Nigerian women football clubside, Bayelsa Queens became the sixth side to qualify for the Women’s African Champions League after winning their zonal qualifier.
The Queens beat Ghana’s Ampem Darkoa Ladies 3-0 in Ivory Coast last Saturday to seal their spot at the eight-team finals, which begin in Morocco on 30 October.
The Nigerian champions join Moroccan hosts AS FAR, inaugural champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and Egypt’s Wadi Degla, and will be one of four debutants in the competition.
Zambia’s Green Buffaloes, Determine Girls of Liberia and Tanzanian side, Simba Queens will also be making their first appearance.
The final qualifier, from Africa’s central zone, will be decided at a tournament in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 10-16 September.
The group-stage draw for the second Women’s African Champions League will be held in Morocco on Friday.
Meanwhile, Madagascar sealed an historic first appearance at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) but Nigeria and South Africa will be notable absentees from the 2022 finals in Algeria.
Ghana beat arch-rivals Nigeria on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate draw, while South Africa suffered to a 4-1 loss at home to Angola, who triumphed 6-1 overall.
Indian Ocean nation Madagascar will be the only tournament debutants despite being held 1-1 by Botswana in Antananarivo last Friday they progressed 2-1 on aggregate.
Leading nations who will be at the seventh edition of the tournament reserved for domestic-based players include title-holders Morocco, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
The defending champions, hosts Algeria and Libya were already assured of places at the finals after Egypt and Tunisia withdrew from the Northern Group.
The expanded 18-team CHAN finals are scheduled to be held from 13 January to 4 February 2023, and the group-stage draw will be conducted in Algeria on 1 October.
Trailing 2-0 after the first leg in Ghana, Nigeria staged a late rally in Abuja to win the return match 2-0 through goals from Zulkifilu Rabiu and Chijioke Akuneto, the latter through a 94th-minute penalty.
The Black Galaxies converted all five spot-kicks in the shootout while Maurice Ugochukwu missed to eliminate 2018 runners-up Nigeria.
The dramatic victory took two-time beaten finalists Ghana back to the finals after failing to qualify for the last three editions.
Africa’s most populous nation Nigeria boast one of the stronger national leagues in Africa but have reached the CHAN finals only three times – with their qualifying failures including a stunning 2020 loss to Togo.
It was yet another celebration for Ghana in the Nigerian capital city after pipping their bitter rivals to 2022 World Cup play-off ticket at the same venue in March.
In Soweto, South Africa got off to a great start with Prince Nxumalo halving the aggregate deficit by nodding home a free-kick just six minutes into the first half.
But disaster struck for the home side on 39 minutes when an attempted headed clearance by Mosa Lebusa looped over goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse into his own net.
It left South Africa needing to score three unanswered goals to survive with a team sorely weakened by the absence of stars on club duty.
Angola grew stronger as the second half progressed with Jaredi Teixeira a constant menace on the left wing. He set up the second and fourth goals for Deivi Viera and Danilson, and Joaquim Paciencia netted the third with a free-kick that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.
Cameroon, fourth when they hosted the 2020 tournament, netted twice late in the opening half to beat Equatorial Guinea 2-0 and squeeze through, having lost 1-0 away.
Djawal Kaiba broke the deadlock on 43 minutes in the north-western city of Garoua and Souaibou Marou snatched what proved the crucial goal in stoppage time.
There was an even closer call for Ivory Coast, who beat Burkina Faso on penalties after both legs finished 0-0.
Football’s world governing body Fifa classifies CHAN matches as full internationals, and the results count toward its rankings.
Full list of qualified team for CHAN 2022: Algeria (hosts), Morocco, Libya, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Ghana, Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Congo, Cameroon, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Madagascar, Angola, Mozambique.
Amstel Malta Ultra Unveils Brume As Ambassador
One of Nigeria’s biggest supporters of sports, Amstel Malta Ultra, at the weekend in Lagos, unveiled Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Ese Brume, as its brand ambassador.
The brand has also launched a new campaign tagged, ‘Choose your Way to Live.’
Structured as a fitness event, the campaign launch doubled as the unveiling of Brume, who is also a three-time African senior champion in the long jump, as well as the unveiling of the ‘Choose your way to live’ campaign commercial.
