More
    Home Blog Page 3

    Volleyball: Professor Adeyanju, Aina Tips Nigeria U18/19 for Nations Cup Glory

    0

    The Vice President of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Professor Florence Adeyanju, and Ex International, Lola Aina has tipped the national U18/U19 as one of the favourites to win the 2021 African Nations Volleyball Championship in Abuja.

    Professor Adeyanju and Aina gave the hints during the presentation items to the teams on Monday.

    Adeyanju believes that the team has the potential to better Nigeria’s previous achievement at the last tournament in Kenya.

    She said, “The country had always been blessed with talented and glory-seeking young Volleyball players.

    “I believe the present crop of players in the country will do better than our own time. They stand a bright chance of representing the country at this year’s World Championships”.

    Former captain of Niger women’s volleyball team believes that the U18 Girls and U19 Boys can make the nation proud.

    Aina who was represented by the Coordinator Lola Aina Foundation, James Asoa urged Nigerians not to lay unnecessary pressure on the teams.

    “The Nigeria U19 Boys are the favourite in this tournament because they are the team to beat and that is why it is not surprising when you see teams who play against them come out in full force.

    “Those who tip the boys as favourites are not wrong because of the quality of players they parade.

    “Nevertheless, I would want us to move step by step and see how we progress in the competition”.

    Lola Aina an ex-international, former Captain of the Nigeria Volleyball women’s team donated bags, water bottles, and backpacks to the 28 players planning to represent the country at the U18 Girls and U19 Boys African Nations Volleyball Championship in Abuja.

    MFM FC Vs Nasarawa United FC: Inside the Visitor’s Camp

    0

    Sixth-placed Nasarawa United FC has tended to recover well from the few disappointments they have suffered this season and will be hoping to consolidate on their recent 3-0 whitewashing of FC Ifeanyi Ubah in Lafia last Wednesday by continuing their strong NPFL form on Monday afternoon against 16th- placed host, MFM FC at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.

    This will require the Solid Miners to show more intensity than they did against their last away hosts, Jigawa Golden Stars, and overcoming the psychological effect of their previous three straight losses.

    Though MFM will be hoping to bask in the euphoria of their goalless draw at Katsina during the midweek to cause an onslaught on the visitors, Coach Bala Nikyu feels a team like Nasarawa United should be higher up the ladder than where they currently stand and is working assiduously to extract more than his side are currently giving him, especially in the accuracy of passing from the backline to the final third.

    The United gaffer said ” We have to play on the front foot as any points picked up in Lagos would boost my team’s quest for the top spot finish this season.

    “We have to be mindful of counterattack and alert to any danger, but most importantly, we have to utilize our chances upfront for the duration.”

    The Solid Miners have tasted defeat only four times this season and after having a feel of the Agege Stadium on Sunday evening, appear to build on their fine start to the season when the whistle sounds against the Olukoya Boys later today.

    United enjoyed the lion’s share of possession the last time both teams met at the same venue last season, forcing a goalless draw.

    Ikenna Offor is enjoying his hot form in United’s shirt, capping it with his first goal of the campaign last weekend, and hopes to get higher on that.

    “As for the game against MFM, we are very much ready.

    “The playing turf is fantastic, and this will help bring out our best”, the energetic player said.

    The defensive midfielder, Victor Okoro who played all ninety minutes in the visitors’ last game in Lafia is optimistic his team will leave Lagos with their heads high.

    “MFM FC is not a bad side, but with the team spirit coupled with the level of our preparation, I believe we can cause some surprises here.

    “I also hope to score my first goal here.”

    FORM GUIDE IN LAST FIVE GAMES

    MFM FC: LLLWD

    Nasarawa United FC: LLWLW

    The Nigeria Professional Football League matchday thirteen fixture between MFM versus Nasarawa United comes up later today (Monday) by 4 pm at the Agege Stadium, Lagos, with the referee, Bashir Adamu, taking charge of proceedings.

    Kwara United Override Warri Wolves as Brazilian Import Made his First NPFL Start

    0

    Kwara United on Sunday produced superb performance against visiting Warri Wolves winning the NPFL week 13 encounter 2-0 at the Kwa ara state stadium.

