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Greenwood scores winner as United beat Inter

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Greenwood scores winner as United beat Inter

Teenage striker Mason Greenwood scored Manchester United’s second-half winner against Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup.

Greenwood, 17, fired home 14 minutes from time, then hit the bar as United deservedly won 1-0 in Singapore.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side created a series of decent first-half chances.

Luke Shaw’s 20-yard shot went narrowly wide, then he crossed for Marcus Rashford, who couldn’t get a touch inside the six-yard box.

The first half also saw a sensational pass with the outside of his foot by Paul Pogba, who sent the ball curling 40 yards for Rashford to run on to, only for Inter keeper Samir Handanovic to rush out just in time.

Skipper Nemanja Matic headed against a post after half-time, so it took the introduction of Greenwood for United to get the goal their dominance deserved.

The Yorkshire teenager feinted right, then cut in on his left foot before smashing a shot through a crowd of bodies.

He nearly had a second when he clipped the bar trying to finish off Tahith Chong’s pass.

On Wednesday, it seemed a bit outrageous when Solskjaer said the teenager could start United’s opening Premier League game against Chelsea at Old Trafford on August 11.

Maybe it is not so far-fetched after all.

In his side’s two games prior to this in Australia, Solskjaer had switched his entire team at half-time.

On Friday, he revealed an intention to keep some on for longer despite the additional heat and humidity in Singapore, so there was an awareness that he is starting to send out messages to his large squad for the season ahead.

For Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo, there was a very interesting one – with fellow defender Axel Tuanzebe selected ahead of all four of them.

When United’s players returned for pre-season training at the beginning of July, it was anticipated Tuanzebe would probably be sent out on loan, possibly back to Aston Villa, who he helped into the Premier League last season.

But Tuanzebe has impressed on this trip, so much so that the 21-year-old was picked alongside Victor Lindelof for the toughest test of United’s pre-season so far.

The England Under-21 international did well. He occasionally drifted out of position, but Lindelof and skipper Nemanja Matic soon corrected him.

And, while it is tough to see how Tuanzebe could have shown enough to persuade Solskjaer he did not need to buy someone of the stature of England’s Harry Maguire, he could be being cemented in a back-up role.

That would have major repercussions for his more experienced team-mates, particularly Smalling and Rojo, who were left on the bench throughout.

It has been obvious for some time that Solskjaer’s strategy is going to rely on pace.

His starting line-up was stacked with it. The key is going to be allying that with an end product.

United coaching staff view £15m signing Daniel James as a bit of a gamble. They have been working on the Wales winger’s final pass and it was clear in Singapore’s National Stadium there is still work to do.

James had his head in his hands when he blazed Lindelof’s lay-off wide from an acute angle. In fairness, James was hitting it with his weaker foot but he needs to take an extra half-second before shooting.

It was also interesting to see Pogba come over to offer encouragement after James had missed. If the Frenchman is to remain at Old Trafford this summer, as Solskjaer is convinced he will, Pogba needs to take on more responsibility.

United stay in Singapore for another day before heading to China, where they will play Premier League rivals Tottenham on Thursday, reports the BBC.

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Sunday Dare: I’ll give equal attention to sports, youth devt

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Sunday Dare: I’ll give equal attention to sports, youth devt

Mr Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development has pledged to give equal attention to the development of Sports and the Youths as he strives to reposition the ministry.

Dare disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja at the sidelines of the 2019 International Youth Day.

The minister who was performing his first official assignment after his swearing in on Wednesday by President Muhammadu Buhari alongside 42 other ministers said he his ready to hit the ground running.

He assured that it was not going to be business as usual as he seeks to take the ministry to the next level in line with President Buhari’s mandate.

“I can assure you that attention will be paid to youth development and sports development.

“The mandate is clear and the two mandate areas will be given equal attention, ” he said.

NAN reports that the assurance is coming on the heels of accusation in a section of the media that previous ministers had paid more attention to Sports, especially football at the expense of youth development.

The minister had on Wednesday shortly after his inauguration highlighted the nexus between Sports and the youths and how it can be harnessed for national development.

“Youth development is key to the success of any government. We have youths, we have sports. Our mandate area is very clear.

