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Kienka, Odegbami shine as OVH Energy Tennis ends at Ikoyi Club

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G

odwin and Kalada Kienka defeated Ezomo Imoukhuede and Ishmael Nwokocha 7-5, 6-4, to win the OVH Energy Doubles Tennis Tournament which came to a colourful end  at Ikoyi Club 1938 at the weekend.

 

 

Dad Godwin and son Kalada were the favourites as they are ranked fourth and top respectively on the club’s ladder board but it was the underdogs who are both ranked outside the top 20 that broke in the fifth set to go 4-2 up but a spirited fightback from the Kienkas saw them broke back on the crucial 10th game to tie 5-5 before wrapping up the set.

 

 

They clinched the match by winning the 10th game in the second set much to the cheering of the crowd led by Ikoyi Club 1938 chairman, Yomi Orenuga.

 

 

In the veteran’s doubles, former Nigeria football star, Segun Odegbami paired Olaleye Olowe to beat Charles Attah and Okey Igwe 6-3, 6-1 while Kalada and Maryann Chuks  beat Bimbo Okubena and Sharon Momoh 6-2, 6-2 to clinch the mixed doubles title. Emmanuel Anikebe  and Sesan Dada walked over Femi Nedd and Wale Odutola for the Men’s doubles B title.

 

 

OVH Energy CEO, Huub Stukman stated that the company was overwhelmed by the success of the event.

 

 

Section chairman, Bimbo Okubena, expressed gratitude to the sponsors commending Stockman and Mr Femi Tejuosho, the company’s chairman.

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Federer beats Djokovic to make ATP Finals semis

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Federer beats Djokovic to make ATP Finals semis

Roger Federer can probably play better, but it’s hard to imagine how.

The 38-year-old Swiss beat Novak Djokovic for the first time in four years – and six FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings – on Thursday night, dazzling a capacity crowd at The O2 with a 6-4, 6-3 win against the World No. 2 on Thursday.

“Great atmosphere, a great opponent here in London at The O2, definitely incredibly special. Just a night I enjoyed from the beginning. I played incredible, and I knew I had to because that’s what Novak does and I was able to produce. So it was definitely magical,” Federer said.

The third-seeded Federer, making his 17th appearance, reached his 16th semi-final at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals and ended Djokovic’s season, along with his hopes of finishing year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for a record-tying sixth time, reports ATP Tour.

Djokovic needed to win the title to have a chance at knocking Rafael Nadal off the top spot, but now Nadal is guaranteed his fifth year-end No. 1 finish, evening him with Federer, Djokovic and American Jimmy Connors.

Federer finished second in Group Bjorn Borg, behind Austrian Dominic Thiem, who beat both Federer and Djokovic earlier this week. The Swiss will face the Group Andre Agassi winner on Saturday.

No matter who he faces, though, if the six-time champion plays like he did on Thursday evening, he’ll be hard – if not impossible – to beat. Federer hardly made a mistake against Djokovic, attacking the Serbian and serving flawlessly. He finished with 23 winners to only five unforced errors.

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Without Salah, Egypt held by Kenya in African Cup qualifying

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Without Salah, Egypt held by Kenya in African Cup qualifying

Egypt missed Mohamed Salah as the most successful team in African Cup of Nations history was held 1-1 at home by Kenya at the start of its qualifying campaign for the 2021 tournament.

Without its injured star forward, Egypt led in Alexandria on Thursday when Mahmoud Kahraba pounced on a poor back pass from Erick Ouma just before halftime.

Michael Olunga intercepted Mohamed Elneny’s pass and drove a shot past Egypt goalkeeper Ahmed el-Shenawy to equalize.

Egypt pressed hard in the final 20 minutes but couldn’t find another goal, reports The Associated Press.

Salah is expected to be sidelined for Egypt’s first two games in the decisive final group stage with a left ankle injury.

Comoros and Togo are the other teams in Group G. Comoros won 1-0 in Togo. Egypt travels to play Comoros on Monday.

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Egypt hits semis with maximum points; Ghana qualifies, Cameroon out

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Egypt hits semis with maximum points; Ghana qualifies, Cameroon out

Hosts Egypt secured top of Group A of the ongoing U-23 Africa Cup of Nations with maximum points, defeating Cameroon 2-1 at the Cairo International Stadium on Thursday night.

