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Amodu, Ezeugo Praise Federation Cup Standard

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Super Eagles coach, Shaibu Amodu and one time international mid fielder Emeka Ezeugo have praised the standard of the Federation Cup final match played on Sunday between Sharks of Port Harcourt and Enyimba FC of Aba, saying both teams displayed high level performance.

Enyimba won the match courtesy of a goal scored in the 40th minute by Musa Mustapha.

Amodu who observed the final as well as the preceding third place match between Lobi Markurdi and Bayelsa Utd from the technical area told newsmen that he was impressed by the enthusiasm and atmosphere around the final.

However, Amodu who was apparently at the stadium to shop for prospective materials for the national team, said that it is only when professional league matches are played on good turf and television friendly environment that local players could be truly adjudged to be ready for national team.

“It was a good match that was played at a high tempo by both sides, though the third place match was slightly more entertaining than the final that was to be expected because tactics would be a factor. However, I still want to insist that to assess the readiness of home grown players for international look in, we have to expose them to good pitches as we saw on Sunday as well as television friendly environment where they can display their natural potential,” Amodu said.

Ezeugo who played for the Eagles at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul as well as the FIFA World Cup in USA in 1994, also shared the same view about the quality of the final.

The hard marking midfielder observed the quality of the Teshim Balogun Stadium pitch allowed good and flowing soccer which was savoured by the spectators.

“The pitch was fantastic. If you watch that on TV, it will look like a premier league match. The two sides were also great with formidable tradition. They played a tight game – what else can we ask for”, he said. Though he agreed that fewer chances were created in the match he noted that the reason for such was in tune with the character of most cup finals where the emphasis is mostly on cautious approach.”

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Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020

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Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.

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LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,”  he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as  4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.

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S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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