“We must broaden our horizons, we must deepen the work we do and quality of work we bring to the table.

“I’m not unaware of the challenges, controversies and development in this ministry.

“It’s a ministry that is dear to the hearts of Nigerians. Beyond sports, there are other ways we can develop the youths. We will be thinking outside the box,” he said.

The minister, a veteran journalist was the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) before is appointment.

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NBBF traces Afrobasket success to Buhari

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NBBF traces Afrobasket success to Buhari

…congratulates minister

 

The board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation has lauded the fatherly role played by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari in the Senior Women’s Basketball team’s 2019 Afrobasket triumph.

The board led by Engr. Musa Kida said that the President’s unflinching support provided the enabling environment for the federation to prepare the team for their Afrobasket title defense.

According to Kida who was on ground to cheer the team to victory, the resilience and doggedness of D’Tigress in the face of adversity before and during the final game against host- Senegal stemmed from the support of millions of Nigerians led by President Buhari.

“His Excellency’s support was vital to D’Tigress success. He came through for us as the father of the Nation when we needed him most and the entire team and the board is grateful for this.”

Kida said the outstanding records achieved under His Excellency could not have been possible without his express support and personal efforts.

“Under his Excellency, Nigeria has continued to break barriers and set new records in basketball.

Under his watch, we won the 2017 Afrobasket Championship in Mali and it is on record that he hosted the girls in Abuja.

“The men came second in Africa also in 2017 at the Afrobasket and became the first country in the world to qualify for the FIBA World Cup months later. Now, we have achieved another incredible result of successfully defending our title which is a rare feat in African basketball,” Kida said.

Kida confirmed that with such support from the number one citizen of the most populous black nation in the world, the NBBF and all its national teams can only reach for the stars.

In the same vein, the board also congratulated the new Honorable Minister of Sports, Mr Dare Sunday, who was on Wednesday inaugurated.

Kida expressed optimism that the newly appointed minister will hit the ground running at such a critical time that sports is needed to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria.

“We are excited about this timely appointment just days before the men senior basketball team start their FIBA World Cup in campaign in China. We believe that his goodluck charm will work for the team in China as they hope to shock the world.”

“In my personal capacity as Musa Kida and as President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, we wish him a successful tenure while in office serving our fatherland.”

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NFF mourns ex-Falcons star, Ifeanyi Chiejine

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NFF mourns  ex-Falcons star, Ifeanyi Chiejine

The Nigeria Football Federation has said it is ‘terribly saddened’ at news of the death on Wednesday, 21st August of former Super Falcons’ attacking midfielder Ifeanyichukwu Chiejine.

Reports on Thursday morning said the effervescent and skilful attacking midfielder passed on in Lagos after a brief illness.

General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, was momentarily speechless after being informed of the passing of the former player.

“This is huge shock. We had no idea that she was sick. Ifeanyi was one of the most naturally gifted players to have featured for the Super Falcons. Her death at such a young age is a big blow.

“She gave one hundred percent of her ability and capacity each time she turned out for country. We will always remember her as a bundle of skill and energy, and as a patriotic individual who wore the green-white-green with a smile every time.”

The 36-year-old captained the first set of the Falconets that featured at the inaugural edition of the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2002. The competition would be renamed FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup six years later.

Ifeanyichukwu Stephanie Chiejine featured for the Super Falcons at three FIFA World Cup finals (USA 1999, USA 2003 and China 2007); the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games; four Women Africa Cup of Nations finals (South Africa 2000, Nigeria 2002, Nigeria 2006 and Equatorial Guinea 2008) and; at the women’s football tournament of the 9th All-Africa Games in Algiers in 2007. 

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Akpeyi fears losing Eagles spot

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Akpeyi fears losing Eagles spot

Super Eagles goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi is bothered about the possibility of losing his place in the national due to limited playing time at his South African side Kaiser Chiefs.

The glovesman’s chances have been limited following the return to fitness of Chiefs’ number one Itumeleng Khune.

Akpeyi had held on for the legendary goalie but the Nigerian may have to revert to his back-up role and he has now explained his fears of losing his number one spot as the Super Eagles number one, adding he hopes the coaches will understand the dynamics at his club even if he is not playing regular football.

