It was late drama in Turkey and Germany as Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund made it to the semi final stage of this year’s UEFA Champions League.
After coming into the second leg of the Champions League quarter Final against Turkish champions, Galatasaray with a comfortable 3-0 first leg victory, Cristiano Ronaldo got Real off to a perfect start with seventh minute goal to all but kill the tie as a contest.
But a second half fight back by Galatasaray occasioned a frenetic finish to an otherwise comfortable night for Jose Mourinho and his men. Emmanuel Eboue kicks started the rennauisance when he scored in the 58th minute.
Former Mourinho wards, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba put Galatasaray 3-1 up in the 70 and 72 minute and 3-4 on aggregate to put Real on the edge.
But Ronaldo struck again in their minute of added time to seal Real’s passage to the semi final with a 5-3 aggregate victory.
In Germany, it was another late dramatic finish as homers, Borussia Dortmund, starring defeat in the face at the end of regulation time scored twice withion stoppage time to break Malaga’s heart and send their fans to delirium.
The first leg had ended goalless in Spain last week, but when Malaga took the lead twice, first through Joaquin in the 23rd minute and Eliseu in the 82nd, Malaga looked home and dry with the semi final ticket.
However, Reus and Felipe Santana’s added time goals added to Lewandowski’s 40th minute effort to complete an unlikely turn-around for Dortmund to progress and promise likely all Spanish and German semi finals with Barcelona and Bayern favourities to join the party from the remaining quarter final matches.
Real Madrid survived a second-half onslaught from Galatasaray in their Champions League quarter-final to reach the last four for a record 24th time.
Cristiano Ronaldo silenced the Turkish crowd with an early volley and Galatasaray rarely threatened until Emmanuel Eboue’s thumping strike.
Wesley Sneijder steered in and Didier Drogba’s backheel left Real rocking, before Ronaldo killed their hopes.
Real substitute Alvaro Arbeloa was sent off following two late bookings
The Spanish champions’ comfortable 3-0 victory in the Bernabeu left Jose Mourinho’s team within touching distance of the semi-finals and many expected the second leg to be a formality for the nine-time European champions.
For the opening hour it was exactly that, as Real played with a measure of confidence and assurance from the first whistle.
But Eboue’s spectacular goal sparked a dramatic turnaround and set up a grandstand finish in Istanbul.
Mourinho, bidding to become the first man to win the Champions League with three different clubs, will be relieved that his team regained their composure in the final 10 minutes to put the tie to bed.
Ronaldo finally put the tie beyond the Turkish champions as he drilled past Fernando Muslera in injury-time – almost 90 minutes after seemingly ending their hopes with the opener.
But Real quickly found their rhythm and already had Galatasaray on the back foot before Ronaldo swept in Sami Khedira’s low right-wing cross.
If Galatasaray’s task was not difficult enough already, the away goal left the hosts needing to score five goals to advance.
However Real continued to control possession and were only denied a second goal in the first half by Uruguay international Muslera.
Ronaldo was the architect of a flowing move, flicking into the path of Angel Di Maria whose fierce shot was instinctively pushed over the crossbar by Muslera.
Galatasaray barely threatened in the opening 45 minutes, with Sneijder forcing Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez into his first save with a low 20-yard shot shortly before the half-time break.
Real continued to stroke the ball around in the early stages of the second half as they looked to further subdue their already-deflated opponents.
However, Borussia Dortmund scored twice in injury time to snatch a dramatic Champions League victory over Malaga and secure a place in the semi-finals.
Marco Reus and then Felipe Santana struck for the German side, although the winning goal – poked home from a matter of inches – looked offside.
After a goalless first leg in Spain, Joaquin scored from 20 yards for Malaga before Robert Lewandowski equalised.
Substitute Eliseu looked to have scored Malaga’s winner before the late goals.
Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp had talked before the match about his desire to see his team’s “wonderful story” continue but it looked as though they would pay for wasting several good chances during the first leg.
Eliseu had finished from close range eight minutes from time – another goal allowed to stand despite a strong hint of offside – to leave Dortmund needing to score twice.
But the vociferous home crowd were sent into raptures as first Reus slotted home into an empty net from eight yards after the ball ran fortuitously into his path and then Santana pounced after a huge scramble inside the penalty box.
