Connect with us

Sports

Real, Bayern Brace For Titanic Encounter

Published

on

Real Madrid must overturn a one-goal deficit against Bayern Munich if they are to book their place in the UEFA Champions League final.

Jose Mourinho’s Real went down 2-1 in the semi-final first leg at Bayern’s Allianz Arena last week.

The hosts took the lead through France forward Franck Ribery in the 17th minute of the match.

The visitors from Spain had more than their fair share of chances, and registered a deserved away goal through Germany midfielder Mezut Oezil eight minutes into the second half.

It looked like the teams would be locked at 1-1 going into the return fixture in the Spanish capital, until Mario Gomez struck an injury-time winner for Bayern.

The German outfit carry a slender advantage with them to Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but Real’s away goal renders Bayern’s position precarious at best.

Domestic considerations could also have an impact on the outcome of Wednesday’s clash.

Bayern have nothing left to play for in Germany after seeing Borussia Dortmund retain their Bundesliga title with a 2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.

Given Dortmund’s imminent triumph, Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes could afford to change all of his team’s starting 11 for their match away to Werder Bremen on the same day.

Only goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luiz Gustavo were retained from the side which started against Real.

It was a very different story for the La Liga leaders, who contested the defining match of their domestic season, away to defending champions Barcelona.

The visitors emerged with a 2-1 win from their visit to Camp Nou, thanks to goals from Sami Khedira and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Reflecting on the importance of the clash, which has effectively secured the La Liga title for Real, Mourinho retained exactly the same starting line-up from the team which played in Munich.

The question now is how many of those first-choice players can recover in time to begin their third crucial game in the space of nine days?

The likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Kaka, Marcelo and Raul Albiol could all be in contention to start in Madrid if one or more of their team-mates pull up sore.

Real would be bidding to reach their first Champions League final since winning the competition at Hampden Park in 2002.

Bayern, who lost the 2010 final to Inter Milan on their last visit to the Santiago Bernabeu, are aiming to reach the showpiece decider at their own Allianz Arena home.

The winner of Wednesday’s match would face either holders Barca or English Premier League outsiders Chelsea in the final, to be held in Munich on May 19.

Continue Reading

Sports

Aiteo Cup: Diri Hails Bayelsa Finalists

Published

on

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has lauded the feat of the state-owned football teams who reached the finals in the male and female categories of the 2021 Aiteo Cup.
Diri, while congratulating Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens for their outstanding performances, praised their indomitable spirit and resilience in surmounting the odds to qualify for the last stage of Nigeria’s oldest football competition.
Bayelsa United, who plays in the second tier Nigerian National League, on Friday defeated Premier League neighbours Rivers United 1-0 in the semi-finals, while Bayelsa Queens crushed perennial rivals Rivers Angels 5-0 to reach the women’s final.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, described Bayelsa United as “giant killers” for defeating Premier League sides Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and Rivers United on their way to the final.
“The excellent run of Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens in this year’s Aiteo Cup is very heartwarming. Both teams reaching the finals is no mean feat. I congratulate them for making the state proud and setting a record of teams from the state playing in the finals of the male and female categories of the same competition for the first time,” Diri stated.
“By their outstanding performance, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens have shown that the sporting revolution of our Prosperity Administration, which resulted in Bayelsa placing third in the last National Sports Festival in Edo State for the first time, is on course. I therefore urge them to complete their excellent run in the competition by bringing home the trophies.

Continue Reading

Sports

D’Tigress To Play Mozambique In Afrobasket

Published

on

Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’Tigress, have been drawn to face Mozambique and a yet to qualify team in Group B of the 2021 Women’s Afrobasket, which holds from September 17 to 27 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The draw was held in Yaounde last Saturday.
D’Tigress will be hoping to retain the title they won two years ago in Senegal, where they defeated the hosts in the final. A win in Cameroon will mean they have won the last three editions of the tournament.
The Nigerians will know their final group opponent when the FIBA Zone 6 qualifiers take place from August 16 to 22.
In Group A, hosts Cameroon will face Cape Verde and Kenya, while Senegal, the most successful team in the competition’s history with 11 first-place finishes, will slug it out with Egypt and Gabon in Group C.
Mali, Ivory Coast, and a team to be decided via wild card will fight for a slot in the next round in Group D.

Continue Reading

Sports

Ebonyi Football Fans Celebrate Nwankwo Kanu At 45

Published

on

Football fans in Ebonyi State yesterday, celebrated the birthday of formerNigerian international and Arsenal legend, Nwankwo Kanu.
The former Super Eagles skipper turned 45 yesterday.
Tidespoets source gathered  that the 1993 FIFA U-17 world cup winner, fondly called “Papillo’’ by his fans had 86 caps for Nigeria.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club of Owerri’s talisman scored 13 goals for Nigeria in an enviable career that spanned from 1994 to 2010.
Kanu is a recipient of the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), an Olympic Games football gold medalist and had illustrious club careers with Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion of England.
Defunct Ebonyi Angels FC of Abakaliki Defender, James Onele, said that Kanu thrilled soccer fans across the world with sublime skills and trademark passes.
“Kanu won two African Footballer of the Year awards, an AFCON silver medal, four AFCON bronze medals among other honours.
“He was the first Nigerian, alongside Finidi George to win the prestigious UEFA champions league trophy with Ajax in 1995,” said Onele.
An Arsenal FC supporter, Ejike Okoro, said the club’s fans were proud of Kanu’s achievements during his time with the English Premier League side.
“Kanu played 197 times for Arsenal, scoring 44 goals and was part of the club’s invincible team that did not lose any match in the 2003-04 EPL season.
“He was instrumental in endearing Arsenal to millions of Nigerian soccer fans, despite later dropping to lowly-rated clubs such as Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion,” Okoro said.
A banker and football enthusiast, Chief Barry Ogoh, told active footballers to emulate Papillo in investing adequately for the ‘rainy day’.
“Kanu, Augustine J.J. Okocha, among other ex-internationals are still financially stable as many ex-internationals have become bankrupt.

Continue Reading

Trending