimba got the job done; pummeling Al-Hilal 4-1 in Aba before going on to lose 3-2 in the second leg in Omdurman.

 

The 6-4 aggregate scoreline was enough for Enyimba to progress to the semis.

However, they chose a trickier route three years later; drawing 2-2 at home against this same opposition before going on to the dreaded Al-Hilal Stadium, Omdurman to record a famous 2-1 away win.

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Report: Man United to make big De Gea announcement

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Report: Man United to make big De Gea announcement

Manchester United are expected to announce a new contract for David De Gea in the next 24 hours, according to reports.

The Spain international’s current deal expires at the end of the current Premier League season and, for months, speculation of a move away has been rife.

Juventus and PSG have been trying to lure De Gea away from Old Trafford amid uncertainty over the goalkeeper’s future.

Yet ‘The Mirror’ claim United are expected to announce a new deal for the 28-year-old in the next 24 hours.

De Gea has suffered for form in recent times, leading to criticism from all corners.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday that the goalkeeper was still committed to the cause.

“I think you need to ask David and the club (why the deal had not been sorted yet),” he said.

“I’ve obviously not been involved in all the discussions, but I’m very – or pretty – confident that we’ll get this sorted.

“David’s never, ever said anything else to me than he loves this club, he wants to stay here and he’s had a fantastic time, so let’s hope we just get it over the line.”

The report claims De Gea will earn a wage of £250,000-a-week, rising to £350,000-a-week with performance-related clauses.

And it’s claimed the shot-stopper has put pen to paper on a new four-year deal, with the option of an extra year, reports express.co.uk.

Any new deal for De Gea will likely see United change their transfer plans.

They’ve been courting Jan Oblak and Jordan Pickford as potential replacements but, now, are likely to use the cash on alternative targets.

Meanwhile, former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar was recently asked about De Gea’s situation.

And he said he believed the Spain international was replaceable.

He said: “The decision needs to come at a certain point.

“It takes a long time now, so it’s a case of ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but I’m not a director of United.

“Other goalkeepers can also fill the gap. There are a few Premier League goalkeepers playing at the club who can also take the step up.

“I was 34 when I went to United. So there are lots of opportunities there.”

Van der Sar also said that a blip in form was understandable for the United star.

He added: “That happened to me, it happened to Ryan Giggs also, to everyone.

“Your form differs. He has been for so long at such a high level, so at a certain point it gets noticed, maybe not the first two times, but then people start to write about it.

“But he’ll be fine. He’s a great goalkeeper.”

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Ogu: Tammy Abraham will want to represent Nigeria

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Ogu: Tammy Abraham will want to represent Nigeria

John Ogu believes Chelsea’s in-form striker Tammy Abraham, as well as Nigerian-born players, will all want to represent the Super Eagles considering the array of talent in the squad.

Despite representing England at youth level and having featured for the senior team in a non-competitive game, the 21-year-old is still eligible to play for the three-time African champions, through his Nigerian parents.

Abraham has been in excellent form for the Stamford Bridge outfit, scoring seven goals in five league games, including his first hat-trick in their 5-2 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

The Super Eagles presently boast young talents in Lillestriker Victor Osimhen, Bordeaux forward Samuel Kalu, Everton’s Alex Iwobi and Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo, who all featured prominently in Ukraine’s 2-2 friendly last week.

Ogu, who has 25 caps for the three-time African champions, feels Nigerian-born players will be excited to team up with the present crops of Super Eagles.

“With the bunch of talents we have in the Super Eagles, Tammy Abraham or every Nigerian-born player outside will want to represent their fatherland,” Ogu tweeted.

“Imagine Super Eagles go 4-4-2 with Victor Osimhen and Tammy Abraham upfront.”

Bordeaux winger Josh Maja, Fortuna Dusseldorfgoalkeeper Maduka Okoye and Aribo are Nigerian-born players, who were recently handed their maiden Super Eagles call-ups.

Nigeria had successfully persuaded Iwobi, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Shola Ameobi and Tyronne Ebuehi to play for the Super Eagles in the past.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is making spirited efforts to ensure Abraham pledges his allegiance to the Eagles, reports goal.com.

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Emery: I was with Garcia when he was sacked

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Emery: I was with Garcia when he was sacked

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has revealed he was with Javi Gracia in his hometown, discussing Sunday’s upcoming match against Watford, when they learned he had been sacked.