    Having drawn the last home game against Abia Warriors last Wednesday, Kwara United made Warri Wolves to suffer the consequence by overriding the visitor’s good footballing display.

    Coach Abdullahi Biffo decided to give Brazilian import Lucas Alves, his first NPFL in the game and the winger had the chance to register his name on the score sheet in the first minute only for his shot to hit the post.

    Two minutes later, Jide Fatokun also missed a superb chance which would have given Kwara United the lead after benefiting from a glorious pass from Afeez Nasiru, but he was unable to score.

    Man of the moment Stephen Jude eventually netted the first goal for Kwara United in the 7th minute via a powerful long-range shot in which Warri Wolves goalkeeper Bulus had no answer for.

    The first half however ended 1-0 in favour of Kwara United at the Kwara state stadium.

    Warri Wolves changed their style of play in the second half, but they were unable to make anything happen in front of brilliant Kwara United defenders.

    Michael Ohanu broke the hearts of the visitors in the 57th minute when he scored the second goal for Kwara United in a brilliant fashion.

    The Harmony Boys went on to win the match 2-0 and Coach Abdullahi Biffo praised his wards for their wonderful display against Warri Wolves.

    “I am happy for this result and I must praise my players for their efforts which gave us the three maximum points.

    “My appreciation also goes to all Kwarans for their support for me and my team and I want to assure them that we will continue to do our best and get more good results this season,” Biffo told Kwara United media.

    With this win over Warrri Wolves, Kwara United are now topping the NPFL table with 25 points and the Harmony Boys will be traveling to Bauchi choice Wikki Tourists in NPFL week 14 tie.

    Nigeria Super Eagles Hopefuls, Ademola Lookman, Josh Maja Shine as Wasteful Fulham Held to a Goalless Draw at Palace

    0

    Nigerian hopefuls Ademola Lookman and his compatriot, Josh Maja were in sterling form for his London club Fulham as they played out a scoreless draw away to Crystal PalaceSelhursthust Park in one of the early kickoff matches of the English Premier League on Sunday

    The Cottagers missed a chance to move within one point of Newcastle and Brighton after wasted chances again cost them in a goalless draw at Crystal Palace.

    Newcastle’s draw with Wolves on Saturday had handed the Cottagers an opportunity to ramp up the pressure on the teams above them but, ahead of a daunting run, they were found left wanting in front of goal.

    With Tottenham, Liverpool, and Manchester City coming next, Fulham arrived knowing this was a good chance to boost their survival push.

    Their nerves showed a little on the pitch in the opening half an hour, which was cagey with little free-flowing football on show.

    Joachim Andersen almost hooked an Andros Townsend cross into his own net before heading high and wide from Ademola Lookman’s corner and again from a free-kick moments later.

    The two men perhaps most capable of grasping control of this contest, Ruben Loftus-Ch, eek, and Eberechi Eze, were well shackled by their midfield counterparts and neither side managed a shot on target before the break. Vicente Guaita held the first from either side with ease when Tosin Adarabioyo could only manage a tame header from Lookman’s free-kick.

    Fulham had more zip early in the second half however, Loftus-Cheek finally coming to life as he was able to slip free of the Palace midfield for the first time before being hacked down by Luka Milivojevic. Andersen fizzed the resulting free-kick just wide of Guaita’s goal, but the visitors were lifted.

    Loftus-Cheek and Harrison Reed were ensuring the tempo were high and the Chelsea loanee forced another save with a low left-footed effort before teeing up January signing Josh Maja, who turned and bent a strike wide of the far post.

    Maja has brought a goal threat to Parker’s side and has revived their survival hopes, the former Sunderland man was desperately unlucky not to add to his two Fulhasgoals when Guaita tipped his close-range header away.

    It was another chance missed but they kept coming. Gary Cahill flung himself in front of Andersen’s effort following a corner and Loftus-Cheek again had Guaita concerned but his 25-yard volley flew wide.

    Iheanacho Fires Blank in Leicester’s 1 -3 Home Loss to Arsenal

    0
    LEICESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 23: David Luiz of Arsenal wrestles with Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on September 23, 2020 in Leicester, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

    Super Eagles of Nigeria striker Kelechi Iheanacho was on the losing end in Sunday’s early kickoff in the English Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at the King Power Stadium.

