They’ve beaten the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in American football’s Super Bowl 51 in Houston.
Former Enyimba coach, Kadiri Ikhana has described as huge achievement the side qualification to the lucrative group stage of Caf Champions League.The Nigerian champions edged the Tunisian giants, Etoile Sportive du Sahel 7-6 on penalties after both legs of the encounter ended three goals apiece for the sides in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and Sousse, Tunisia respectively.Ikhana said the two-time African champions have by that singular heroic act put the nation’s name on the front banner of top clubs in the continent. “Enyimba’s qualification to the group stage of the Caf Champions League at the expense of the Tunisian side, Etoile du Sahel is a huge achievement and we must say big congratulations to the side.“Enyimba have succeeded in putting Nigeria’s name on the world map of top football playing nations.“For some time now no Nigerian club has been able to qualify for the group stage of the Caf Champions League.“Enyimba went to the lion’s den to the pull qualification ticket from the mouth of Etoile du Sahel, it’s not a mean feat but a huge achievement for the entire country.“I believe that Enyimba are wiser with the harrowing experience in Sousse, Tunisia in the hands of Etoile du Sahel to know how to prepare for the group stage hostilities.“Enyimba are good side and have what it takes to rewrite the sterling performances in Africa achieved in 2003 and 2004 but they must work quite hard to realise the lofty dream,” said the head coach of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) to supersport.com.The former Nigerian right back guided the People’s Elephant to win the Caf Champions League title in 2003.Enyimba’s progression to the group stage of Africa’s first tier club competition has ended the almost four-year search for a berth in the group phase by any domestic club side.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Oto “Joe Boy ” Joseph, on Sunday night became the national lightweight boxing champion after defeating Nurudeen Fatai at GOtv Boxing Night 7, held at the National Stadium, Lagos.The bout lived up to its billing, with both boxers giving their best.Joe Boy, who once defeated Fatai by a knockout, seemed he was minded to repeat the trick. Fatai, however, stood firm. He had to endure a lot of punishment from his nimbler and clearly better opponent right up till the end of the 12-round contest. Joe Boy was announced winner by unanimous decision and was adjudged best boxer of the night, winning N1million and the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy-for the second time.In other fights, Idowu Okusote defeated Chibuzor Vincent by a first round knockout out in their cruiserweight bout, while Rilwan Babatunde defeated Osamudiamen Goodluck in their lightweight duel.Another winner on the night was Chukuwebuka Ezewudo, who defeated Ganiyu Kolawole in a middle weight duel.The heavyweight category delivered the only drawn bout at the event, with neither Ebenezer Okoli nor Abiodun Afinnih able to swing things to his advantage.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
ZENITH Bâ€™BALL LEAGUEThe third Phase of the National Women Basketball League Sponsored by Zenith Bank ends today in Asaba. Â Abuja and Kaduna hosted the first and second phase respectively.First Bankâ€™s Elephant Girls and last year’s runner up, Dolphins look certain to repeat the same feat this season as both sides have remained unbeaten as the third phase draws to an end.First Bank Basketball Coach, Peter Ahmedu, is confident that his will retain the title after beating FCT Queens 118 – 33 points yesterday.Ahmedu said the victory was due to the commitment put in by the old generation bank adding that their target is to make the team a household name in the continent.He explained that the league has shown that so many talents are untapped and abound with the display put up by such new teams as Sunshine Angels and GT2000 in the League.He thanked the sponsor, Zenith Bank, for leaving up to its promise by keeping the women busy in face of the present economic recession adding that they would ensure they repay the bank by winning the continental ticket next year.“Zenith Bank has been wonderful for keeping the League aglow for 13 years, we are grateful to them for providing a source of employment for the women folk,” he said.The League continues in a fortnight in Ibadan with the final leg slated for Lagos with the best eight teams.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Ernest Chinwo in Port HarcourtRivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday met with the leadership of the Real Madrid Foundation as part of the requirements to establish a Real Madrid affiliated football academy in the state.Officials of Real Madrid Foundation were led by its Managing Director, Julio Gonzalez, and International Area Manager, Rosa Roncal Gimenez.The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Mr Boma Iyaye, was also present at the meeting. The meeting that held behind closed-doors at the Real Madrid Foundation office at the Santiago BernabÃ©u witnessed both parties concluding discussions on the areas of partnership.In an interview after the meeting, Wike said the deliberation went on satisfactorily, noting that the partnership has reached its highpoint.The governor said the academy would help the state harness the opportunities inherent in football as it would empower the upcoming generation.He said: “This is the concluding part of the process of establishing a Real Madrid Academy in Rivers State. It is our dream to empower our youths through football.