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Rivers United Maintains Premiership Status

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Rivers United FC last Sunday effectively swam to safety in this season’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after hammering helpless Gombe United 3-0 in the penultimate fixture of the season.
Bernard Ovoke converted two penalties to inspire Rivers United’s victory.
Rivers United failed to breach their opponent’s rear guard despite dominating proceedings in the first half.
A quick start by the hosts saw them win a penalty minutes after the restart after the referee adjudged that Christian Weli had been fouled in the box.
Ovoke stepped up confidently and fired hard and high into the corner post a despairing Danjuma Hussaini in goal for Gombe United.
The home side won another penalty in the 65th minute after a Gombe United defender stopped Emeka Ogbugh’s goal-bound effort with his hand.
The responsibility from 12 yards again fell to Ovoke who this time choose to go to the left, sending Hussaini the wrong way in the process.
Victory last Sunday lifted Rivers United to 11th on the NPFL standings with 52 points from 37 matches while Gombe United have now been relegated from the NPFL with 43 points from 37 matches.
Meanwhile, after 13 years of no continental club football action in Lagos State, modest Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries FC defeated Nasarawa United 2-0 courtesy of goals from Okorom Stanley and Tchato Giscard to claim a deserved spot in the next edition of CAF Champions League.
The Olukoya Boys beat the imagination of many to do the unthinkable following their victory over the Solid Miners in one of NPFL Matchday 37 fixtures played last Sunday at the Soccer Temple, Agege Stadium.
Nasarawa United started the exciting encounter guns blazing with series of sleek passes but they later surrendered to the resilient of the Lagos-based team after the first five minutes of exchange.
The man of the match, Okorom was the first to make a statement for MFM FC two minutes after the visitors surrendered their dominance when he tested Suraj Ayeleso with a right-footed shot but the Nasarawa United goalkeeper saved his effort.
Olatunbosun Sikiru was brought down near the edge of the visitors’ box and the referee signaled for a free kick in the 12th minute. Okorom scored from the free kick via a superb strike that left Nasarawa United defenders in dismay.
The right-back capped his man-of-the-match performance with an assist when he delivered a well tailored cross to Tchato Giscard to head home the second goal in the first minute of the added time. The encounter ended 2-0 and the Olukoya boys booked a continental ticket after a successful two-year campaign in the Nigerian top flight.

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Napoli To Offer Osimhen €7m Yearly Contract

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Napoli is prepared to break their wage structure to keep Victor Osimhen at the club and offer him a much bigger salary than he earns now, Tidesports source reports.
The Nigerian striker is having a great season at Napoli and has scored 14 times in 19 appearances in all competitions in the ongoing campaign.
He has been heavily linked with a move away from the Serie A giants next season, with multiple clubs across Europe believed to be interested in him.
According to reports in Italy, as reported by AreaNapoli, it has been claimed that Napoli are ready to break their wage structure to keep the striker beyond next summer.
They have a maximum salary limit of €3.5m per year for any player, but Napoli are prepared to make an exception for Osimhen.
The club are set to meet the forward’s representatives and offer him a contract worth up to €7m per season and Napoli believe it could help them convince Osimhen to stay on for at least one more season.
Although it is a huge contract offer by Serie A standards, Manchester United, who are keen to sign the Nigeria international, are in a position to offer him a lot more than that and Osimhen will surely want to test himself in the Premier League.
However, if he wants to leave, Napoli are likely to accept offers in the region of €120m for him next summer and with the remarkable form he is showing this season, there will be no shortage of suitors once the transfer window opens.
It is no surprise that the biggest clubs in Europe are eyeing the striker, as he is powerful, has pace and is a superb finisher with a career record of 80 goals in 171 outings, which is only expected to keep rising as he is still only 24.

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Delta 2022: Bayelsa Offers Automatic Employment To  Medallists

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has announced a reward package for athletes that represented the state at the 2022 National Sports Festival held at Asaba, Delta State.
Bayelsa placed a historic second behind Delta, surpassing its earlier best position of third recorded at the 2020 festival hosted by Edo State in 2022.
Governor Diri, who received the state’s contingent on Wednesday inside the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House, Yenagoa, recalled that Bayelsa won 109 gold, 104 silver and 87 bronze medals.
This was contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, and made available to Tidesports source , the governor announced N1 million each to individual gold medallists and N750, 000 each for team gold.
He also rewarded individual silver medallists with N500, 000 and N300, 000 went to team silver medallists, while individual bronze medallists got N300, 000 and N150, 000 for each team bronze medallist.
Coaches and secretaries of gold medal teams got N500, 000 each, while their assistants got N300, 000 each. Those in silver category got N300, 000 each and their assistants N200, 000.
The governor also rewarded non-medallists with N50, 000 each.
He also announced automatic employment for those yet to be employed in the state sports council and directed the Ministry of Youth and Sports to work out the modalities.

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We’ll Turn The Table Around In Subsequent Games – Nasarawa Coach 

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Nasarawa United Chief Coach, Abubakar Arikya, has assured fans and people of the State that they will turn the table round in their subsequent games in spite of their unimpressive performances in recent times.
The Solid Miners, as they are fondly called, lost 3-0 to visiting Akwa United on Sunday at the ongoing abridged 2022/2023 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Week three game,  at Jos International Stadium, Plateau State.
Coach Arikya said this in his post match interview with sports journalists and made available to Tidesports through the club’s Media Officer, Eche Amos, shortly after his side lost to Akwa United.
According to him, he accepted the outcome of the game in good faith and hoped to turn around the situation for better in subsequent matches.
“It’s never our making to lose any game, however, we accept the outcome in good faith with the hope of turning around the situation for better in subsequent games.
“The boys (players) played very well in the first-half and we had a lot of chances but could not convert them.
“But the game changed towards the closing stage of the first half and the second half wasn’t good for us.
“In all, it’s a day we have to forget in a hurry and move on,” Coach Arikya said.
As it is, Nasarawa United has suffered   three straight loss in NPFL, as they lost to Enyimba, Abia Warriors and Akwa United but the technical crew still believed that they will record winnings in future.
Nasarawa United will Saturday pay visit to Gombe United to play one of the week four games in NPFL scheduled to hold at  different match venues in the country.

By: Tonye Orabere

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