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Angola 2010: Super Eagles Back On Track …Struggle Past Squirrels Of Benin …1Egypt Qualifies For 1/4 Final

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Yakubu Ayegbeni converted a penalty three minutes from half time as Nigeria got their African Nations Cup campaign back on track with a 1-0 win over West African neighbours Benin Republic.

Under pressure following Tuesday’s 1-3 defeat to Egypt. Nigeria were desperate to haul themselves back into contention. and under-pressure coach Shuaibu Amodu duly rang the changes.

Out went defensive trio of centreback Obinna Nwaneri. left back Taye Taiwo and defensive midfielder Yusuf Ayila. In their place, Amodu handed a Nations Cup debut to left back Elderson Echiejile, and brought back Danny Shittu to take Nwaneri’s place at the heart of defence.

Osaze Odemwingle, who has shaken off a flu infection. came back into the side at the expense of Ayila, with Kalu Uche moving deeper into a midfield role.

The changes looked to have done little to stabilise Nigeria’s brittle-looking defence when Yobo miscued a ball and was then nearly taken out of the play by Razak Omotoyossi, but the Everton man, despite being flat on his butt. kept his head and conceded a corner Instead.

Nigeria were the more composed side, for most of the half. but It was their less illustrious neighbours who almost drew first blood.

Ogunbiyi squeezed out space inside of Dicksonb Etuhu to lay a lovely ball for Stephane Sessegnon, but the PSG man squeezed hiS shot Just wide of Enyeama’s post.

Played in behind by a delicious Uche ball, Yakubu found himself played onside by Boco, but contnved to side-foot the ball wide, to the collective groan of the Nigerian nation.

Nigeria continued to create half chances, exposing their offensive failings with an inability to apply finishing touches. yakubu then found himself with another chance to open his account, but failed to dig the ball out from under his foot and just poked it to Uche, who was robbed before he could so much as look at the ball.

And then Nlgena’s defensive problems almost cost them tWice within two minutes. First, Mikel and Echiejile passed themselves Into trouble on the left side, and needed to be rescued by Shittu, whose ticking off for the pair could only be classified under a PG file

Vincent Enyeama’s crossbar.

And then Nigeria found the breakthrough.

Mikel won a freekick as he was upended out in one of his marauding raids upfront. His low freeklck was touched on by goalkeeper Chitou and missed by Yakubu, Uche and Odemwingie, only to cause half a dozen different sorts of trouble for goalkeeper Chitou and fall for Obasi.

His cutback to Osaze’s head was on its way in when it was handled and Nigeria given the spotkick. Yak made no mistake from the spot.

Shittu could have extended Nigeria’s lead five minutes into the second half, as Chitou again had difficulty dealing with a low daisy-cutter. but Yak and Uche again arrived too late to take advantage.

Nigeria skipper Joseph Yobo was forced to go off with a hamstring injury seven minutes shy of the hour mark and his absence almost led to an equaliser. But his replacement Onyekachi showed strength and awareness to keep the raiders at bay.

Both sides continued to trade punches, and Benin hit the post again.

But in the end, the Super Eagles held on for their first victory of the campaign, to take some of the pressure off coach Amodu.

Meanwhile, the Pharaohs of Egypt moments later beat Mozambique 2-0 to book a quarter final sport.

An own goal early in the second half and a thumping finish by Gebo ensured that the two time defending champions established an unassailable six points with one game o go in the group.

Now, Nigeria must not lose against the Mambas of Mozambique in the decisive final group match and hope that Benin does not upset Egypt to advance to the next stage.

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D’Tigress’ Onyemere Celebrates X Billboard Appearance

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Stunning Nigeria D’Tigress forward, Michaela Onyemere recently celebrated her appearance on the X (Twitter) billboard campaign, describing it as a dream come true.
The Chicago Sky player, who is part of the D’Tigress roster for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, shared her excitement on Instagram, advising her fans not to give up their dream but to work towards their realisation.
She wrote, “If you tweet it, you can be it. I am so honoured to be a part of this Twitter billboard campaign alongside so many other influential people. Chase your dreams to the fullest extent, no matter how crazy people think you might be. I was 13 when I tweeted this, and eight years later, here we are! If you can believe it, I promise you can be it. Dream big always.”
According to her, the billboards are located in New York at 7th Ave and 49th Street, 42nd Street and 8th Ave, Times Square, Bryant Park Subway Station, and newsstands throughout Midtown; San Francisco in Kearney WS and Montgomery Muni Station; Los Angeles in the Hollywood Roosevelt and Sepulveda WS.
Onyemwere was selected sixth overall in the first round of the 2021 WNBA Draft, and she got off to a flying start with the New York Liberty; her average of 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, plus 37 three-pointers made, was the highest among all rookies in her class.