“Today, you know that football is big business and one of the ways to improve the economy.“This meeting is the height of our deliberation to get the academy started. We are happy that this has gone on satisfactorily. Rivers youths will reap the benefits of the Academy.”Highpoint of the meeting was the presentation of a special Real Madrid jersey with “NEW” printed at the back to the Rivers State governor by the Managing Director of Real Madrid Foundation, Julio Gonzalez.International Area Manager of Real Madrid Foundation, Rosa Roncal Gimenez, lauded the governor for the initiative to set up a Real Madrid Academy in Rivers State.Wike was billed to meet with the Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez, later yesterday evening.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Nigeriaâ€™s U20 menâ€™s football team, the Flying Eagles, saturday left for Cairo for a two â€“match tour of Egypt as part of the teamâ€™s preparations for the qualifying series of the 2019 Africa U20 Cup of Nations.Head Coach, Paul Aigbogun will lead the new group that is being put together with the mandate not only to return the Flying Eagles to the Africa U20 finals which they missed last year, but also to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and go one better than the Class of 1989 and Class of 2005 that won the silver medals.The trio of Elkanemi Warriorsâ€™ Nur Mohammed, Ikouwem Utin of Enyimba FC and Plateau Unitedâ€™s Eneji Moses, who impressed with the Super Eagles B at the African Nations Championship in Morocco earlier in the year, are in the 23 â€“man squad that will face the Junior Pharaohs. Kano Pillarsâ€™ Nazifi Yahaya, Nasarawa Unitedâ€™s Douglas Achiv and Akwa Unitedâ€™s duo of Duarw Nuhu and Adeshina Gata are also in the contingent.Team Administrator Aliyu Ibrahim Lawal told thenff.com that the Flying Eagles will take on the Junior Pharaohs on Tuesday, 27th March and Thursday, 29th March, with both matches to hold in Alexandria.The seven â€“time African champions will be up against the winner of the preliminary fixture between Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau in the first round of the qualifiers, with the first leg to hold in either Bissau or Freetown in mid-May. Niger Republic will host the 2019 Africa U20 Cup of Nations.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Arsene Wenger wants to finish his “love story with Arsenal well” as his side face Atletico Madrid in Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg.The Frenchman will leave the club this summer after 22 years in charge.Arsenal travel to Madrid with the tie poised at 1-1 after Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann equalised late on in the first leg at the Emirates. They must score in the second leg (20:05 BST kick-off) to stand a chance of qualification.The Gunners’ only hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League is to win the Europa League.They will definitely be without Wenger next term, but the 68-year-old has not yet said what his plans will be after Arsenal.“I don’t know what I will do next season,” he said. “At the minute I think I would like to finish well my job.“I believe a man has to give his best as long as he is somewhere, with all my commitment and energy I would like to walk out of Arsenal one day and think until the last day I focused only on Arsenal.“When my job is finished at Arsenal I will see where I go from there but I want to finish this love story well.”‘Our job to keep Costa quiet’Arsenal have failed to win away from home in 2018 in the Premier League, but Wenger says their domestic record will have no bearing on the game.“In Europe we have done well away from home and we just want to focus on the game and our performance,” he said. “The players will not be too worried about the Premier League form.”Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa is likely to face Arsenal and Wenger says his side are aware of the threat Atletico’s strike force will pose.He added: “He has shown that he can make a difference. He played in England and was successful but it is our job to keep him quiet. Maybe the best way to do that is to play in their half and not ours.“Antoine Griezmann has done very well here in Madrid and unfortunately he hurt us last week. He is a player I rate very much and he has made it away from home. I think he has had an exceptional career.”Henrikh Mkhitaryan was substituted with a knee injury during Arsenal’s defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, but the Armenian midfielder has travelled with the squad and could play, while David Ospina is expected to retain his place in goal.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Last Sunday, the young forward tweeted: “Every story, every adventure has and must have an ending. My story and journey with FC Robo Queens have come to an end. It’s been an extraordinary nine years journey….. am indeed very grateful to God.”Continuing she said: “From my heart, I want to appreciate all at FC Robo Queens, especially my fatherly head coach Emmanuel Osahon, who tremendously developed me to who I’ve become. Thanks for everything. I promise that you’ll forever be in my heart. In my soul, I will forever be a Robo Queens player. And to everyone that contributed to my progress so far and made this dream come true, thank you all, God bless you and answer your secret prayer.”During her time with Robo, the forward earned invitations to the National U-17, U-20 and senior women’s national team and won the 2018 CAF Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.Having finished ninth in the Toposerien log last season, coach Lena Tyriberget bolstered her squad with the highly rated 19-year-old versatile forward’s signing ahead of the 2018-19 season.