Cameroon crashed out on goal difference, after Ghana managed to beat Mali 2-0 at Al Salam Stadium in a simultaneous kickoff. Egypt topped the group with 9 points, Ghana has four (goal difference +1) while Cameroon has the same tally (Goal Difference 0). Mali trail the pack pointless.

Inform striker Mostafa Mohamed continued his outstanding tournament, adding a brace to his tally as he topped the goal scorers’ charts with four goals.

Mohamed, the talismanic striker broke the deadlock after 28 minutes, only for Eric Ayuk to equalize for Cameroon ten minutes later as the first half ended in a 1-1 draw.

But Mohamed continued his brace, securing maximum points for the Olympic Pharaohs with a trademark towering header six minutes after the break, to raise his side’s tally to nine points from three consecutive victories.

Elsewhere at Al Salam Stadium, also in Cairo, Owusu Kwabena scored a brace for Ghana’s Black Meteors after the break as his side cruised into the semifinals, keeping their Tokyo 2020 Olympics dream alive.

Egypt takes on Group B runner ups on Tuesday (November 19), while Ghana face Group B winners in an earlier kickoff, reports CAF.

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France, Turkey qualify for Euro 2020

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France, Turkey qualify for Euro 2020

France and Turkey have qualified for the 2020 European Championship after Iceland drew 0-0 in Istanbul.
Iceland needed to beat Group H leader Turkey on Thursday to stay in the running for a direct berth in next year’s tournament.
Hordur Magnusson came close for Iceland, eight minutes from time, but his effort from a corner was blocked on the line by Turkey defender Merih Demiral, reports The Associated Press.
Turkey moved to 20 points, one more than France, which hosts Moldova later.
England can also secure its spot at Euro 2020 with a draw at home to Montenegro in Group A, while the Czech Republic needs a win against Kosovo to guarantee its spot.
Defending champion Portugal is playing Lithuania, and Serbia hosts Luxembourg, in Group B. Ukraine has already qualified.

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Abjuja J5 ITF Tennis: Quadre, Marylove ease into q/finals

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Abjuja J5 ITF Tennis: Quadre, Marylove ease into q/finals

Hot favourite and top seed, Oyinlomo Quadre, is on course  for a third iTF junior title as she powered past compatriot Omolayo Bamidele 6-1, 6-0 in the second round to book a place in the quarterfinals of the NTF International Junior Championship Abuja J5 ITF Circuit at the National Tennis Centre Abuja Thursday.
Quadre, who didn’t compete in the first leg, was dominant all through the encounter hitting lots of winners on her forehand in what has been a remarkable year
The Morocco-based 15-year-old sensation has been in superb form all year, winning titles in Megrine, Tunisia, in April and in Cotonou, Benin Republic, in September as her quest for her first title on home soil remains intact.
Her next match is against Jade Haller of Switzerland who walloped Maryam Salami 6-0, 6-0
Elsewhere, first leg winner, Marylove Edwards, who is now the second seed was also ruthless in her match with Morenikeji Durowoju, an Austrian of Nigerian descent with the US-based Edwards bagging a 6-1, 6-0 win to extend her winning run at the Nigerian capital to six games.
She will face compatriot Jesutoyosi Adewusi for a place in the semifinals as the latter defeated Rebecca Patrick 6-2, 6-4.

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Nigerian Armed Forces shine at international sports

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Nigerian Armed Forces shine at international sports

The contingent of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) have emerged victorious in the recent international sporting events in South Africa and Republic of Guinea.

The Acting Director of Defence Information, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Nwachukwu disclosed that the Nigerian military contingent emerged winners of the recently concluded Military Skills Competition in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

He added that they also clinched 3rd position at the maiden edition of the International Military Sports Council – West African Liaison Office (CISM – WALO) Boxing Championship held in Conakry, Guinea.

“In the Military Skills Competition held in South Africa, the AFN participants comprising male and female personnel from the Nigerian Army, Navy and the Airforce bagged a total of six Gold, four Silver and one Bronze medals.

“The team also carted away the award for best participating country at the event. “During the military sporting events, the AFN emerged first, second and third positions in both the male and female categories of the 8 km combat race.

“In the Obstacle Crossing event, the team also emerged 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions, while in Combat swimming (Male category), the team took the 1st and 3rd positions, as well as 1st and 2nd positions in the female category.