Watford took the decision to part company with Gracia last Saturday, just five games – three of which ended in defeat – into the new campaign, and five months after he led them out at the FA Cup final.

Gracia was quickly replaced by Quique Sanchez Flores, making his return to Watford three years after his departure from Vicarage Road.

Unfortunately for Gracia, the news of his sacking coincided with the chance meeting of his close friend, Emery, in Spain.

“It’s amazing,” said Emery. “I met him, we found each other last week in my town, in Hondarribia, when I was there with my family.

“I was walking and in front of us was Javi Gracia. And in the moment we started speaking about our match, and we finished it knowing he was sacked. It’s a good story, yes?

“He is a very good coach, as he showed last year in Watford.

“The club decided, and I have to respect that. He is going to work and he is going to continue his career like he is, like a great coach.”

Emery may have to reconsider his approach for Sunday’s trip to Watford with a new man in charge of the Hornets, but he is familiar with Sanchez Flores.

Emery’s Valencia were knocked out of the Europa League at the quarter-final stage in 2010 by Sanchez Flores’ Atletico Madrid – the eventual winners of the tournament, reports skysports.

“I remember it,” he said. “Every coach, every player, every person in football remembers some things. I remember we drew 2-2 at home and we drew 0-0 away.

“In the last minute the referee did not give us an amazing penalty for the opportunity to win. In my way, everything that happened to me is something to learn from, for experience.

“Sometimes it’s positive, at the moment more positive, but also negative. I learned from it all.”

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EPL: Guardiola defends players after shock Norwich defeat

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EPL: Guardiola defends players after shock Norwich defeat

Pep Guardiola could only put his hands up after Norwich pulled off the shock of the season so farto leave Manchester City five points behind Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.

Despite a late rally City were unable to claw anything out of a game Norwich had led from the 19th minute. Guardiola refused to criticise his players after the match, however, and warned his rivals that the title is a long way from over.

“Big congratulations for Norwich on how well they have done,” Guardiola said. “We didn’t concede too much in terms of chances, Bournemouth had more chances against us. But in the end we weren’t strong enough in either box. We learn from that.

“We knew the quality of Norwich because they destroyed the Championship last season. They have the confidence to play. In some moments we didn’t play quite well. We had chances to equalise in the game but in the end congratulations to them.”

Norwich’s third goal came about after Emi Buendía caught Nicolás Otamendi in possession on the edge of the Manchester City box. Guardiola refused to criticise the player, though he was clear that a mistake had been made, reports the Guardian.

“Nico doesn’t really know someone is coming and nobody tells him”, Guardiola said in defence of his player. “Sometimes you know we make mistakes. I think sometimes we forget these guys are human. Football is quick, things can go wrong and I must see what I can do to help them.

“Five points [behind Liverpool] is five points but we are in September. What are we supposed to do? Say: ‘It’s September and congratulations to Liverpool you are champions’? Not for one second am I going to doubt my players.”

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Fury rushed to hospital after suffering bad eye injury in Wallin win

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Fury rushed to hospital after suffering bad eye injury in Wallin win

A bloodied Tyson Fury has been rushed to hospital after suffering a significant early double-cut in his hard-fought victory over Otto Wallin on Saturday night.

Fury, who finished the fight with his white shorts stained pink, sustained a large gash above his eyebrow and a smaller one in his eyelid in the third round and a constant trickle of blood troubled him for the remainder of the bout.

Despite Wallin thinking he had done enough the win in Las Vegas was an unanimous one for Fury, 116-112, 117-111, 118-110.

After claiming the triumph and maintaining his unbeaten record, Fury was sent to hospital because of the cuts, meaning he wold not attend the post-fight press conference.

This fight was intended as a stop-gap fight ahead of an expected rematch with Deontay Wilder in February but if Fury was hoping to make a statement this was not it.

And trainer Ben Davison was honest in his assessment of the fight, believing that Fury showed all his undoubted ability and grit to produce a battling performance.

Davison said: “We stayed calm. Obviously we knew it was bad, but we stayed calm and got the job done.

“Obviously he was struggling to see, but he had to make it look like he wasn’t struggling to see.

“You saw, the engine from a big man. That shows what Tyson is, because on his worst night he can do that.

“The cut wasn’t the best possible preparation (for Wilder), but the 12 rounds is fantastic.”

