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Eguma Blames Weather For Dolphins’ Failure

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Dolphins coach Stanley Eguma picked on the weather as the reason for his side’s elimination from the CAF Champions League on Sunday in Cameroon.

The Nigeria premier league champions were beaten 1-0 by Coton Sport but were eliminated on the away goals rule after a 2-1 first leg win.

“It was a good game. The two teams played very well especially in the second half,” Eguma offered. “In the first half the weather affected my boys but in the second we had series of scoring chances but failed to put them away. My boys did well. They tried,” Eguma said.

While the weather may have been a factor, the events in the days leading up to the first leg would have played a more crucial role.

Owed an accumulation of match bonuses totaling 29 and going all the way back to last season, Dolphins players embarked on a strike action and refused to train for two days before that game.

The result was a laborious win that allowed the Cameroonian team a telling away goal.

Taking that slippery 2-1 advantage to the second leg was always a risk, and it took CotonSport just 20 minutes to erase it. Jacques Haman rising above the Dolphins defence to score.

It was the same Haman who got the away goal in Port Harcourt two weeks ago.

With a midfield controlled by Congolese international Makaya Baya, Dolphins were at the receiving end for the rest of the first half as the defence of Kennedy Chinwo, Victor Ezuruike, Festus Austin and Victor Babayaro were the busiest on the pitch.

Time and time again, Gaya easily went past his marker, Seidu Abuu who was slow and out of sorts but Haman’s lackadaisical attitude in front of goal ensured he either blasted wide or shot into the hands of Sunday Rotimi in Dolphins goal.

Dolphins had their moments in the first half but the strike force of Ifeanyi Egwim and Emma Nwachi never seemed like scoring.

Cletus Itodo, getting a rare start for the team since joining from Sunshine Stars was played out of position on the right wing and cut a forlorn figure until he was mercifully substituted.

With the Garoua sun going down, Dolphins found renewed zeal and emerged from their shell to launch raids that left the home fans on edge of their seats for the last thirty minutes.

A succession of missed opportunities was to be their undoing. Nwachi, Omoh Ojabu and Kennedy Chinwo all had chances to get the one, decisive goal that Dolphins needed.

All failed to do so, and Dolphins will be left to contemplate life on the scrap heap of continental football.

By contrast, Sunshine Stars showed remarkable resilience to overturn a 4-1 deficit, handing Recreativo Libolo a 3-0 pasting to level their tie 4-4 on aggregate after a 1-4 first leg reverse.

The Akure team will now meet South Africa’s Black Leopards.

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WAFU Zone B Qualifier: Rivers Govt Throws Weight Behind Angels FC

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Rivers State Governor, NyesomWike, has placed a marching order to accord the necessary support needed to aid the Jewels of Rivers, Rivers Angels FC  qualify from  the  West African Union(WAFU) B and ultimately win the CAF Women’s Champions League Cup.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye  disclosed this, Monday, in a press statement signed by the state government’s press officer, Daniel Nwankwoala.
The commissioner commended the team for its victory over Hasaacas Ladies of Ghana in the opening match of their group qualifier, played at the weekend.
He promised to give the necessary support needed, as ordered by the State Governor, to enable the team get the desired results, playing their CAF Women’s  qualifier and win the cup as well.
“The Governor has placed an order to ensure that the team lacks nothing needed,  to help boost their morale, help them perform optimally and aid victory, as they embarked on this maiden competition,”  Iyaye said.
Earlier, head coach of the team, Edwin Okon,  has expressed optimism that his team will perform even better, having prepared adequately for the competition.
“We will fight to the end, my girls will do even better job. I can assure you that, the(players) are  in high spirit and determined to win.
“I am glad that we don’t have injuries worries, so, we are set and ready to do Nigeria proud,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Port Harcourt, Nigeria representatives started  their campaign in the WAFU Zone B qualifier  with a 2-0 win against their Ghana opponents, Hasaacas Ladies on Saturday, to get closer to qualification for the semi-finals.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Sports Minister Hails Anyanacho,Offiong

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has described Elizabeth Anyanacho as a future star.
Anyanacho lost 12-7 to Turkey’s Nur Tatar in the Round of 16 of the women’s 67kg taekwondo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday morning.
Dare, who watched the bout, congratulated the 22-year-old despite the defeat.
“You’ve done well against a world champion. Keep your focus. The world will soon rise to salute you in the near future,” Dare told Anyanacho.
Tidesports source reports that he was also on hand to encourage Edem Offiong, who lost 4-1 in the second round of women’s table tennis to the USA’s Lily Zhang.
“You exhibited strength and talent. Nigeria thank you for making the country proud at the Olympics,” Dare told Offiong.
The pair of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori also lost their second Group B match in the men’s doubles badminton event against Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, while Dorcas Adesokan was beaten 2-0 by Spain’s Clara Azurmendi in the opening Group B match of the women’s badminton singles.

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We Won’t Give Up On Playing For Nigeria – Ogwumike Sisters

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Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams say they haven’t given up their dream of representing Nigeria in the future after they were denied the opportunity to play for the country women’s basketball team at the Tokyo Games.
The three WNBA stars, who all have American and Nigerian citizenship, would have strengthened D’Tigress squad at the Olympics, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled they were ineligible to represent Nigeria at the moment after having played for the United States.
“I still have a lot of pride and high hopes for the Nigerian team as it is composed now,” Nneka Ogwumike said.
“So, maybe this time around, I won’t be a part of it directly, but I certainly do hope that I can be in the future.”
“I think the fight has just begun,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “I cannot accept to being called a naturalised citizen, when I have full citizenship.
“People don’t know the extent to which my family, and myself in particular, ever since I was at Stanford, has been going back to Nigeria to help. So to have someone say that I am not Nigerian is not fair to my family or my heritage or myself. It just does not feel right at all.”
Williams, who plays for the Atlanta Dream said, “It’s really about the principle now. We’re still going to keep appealing and fighting because I think people need to understand there are a lot of us that have dual citizenship. Even if we grew up here, our households look very different than what people think, and that part of us is very real.

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