African champions Nigeria did what they needed to do by throwing all they had into the game to defeat Korea Republic 2-0 on Wednesday and earn their first three points of the 8thFIFA Women’s World Cup.
In the event, the Super Falcons set the stage for a fierce encounter with host nation France, today as they look to reach the knockout rounds for the first time in 20 years.
Having lost 0-3 to Norway in their first match and realizing they could be heading back home after the group phase, the Falcons opted for a spritely approach against the Koreans. But Captain Desire Oparanozie wasted a great opportunity in the 8th minute when presented with a simple header from a pull-out from Ngozi Ebere. She nodded straight at the Korean goalkeeper.
Perhaps the most inspired decision for the game by Nigeria’s Coach Thomas Dennerby was starting former junior international Chiamaka Nnadozie in goal and sending Tochukwu Oluehi, so jittery against Norway, to the bench. The 18 year –old goaltender simply continued from where she left off at the 2018 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup also hosted by France, where she drew some rave reviews.
She cuddled and punched with good judgment, used her long limbs marvelously and stood between the Asians and any goal in the game. Her competence and confidence enabled the Falcons to push forward in search of goals.
After Korean defender Kim Do Yong misdirected a forward thrust by midfielder Rita Chikwelu past her goalkeeper for Nigeria’s first goal in the 29th minute, the Falcons’ spirit soared and they bossed the game for large periods.
Nigeria could have made it two four minutes after the restart, but Oparanozie’s header from a floated free kick by left back Ngozi Ebere went narrowly over the woodworks.
At the back, Nigeria kept things tight against the faster Koreans, with Onome Ebi, appearing at her fifth World Cup, Osinachi Ohale, Ebere and Chidinma Okeke throwing everything in there.
Rita Chikwelu, Ngozi Okobi, and Chinaza Uchendu worked hard in the middle. But it was the intelligent right back Okeke, another performer from the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup, who got her touches right to send Asisat Oshoala to nick the second goal for Nigeria with 15 minutes left.
Reps Summon Dare Over Doping Crisis At Tokyo
The House of Representatives has begun investigation of the disqualification of Nigerian athletes at the 2020 Olympics over alleged doping, asking the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, to come and explain the preparedness of the Nigerian contingent for the sports festival.
Tidesports source gathered that the resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion at the plenary on Wednesday titled, ‘Need to Investigate Activities of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development on Failed Doping Test by Nigeria Athletes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.’
Consequently, the House resolved to “invite the Minister of Sports and Youth Development (sic) to brief the Committee on Sports on the level of Nigeria’s compliance with extant regulations set by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the independent anti-doping arm, Athletics Integrity Unit.”
The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to put necessary measures in place to ensure compliance with extant regulations at both local and international competitions, while mandating the Committee on Sports to “investigate the immediate and remote cause of the failed doping test to forestall future occurrence.”
Moving the motion, Mr Babatunde Ayeni said the Nigerian delegation to the Olympic Games fared well in terms of performance, thereby raising the country’s rating in the comity of nations.
Ayeni recalled the outstanding performance of the Nigerian Football Team which bagged the historic first soccer gold medal at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, United States of America.
The lawmaker lamented the incident of July 20, 2021, where the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations barred 10 Nigerian athletes, including the highly-rated Blessing Okagbare, from the Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing.
He recalled that the Athletics Integrity Unit alleged that Okagbare, who won the opening heat of the Women’s 100 meters, had tested positive for human growth hormone.
“The House is also aware that the allegation further affirmed that the affected athletes failed to comply with the rules requiring those from countries deemed to be at high risk of doping to undergo three no-notice out-of-competition tests in a 10 months’ period leading up to a major event.
“The House is concerned that despite the huge funds being made available yearly for the regulatory agencies in the sports sector, adequate efforts have not been made to get Nigeria into the category where they would be deemed to have made significant improvements in anti-doping tests,” Ayeni added.
NYG: Rivers B’Ball Team Intensifies Preparations
Coach of the Rivers State Male Basket-ball Team, Dagogo Okumgba, has said that preparation, are in top gear for the forthcoming 2021 edition of the National Youth Games (NYG)scheduled to hold in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Coach Okumgba disclosed this yesterday during an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the team is doing everything necessary to get a better outing in Ilorin when the chips are down, saying that the players are in high spirits and are poised to compete favourably when the competition gets underway.
The coach said his players are committed to their preparations for the task ahead and determined to do the state proud at the games come November this year.
“We are doing our part to prepare as a team and wait for a go ahead from the Sports Ministry for camping so as to further prepare and fortify on the earlier made preparation,” Okumgba added.
The team qualified from their zone at the recently concluded zonal elimi-nation for team sports ahead of “National Youth Games” coming up next month.
It would be recalled that the zonal elimination for team events which comprised Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Edo states took place in Asaba, Delta State, fortnight ago.
The date for the competition was earlier fixed for September 7 to 17 this year.
10 Athletes To Represent Nigeria At Winter Olympics
Following the successful completion of its inaugural Olympics Trials in Lagos last Saturday, the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria has stated that 10 athletes would represent Nigeria at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games.
Technical Director, BSFN, Dr. Seun Adigun disclosed this in Lagos.
“Ten athletes will be named for the Winter Olympics.
“We will have two athletes for Bobsled, two in the Monobob women’s team, two athletes for the Bobsled men’s team, two male Skeleton and two female Skeleton athletes for the national team,” Adigun, who played a key role in Nigeria’s debut at the last Winter Olympics Games in Pyeongchang, Sourh Korea, said.
President, BSFN, Solomon Ogba stated that the team would train on ice in Europe, ahead of the Winter Games.
“This is the first stage of the preparation for the Olympics before the athletes train on ice,” Ogba said.
History was made earlier in the year when six athletes, who were selected from the first-ever trials in Lagos, trained and participated on ice for the first time in Pyeongchang.
Tidesports source reports that after a few days of training on ice, Perpetua Nwanna and Alawode Sekinat won bronze medal in their debut competition, after finishing third in the women’s double Bobsleigh IBSFSliding Korea Cup.
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