Fury added: “It was a great fight, I got caught on the eye and that changed the fight. For the majority I could not see out of the eye. Then there was a clash of heads and I got cut again.

“I hit him with some good shots, some big body shots.

“A good 12 rounds, he was tough. Deontay Wilder, I want you next, bum. That’s my fourth fight, it has put me in good stead for the big dosser, February 22nd. Let the cut heal, have some time to relax with the family.

“I haven’t seen the cut, it feels quite bad, but I’m the Gypsy Warrior. It’s all heart and determination. If I can keep going, I will keep going. He was 20-0 didn’t know how to lose but he does now.”

* Courtesy: mirror.co.uk

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Fury rushed to hospital after suffering bad eye injury in Wallin win

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Fury rushed to hospital after suffering bad eye injury in Wallin win

A bloodied Tyson Fury has been rushed to hospital after suffering a significant early double-cut in his hard-fought victory over Otto Wallin on Saturday night.

Fury, who finished the fight with his white shorts stained pink, sustained a large gash above his eyebrow and a smaller one in his eyelid in the third round and a constant trickle of blood troubled him for the remainder of the bout.

Despite Wallin thinking he had done enough the win in Las Vegas was an unanimous one for Fury, 116-112, 117-111, 118-110.

After claiming the triumph and maintaining his unbeaten record, Fury was sent to hospital because of the cuts, meaning he wold not attend the post-fight press conference.

This fight was intended as a stop-gap fight ahead of an expected rematch with Deontay Wilder in February but if Fury was hoping to make a statement this was not it.

And trainer Ben Davison was honest in his assessment of the fight, believing that Fury showed all his undoubted ability and grit to produce a battling performance.

Davison said: “We stayed calm. Obviously we knew it was bad, but we stayed calm and got the job done.

“Obviously he was struggling to see, but he had to make it look like he wasn’t struggling to see.

“You saw, the engine from a big man. That shows what Tyson is, because on his worst night he can do that.

“The cut wasn’t the best possible preparation (for Wilder), but the 12 rounds is fantastic.”

Fury added: “It was a great fight, I got caught on the eye and that changed the fight. For the majority I could not see out of the eye. Then there was a clash of heads and I got cut again.

“I hit him with some good shots, some big body shots.

“A good 12 rounds, he was tough. Deontay Wilder, I want you next, bum. That’s my fourth fight, it has put me in good stead for the big dosser, February 22nd. Let the cut heal, have some time to relax with the family.

“I haven’t seen the cut, it feels quite bad, but I’m the Gypsy Warrior. It’s all heart and determination. If I can keep going, I will keep going. He was 20-0 didn’t know how to lose but he does now.”

* Courtesy: mirror.co.uk

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Boxing: Bloodied Fury beats Wallin on points

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Boxing: Bloodied Fury beats Wallin on points

Tyson Fury battled to a rugged points win over Otto Wallin as he fought for over nine rounds with heavy cuts to maintain his unbeaten record in a dramatic bout in Las Vegas.

The 31-year-old Briton, a 1-25 favourite with bookmakers, was expected to walk through Sweden’s Wallin but found his cut at the mercy of repeated checks from the ringside doctor, prompting moments of stunned silence at the T-Mobile Arena.

A punch in the third round drew blood above Fury’s right eye and when officials began to show concern, he visibly showed urgency, switching from patient boxing to planting his feet in a bid to land heavy, destructive shots.

He did, with a barrage in the ninth forcing Wallin to sway before a hard right hand piled him into the ropes in the 11th as Fury came through the type of examination few expected with a unanimous 116-112 117-111 118-110 points win.

“It was a great fight, I got caught on the eye and that changed the fight,” said Fury. “For the majority I could not see out of the eye. Then there was a clash of heads and I got cut again.

“A good 12 rounds, he was tough. It’s all heart and determination if I can keep going I will do. He was 20-0, didn’t know how to lose but I was the better man.”

Wallin said: “I did everything I could, I tried my best and Tyson is a great champion. Nobody can question my heart or question that I’m a good fighter.”

Wallin, who lost for the first time in 21 outings, was seen as an easy night’s work on Fury’s route to a rematch with WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder but he admitted he tried to hit Fury’s cut “even more” and his come-forward tactics delivered a true scrap.

