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Flamingoes In Impressive Mood Ahead U-17 W/Cup

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Kickboxers struggling for honours during a national event in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, recently.

Kickboxers struggling for honours during a national event in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, recently.

The Flamingoes continued their impressive build-up towards the FIFA Under-17 women World Cup in Costa Rica with a 3-1 spanking of Portuguese club U-14 boys on Monday.
The Nigeria U17 women who landed in Faro, Portugal on Saturday faced their first tune-up encounter in a 19-day training tour against CDR Quarteirense of Portugal at the Browns Sports football pitch, Faro, Portugal.
The Flamingoes who were still in a buoyant mood following their run of victories in the previous tune-up games, scored twice in the first half and launched the third in the second half, to clip the wings of the Portuguese club’s age-grade boys in Faro.
Goals from Rasidat Ajibade, Cynthia Aku and Agams Nkechinyere established the confident of the Bala Nkiyu led side ahead of the less than a-month oncoming World youth women football championship.
Rasidat Ajibade opening the scoring for the Nigerian ladies in the 18th minute before Cynthia Aku stepped up in the 29th minute to make the inexperience boys pay for their defensive blunders by firing home the second.
In the second half, the Portuguese boys who returned into the half more motivated secured a breakthrough in the 66th minute.
However, the home boys’ expectation of getting something off the game failed to materialize as substituted Agams Nkechinyere’s 78th minute stunner, completed the rout for the Flamingoes to prove superiority at the regulation time.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach of the Nigerian side, Bala Nkiyu expressed delight at the improved play and stressed the readiness of the team for the World Cup in good time.
“We had a great game today (Monday), the ladies are putting in their best and they have really improved with every game. I’m happy with what I’m seeing and am sure we are close to getting the strong team.
we need to make Nigerians proud in Costa Rica,” Nkiyu said.
In a related development, the Nigeria U17 women will slug it out with their Spanish counterpart by 5pm Nigerian time at the Browns Sports football pitch, Faro, Portugal on Wednesday.

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… As Coach Expresses Optimism To Qualify For 2026 W’Cup

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Newly appointed Super Eagles coach Finidi George has set his sights firmly on securing qualification for the 2026 World Cup, demanding unwavering commitment from his top players as the team aims to get their faltering qualifying campaign back on track.
Unveiled to the media in Abuja on Monday, Finidi, who succeeded the outgoing Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro, wasted no time in laying out his immediate priorities, two crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin early next month.
“Nigeria comes first, that’s what I expect from every player I invite. You have to be playing in your club, and you must have the commitment,” Finidi told reporters on Monday.
Recognising the importance of a strong start, the former Ajax winger emphasised the significance of the upcoming clash against South Africa.
“The first targets are to qualify for the World Cup and AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations), and a win over South Africa will set the tone.”
Nigeria currently finds itself in third place in their qualifying group, with just two points from as many games, while South Africa sits second with three points.
Finidi, who has signed a year’s contract with an option for an additional year, acknowledged the immense pressure that comes with leading the national team of a country with over 200 million people.
However, he exuded confidence in his ability to withstand the scrutiny, stating, “I have a tough skin.”
While his salary remains undisclosed, the 53-year-old coach expressed a willingness to prioritise performance over immediate financial rewards.
“The salary is good enough for me, it’s not as much as that of (Jose) Peseiro.
“Money is good, but if you add value to what you do, the money will come. Then they can come and ask ‘Coach, how much do you want?” Finidi said.

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I’m Not Under Pressure, I’ve Tough Skin – Finidi

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New Super Eagles Coach, Finidi George, has underlined that the word pressure is not in his dictionary and appealed for support from key stakeholders including the media.
Speaking after his unveiling yesterday in Abuja, the former Enyimba of Aba coach said; “In life you cannot be afraid. As you see me here, I am a quiet person but I’m not afraid of anything. The worst you can get in football is not getting the result, the best you can get is winning all the time, and I will try my best to make sure that the team functions properly and we start winning games.”
On whether is under pressure to justify his appointment, the coach stressed; “Pressure, I don’t think I have it. I have that tough skin and I want to plead you guys, the media we need your support.
“What is in the contract is boldly written, what the NFF wants and Nigeria in general, but for me personally my first target is to make sure we are in line to qualify for the World Cup. AFCON qualifiers definitely will be coming up soon, but the major step for me is these two games that we have.
“If we can win against South Africa and Benin, we will set the tone.”
During the unveiling ceremony, the NFF confirmed that ex-Super Eagles striker; Daniel Amokachi and Abiden Baruwa will be the assistant coach and goalkeeper coach respectively.
The first assignment for Finidi, who won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, is to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

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Amusan Becomes World’s Fastest Woman, Sets New Track Record

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Nigerian sprint icon Tobi Amusan has become the world’s fastest woman in the women’s 100m hurdles after running a world-leading 12.40 seconds.
In a thrilling race, the world record holder secured the victory, leaving behind Danielle Williams, the world champion, who clocked her best time of the season at 12.46 seconds. Following closely was American Christina Clemons, claiming the third spot with a time of 12.54 seconds.
This triumph means the Nigerian athlete has now claimed the top spot globally, surpassing American Tonea Marshall’s previous record of 12.42 seconds set in late April.
Tobi Amusan’s impressive win arrives just two months before the Paris 2024 Olympics, setting the stage for an exciting competition ahead.
John Enoh, the minister of sports development, on his X handle congratulated Amusan over the feat.
Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!
You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons.
“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time! You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s,” he wrote.
“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others, that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you.”

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