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Rivers United Maintains Premiership Status

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Rivers United FC last Sunday effectively swam to safety in this season’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after hammering helpless Gombe United 3-0 in the penultimate fixture of the season.
Bernard Ovoke converted two penalties to inspire Rivers United’s victory.
Rivers United failed to breach their opponent’s rear guard despite dominating proceedings in the first half.
A quick start by the hosts saw them win a penalty minutes after the restart after the referee adjudged that Christian Weli had been fouled in the box.
Ovoke stepped up confidently and fired hard and high into the corner post a despairing Danjuma Hussaini in goal for Gombe United.
The home side won another penalty in the 65th minute after a Gombe United defender stopped Emeka Ogbugh’s goal-bound effort with his hand.
The responsibility from 12 yards again fell to Ovoke who this time choose to go to the left, sending Hussaini the wrong way in the process.
Victory last Sunday lifted Rivers United to 11th on the NPFL standings with 52 points from 37 matches while Gombe United have now been relegated from the NPFL with 43 points from 37 matches.
Meanwhile, after 13 years of no continental club football action in Lagos State, modest Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries FC defeated Nasarawa United 2-0 courtesy of goals from Okorom Stanley and Tchato Giscard to claim a deserved spot in the next edition of CAF Champions League.
The Olukoya Boys beat the imagination of many to do the unthinkable following their victory over the Solid Miners in one of NPFL Matchday 37 fixtures played last Sunday at the Soccer Temple, Agege Stadium.
Nasarawa United started the exciting encounter guns blazing with series of sleek passes but they later surrendered to the resilient of the Lagos-based team after the first five minutes of exchange.
The man of the match, Okorom was the first to make a statement for MFM FC two minutes after the visitors surrendered their dominance when he tested Suraj Ayeleso with a right-footed shot but the Nasarawa United goalkeeper saved his effort.
Olatunbosun Sikiru was brought down near the edge of the visitors’ box and the referee signaled for a free kick in the 12th minute. Okorom scored from the free kick via a superb strike that left Nasarawa United defenders in dismay.
The right-back capped his man-of-the-match performance with an assist when he delivered a well tailored cross to Tchato Giscard to head home the second goal in the first minute of the added time. The encounter ended 2-0 and the Olukoya boys booked a continental ticket after a successful two-year campaign in the Nigerian top flight.

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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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