Had the bout been stopped because of the cut, Wallin would have landed a technical knockout win and with ringside medics checking the gash during the sixth and before the seventh round, Fury was nearing a crisis scenario.

Just as he did when he climbed from the canvas to force Wilder backwards in the final round of their December thriller, he fought fire with fire. His punches beams menacing, his face filled with anger rather than poise andtwo huge right hands sent Wallin backwards in the seventh, reports the BBC.

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Boxing: Bloodied Fury beats Wallin on points

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Boxing: Bloodied Fury beats Wallin on points

Tyson Fury battled to a rugged points win over Otto Wallin as he fought for over nine rounds with heavy cuts to maintain his unbeaten record in a dramatic bout in Las Vegas.

The 31-year-old Briton, a 1-25 favourite with bookmakers, was expected to walk through Sweden’s Wallin but found his cut at the mercy of repeated checks from the ringside doctor, prompting moments of stunned silence at the T-Mobile Arena.

A punch in the third round drew blood above Fury’s right eye and when officials began to show concern, he visibly showed urgency, switching from patient boxing to planting his feet in a bid to land heavy, destructive shots.

He did, with a barrage in the ninth forcing Wallin to sway before a hard right hand piled him into the ropes in the 11th as Fury came through the type of examination few expected with a unanimous 116-112 117-111 118-110 points win.

“It was a great fight, I got caught on the eye and that changed the fight,” said Fury. “For the majority I could not see out of the eye. Then there was a clash of heads and I got cut again.

“A good 12 rounds, he was tough. It’s all heart and determination if I can keep going I will do. He was 20-0, didn’t know how to lose but I was the better man.”

Wallin said: “I did everything I could, I tried my best and Tyson is a great champion. Nobody can question my heart or question that I’m a good fighter.”

Wallin, who lost for the first time in 21 outings, was seen as an easy night’s work on Fury’s route to a rematch with WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder but he admitted he tried to hit Fury’s cut “even more” and his come-forward tactics delivered a true scrap.

Had the bout been stopped because of the cut, Wallin would have landed a technical knockout win and with ringside medics checking the gash during the sixth and before the seventh round, Fury was nearing a crisis scenario.

Just as he did when he climbed from the canvas to force Wilder backwards in the final round of their December thriller, he fought fire with fire. His punches beams menacing, his face filled with anger rather than poise andtwo huge right hands sent Wallin backwards in the seventh, reports the BBC.

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Boxing: Bloodied Fury beats Wallin on points

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Boxing: Bloodied Fury beats Wallin on points

Tyson Fury battled to a rugged points win over Otto Wallin as he fought for over nine rounds with heavy cuts to maintain his unbeaten record in a dramatic bout in Las Vegas.

The 31-year-old Briton, a 1-25 favourite with bookmakers, was expected to walk through Sweden’s Wallin but found his cut at the mercy of repeated checks from the ringside doctor, prompting moments of stunned silence at the T-Mobile Arena.

A punch in the third round drew blood above Fury’s right eye and when officials began to show concern, he visibly showed urgency, switching from patient boxing to planting his feet in a bid to land heavy, destructive shots.

He did, with a barrage in the ninth forcing Wallin to sway before a hard right hand piled him into the ropes in the 11th as Fury came through the type of examination few expected with a unanimous 116-112 117-111 118-110 points win.

“It was a great fight, I got caught on the eye and that changed the fight,” said Fury. “For the majority I could not see out of the eye. Then there was a clash of heads and I got cut again.

“A good 12 rounds, he was tough. It’s all heart and determination if I can keep going I will do. He was 20-0, didn’t know how to lose but I was the better man.”

Wallin said: “I did everything I could, I tried my best and Tyson is a great champion. Nobody can question my heart or question that I’m a good fighter.”

Wallin, who lost for the first time in 21 outings, was seen as an easy night’s work on Fury’s route to a rematch with WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder but he admitted he tried to hit Fury’s cut “even more” and his come-forward tactics delivered a true scrap.

Had the bout been stopped because of the cut, Wallin would have landed a technical knockout win and with ringside medics checking the gash during the sixth and before the seventh round, Fury was nearing a crisis scenario.

Just as he did when he climbed from the canvas to force Wilder backwards in the final round of their December thriller, he fought fire with fire. His punches beams menacing, his face filled with anger rather than poise andtwo huge right hands sent Wallin backwards in the seventh, reports the BBC.

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