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Cup Of Nations Fall-out: Doomsday Postponed For Super Eagles

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Shuaibu Amodu can breathe a sigh of relief temporarily after his less than impressive ‘Super’ Eagles managed to scrape out a dour single-goal victory over their regional neighbours, the Squirrels of Benin. But can any Nigerian truly assert that they too can breathe freely?

Many football fans would no doubt answer in the negative, as the display of the team was only typical of the level of competence of the man in charge.  With this victory, Amodu and his gang of Chicken-breeders have only succeeded in pushing forward doomsday one game further.

Though there was a slight improvement in the team’s play relative to the first outing against the current champions, the Pharaohs of Egypt, the team still maintained that incoherent and untidy attitude. The lack of technical play in the team was all too evident, and the team was unable to manage one single counter-attack during the entire game. They were static, with no fluidity amongst the various departments; reflective of Amodu himself, who wore a perplexed expression throughout the game.

The Nigerian team’s showing was as interesting as watching paint dry. The side provided little exciting soccer artistry, if they still remember what that is, and it was just the individual determination from certain players that kept the side going.

Without any form of prejudice, I boldly assert that the better team lost on the day. The Beninoise team were unfortunate not to have won the game, and a little more experience on their side would have come in handy. Had Stephane Sesegnon and Rasaq Omotoyossi been a tad more clinical in their finishing, the Eagles would have broken through new lows.

Danny Shittu was undoubtedly the best player on the Nigerian side, closely followed by Dickson Etuhu, who was doing the quiet and yet dirty job in the middle of the pack. If these two players had not instilled their individual brilliance on the day, Nigerian fans would have been singing a much different song now.

Much like the first game, Yakubu Aiyegbeni still continued to show his poor form, missing arguably the best chance of the evening for the Nigerians. My grandmother would have tucked away the sitter he threw away early in the first half.

His penalty kick that gave the team the game’s goal was also far from impressive, and only the poor judgment from the Beninoise goalkeeper ensured the ball lazily strolled into the back of the net.

We should remain truthful to ourselves at this moment. The Nigerian team is still in tatters, and the short-term remedy lies in a total overhaul of the technical bench.

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NDDC U-17 Peace Cup To Resume In Uyo

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The long awaited finale of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) U-17 Peace Cup would expectedly resume next week as two qualified teams from the nine states converge in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.
Technical Director of the tournament  Etim Esin in a statement on behalf  of the Local Organising Committee Chairman John Ekpeyong and Secretary Ada Gwegwe yesterday said the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, will declare the tournament open.
It added that the Special Assistant to the President Muhammad Buhari, on Sports Development, Coach Daniel Amokachi, NFF Technical Director Coach Augustine Eguavoen along with football legend Taribo West and other notable Niger Delta-based and foreign scouts will be on ground.
The LOC appreciated the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa, for his support towards the conclusion of the tournament, adding that it is better late than never, as the competition will still be among his numerous legacies.
According to the statement, the arrival date for participating teams is 11th of December, while screening of teams and official kick off, will take place the following day.
The statement further called on the Coordinators of the states not to forget the rules of engagement, especially on the age bracket of the players, as the screening will be strict, for the aim of the competition to be achieved.

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FIBA World Cup: Kida Lauds D’Tigers’ Strong Qualifiers Start

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Top basketball administrator and immediate past Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) president, Engr Musa Kida, has congratulated the D’Tigers for starting their 2022 FIBA World Cup on a strong note after picking two victories in three matches.
With five points from a possible six and a superior point difference, the team sits comfortably atop group A ahead of the next round of games coming up by the 27th of June, 2022.
Kida described the team’s performance as inspiring despite peculiar circumstances surrounding the federation’s election as well as FIBA’s stance over Nigeria’s participation at the qualifiers.
“It is really nice to start such important qualifiers on a winning note which is very good for our chances of qualifying for the World Cup. We had to put our administrative differences aside for the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
“We feel elated and justified that our decision to give FIBA the go ahead to register the team which enabled them participate paid off in the long run as we join hands with all stakeholders to continue growing the game in Nigeria”.
16 teams are vying for the available five spots at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with Nigeria grouped alongside Mali, Cape Verde and Uganda.
“The top three teams from each group will advance to the Second Round of the African Qualifiers and will join three other teams to create two six-team groups with results from the preliminary rounds carried over,” Musa added.

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AWCON Qualifiers: Ebi Targets Revenge Against Ivory Coast

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Super Falcons defender, Onome Ebi, says the team will go all out for revenge when they clash against Ivory Coast in their final 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers next year.
The qualifying game which will be played on a home and away basis is scheduled for February 13 and 17 with the winners qualifying for the AWCON in Morocco.
The Falcons who will be hoping to defend the title they won at the 2018 in Ghana are eyeing their 10th trophy Morocco but to qualify for the event, they’ll have to go past the Ivorians who knocked them out of contention for the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Ebi, who is Nigeria’s current longest-serving player says her aim is to avenge the loss that saw them miss out on the 2020 Olympics at the hands of the Ivorians.
“I can tell you that we still nurse the pain of missing out of the Tokyo Olympics as a result of the loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the qualifying series,” Ebi said.
“This time, we will repay them in their own coins. Personally, I want to play in the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup, and I know it is the same for my teammates.”
The Falcons are the most successful African women’s team in the world and have won the AWCON a record nine times and will be hoping to get their 10th next year after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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