“When you look at her age and her merits – been central to the U-20 team and the senior national team, most recently in the Africa championship that Nigeria and Rasheedat won. You realise thatRasheedat is a very promising Nigerian national team player. As a player type, she is typically either number 8 or 10 on the pitch,” said club’s coach Lena Tyriberget last Wednesday.“She is good with the ball, is forward-looking in the game and has a good drive. She is a player for the future. We look forward to having Rasheedat with us for the next two years.”The new league season starts in March and Ajibade will be focused on settling in her new surroundings.The Nigerian international said, “it’s a dream come true” for her after joining Avaldsnes. The 19-year-old was handed a two-year contract in Norway after ending a nine-year stay with FC Robo Queens.Her move came on the heels of her title-winning debut at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana as she scored once in four appearances for the Super Falcons.“I am grateful to God and it feels like a dream come true,” Ajibade told Goal.“I’ve been so excited since I secured my deal, being it’s my first professional contract. Before going to Ghana (for the Africa Women Cup of Nations), I had told myself that I have to go there to fight for my place and prove my worth to everyone.“I also vowed that I will not leave Robo Queens to any other club in Nigeria, but work hard for a good offer abroad comes for me. It’s definitely going to be a stepping stone because it won’t end there as it’s another journey for me.“I think playing for Avaldsnes and being introduced to the European style of play in my game will polish my skills and improve my personality. I just have to go there and perform better, gain more experience than what I’ve had already.“I believe the club will help me improve and also challenge for my place in the Super Falcons ahead of the next year’s Women’s World Cup. With God and my performance, I promise to help my club succeed in Norway and make the Nigeria squad to France.”Ajibade further issued an emotional farewell message to her childhood club, FC Robo Queens, and coach Emmanuel Osahon while pledging to remain a good ambassador of the club.“I wish to appreciate everyone at FC Robo Queens for how far and much they have contributed to my development and career success so far.”“I love them and will miss everyone at the club. I want them to know that any day and anytime, I still remain at Robo Queen and will always represent them well anywhere I find myself and will do my best to give back to the club.“To the upcoming players at Robo, if it can happen to me, I believe everyone can have the same opportunity of going far and wide. I will urge them to keep working hard and doing their best.“I also want to thank coach Osahon. He has been the backbone of every success I’ve achieved today and has tolerated and persevered with me. I am very grateful to him,” Ajibade said.Avaldsnes manager Tyriberget believe they have snapped up one of Africa’s most promising young talents ahead of the 2019 Toposerien season which starts in March.Born December 8, 1999, Ajibade has represented Nigeria at U-17, U-20 and the senior national team. She has been playing for FC Robo since the 2013 Nigeria Women Premier League season. In 2014, she was listed as one of the best young talents in the league and in September 2018, she won the Nigerian women football freestyle competition for the second consecutive time.During the 2015 NWPL Week 2 games, Ajibade was listed in the team of the week, compiled by Soccerladuma South Africa, despite her team losing to Confluence Queens during the round of matches.Ajibade won the first edition of Nigeria National Freestyle Championship, which is a competition to promote freestyling football and in 2017, despite Robo not being among teams that finished tops, Ajibade was voted Player of the Season after scoring eight goals to save her team from relegation.In 2018, she was nominated as the Best Player in the 2017 NWPL at Nigeria Pitch Awards.Ajibade scored once as Nigeria won a ninth title at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana and was a joint-top scorer with 10 goals as the Falconets qualified for the Under-20 World Cup this year and also helped the senior B Team to a third-place finish at the 2018 West Africa Football Union title.She is regarded as one of the best female freestyle footballers in Nigeria after winning the competition back-to-back in September.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram For an average Nigerian player, his or her dream is to one day leave the shores of the country and join the big leagues in Europe and for Falcons star, Rasheedat Ajibade, it was a dream come true as she put pen to paper for Norwegian side Avaldsnes on a two-year dealIn spite of the Super Falconets of Nigeria not going past the quarter-final stage at the 2018 FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup in France, Rasheedat Ajibade was one of the shining lights in the Nigerian team and it did not come as a surprise as she was named in the Nigerian team to the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations where she won the tournament alongside her teammates.Late last year, Ajibade made a shocking revelation as she left FC Robo after penning a farewell message to the club as she brought an end to her nine-year career at the NWPFL club. The 18-year-old who recently signed for Norwegian side Avaldsnes on a two-year deal, is one of many expected to leave FC Robo before the new league season.