    With Leicester trailing Arsenal 1 – 3 at 94th minutes, Iheanacho had the chance to pull one goal back for the Foxes but blast his effort wide in the six-yard box.

    The ball bounces to Iheanacho from a corner and the Nigerian is free in the six-yard box. Amazingly he blasts it over the bar when he looked destined to score.

    ARSENAL
    Arsenal is back in Premier League action as they face Leicester City at midday.

    The Gunners have had their European travels to contend with after scoring a last-minute winner against Benfica to secure a Europa League round of 16 tie clash with Olympiacos for the second consecutive year.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s crucial goal means Mikel Arteta’s side still has something to play for this season but they will be determined to finish as strong as possible in the Premier League.

    They come up against an organized Brendan Rodgers team who currently find themselves in third place, but Arteta refuses to use the long travel time from Greece as an excuse for tired legs on Sunday afternoon.

    “We have to travel back on a four-hour flight but we won’t use that as an excuse,” said Arteta before the game.

    “We have to deal with that, we know that when you play in a European competition you have to be able to perform every three days and we will prepare to play Leicester with the same intensity like we always do.

    “They’ve been consistent in the league. I think they’ve done a lot of good things, there’s not any luck or anything like that in how they’ve developed as a team.

    “They have a really good manager, a great coaching staff and they have made a lot of good decisions in the last few seasons.”

    Arsenal has a fully fit squad to choose from with Rob Holding now available after returning from a concussion.

    Edo State Deputy Governor Applauds Sports Minister

    0

    The Deputy Governor of Edo State Honorable Philip Shaibu has commended the Minister of Sports Mr. Sunday Dare for reviving the Principal’s cup.

    Speaking at the ceremonial kick-off in Lagos he said “I want to use this medium to thank Mr. Sunday Dare for reviving the Principal’s cup.
    I am a product of the Principal’s cup, I played in Kaduna in my secondary school days and I’m so excited to be part of this great day. I am impressed with what I have seen by the organizers of the Principal’s cup. It is evident that Mr. Dare has repositioned our sports with his innovations and vision of turning sports to business in the country”.

    He further added, “Sustaining this National Principal’s cup is a pointer that we can produce more talents for the country”.

    Defending Champion Mees Palace Set for the Tsemba Women U14 and U16 Football League Which Kicks Off in March

    0

    By Oluchi Tobex Tobe-Chukwu.

    The much-awaited Tsemba Women Youth League has been slated to commence next month in Jos, the Plateau state capital, the organizers of the league confirmed.

    The league which started in 2019 and was on hold in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be taking place for the second time after its inaugural edition two years ago.

    Mees Palace is the defending Champion for the U13 category since 2019.

    “Our boys were phenomenal when we won the Tsemba Women title in 2019. Over time our boys have acquried basic football techniques and have grown. People should expect even more beautiful football this year in the league”. Tony Shav, MPFA Sporting Director exclusively told tobexmedia.com.

    Unlike the 2019 edition which featured only U13 class, this year’s edition of the league will feature U14 and U16 categories for teams within Plateau State and its environs. Over 1200 kids are set to participate in the league which is expected to last for seven months.

    Organizers of the league have made concerted efforts to ensure the players have been well screened to verify they are of the right ages while using biometrics to register all the players that will be participating in the league.

    Matches will be in a home and away format and will be played every weekend while the kids are in school, but will play midweek matches during the holidays.

    Organizers of the league have affirmed that the league is purely for developmental purposes and, although prizes will be awarded to the winners and the best players in each team, every player will get a participation medal at the end of the league.

    Mr. Talk and Do, Sunday Dare Revives Principal’s Cup after Over 3 Decades of Inactivity

    0

    The story of grassroots football in Nigeria cannot be complete without a mention of the prestigious Principal’s Cup, a competition that is best remembered for its glamour, razzmatazz, and excitement.

    About three decades ago, a nation was held spellbound by the brilliance of some emerging football talents who went on to become superstars after helping Nigeria win laurels both on the continent and on the world stage

    The likes of Friday Ekpo, Friday Elahor, Stephen Keshi, Samson Siasia, Daniel Amokachie, Tijani Babangida, Garba Lawal, Austin Okocha, and many more, cut their soccer teeth on the streets before going on to represent their various schools at the prestigious Principal’s cup competition.

