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USA Tops Group D, Set To Clash With Nigeria

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USA won the battle of the top two teams in Group D  at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in Germany. Thanks to their golden girl, Sydney Leroux as it leaves them to face a quarter-final tie against Nigeria in Augsburg on Sunday. Korea Republic, who were already assured of their last-eight place, return to Dresden where they take on Mexico.

The reigning champions needed to avoid defeat to be sure of going through while only a victory would maintain their record of always winning their group at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. They must have been given a boost before the start when South Korea left out their five-goal marksman, Ji So-Yun, and also influential midfielder Kim Na-Rae. They made four changes in all as coach Choi In Cheul decided to rest his most impressive talents.

Considering all their changes, South Korea still gave a good account of themselves and saw a lot of the ball in the USA half. Down the left flank Jeoun Eun-Ha., one of those promoted to a starting role, caused some problems for the US defenders.

But the best openings were falling to the US with Leroux passing up a good chance in the 18th minute. She anticipated the cross coming in from the left and swung her boot at it but did not make a good connection.

That was forgotten three minutes later when Amber Brooks found Leroux with a neat through pass and the American captain got there ahead of Moon So-Ri to prod it into the net for her fifth goal of the tournament.

South Korea worked hard for an equaliser before the break and Kang Yumi put purpose behind her strike after Lee Hyun-Young had played her in. But Bianca Henninger was equal to it as she turned the ball over the top.

The east Asians brought on Ji at half-time and immediately she was in the thick of the action, sending a free-kick wide. In the 58th minute, she was through with only the keeper to beat but Henninger saved well with her legs, mirroring a good save at the other end as Moon denied Leroux.

Ji and Leroux were now dominating the penalty-area action although the two goalkeepers were coming out on top. Ji misread the flight of a free-kick when it seemed that just a nudge from her would take the ball over the line. At the other end, Moon parried to deny Teresa Noyola and again frustrated Leroux when the American was clean through.

Six minutes from time, Leroux did manage to beat Moon in a race to meet a long ball but she was forced wide and her finish ended up going across the face of the goal and out for a goal-kick.

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Organisers Explain 2021 NSF Postponement

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The 21st edition of National Sports Festival earlier scheduled for November 2 to 15, 2022, in Asaba, Delta State, will now hold from November 28 to December 10, 2022.
According to a statement by the Festival Secretary, Peter Nelson, and addressed to all Commissioners of Sports and Directors of Sports, the postponement was at the request of the host, Delta State.
“I wish to convey the request of Delta State Government to shift the date of the 21st National Sports Festival earlier scheduled to hold from November 2 to 15, 2022.
“It is now shifted to start on November 28 to December 10, 2022.
“The reason for the postponement is to give Delta State more time to complete some of the facilities needed for the festival,” the statement reads.
It will be recalled that the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival held in Benin City, Edo State, which was tagged: “Edo 2020,” also suffered several postponements until it finally held from April 2 to 14.

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Nigeria Must Embrace Grassroots Sports Dev – Amusan

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Women’S 100 metres hurdles world record holder, Tobi Amusan, believes that grassroots development programmes and top-notch training will help the country discover more athletics world champions.
Speaking in Lagos at a dinner organised in her honour by The Plug, an entertainment firm, tagged ‘Tobi Amusan’s Homecoming,’ she blamed the exodus of the Nigeria’s top athletes to other countries to what such nations offer the athletes.
“Grassroots sports development is something we lack here and the reason we often lose our top athletes to other countries of the world.
“From my experience training in the United States, if we can have such development here, we can groom young talents and unearth more Tobi Amusans,” she said.
On the recent ratification of her record by World Athletics, Amusan said: “That my world record was ratified by the world body means that I am drug free and that I am clean. I feel great about it. Every time I am on the track, my eyes are always set on how to win and I execute it by winning.”
She also spoke on the recent reception by the Federal Government, saying, “It is great feeling that we were recognised by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In as much as we did the work, it was an honour that they took into account and they recognised the fact that we did the nation proud. It is such a great feeling getting the national honour.”
She acknowledged the support she got after her world record feat, with her followers on Twitter rising from 3000 to 150,000 under 24 hours, saying it showed that people appreciate what she is doing.
On the criticism by men’s 400 metres world record holder, Michael Johnson, after her record breaking race in Oregon, U.S, Amusan said she was not bothered. “Honestly, I kept doing my thing because after the World Championships, I had other competitions to attend. I don’t dwell on negativity… I look on the bright side of the sport.”
At the event, Flutterwave, which used the occasion to declare it has signed a multi-year partnership deal with Amusan, said: “It is very difficult to find athletes who embody our core values the way Tobi does.”

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YSFON : Academy Coach Begs For Assistance

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The Head coach of the De Kings International Football Academy (DKIFA) of Port Harcourt Okpaleke Chika King is begging the Rivers State ministry of Sports,  private and corporate individuals and all lovers of football for financial support to assist his team represent the state in Youth Sports Federation Of Nigeria (YSFON) competition.
He said that his team was representing Rivers state at the ongoing Chief of Naval Staff National (YSFON) Competition in Ilorin, Kwara State. He said he had written a letter to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals for assistance.
King made the assertion on Saturday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt before leaving for Kwara state.
According to him he had nothing to do than to borrow money for the journey believing that when the State’s Commissioner for Sports sees the letter he would not fail to respond to it.
“ As you can see, my boys are ready for the competition but we lack support.
“ I have written to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals to assist us  but I have not gotten any reply, yet.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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