“At the WALO – CISM Boxing championship in Conakry, AFN Boxing team won a total of six Silver and four bronze medals to clinched 3rd position, queuing behind Guinea and Cote D’Ivoire teams who emerged first and second positions,” he said.

The Defence spokesperson said that the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin had commended the team for their outstanding performance and conduct at the international event, describing them as worthy ambassadors of the AFN and the nation.

According to him, the AFN under the current leadership had leveraged on sporting activities as a veritable tool and rallying point to foster unity and synergy among security agencies in Nigeria and the ECOWAS region.

He added that this was part of efforts to foster peace and security in Nigeria and the west African Sub region, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“Notable among the sporting events so far organised and sponsored by the DHQ are the Chief of Defence Staff, Armed Forces and Security Agencies Half Marathon Championship, the CISM Day Run and Security Agencies Route Match,” he said.

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Cameroon 2021: Senegal start well as other African heavyweights struggle

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Cameroon 2021: Senegal start well as other African heavyweights struggle

Senegal showed their teeth on the opening day of qualifiers for the 2021 African Cup of Nations but other continental heavyweights struggled to find form on Wednesday.

Nigeria could only scrape a 2-1 home win over tiny neighbours Benin while Cameroon were held to an embarrassing home draw by the Cape Verde Islands.

Cameroon are hosts of the next finals but are also participating in the qualifying competition, reports Reuters.

Assan Cessay scored two goals in two minutes for the Gambia, who went onto cause an upset by winning 3-1 in Angola to secure their first away victory in a Cup of Nations or World Cup qualifier.

There were also wins for the Central African Republic, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Namibia and Sudan and a potential valuable away point for the small mountain kingdom of Lesotho, who drew 1-1 in Sierra Leone.

Senegal, runners-up in this year’s Nations Cup in Egypt, beat Congo 2-0 at home with first-half goals from Sidy Sarr and Habib Diallo as Sadio Mane provided an assist.

Nigeria went behind after nine minutes in Uyo where Stephane Sessegnon scored for Benin but a penalty from Victor Osimhen and the winner from Samuel Kalu ensured a narrow win.

It is the fourth time in five games that goal-shy Cameroon have played out a goalless draw in a stuttering start for new coach Toni Conceição.

Angola were ahead after two minutes through Wilson Eduardo but were hit by a double from FC Zurich striker Cessay before Sulayman Marreh added a third for Gambia on the stroke of fulltime.

Gambia had not won in 39 previous away qualifiers, including losing in Luanda two months ago in the 2022 World Cup preliminaries.

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Ex-Super Eagles player,Dickson Etuhu, found guilty of match-fixing

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Ex-Super Eagles player,Dickson Etuhu, found guilty of match-fixing

A Swedish appeals court has found former Nigeria international Dickson Etuhu guilty for attempted match-fixing.

The Court of Appeals in Stockholm said in a release on Wednesday said that it was clear that Etuhu and an unnamed former player tried to influence AIK keeper Kyriakos “Kenny” Stamatopoulos to fix a match in Sweden’s top division in 2017, reports the BBC.

Etuhu, who played for several English clubs including Manchester City, Sunderland and Fulham, escaped a jail sentence but was instead fined and sentenced to serve probation, without further details being made public.

The 37-year-old, who left AIK Solna in 2016, says he will be appealing against the ruling at the Supreme Court.

The court said that “the content of what the men submitted to the player (Stamatopoulos) was so clear that it should be considered a criminal offer of bribe.”

Etuhu had intially been acquitted by a court last year but that was appealed by prosecutor Johan Lindmark, who told local Swedish newspaper ‘Expressen’ that he was satisfied with today’s outcome.

“It was with satisfaction that I received the verdict today,” Lindmark said.

“I had appealed on the grounds that I thought the court of law would change and was not surprised when I saw the verdict.”

Etuhu played 20 times for the Super Eagles including at two Africa Cup of Nations in 2008 and 2010 as well as the World Cup in South Africa.

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Rohr vs NFF: Much ado about nothing

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Rohr vs NFF: Much ado about nothing

It is obvious, even if they will not admit it, that the Nigeria Football Federation hierarchy and Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr are not on the best of terms. The two parties cannot seem to agree on anything these days: from salary payments to contract renewal and squads, the two parties have been knocking heads lately. The once chummy relationship between Rohr and NFF President Amaju Pinnick is apparently on the rocks and it looks inevitable that the two will soon ‘file for divorce’.

