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S’Africa Gives Up Lead, Falls To Algeria

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Faouzi Ghoulam scored
his first international goal as Algeria completed a dramatic fightback to beat South Africa 3-1 in the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday.
Christian Gourcuff’s Algeria side, the top-ranked national team in Africa, is among the favourites to win the tournament but looked to be heading for defeat when Thuso Phala gave Bafana Bafana a deserved second-half lead at Estadio de Mongomo.
South Africa striker Tokelo Rantie then missed a penalty a few minutes later and that was to prove costly as Algeria fought back to win their Group C opener.
Thulani Hlatshwayo’s own goal pegged Shakes Mashaba’s men back and Napoli defender Ghoulam added insult to injury by putting Algeria in front five minutes later.
Islam Slimani then sealed the points with a third goal, which goalkeeper Darren Keet should have kept out, as South Africa were left to reflect on what might have been.
South Africa did not allow their opponents to settle in the first half and they were unfortunate not to be in front when captain Dean Furman rattled the crossbar with a rasping long-range drive 22 minutes in.
Bafana Bafana then suffered a blow when they lost a distraught Rivaldo Coetzee to injury, meaning Siyabonga Nhlapo entered the fray after only half an hour.
South Africa looked increasingly threatening and had two great chances to take the lead just before half-time as Algeria rode their luck.
Algeria were unable to live with the pace of Bafana Bafana and Mashaba’s men should have doubled their lead two minutes later, when Aissa Mandi clattered into Vilakazi as he raced into the area and referee Noumandiez Desire Doue pointed to the spot.
Mandi was somewhat fortunate to escape with only a yellow card and Algeria were given another let off when Rantie’s penalty hit the crossbar and went behind for a goal-kick.
Algeria responded and Keet denied Slimani, who reacted quickly but saw his header palmed onto the post by the South Africa keeper.
Gourcuff’s men were then gifted an equaliser when defender Hlatshwayo could only head Yacine Brahimi’s cross into his own net after 67 minutes.
And worse was to come for South Africa five minutes later, when Ghoulam surged into the penalty and found the back of the net with a left-footed strike that Keet ought to have done better with at his near post
Slimani then stole in to add a third goal seven minutes from time, as Keet had another moment to forget by allowing a tame shot to squirm under his body and into the net.

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CAFCC: Rivers United Defeats Al Masry 2-1 In Aba

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Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, yesterday at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, saw off Al Masry of Egypt 2-1 in the first leg  of the CAF Confederation Cup, (CAFCC) The pride of Rivers got the early lead in the 24 minutes of the first half by Uche Onwuasonaya while the Egyptian, equalised  three minutes after .
In the 35th minutes, Ishaq Kayode restored United to the lead which was assisted by Malachi Ohawume.
Speaking with Tidesports shortly after the game, the Sole administrator of Rivers United FC, Barrister Christopher Green, described the result as not what they expected.
According to him, they expected the pride of Rivers to have scored more than the two goals but well, they still need to fight back in the second leg.
“ Not what we expected.Well it was a highling contested game.
But we need to fight back in the return leg,” Green said.
Green who is also the Special Adviser to the Rivers State Governor on Real Madrid Football Academy  further explained that, the pride of Rivers will have to fight back to get the ticket to qualify for the group stage of the tournament.

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Why Budweiser Brought Terry, Carlos To Nigeria – Adedeji

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Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc., Tolulope Adedeji, in this interview with newsmen talks about Nigerians’ passion for football and the global impacts of Budweiser Game of Kings, among other sundry issues
Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga, understands the love for football by all Nigerians. Football is one of Nigerian’s strongest passions. The love for football goes beyond watching matches to the banter that connects consumers online and offline.
According to Adedeji, every fan believes they know what’s best for their team and always have something to say about managers and coaches’ decisions. The Budweiser Game of Kings aimed to create a unique experience for consumers.
She noted that consumers get to have a say on what happens on the pitch by being the team managers of Kings FC captained by John Terry and Kings FC, captained by Roberto Carlos. And for the first time, both international players played alongside Nigerian Professional Football League players.
As the official beer of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga, the aim was to bring two international football greats from the Premier League and La Liga. And after months of research among football fans in Nigeria, we identified John Terry and Roberto Carlos as two international players who have impacted the Nigerian players and fans over the years and they both formed the perfect duo for the campaign.
She explained that the idea by Budweiser was to use the opportunity to put the Nigerian professional league under the spotlight. We decided to partner with the Nigerian Professional League. Allow our very own professional league players to play alongside the international legends on the same pitch.
She said that the campaign was successful beyond our expectations. Budweiser gained massive media attention and every football lover was excited to be a part of the campaign. Several fans were at the stadium and millions watched the match from their homes on television. The match was broadcast across NTA Network, STV Network and SuperSport Channels on GoTV and DStv. Others also watched online on YouTube and other Budweiser social media platforms.
Budweiser created a first of its kind experience for the Nigerian professional league players and fans with a series of events that they will live to remember for a long time.
“As the official beer of the FIFA World Cup, Premier League and Spanish La Liga, Budweiser’s commitment to creating unique football experiences in Nigeria remains intact and, we are planning something even bigger for the World Cup year in 2022.
“Consumers interested in becoming managers were required to look under the crown cork of Budweiser for the unique code that gives them a chance to participate in the draw to become managers. Successful consumers selected from the draws received invites to audition for the manager position,” she said.
”The audition panel consisted of officials from the National Professional League organising committee. The audition panel, therefore, conducted the interviews to determine the managers.
“Budweiser is committed to consistently bringing consumers new and exciting experiences. To stay in touch, I will suggest you follow our social media pages @BudweiserNigeria.
“Football is one of the platforms that unite the world, and it is a strong passion point of Nigerian consumers. Budweiser is therefore committed to bringing consumers elevated experiences and joy.” She concluded.

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Firm Honours Jonathan With Wrestling Competition, Other Sports

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Renew Empire Group of Companies based in  Republic of Turkey and Bayelsa State, in Nigeria, says it would commemorate former President Goodluck Jonathan’s birthday with a wrestling competition, other sports and cultural displays annually.
Speaking with newsmen in Otuoke, home town of the former president, at the weekend, Managing Director/CEO of the company, Engineer Gospel Obolo identified sports as having the capacity to reduce crime and criminality in the society.
According to him, wrestling is the number one sports in Ijaw-land, adding that no meaningfully engaged youth would take to crime.
“We’ve been planning this event for almost a year now. We decided to take a date which would coincide with the celebration of our icon, former president’s  birthday so as to use these wrestling and the other sporting and cultural activities to commemorate his birthday by drawing the attention of the world.
This is the maiden edition,but we intent to carry out this programme annually.With sports,we can create jobs for our teeming youth and other unemployed citizens of this country,” Engr. Obolo said.
The Tidesports reports that the maiden edition of the event which was tagged, ‘Ibe Onin’ is expected to last for 17 days and has since begun with musical performance by notable artists and mock traditional wrestling trials.
In the same vein,the Paramount ruler of Otuoke, His Royal Highness, Ariwareni Paul(Oke xi) has also described the idea behind the event as unique.
The monarch who spoke through the second deputy paramount ruler of the community, HRH Mirobebh Dogood Akpufu decried the spate of youth restiveness in the area, saying that  an event of this magnitude would not only curb youth restiveness, but can also create jobs for youths.
He commended the organisers for the feat, just as he noted that Bayelsa was blessed with abundant talents and tourism potentials waiting to be harnessed for the economic advantage.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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