It was a solitary goal for African strikers in the English Premier League as Arouna Kone scored for Wigan in their 1-2 home loss to West Brom.
However, 28 other strikers from the continent registered their names in the scors sheet across Europe at the weekend to indicate bumper return for African strikers in Europe.
Kwadwo Asamoah scored one of the goals for Juventus as they crushed Pescara 6-1 to stay at the top of the table with a four-point margin. The Ghana striker scored his side’s third goal in the 30th minute, his first in two months after 12 games.
Mounir El Hamdaoui made sure of the points for Fiorentina who won their fourth straight game by defeating AC Milan 3-1. The Morocco striker secured the points with three minutes remaining after coming on as a substitute in the 56th minute.
Equatorial Guinea striker Rodolfo Bodipo found the back of the net in added time for Deportivo la Coruna, but his side lost a two-goal lead to lose 5-3 away at Real Zaragoza. Bodipo came on as a substitute in the last eight minutes to score his second goal this season for Depor who lie in the bottom three of the table.
Nancy are stuck at the bottom of the table after losing their third consecutive game 3-1 to visiting side Rennes. Nancy had equalised through Nigeria striker Simon Zenke, scoring for the first time this season, in the 50th minute, but Burkina Faso’s Jonathan Pitroipa sealed the game for Rennes with six minutes remaining as he netted in his fourth goal of the season. Cameroon striker Paul Efoulou , failed to reduce the deficit after he missed a penalty in the 82nd minute, four minutes after coming on as a substitute.
A goal by Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou just before half-time secured the points for Lille who defeated Brest at home.
Gabon striker Pierre Aubameyang continued his fine form as he scored two minutes to time for Saint Etienne who defeated Troyes 2-0. Aubameyang has scored eight goals in 12 games for Saint Etienne. He is the league’s second top scorer with two goals short of Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Paris Saint-Germain.
A goal in each half by the Algeria midfielder Foued Kadir helped Valenciennes to a 3-2 away win at Bastia. It was Kadir’s fifth Ligue 1 goal and helped lift Valenciennes to fifth position.
Tunisia defender Aymen Abdennour was on the score sheet for Toulouse who were beaten 4-2 at home by Ajaccio. Mali striker Sigamary Diarra was among the scorers for Ajaccio with his first goal of the league.
Ghana’s Andre Ayew gave Marseille the lead in the 40th minute as his side drew 2-2 at home with Nice. However, Marseille have a game in hand and are equal on points with leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Two African goals, both from the penalty spot, ensured that the encounter between Kasimpasa and league leaders Antalyaspor finished with the two sides sharing the points. Nigeria striker Kalu Uche rescued the home side Kasimpasa by converting from the spot in the very last minute after Morocco’s Ismail Aissati had given Antalyaspor the lead 13 minutes earlier.
DR Congo striker Lomana Lua Lua came on mid-way into the second-half to seal victory for Karabukspor who came from behind to beat Istanbul BB 3-1. The Cameroon striker Pierre Webo had given Istanbul the lead after just four minutes of play.
Fenerbahce moved up to third position after a 2-1 victory over Orduspor with Senegal striker Moussa Sow scoring the opening goal in the 11th minute.
Nacional played the last two minutes at Vitoria Guimaraes with 10 men but they had already secured the points mid way in the second-half to win 3-1 after coming from behind. Ladji Keita from Senegal and the Angola substitute Mateus were both on target for Nacional.
Somalia striker Liban Abdi accounted for the only goal of the game in the 29th minute as his side Olhanense defeated Beira Mar. Abdi has now scored four goals in the league.
Hamdi Harbaoui broke the deadlock after 42 minutes to give Lokeren the lead in their 2-1 victory over Standard Liege. After the Tunisia striker celebrated his fourth goal of the league, the South Africa midfielder Ayanda Patosi scored Lokeren’s second in the 65th minute to take his tally to six goals.
Senegal striker Mbaye Leye equalised for second-placed Zulte-Waregem in the 73rd minute as they drew 1-1 at home with 10-man Mechelen.
Anderlecht triumphed 6-1 over rivals Club Bruges to remain at the top of the table with the DR Congo striker Dieudonne Mbokani scoring one of the goals in the 33rd minute.
Nigeria striker Ahmed Musa made sure that CSKA Moscow maintained top position after scoring twice as his side beat Kuban Krasnodar 3-1.
Anzhi Makhachkala are in second position despite drawing 1-1 at Locomotiv Moscow. Morocco midfielder Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez gave Anzhi the lead in the 72nd minute but Senegal striker Dame N’doye equalised six minute later to salvage a point.
Two giants of Greek football, both on extreme opposite ends of the Super League table, met on Sunday for a chance to win some bragging rights. And it was the league leaders Olympiakos who triumphed emphatically with a 4-0 win over rivals AEK Athens, who are languishing at the bottom of the table.
Algeria midfielder Djamel Abdoun scored from the penalty spot to give the visitors the lead in the 23rd minute, and with only 10 men to continue, it was all downhill afterwards for AEK Athens.
Waalwijk won only their third game in 12 league matches after beating Utrecht by a resounding 4-0 score line to climb up to 11th position. Morocco defender Imad Najah was on target for Waalwijk, whose previous victory was back in August.
Ideye Brown scored twice at the weekend for Dynamo Kyiv who crushed Metalurh Zaporizhya 5-0. The Nigeria striker has taken his tally to 10 goals so far to become second-top scorer in the league.
Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone scored for Wigan but could not prevent them from going down 2-1 to West Brom. Kone got o0n the end of a Jean Beausejour cross to finish from six yards.
Eguavoen, Lawal Call For Better Pitches Across Nigeria
The Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation, Austin Eguavoen, and former Super Eagles midfielder, Garba Lawal, have lauded the new pitch of the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, venue of the ongoing Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament in Lagos.
The duo, who spoke on the sidelines of the competition, want the stadium’s turf, which was constructed by Monimichelle Group, replicated across Nigeria.
“I remember playing in this stadium in the 1980s, but you can’t compare then and now because the turf is now completely refurbished, well planned with a great synthetic pitch of FIFA standard. We thank the government of Lagos State for this effort and we want more of this in different locations so that we can develop our football,” Eguavoen said.
Tidesports source reports that the former Super Eagles coach also commended the organisers of the Aisha Buhari Cup, saying it was a good test for the Super Falcons.
“I congratulate the person who came up with this idea. The organisation is very smooth, but it is quite unfortunate that all the teams will not play with each other. They are confined to play only two matches each according to the FIFA rules and regulations. But it is a good test for our girls and it affords Lagos residents the opportunity to see other countries play. It will be nice for our football if we can see more of this. It is a wonderful innovation.”
Another ex-international, Garba Lawal, said he would also like to see pitches like the one at the remodelled Mobolaji Johnson Arena turf across Nigeria.
“The pitch is fantastic, superb. The contractor did an excellent job and it is a good atmosphere for players to showcase their skills. I want to see more of this across Nigeria to fast track our football development,” Lawal stated.
Ministry Will Reward Paralympians – Edoreh
Athletes, who represented the country at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics have been promised rewards for their exploits at the games.
Speaking with newsmen, para-sports promoter and former Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter), Fred Edoreh, said the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development was working on rewarding them.
Tidesports source reports that the paralympians, who came back from Tokyo with 10 medals – four gold medals, one silver medal, and five bronze medals, demanded that they be treated like the olympians.
At the olympics, Blessing Oborududu and Ese Brume got instant cash rewards of $10,000 and $7,500 respectively after winning silver and bronze medals respectively.
“I will advise the athletes to just exercise some patience. The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, is hugely committed to the welfare of our para-athletes and it is not imaginable for him to disregard them nor discriminate against them nor renege on the promise of government. They all will remember how the minister used his initiative to provide for the welfare of the athletes during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 without anybody prompting,” Edoreh said.
“I am aware that while in Tokyo the Chef de Mission met with the athletes and assured them that they would be rewarded with the same amount of money as was promised and given to their olympic counterparts.”
He also added that the ministry didn’t want the athletes to go through the stress of changing their money from different currencies.
“The government meant well by not sending the money to them in Tokyo because the Japanese government would have insisted on receiving it in Yen and then they would convert back to dollars, before exchanging to Naira. All that would have reduced the value for them.
“Besides, the ministry would normally wait for the games to end to be able to ascertain the number of medalists.
and how much requisition to make for the reward,” he added.
Sports Minister Pledges Support For Tennis Youngsters
Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, has promised to put the Yakubu sisters, Oiza and Ohunene, and Marylove Edwards on the ministry’s sponsorship list and also reach out to the governors of Oyo and Ekiti states to send the two most outstanding junior tennis talents in the country, Ganiyu Mubarak (Oyo) and Seun Ogunsakin (Ekiti) to tennis academies abroad.
Dare stated this after watching the junior players wow the crowd at the maiden Sapetro Futures Tennis Championship at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
Tidesports source reports that Edwards, 16, and Oiza, 16, are already ranked No.2 and No.5 in the seniors, and have been precluded from playing in the ITA Junior Tennis Circuit.
Dare, who watched Ohunene, 13, overcome the spirited challenge from 14-year-old Success Ogunjobi to win the Girls 16s event 9-2, commended the partnership between the sponsors Sapetro and the International Tennis Academy adding, “This sponsorship, if it continues, will have tremendous impact on the development of tennis in Nigeria.”
The minister’s wish was immediately granted by the Vice Chairman of Sapetro, Senator Daisy Danjuma, represented by the company’s General Manager, Finance, Amos Garga.
Also at the event was former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajumogobia.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the matches,” Ajumogobia said. “I’m amazed at the skill level of these junior players. If we can find a way to send the best 10 to academies abroad, Nigeria will make significant impact in the tennis world in the near future.”
Seun Ogunsakin had turned his match against Damilare Awe from Oyo State in the Boys 14s into an exhibition of his prodigious talent as he completely overran his opponent 9-0, while Mubarak, 14, promoted to play the 16s, met the expectation of the organisers by beating his older opponent Basit Ajao from Lagos 9-6.
In the other finals, Khadijat Mohammed (Abuja) beat Mary Iorlumun (Benue) 9-1 to win the Girls 14s; Ndidi Osaji (Lagos) defeated Vanessa Inyang (Lagos) 9-7 in the Girls 12s. Onyekachi Ogumjiofor (Oyo) triumphed over Seyi Ogunsakin (Ekiti) 9-3 in the Boys 12s and Murewa Egbeyemi (Lagos) continued his domination of an emerging rival with Malcolm Osaji (Lagos) winning 9-4 in the Boys 10s event.
The Sapetro Futures Championship is now part of the ITA Junior Tennis Circuit, which provides the platform for juniors from all over the nation to showcase their talents.
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