    In those days, this event carved out its own special memories. Many talked about the exploits of some unknown quantities like Ansarudeen and Nawarudeen colleges, two secondary schools that left tongues wagging with their brilliance and artistry.

    The likes of Saint Finbars College, Igbobi College, Kings College, and Saint Gregory College were the dominant forces. These schools produced some of Nigeria’s past superstars, the majority of whom were present at the REVIVAL CEREMONY held at the Agege Stadium Lagos on Friday and graced by top dignitaries from all walks of life.

    On assumption of office as Nigeria sports minister, Sunday Dare made several promises, and key among these promises are…

    Rehabilitating Nigeria sporting Monuments that is the government-owned stadia and like ‘fidelity bank’, he has kept his promise.

    The Moshood Abiola National stadium in Abuja is under construction and could be completed before the end of April while the national stadium in Surulere Lagos is also undergoing serious rehabilitation. The Daura stadium in Katsina state was completed in Iust under 5months while other federal stadia are in line for federal consideration.

    According to Dare, his priority is to revive grassroots sports and if he must achieve this, he has to make the facilities readily available for the athletes to train.

    Reviving Grassroot sports at all levels was a key priority and the glamorous Principal’s cup which has since gone moribund due to neglect needed urgent revival. These were his pledge about two years ago and today he has made that dream a reality.

    The Creme Dela Creme in the Nigeria football family gathered inside the Agege stadium in Lagos on Friday to grace the official opening of the Principal’s Cup, a competition that has died a natural death in our hearts because past sporting authorities failed to keep to their promises.

    Igbobi College and Government college gave the large crowd at the Agege stadium plenty to savor with some scintillating football that held many spellbound and brought back memories from our glorious past.

    A delighted and satisfied Sunday Dare said at the opening ceremony, that he is happy to be part of history. He particularly thanked the sponsors and all the ministry staff who worked endlessly to make this dream a reality. He promised that as long as he remains in office, he will strive to sustain the tempo and retain the memories.

    NFF first president Seyi Akinwunmi who himself is a grassroots crooner was there and offered his support to the sports minister’s pledge to sustain the competition and return the glamour while chairman of the league management company, Shehu Dikko echos the need for most of these talents to be signed up by league clubs as the NPFL needs to start absorbing younger players into the league to make it more competitive and vibrant.

    Nigeria ex-internationals like Daniel Amokachie who today, is the special assistant on sports to President Mohammadu Buhari and two-time former BBC African footballer of the year Austin Okocha were among those who gave kudos to Sunday Dare for thriving where his predecessors failed.

    Chairperson of the Nigeria women’s league Aisha Falode summed up the accolades by describing Sunday Dare as a ‘miracle worker’. She said what he has achieved in less than two years, most of his predecessors failed to do in four years.

    Sports Minister Declares National Principal Cup Open

    0

    The much-awaited principal cup finally got underway on Friday as Igbobi College and Government College Kaduna raised the curtain on the competition in a grand style at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.

    According to the Minister of youth and sports development Mr. Sunday Dare who is the brain behind the revival of the principal cup, “it’s a dream come true to be here today, to watch young stars kick off the National Principal cup. We are so proud of what they’ve done today. I hope that young talents will be discovered from this principal cup to become the likes of Daniel Amokachi, Franklin Howard, Tajudeen Disu, Waidi Akanni who are here as a source of inspiration to these young stars”.

    He furthermore said that the Principal’s cup brought friendship and fostered unity, therefore we want to bring back its lost glory. “Some products of the Principal’s cup include Segun Odegbami, Daniel Amokachi, Henry Nwosu, Tajudeen Disu, Ali jeje who became notable internationals”.

    While reiterating his Vision, he said “Part of my vision when I assumed office is talents discovery. I will be glad if talents discovered here can become world stars like The Amokachis, Ekejia, Odegbamis, Adokiyes of this world.”

    The Minister concluded by saying, “The principal cup has come to stay. The students must combine football with education, they should emulate ex-internationals who combined education with football like Segun Odegbami, Adokie Amiesimaka, Dr. Felix Owolabi, Patrick Ekeji, Seyi Olofinjana, and among others”.