Introducing the campaign TV commercial, which played for the first time at the event, Portfolio Manager, Non-Alcoholic Brands, NB Plc, Elohor Olumide-Awe, said, “the campaign is about celebrating choice and finding a drink that works for you and your healthy lifestyle.
“For us at Amstel Malta Ultra, we aim to empower our consumers to be able to live a balanced and active lifestyle, without the need to compromise on the taste or quality of their favourite malt drink and we couldn’t have found a better ambassador that embodies these qualities and we are truly excited to go this journey with Ese Brume.”
The campaign TV commercial features the newly signed brand ambassador, Ese Brume and Amstel Malta Ultra’s long-time ambassador, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, highlighting the luxury of making choices and what it means to choose one’s way to live focusing on the brand as the perfect beverage for a wellness journey.
Speaking on being the new face of Amstel, Brume said, “I am super excited to join the family and kicking off with Choose Your Way To Live campaign, which truly resonates with me, as an athlete it is important that I find a healthy balance between staying fit and making choices that complement my lifestyle.”
Super Eagles’ Goalkeeping Department To Improve – Shorummu
Super Eagles goalkeeper trainer, Ike Shorunmu, has promised that the blunders noticed in the current goalkeeping department will soon end, saying the coaches are working hard to steady the department.
Speaking on the error made by Francis Uzoho in the recent international friendly against Algeria, Shorunmu told newsmen that although the mistake is painful, it is not enough to write off the entire department.
He revealed that more strict measures would be employed to recreate that area of the national team.
“Nobody wants to be part of failure, so, I believe Uzoho was not happy it happened. On our part as the coaching crew, we are engaged in underground work at the moment. When it manifests, Nigerians will be proud of us. Things will happen gradually.”
He said the coaches have beamed their searchlight on the domestic league for quality goalkeepers, who will be invited for screening, adding, “the new NFF board will also help the coaching crew with positive guidelines to follow in revamping the team.”
Shorunmu also disclosed that the Super Eagles are ready for this month’s international friendly match against Portugal, assuring Nigerians that they will see a more improved performance from the team.
Ikpeme May Become NFF Secretary-General
There are strong indications that the Deputy Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, may be appointed as the new scribe of the football federation today.
The chairman of Zamfara Football Association, Ibrahim Gusau, emerged as the new NFF president last Friday in Benin City during the elective congress of the football body.
The Tidesports source learnt yesterday that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has already commenced the process of replacing the incumbent NFF Secretary General, Mohammed Sanusi, who is from the same geo-political zone with the new president (Gusau).
Apart from the issue of his geographical zone, Sanusi was said to have fallen foul of civil service etiquette through an alleged wrong move he made during the NFF election.
Sanusi was said to have displayed absolute disrespect for the Sports Ministry and the office of the Minister, Sunday Dare, in the build-up to the NFF election in Benin City.
According to a source, Sanusi allegedly wrote a letter in mid-September, this year, to report the Federal Government to FIFA for interfering in the NFF election.
“Sanusi sent a copy of his letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Sports Ministry. The NFF is still a parastatal under the Ministry and answerable to the Minister. The Ministry is the supreme body responsible for the administration of sports in Nigeria and it is fully empowered by the constitution.
“Sanusi and the NFF thought they could use FIFA to blackmail Nigeria.Disrespecting constituted authority is taking it too far by the Secretary-General. He (Sanusi) has created problems for the new NFF president by his behaviour and is likely to be ejected from the NFF secretariat because he is a civil servant, just like other secretaries in the various sporting federations,” the source stated.
Another source hinted yesterday that Ikpeme, who is from the South-South geopolitical zone of the country, might be announced as the new NFF Secretary-General today.
According to the source, the decision to arrive at the choice of Ikpeme as the new NFF scribe is hinged on his experience as the next in command to Sanusi in the Federation.
“Apart from being the most senior officer next to Sanusi in the NFF, the sports ministry recently appointed Olumide Bamiduro as secretary of the Interim Management Committee of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL). Both Bamiduro and the IMC Chairman,Gbenga Elegbeleye, are from the Southwest geopolitical zone,” the source added.
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