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S’Eagles Lose 1-3, Maintain Edge Over Argentina

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles, despite missing key players like Captaine Joseph Yobo, Osaze Odemingie, Taye Taiwo, Vincent Enyeama and others, yesterday in Dhaka, Bangladesh, stretched Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina before falling 1-3 to the South Americans.

It was a second leg international friendly put together after the Argentine team suffered a 1-4 reverse against the Eagles in Abuja on June 1.

There was talk of revenge and steamrolling of the Nigerian team by Argentina, who were flabbergasted by the June 1 result in Abuja.

But inspite of going two goals up within a space of two minutes in the first half, a second half revival and push by the Super Eagles made the victory at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka less comfortable than it first appeared.

Captain Messi orchestrated the first two goals scored by Real Madrid’s pair of Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria in the 24th and 26th minutes, respectively.

A goal in the opening minutes of the second half by substitute Chinedu Obasi, with his second touch of the ball signaled a fight back by Nigeria.

It looked as if the Eagles would claw back their deficit from the Argentines, whose second half performance was more withdrawn than their attacking approach in the first, until an own goal by Uwa Echiejile killed off the game for Argentina.

Overall, it was a spirited performance by the Samson Siasia led Super Eagles over a loaded opposition determined to extract vengeance. However, it marked the first time Siasia would lose a match as Super Eagles coach.

Though Nigeria lost the friendly, it was not enough to eclipse the Abuja performance which led to the exit of the then Albiceleste coach.

New Coach Alejandro Sabella will be content with the win, although there will be concerns over the team’s rhythm and inability to impose their will on the game.

Gold Monday

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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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