“Sometimes this game can be tricky but when you have someone who understands the dynamics of this game, who understands how things run,” continued the lanky keeper.

“I am in a team where I will not be playing 100% of games. That should be understood because there is no way that I can push Khune aside no matter if he is on form or not, he has this background that it would be difficult for you to push him out, I am just being honest about it,” noted the 33-year-old.

“But for whoever is the head [coach of Nigeria] as long as he understands the dynamics and how things work, as long as I am injury-free and doing my best here and the report gets to them it will be up to them to decide if they want to give me a chance and still believe I can make it work with the national team,” he said.

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Tokyo 2020: Home-based Falcons fly to Algeria Saturday

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Tokyo 2020: Home-based Falcons fly to Algeria Saturday

The delegation of Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons, to next week’s 2020 Olympics qualifying match against the Senior Women National Team of Algeria will depart Nigeria on Saturday.

Head Coach Thomas Dennerby has already submitted a list of 18 home-based professionals who will do battle with the Algerians, following the inability of foreign-based players to make the trip due to various engagements with their clubs.

The delegation will fly aboard Turkish Airline into Istanbul and then connect to Algiers from Turkey’s commercial and economic capital.

Already, FIFA, has appointed officials from Mali to take charge of the clash, which the Algeria Football Federation has scheduled for the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida (outside Algiers), to kick off at 7pm Algeria time (same time as in Nigeria) on Wednesday,  August 28.

Teneba Bagayoko will be the referee, with her compatriots Mariam Coulibaly (assistant referee 1) and Djeneba Dembélé (assistant referee 2) also on duty. The fourth official will be Dorsaf Ganouati from Tunisia while Mana Dzodope from Togo will serve as referee assessor and Oumou Kane from Mauritania will be the match commissioner.

For the return leg in Nigeria, which the Nigeria Football Federation has scheduled for the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, starting from 4pm, FIFA has appointed Zomadre Kore from Cote d’Ivoire to be the referee.

Her compatriots Lou Ta (assistant referee 1), Denise Akoua (assistant referee 2) and Fatoumata Kra (fourth official) will join her on the assignment. Ghanaian Emmanuella Aglago will serve as referee assessor and Cameroonian Souadatou Kalkaba will be match commissioner.

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FIFA duty for Adebimpe, others

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FIFA duty for Adebimpe, others

World football –ruling body, FIFA has appointed Nigerian officials led by Quadri Adebimpe to superintend over the 2022 FIFA World Cup preliminary qualifying match between Gambia and Angola scheduled for Bakau on Friday, 6th September 2019.

The match, scheduled for the Independence Stadium in the city of Bakau, will also see Nigerians Celestine Igudia (assistant referee 1), Samuel Pwadutakam (assistant referee 2) and Abdullahi Shuaibu (fourth official) in action.

Rashid Sanusie from Sierra Leone will serve as the referee assessor while Liberian Andy Quamie will be match commissioner.

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HiFL: Odenigbo fires UAM into q/finals

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Defending champions, UAM Tillers, runners up, UNICAL Malabites, ESUT Explorers and BUK Stallions have all advanced into the quarterfinals of 2019 Higher Institutions Football League season after matches decided on Wednesday.

HiFL 2018 most valuable player, who plays for UAM Tillers, Ebuka Odenigbo, terrorized the KUST defense consistently and finally got his team on level terms in the 96th minute to send the defending champions to the quarterfinals after winning 4 – 2 on aggregates

In Port-Harcourt, 2018 runners up, UNICAL Malabites, advanced to the quarterfinals despite losing to RSU Dolphins, thanks to a first leg 3-1 home win. Elsewhere in Uyo, ESUT Explorers cruised past UNIUYO Tuskites on their home soil. The Enugu side go through on a comfortable 4-0 aggregate win.

In Kano, bitter rivals ABU Nobles and BUK Stallions battled tough for survival, but it was BUK who prevailed courtesy of a Kabiru Haliru 82nd minute strike to nick the last spot in a star- studded quarterfinals line-up.

The league is organised by PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing in partnership with the Nigerian Universities Games Association (NUGA). The league is sponsored by Stanbic IBTC, Indomie Nigeria and Premier Cool. The top 32 Universities from NUGA-member institutions will play over a period of 21 weeks, with the final four billed for the Agege Stadium, Lagos.