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OlympAfrica Chess Competition Holds In PH …Boy Six Performs Excellently

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OlympAfrica University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT)  Centre recently held Schools Chess Competition, at Professor Ken Anugweje building UNIPORT Sports complex.
The competition was between some selected primary and secondary schools in Rivers State, which attracted huge attendance , including some professional Chess players.
The Director of OlympAfrica UNIPORT centre in Nigeria, Dr. Chukwuemeka Agi in different fora has said the purpose of the competition was to help children build their career and encourage them.
“The reason why OlympAfrica organise various sporting tournaments and competitions was to assist the young ones build their career in any sport.
“You know is better we catch them young and direct their footsteps to enable them become useful to themselves and the nation”, Dr. Agi said.
Speaking with Victor Ayanwale,  the youngest player age six, in the competition, from King Amachree Sports Academy, in Harry’s Town, Rivers State, said his dream was to become one of the best Chess players in the world.
According to him, he started playing Chess at the age of five, mentored by his father, saying that he enjoys playing the game as it helps him to reason help.
“ I  started playing Chess at the age of five, it was my father that was teaching me. I want to become number in one Chess in this country.
“I enjoy playing Chess because it makes me happy and think well. I want other children to play Chess because it is good”, Ayanwale said.
Highlight of the event was presentation of medals, certificates and trophies to winners.

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Female Athletes Are Nigeria’s Olympic Hopefuls – NOC 

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The Secretary-General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Tunde Popoola, has said that Nigeria’s medal hopes at the Paris Olympics largely rest on female athletes such as Tobi Amusan and Ese Brume.
Despite participating in the Olympics since 1952, Nigeria has only secured a total of 27 medals, including just two gold medals, both won in 1996 in Atlanta.
This remains the country’s most successful outing, with Chioma Ajunwa winning gold in the women’s long jump and the football team, led by Kanu Nwankwo, clinching the second at the expense of super powers Argentia and Brazil.
“The men dominated previously, but this time, it’s all about the women. They qualified for the football event and almost every single event in athletics. It’s a good thing, and we appreciate their growth,” he said in an interview with Tidesports source.
“The women have done more because they are more committed. I’m not saying the men aren’t, but women are more dedicated, and that’s the reason they are doing well.”
Ajunwa’s achievement in 1996 stands out as Nigeria’s only individual Olympic gold medal, highlighting the persistent trend of Nigeria’s female athletes consistently outperforming their male counterparts.
This trend continued at the 2000 Sydney Games, where Gloria Alozie secured a silver medal in the women’s 110-metre hurdles, salvaging Nigeria’s presence on the podium.
In the most recent Tokyo Games, Team Nigeria won two medals, both from women: Brume, who claimed bronze in the women’s long jump, and Blessing Oborududu, who won silver in wrestling.
With the Paris Games only weeks away, it appears hopes are once again pinned on the women to bring home medals.
Nigeria’s female athletes are world-class, while many of their male counterparts, particularly in athletics, are less experienced.
Taiwo Popoola, Vice President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, echoed these sentiments, attributing the women’s success to their dedication.
“The women have done more because they are more committed. I’m not saying the men aren’t, but women are more dedicated, and that’s the reason they are doing well,” he said.
To put the NTF VP’s statement in perspective, Elizabeth Anyanacho, another female athlete, is the only qualified taekwondoist for the Paris Olympics. She was also Nigeria’s only representative in the sport at Tokyo 2022.
Nigeria’s medal hopes in Paris largely rest on the shoulders of athletes like Tobi Amusan, Brume, wrestlers Oborududu, and Odunayo Adekuruoye.
Amusan, in particular, is a standout athlete. She set a world record time of 12.40 seconds in the women’s hurdles in Kingston, Jamaica, in May 2024.

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