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New Zealand’s Coach Proud In Defeat

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New Zealand’s coach, Stephen Cain watched his wards blown off the park by an unstoppable Nigerian team in a 5-0 whitewash but he insisted that he remained proud of his team.
“I am imeensely proud of my team’s performance tonight. We’ve lost against a world-class team – they would have beaten any opposition this evening. It was a bridge too far for us.
They were too quick, too strong, too clever, with 11 men on the field, it was difficult. With 10 men, it was impossible. And they are a hell of a side,” Cain said immediately after the match.
Three goals in the first half and two more in the second, saw the hosts and defending champions coast to the biggest margin of victory so far in the tournament, and the New Zealand coach pointed out that the two early goals put paid to their pre-game tactical plans.
“We were a little unlucky with the first two goals, as they came from loose balls, although it must be said that they were quickest to them.
“Our plan was to hold them for at least the first half hour so that doubts would start to creep in, but after they’d scored two such early goals, it was an uphill struggle.
“They made full use of the pitch, used all the space and kept possession throughout. They were just too strong for us.
“But I’m proud of my players, and I’m convinced that they’ll emerge from this tournament as better players and better people.”
And he had no reservations about picking Nigeria to successfully defend their crown.
“I always thought they were the favourites. I never said so, because I don’t want to frighten my players. But yes, they are a great team. If anybody beats them, they’ll deserve to win this.”

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Finidi George Begins  Tenure On A Winning Note

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Super Eagles legend Finidi George began his tenure as the coach of Enyimba Football Club of Aba on a winning note.
The former Nigerian international was appointed as the coach of Nigeria’s most successful club, Enyimna FC last month, and he could not have hoped for a better start.
Finidi had revealed in his press conference that he was at the club to win, and that was what he did in his first match in charge.
The former Real Betis winger led his boys to a 1-0 win over ASC Diambars in the first leg of their second round qualifying match of the CAF Confederations Cup in Senegal.
It was not an easy victory, though, as Enyimba had their goalkeeper to thank for making vital saves to keep the away side in the game.
Substitute Cyril Olisema’s late penalty ensures the Peoples Elephants go into the second leg in Aba with a slight advantage.
It was Enyimba’s first game in the competition after they were drawn in the first qualifying round. Finidi will now hope his side can finish the job at home and seal a place in the playoff round.

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‘I Remain One Of Africa’s Best Strikers’

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Former Super Eagles striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni believes he ranks among the best strikers out of Africa.
Tidesports source reports that Aiyegbeni sits fifth on the list of all-time African goalscorers in the Premier League with 95 goals, just behind Togolese striker, Emmanuel Adebayor’s 97 for Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Crystal Palace.
The Nigerian featured for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton and Blackburn Rovers over a nine-year period, and believes his record stacks up favourably considering his club’s comparatively lower standings.
“I’ll still remain one of the top strikers from Africa, no matter if those guys score more than 100 goals,” he said. “Don’t forget they played for some of the biggest clubs in England.
“To score 15, 17 goals in Portsmouth, Middleborough, Everton and Blackburn is big as well. If you can get 15 goals in a season as a striker in England, it’s a great season for you.
“For me, it’s an honour to score that many goals. I got injured and didn’t play for one year. If I had, I would have scored more than 100. I had chances to do it, but the time was right for me to leave, so I went to China.”
As for current players, Manchester City’s Algeria international, Riyad Mahrez (67), sixth on the list, and Arsenal’s Gabonese striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (66), seventh, still have some way to go to trouble the top five.

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Whyte Ogbonda Satisfied With Team’s Performance

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Manager of Osun Babes Whyte Ogbonda has commended his players’ performance at the on going 2021 edition of the Flying Officers Cup Tour name ng and tasked them to be more determined when they face Royal Queens in their next encounter.
Ogbonda made the commendation during a telephone chat with Tidesports at the weekend.
The Ogbonda led side played a goalless draw against Bayelsa Queens on Fridau to book a place in the quarters finale of the major Women Football preseason Championship in Africa.
According to the former Ibom Angels manager, rhe game against Bayelsa Queens was a great test and it really helped them(Osun Babes FC), as they continue to build a team for the new season.
“Truly, our preparation was not ideal before now, but I told my players before the match that it is very important that we go past the first round and qualify for the next round.
‘It was very tough out there and you could see that we needed to work together more because at times we were pushed beyond limits.
‘We are happy to be in the next round of this tournament and with more hard work, I believe we will get better as a team.”
Osun Babes will play in the quarter-finals against Royal Queens Today at the Area 10 Sports Complex, Abuja.

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