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I’ll give equal attention to Sports, Youth development — Dare

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I’ll give equal attention to Sports, Youth development — Dare

Mr Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development has pledged to give equal attention to the development of Sports and the Youths as he strives to reposition the ministry.

Dare disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja at the sidelines of the 2019 International Youth Day.

The minister, who was performing his first official assignment after his swearing in on Wednesday by President Muhammadu Buhari alongside 42 other ministers, said he is ready to hit the ground running.

He assured that it was not going to be business as usual as he seeks to take the ministry to the next level in line with President Buhari’s mandate.

 “I can assure you that attention will be paid to youth development and sports development.

 “The mandate is clear and the two mandate areas will be given equal attention,” he said.

The assurance is coming on the heels of accusation in a section of the media that previous ministers had paid more attention to sports, especially football at the expense of youth development.

The minister had on Wednesday shortly after his inauguration highlighted the nexus between sports and the youths and how it can be harnessed for national development.

“Youth development is key to the success of any government. We have youths, we have sports. Our mandate area is very clear.

“We must broaden our horizons, we must deepen the work we do and quality of work we bring to the table.

“I’m not unaware of the challenges, controversies and development in this ministry.

“It’s a ministry that is dear to the hearts of Nigerians. Beyond sports, there are other ways we can develop the youths. We will be thinking outside the box,” he said.

The minister, a veteran journalist was the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) before his appointment.

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Englishman Butler named new coach of Liberia

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Englishman Butler named new coach of Liberia

Former West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion midfielder Peter Butler has signed a one-year contract to coach Liberia three weeks before they begin their qualification campaign for the next World Cup.

Butler, who has previously coached in Botswana, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, South Africa and Thailand, takes over from Thomas Kojo.

 “I am very pleased to become the new coach of Liberia and it was an opportunity, which I really could not turn down,” Butler told reporters.

 “It is not a money move, I can assure you. It is about a great challenge that I will contribute to the rise of Liberian football, and not just in the senior national team front, but also on the respective (age-group) levels.

 “The ultimate goal is to improve FIFA ranking (currently 152) and qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. Anything is possible if you believe and we have to be pragmatic and realistic about the situation.”

Butler’s first game in charge will be a World Cup qualifier at home to Sierra Leone on September 6 with the second leg four days later, reports Reuters.

In October, they begin their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a two-legged preliminary round tie against Chad. Should they advance, they go into a group with Mali, Guinea and Namibia for a place at the finals.

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Tokyo 2020: Super Falcons to fly to Algeria Saturday

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Tokyo 2020: Super Falcons to fly to Algeria Saturday

The delegation of Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons to next week’s 2020 Olympics qualifying match against the Senior Women National Team of Algeria will depart Nigeria on Saturday.

Head Coach Thomas Dennerby has already submitted a list of 18 home-based professionals who will do battle with the Algerians, following the inability of foreign –based players to make the trip due to various engagements with their clubs.

The delegation will fly aboard Turkish Airline into Istanbul and then connect to Algiers from Turkey’s commercial and economic capital.

Already, world football-governing body, FIFA, has appointed officials from Mali to take charge of the clash, which the Algeria Football Federation has scheduled for the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida (outside Algiers), to kick off at 7pm Algeria time (same time as in Nigeria) on Wednesday, August 28.

Teneba Bagayoko will be the referee, with her compatriots Mariam Coulibaly (assistant referee 1) and Djeneba Dembélé (assistant referee 2) also on duty. The fourth official will be Dorsaf Ganouati from Tunisia while Mana Dzodope from Togo will serve as referee assessor and Oumou Kane from Mauritania will be the Match Commissioner.

For the return leg in Nigeria, which the NFF has scheduled for the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Tuesday, September 3, starting from 4pm, FIFA has appointed Zomadre Kore from Cote d’Ivoire to be the referee.

Her compatriots Lou Ta (assistant referee 1), Denise Akoua (assistant referee 2) and Fatoumata Kra (fourth official) will join her on the assignment. Ghanaian Emmanuella Aglago will serve as referee assessor and Cameroonian Souadatou Kalkaba will be Match Commissioner.

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