Fernando Llorente and his Tottenham Hotspur teammates celebrating the ticket to the semi final of the 2018_2019 UEFA Champions League UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE*Liverpool sets up Barcelona semi clashTottenham ended Manchester City’s quadruple bid as Fernando Llorente’s goal settled a see-sawing free-scoring Champions League quarter-final.The game began at a frantic pace with five goals inside 21 minutes as Raheem Sterling and Son Heung-Min both scored twice and Bernardo Silva found the net. Sergio Aguero’s goal after the break put City ahead in the tie, but Llorente bundled in to put his side back ahead.In a dramatic late twist Sterling saw an injury-time winner ruled out by centre referee Cüneyt Çakir after consulting the VAR. Spurs will play Ajax in the last four.In the other game of the night, goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah set Liverpool on their way to a thumping 6-1 aggregate win over Porto as they eased into the Champions League semi-finals.Leading 2-0 from the first leg at Anfield, Liverpool were forced to survive an early bombardment in the saturated Estadio do Dragao before taking control.Mane opened the scoring with a sliding effort – from Mohamed Salah’s scuffed shot – which was confirmed by VAR, before Salah stroked in a second after the break from a superb counter-attack.Real Madrid-bound defender Eder Militao pulled a goal back for the hosts before close-range headers from Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk sealed an impressive victory.Liverpool will face Barcelona in the first leg of their semi-final at the Nou Camp on Tuesday 30 April.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Commenting on the occasion, Visa’s Country Manager for Nigeria, Kemi Okusanya, said, “Visa is a long-standing supporter of football and we are proud to be leveraging our sponsorship of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations in such a positive way.“It was heart-warming to witness the joy of the player escorts as they led the players into the stadium.“The special moment marked the culmination of weeks of preparation since the Unstoppable Stories campaign was launched. Congratulations to each of the player escorts who represented Nigeria with honour in front of a global audience and to everyone who contributed to the success of the inspirational campaign,” she noted.Speaking after the match, Basil Okpara Jnr., one of the five player escorts from Nigeria said, “Travelling to Cairo and being a player escort was a huge honour and an incredible experience. Leading the football players into the stadium in front of a cheering crowd was a memory that I will treasure forever and I would like to thank Visa for making it possible.”Kehinde Osidele, mother of Osidele Elijah, added, “I was extremely proud to watch my son escort the players onto the pitch at the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric and it is was a moment I will cherish forever. Thank you to Visa for making my son’s dreams come true.”Through Visa’s sponsorship of the player escort programme for the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament, more than 1,100 children from around the world have been given the opportunity to lead out their football heroes as they take to the field during the football tournament.Visa’s sponsorship of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2019 and 2021, makes Visa the exclusive or preferred payment services provider at all venues and the official partner of the player escort programme.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Visa made the dreams of five Nigerian children come true when they led some of the world’s best football players onto the pitch at Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo during the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final match between Tunisia and Madagascar last Thursday.Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments and official sponsor of the prestigious tournament, gave the lucky children the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be player escorts as part of its Unstoppable Stories campaign, which was launched in earlier this year.The player escorts, who were also treated to a three-day trip to the capital city, were Tijani Ibrahim 10 year old from Lagos State, Basil Okpara, 9 year old from Imo State, Osidele Elijah from Ogun State, Adebayo Oluwaseun, 9 year old and Olubowale Oluwanifemi 10 year old, both from Lagos State. The children were identified through Visa’s Unstoppable Stories campaign for 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations, which called upon children to share their stories and inspirations of what makes them or their heroes unstoppable.