At first, the noise was about Rohr’s salaries. While the German insisted that he was owed several months in back wages, the NFF claimed they owed only one month. After some back and forth, the arrears were cleared and everything seemed to be back on track. But then came the issue of Rohr’s contract which expires in June next year. Normally this should not be a big deal: the contract is either renewed or not. However, speaking about it on television recently, Pinnick opened another can of worms.

The NFF boss announced new terms for a contract extension, with a key condition that the coach must focus more on the Nigeria Professional Football League and spend more time in Nigeria. Notably, this had not been an issue in Rohr’s first two years in charge and Pinnick had appeared to be satisfied with the coach’s work. “Rohr’s contract is due for renewal in June and we don’t have any issue with him right now,” Pinnick said in a Channels TV interview last week.

“(If we’re to offer a new contract) we’ll strengthen the clauses that domesticate Rohr himself in Nigeria and to our leagues. He needs to go round, watch some of the leagues.” Pinnick has played the perfect politician’s game right there, claiming there is no issue while clearly highlighting that it is no longer business as usual with Rohr.

The German, never one to back down from any battle even if it’s one which he cannot win, in typical fashion stood his ground when confronted with Pinnick’s quote on the eve of his team’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin Republic. Rohr denied knowledge of any contract talks as he spoke to the press in Uyo ahead of Wednesday’s fixture against the Squirrels. “No he (Amaju Pinnick) did not speak about it at all. But I know that he has sometimes a different opinion like me,” Rohr said.

“But that is football. I never accepted to make a choice coming from the officials. My choice is to take the best players. “Unfortunately, we could not take more players from the league because they did not play (the NPFL went on a long break). So it was difficult for them to be fit.

The CHAN team also did not qualify. This is also proof that perhaps they missed competition. “I am sure that they have good players here. One of them is Ifeanyi Anaemena from Enyimba who replaces (Bryan) Idowu who could not come. Instead of searching out a player from Europe we picked this young boy. “We try all the time to give the best.

I know that some people may not be happy about my choice but it is my choice and it is always honest.” The key bone of contention here appears to be the need to have more NPFL players in Rohr’s squad going forward, although there is probably a lot more to it than meets the eye. Squad selection should not be a problem since it is the coach’s prerogative. The buck stops at his desk and he gets to get the credit or blame depending on results.

If Rohr and his assistants have not seen players in the NPFL good enough to be in his plans for now, so be it. He is the head coach and he knows the quality of players he needs to get results. A lot has been said about including home-based players in the Super Eagles regularly, but the truth remains that senior national teams are meant for a country’s best players. It’s common knowledge that Nigeria’s best players are based in Europe, the Mecca of world football. Almost every single footballer on earth with ambition wants to take his career to the big leagues of Europe (the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A, the Spanish LaLiga, the German Bundesliga and the French Ligue 1), including players currently in the NPFL.

It is from these championships that Rohr regularly draws his squad from. Where is the problem? Of course if an exceptional talent emerges in the NPFL, Rohr should give him a shot but it remains the coach’s call. Personally, I do not believe Rohr has been a raging success with the Super Eagles.

I felt the team should have done better at both the World Cup in 2018 and AFCON this year, the two tournaments he has attended. But he has his good sides: he has brought a lot of young players through and his squads are not usually filled with players who got in through the back door.

His press conferences and interviews are usually open, engaging and enlightening too. For the sake of the national team and the whole of Nigerian football, the NFF and Rohr should sheathe their swords and work together in harmony.

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Why I make late substitutions in games – Rohr

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Why I make late substitutions in  games – Rohr

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has lifted the lid on why he makes late substitutions in games.

Most of the substitutions by the German tactician often take place towards the end of the match.

The Super Eagles boss, however,  slated that his decision was to ensure he does not make mistakes and gives ample time for the players in the starting XI to make an impact.

“I always try to give the starting XI enough time to express themselves,” Rohr told the media.

“I also have to be very sure that the player I want to take off has done all he can during his time on the field of play.”

Nigeria will take on the Republic of Benin in their opening Group L Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game at Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Wednesday.

The three-time African champions will thereafter travel to Setsoto Stadium to slug it out with Lesotho in their second group match on Sunday.

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