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Ukraine Stuns Scotland In W/Cup Playoff

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A heroic Ukraine roused a performance of spirit, endeavour and courage to stun Scotland and earn a historic World Cup play-off final against Wales.
With their country enshrouded in trauma amid the ongoing war with Russia, a team hauled together shone brightly at a sun-drenched Hampden.
Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk struck either side of half-time, before Callum McGregor gave Scotland hope late on. But Artem Dovbyk sealed a Qatar 2022 showdown in Cardiff on Sunday with the last kick of the ball.
While images of fans watching on in war-torn Ukraine circulated, 3,500 fans bedecked in light blue and yellow, including 65 orphans invited by the Scottish FA, celebrated wildly in Glasgow on a night none will forget.
It was an evening which started with the lyrics of the Ukrainian national anthem striking an emotional chord at a charged Hampden.
Moments after their side strode on to the pitch draped in flags of their homeland, the words which were belted out took on a whole new significance. “The glory and freedom of Ukraine has not yet perished. Luck will still smile on us brother-Ukrainians.”
As it transpired, luck had little to do with their team’s triumph. In perhaps their finest hour, they were peerless.
The match was a long time coming. Originally planned for March but postponed in the hope Ukraine would be capable of playing the fixture, a series of friendlies were all Olexandr Petrakov had to prepare.
It has been a gut-wrenching journey, with the tears on the face of Oleksandr Zinchenko in pre-match news conference offering a poignant reminder to all what the game means against the backdrop of Ukraine’s struggles.
But in Glasgow, there was no emotional fatigue. Not a hint of an adrenaline rush fading, not a whiff of the event getting the better of them.
Barring a late rally from the hosts, Petrakov’s men exposed Scotland’s vulnerabilities, which were made even more pronounced by the absence of Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney. The opener on 33 minutes articulated that perfectly.
rattled Bushchan, who palmed the ball into the air and just over the line before it was hacked clear. Hampden erupted in a primal roar of desperate hope rather than founded expectation.
But as Scotland pushed, they were even more exposed at the back. A series of long punts in the closing stages broke down, with one final roll of the dice allowing the Ukrainians to burst forward deep into injury time.
Substitute Dovbyk had all the time he wished to eventually dispatch the ball by Gordon. The Dnipro-1 forward, who has not played a competitive match since December, showed little emotion as the ball ruffled the net. Around him, his compatriots celebrated wildly on an astonishing night for Ukraine as a football team, and a nation.

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Nigeria’s Sports Journalists Amongst Best In World – Sports Minister

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The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, at the weekend, felicitated with sports journalists across the country and beyond, as this year’s International Sports Journalists Day was celebrated worldwide.
Dare, a journalist, said that the profession is a noble one reserved for hardworking personalities, who work round the clock, all year-round, to give sports the needed reportage.
“This day deserves to be celebrated, as I am a sports journalist myself, and I know the efforts and passion they put into their job daily.
“Today, I celebrate sports journalists, who have made immeasurable, sacrifice for sports across the globe, especially in Nigeria,” he said.
He added, “in Nigeria, they rank very high among professionals, who put so much passion into their work, no matter what they face.
“You have not paid attention to the hazards of the job, but instead you have chosen to be partners in the development of sports. This, in itself, calls for celebration and I join in this celebration.”
The 2022 event themed: “Securing a Sustainable and Peaceful Future For All,” is being celebrated by sports journalists, media organisations and related industries across the world since 1994.

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AITEO Cup: Coach Expresses Disappointment Over Change Of Venue

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The Head coach of Police Crime Busters FC of Port Harcourt, ASP Douye Ghomorai, has expressed sadness over the change of venue for the final of this year’s AITEO Cup from Sharks Football Stadium.
He explained that the orgnisers had not given any reason why they changed the venue to Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, saying that Sharks football Stadium has been the traditional host of the AITEO Cup finals.
ASP Ghomorsi said this in a telephone interview with Tidesports shortly after the Rivers State Football Association, (RSFA), announced the shift of venue to Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium last week.
According to him, the shift of venue will adversely affect fans of his team, especially, in terms of transporting themselves to attend the match.
“We are not happy over the change of the venue because our fans may not be there to cheer their team to victory.
This is not fair with us because it is not going to be easy for our supporters and fans” ASP Ghomorai said.
He appealled to the leadership of the State FA to rescind their decision, noting that though football could be played on any pitch, the spectators should be considered first.
“We are going to play the game but I am appealing because we want a situation where we will have more people to watch the game”
The final match of this year’s Rivers state AITEO Cup will take place on Wednesday at the Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium between Rivers United FC and Police Crime Busters FC by 3pm.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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NPFL: Rivers United Receive Commendations Over Title Win

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Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt have continued to receive commendations following their impressive performance this season and subsequent emergence as winners of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this season with three matches left.
The latest came from Head coach of New Guner FC of Gokana Local Government Area, in Rivers State, Legbara Gentle, who said that it is a good thing that has happened to the State and football.
Gentle made the assertion in a telephone interview with Tidesports at the weekend.
According to him, if the Pride of Rivers State, as Rivers United are known, maintain their current form, they can win the CAF Champions League.
“If Rivers United FC can maintain their current form, they can even win the continental trophy next season.
As a coach I know it is not easy to win the NPFL title because competition is very high as every club wants to win the League” Gentle said.
He further commended the management team of the club led by Barrister Christopher Green and technical crew, for their efforts and commitment to achieve success.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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