    Notable dignitaries who graced the occasion include Deputy Governor of Edo state; Comrade Phillip Shaibu, Honourable Minister of State for Education Chief Emeka Nwajiuba, NFF Vice presidents Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi, Shehu Dikko, Daniel Amokachi, President of Nigerian Olympic Committee, and a host of others.

    Arsenal, Man Utd, Rangers into Europa League Last 16 as Leicester Exit

    0

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice including a late winner as Arsenal qualified for the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday with a 3-2 victory over Benfica in Greece, while Manchester United and Rangers cruised through to the next round.
    The Gabon striker put Arsenal ahead at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus in their home leg of a tie relocated due to Covid-19 travel restrictions between Portugal and the United Kingdom.

    Diogo Goncalves leveled the contest with a magnificent free-kick and Rafa Silva gave Benfica a 2-1 lead on the night when he took advantage of an error from Dani Ceballos on the hour.

    Kieran Tierney rifled in an equaliser and Aubameyang headed in the decisive goal from Bukayo Saka’s cross on 87 minutes, earning the Gunners a 4-3 aggregate victory and saving them from an unusual away goals exit following a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Rome.

    “Everyone is happy tonight. This is what gives me power every day, take errors from the past and transform them into strength,” Aubameyang told BT Sport.

    “The team showed a lot of character and we deserved the win. It was a hard game. What we showed tonight will be an example for the future.”

    United cemented their place in Friday’s draw with a 0-0 draw at home to Real Sociedad, having effectively clinched the tie last week with an emphatic 4-0 win on neutral ground in Italy.

    Mikel Oyarzabal’s awful penalty miss represented the best chance at Old Trafford for La Real, while Bruno Fernandes rattled the crossbar and Axel Tuanzebe’s header was disallowed for a foul.

    Leicester City, who are behind second-placed United in the Premier League only on goal difference, was knocked out after sliding to a 2-0 loss at home to Czech champions Slavia Prague.

    Lukas Provod fired Slavia in front just after half-time following a goalless draw in the first leg, and Senegalese teenager Abdallah Sima ensured the visitors extended their run in the competition.

    “We didn’t create enough over two legs. We didn’t defend with any intensity. We gave away two disappointing goals. The better team won,” said Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers.

    – Gerrard praises ‘outstanding’ Rangers –

    Steven Gerrard’s Rangers progressed following their 5-2 win over Belgian side Antwerp at Ibrox, with five different players on target for the Scottish league leaders.

    After a dramatic 4-3 win in the first leg last week, goals from Alfredo Morelos, Nathan Patterson, and Ryan Kent put Rangers in control before late penalties from Borna Barisic and Cedric Itten wrapped up the tie 9-5 on aggregate.

    “I’m very satisfied, the performance was outstanding in a lot of areas,” said Gerrard.

    “The first three were top high-level goals. But, as a perfectionist, we still have to look at the areas we went wrong tonight.”

    AC Milan squeezed past Red Star Belgrade on away goals after a 1-1 draw in a clash of former European champions at the San Siro.

    Franck Kessie’s early penalty was enough to book Milan’s place in the last 16 despite El Fardou Ben Nabouhane equalising as the tie finished 3-3 over the two legs.

    Napoli’s dismal run continued as they were knocked out 3-2 on aggregate by Granada despite winning 2-1 in the return fixture in Italy.

    Ajax eliminated French Ligue 1 leaders Lille with a 2-1 victory in Amsterdam to complete a 4-2 overall win, while Gerard Moreno netted both goals as Villarreal dumped out Salzburg 4-1 on aggregate.

    Egyptian forward Ahmed Hassan’s 88th-minute strike in Eindhoven sent Olymiapkos through at the expense of PSV 5-4 on aggregate, while Roma and Young Boys brushed aside Braga and Bayer Leverkusen respectively.

    Former winners Shakhtar Donetsk completed a 3-0 aggregate victory over Maccabi Tel-Aviv, while Norwegians Molde dumped out Hoffenheim 5-3 on aggregate following a 2-0 win in Germany.

    Dinamo Zagreb and Dynamo Kiev complete the line-up for the last 16, with Tottenham Hotspur also in the mix after destroying Wolfsberg of Austria by an aggregate score of 8-1 on Wednesday.