Several Dortmund players looked to be offside as the initial ball was played into the Malaga area and, seconds later, Santana was also in an offside position when he scored the winner, touching home a goal-bound effort from substitute Julian Schieber.
Dortmund’s obvious joy was in stark contrast to the emotions of the defeated Malaga players, with a cruel end especially harsh on coach Manuel Pellegrini, who had only arrived in Dortmund on Tuesday after flying back from his native Chile, where he had attended the funeral of his father on Monday.
The campaign was Malaga’s first in the Champions League and there will be no possibility of a repeat next season as a series of off-the-field financial problems means they are banned from European competition during the next campaign when they are eligible to compete.
Dortmund remain the only undefeated team in the competition – but after a disjointed performance that required an ending reminiscent of Manchester United’s victory over Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final to seal their progress.
Iyalo D King Cup: Obidianso FC Emerges Champions
Obidianso Street FC of Port Harcourt has emerged winners of this year’s edition of Iyalo D King, 4 Aside football tournaments at the Amanakana football Stadium, Diobu, on Sunday, in Port Harcourt.
Speaking with journalists, after the finals match, the Chief sponsor of the competition, Victor Fubara, said the tournament was to sustain the existing peace and unity among the youths in Diobu axis of Port Harcourt.
He noted that there were a lot of talents in the area which needed help, saying that, with the competition a lot of hidden talents has been discovered and they will be exposed to the world of football.
“I want to use this competition to change the narrative about the youths of Diobu in Port Harcourt.
I want to tell you that there is peace and unity among the youths in the area.
You can see joy and happiness on the faces of the people watching the game.
My main purpose of organizing this tournament is to foster the existing peace and unity, also to pass a massage to the outside world that what they think about Diobu is different, “ Fubara stated.
Fubara who is popularly known as Diayo, revealed that he brought some scouts to select some good players.
“I personally just want to do it for them,” he said.
He used the medium to call on the Government to support his agenda and programme in terms of youth empowerment in different areas.
“My message to the youths is to stop violence and embrace peace,” he stated.
At the end of the finals, Obidianso Street FC defeated Awgu Street FC 2-1 on penalty shootout after playing goalless draw in regulation time.
By: Kiadum Edookor
Kano Pillars To Pay N5m Fine Over Covid-19 Protocol
Kano Pillars have been charged for breaching the NPFL Framework and Rules, following the infraction in their Matchday 27 fixture vs Akwa Utd at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna last Sunday.
The Kano club has been charged for breaching the Covid-19 Protocol by admitting and/or permitting spectators and supporters into the venue.
Pillars are also charged for encroachment after their supporters encroached onto the field of play, thereby disrupting the match.
The club is further charged for failing to provide adequate security leading to failure in crowd control and restriction of access by unauthorised persons to restricted areas.
In line with The Nigeria Football Federation directives, Kano Pillars are hereby sanctioned with a fine of N5 million for breaching the Covid-19 Protocol.
A fine of N2.5 million is also imposed on Kano Pillars for encroachment by their supporters, which led to a discontinuation of the match.
There is also an imposed sanction of a deduction of 3 points, which shall be suspended for the duration of the remainder of the season, subject to good conduct.
The club also faces a venue sanction of being banned from their Kaduna home ground and subsequently moved to another venue if there is a recurring event.
Kano Pillars have been directed to submit a revised security plan within 7 days and ensure they comply strictly with Covid-19 Protocol. All subject to approval by the LMC.
The club, however, has 48 hours from the date of notice to appeal these sanctions.
Super Falcons Have So Much To Offer – Oshoala
Asisat Oshoala is proud of Super Falcons’ spirited second-half performance against the Portuguese last Monday.
The African women’s champions came back twice to force the Europeans to a 3-3 draw at their second Group game in the ongoing National 2021 WNT Summer Series at the BBVA Stadium.
Reacting to the result, the Barcelona Femino striker, hailed the fighting spirit and said the team had so much potential.
I am proud of everyone. We were two goals down and then 3-2 in the 88th minute and we did it. I want to say this is just the beginning.
“We have so much in this team. We don’t even know what we have, people out there kept cheering us when we had the ball because we kept on pushing. That’s the spirit!” she said.
Following the thrilling six-goal match, the Super Falcons will head to Austin yesterday for today’s final match against the United States at the Q2 Stadium as Jamaica and Portugal bid the Summer Series farewell after two games.
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