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Teranga Lions Outclass Benin’s Squirrels

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Senegal claimed a narrow but deserved 1-0 win over Benin to become the first team to advance into the semifinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Midfielder Idrissa Gueye scored the only goal of the match at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo last Wednesday, securing the Teranga Lions a place in the final four of the AFCON for the first time since 2006.
Chances were hard to come by in the first half, with the defences very much on top. Senegal generally enjoyed the greater share of possession, but they struggled to penetrate Benin’s resilient rearguard, led by the excellent Olivier Verdon.
Senegal star Sadio Mane had a sight of goal relatively early on, but he was denied from a tight angle by goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe and had also been flagged offside anyway.
Just past the midway point of the first half, Benin had their first moment of threat in attack, with Mickael Pote sending a shot just wide of the mark following a free kick for the Squirrels.
The last notable incident before the interval was a scramble in the Benin box in which the Teranga Lions saw several attempts blocked by last-ditch tackles, leaving the teams locked at 0-0 after 45 minutes.
The second half was immediately more open and entertaining, with Pote and Mbaye Niang missing out on good chances at either end within the opening six minutes after the restart, before Kalidou Koulibaly’s header found the back of the net but was ruled out for offside.
The Teranga Lions made a double change a few minutes after the hour mark, with Krepin Diatta and Mbaye Diagne replacing Keita Balde and the injured Niang respectively.
Yet it was Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis who nearly made headlines with an attempted pass from deep in his box which slid off his instep and rolled just wide of the posts, narrowly avoiding a howler of an own goal.

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Eguma Not Disappointed Over Rivers United, Heartland Draw

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The technical manager of Rivers United football of Port Harcourt, Stanley Eguma said he was not disappointed as he dropped points at home in the match day two of the Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL).
He stated that his team prepared adequately knowing that Heartland FC of Owerri is coming to fight for the three points.
Eguma said this in a  post match interview with Sports journalists after they played one all  draw against Heartland FC at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, on Sunday in Port Harcourt.
According  to the number one coach in  the State, the problem of his team was the inability to  score goals, adding that the problem is not peculiar to his team, but it seems to be a general problem for all the teams in NPFL.
“ We prepared very well because we knew  Heartland FC came to fight with their last blood”, Eguma said.
He explained that they were demoralised when they opponents scored early goal.
“No match is easy  in the NPFL because every team needs the three points,” he explained.
As it stands pride of the State has two points after playing two matches.
He further  commended Heartland FC for running away with a point in Port Harcourt,  adding that he is going back to the drawing board to correct the grey areas.

By: Kiadum Edookor.

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Obuh Sure To Win At Home

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Head coach of Akwa United, John Obuh, has said his team will take maximum points at home when they square up against Abia Warriors in one of the rescheduled NPFL fixtures.
The Promise Keepers started the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season with a 1-1 draw against Warriors Wolves in matchday 1 while, Abia Warriors were  2-0 winners against Katsina United.
Coach Obuh, who will be taking charge of Abia Warriors for the first time in front of their fans, has set his sight on  getting the three points in their first game at home.
“We hope to have the best possible start, especially as we will be playing at home. Our fans and supporters deserve good result. Victory on Thursday will set us on the right track to achieving our target”.
“This is a new NPFL season and we cannot afford to depend on past records and statistics. We have a match to play, we have prepared very well for it, and I can assure our fans that we will not underrate our opponents and we will not leave any stone unturned.
“My players are ready to play, they are fully aware of how the three points will help our course this season, we believe that we will get it right on Thursday. All we need is the support of our fans,” Coach Obuh revealed.
The last encounter between the two sides ended in a 2-2 draw last season.
While the two teams have met eleven times in the NPFL in which the Promise Keepers recorded two victories, six draws and three defeats.
The match is slated for Thursday at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

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Draw Excites FCIU Coach

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Following his side’s 1-1 draw against MFM over the weekend in match day 2 of the Nigeria Professional Football League, head coach of FCIU, Uche Okagbue, has revealed that hard work on the part of the players was solely responsible for the team’s display.
Speaking with brila.net, Okagbue also revealed that the main goal for the team is to ensure they keep doing their best as they aim to win the league or at least grab a continental ticket.
“We are in the league for a surprise and we follow matches the way it comes”.
“We are also working towards getting a continental spot “
“The secret so far is hard work, we promise the fans of FCIU that we are going to do our best this season in the league”.

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