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How Are the African Teams Faring in World Cup 2022?

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Now that the first round of group game matches at World Cup 2022 have all taken place, we’re starting to see which teams have come racing out the traps under the Qatari sun, and which are looking like they might wilt in the heat. Obviously we all know how sad us Nigerians are over the Super Eagles absence at this tournament, but there’s still plenty of exciting football for us to feast upon in the coming weeks.

 

So, let’s take a quick look at how the five African nations that did qualify this time round have done after the first round of matches and see if they’re doing the continent proud over in the Middle East.

 

Senegal

 

As they’re in Group A, the AFCON champions were up first, with a tough fixture against European powerhouses, the Netherlands. Unfortunately, Senegal lost their star-man, Sadio Mane, to injury in the lead-up to the tournament, and with him out of the side, pundits worried that they would struggle to fill the gap left from his momentous presence up-front.

 

That seemed to be the case in their 0-2 loss to the Dutch, where they battled valiantly for 84 minutes, but were just not able to finish any chances, and then were hit by two sucker-punch goals.

 

Tunisia

 

Next up, in Group D, were Tunisia, who had to face-off against many people’s ‘dark horse’ for this World Cup, Denmark. The Carthage Eagles clearly weren’t feeling overwhelmed though, as they took the fight to the Scandinavians, earning a 0-0 draw. They even forced a couple of great saves by the Danish keeper, Kasper Schmeichel, which could’ve tipped the tie in their favour.

 

They’ve even shown they have luck on their side, as they survived a late VAR scare, which saw the referee actually overturn a Danish penalty decision for handball.

 

Morocco

 

When it comes to disorderly build-ups to a World Cup, Morocco’s has to be right up there. They fired their previous coach just three months before the tournament kicked-off, but the replacement, Walid Regragui, seems to have installed some tactical nous in that short amount of time.

 

This is because they played the 2018’s World Cup finalists Croatia in their first match in Group F and impressively looked their equal, with the result ending all square in a 0-0 draw. This result will have many experts scratching their heads, as they expected the European side to blow away Morocco.

 

That’s the beauty of football, though, and why it’s such a popular sport for bettors in many countries, as there are always many upsets. This is true for India, where the best football betting sites in India are served up over on Asia Bet. These carefully selected online bookmakers allow you to bet on everything to do with the beautiful game, from local Indian leagues all the way to the biggest matches at this World Cup. Plus, there’s a clear rundown of Indian betting laws, so users can easily navigate gambling in the country.

 

Cameroon

 

The Indomitable Lions have a proud World Cup history, with this being their eighth appearance on the biggest stage in world football. Cameroon is in Group G this time round, and it looks like being a tricky task for them to make it out, as they lost their first game to Switzerland.

 

It was a narrow defeat, with them only losing by a single goal, and the player that got the winner was actually born in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde. The attacking-midfielder Breel Embolo, moved to Switzerland when he was young, though, and gained his Swiss citizenship eight years ago. You could tell it was an emotional moment, scoring against his birth nation, and he refused to celebrate.

 

Ghana

 

You might have noticed that no African side has managed to score yet in the first round of fixtures at World Cup 2022. It was up to the last to play, Ghana then, to make sure the continent didn’t go completely goalless, and the good news is that the Black Stars were up to the task. Captain Andre Ayew tapped home a lovely low cross, and then substitute Osman Bukari managed to power a brilliant header into the net.

 

The bad news is that they were up against a talented Portugal side in their opening Group H game, who managed to score three times and take the victory. Nevertheless, Ghana should be emboldened by their stirring performance going forward and look like the strongest African side so far.

Photo Credit- History Of Soccer

 

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Okowa Lauds Athletes Ahead Olympics Trials

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President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Tonobok Okowa, has once again mandated all athletes looking to represent the country at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to attend the Nigerian Trials, which hold from June 16 to 18 inside the main bowl of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin-City.
Making his stance clear in Monday’s release by the athletics body, Okowa commended the athletes for their determination to qualify for the Olympics.
He said, “The athletes have shown commitment, determination, and desire to succeed in their careers by picking Olympic qualifications. They deserve our collective appreciation.”
He added, “The athletes would be picked in accordance with their performances at the trials because it would largely determine who goes to Paris for the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, Yusuf Alli, says the state is waiting to welcome athletes for the trials.
He said, “We are the hosts of the national trials, and athletes and spectators are welcome.”
The trials are expected to throw up the best of Nigeria’s athletes based at home and abroad for the Olympic Games in Paris in July.

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Emerging Star Eyes Olympics Place For Nigeria

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Nigerian track and field star, Favour Ofili, has set her sights on the upcoming national Olympics trials after she pulled off a stunning victory in the women’s 100m at the New York Grand Prix, defeating a stellar field that included Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica last Sunday.
The 21-year-old clocked a season-best 11.18secs to take the win, America’s Morolake Akinosun was second in 11.20secs while her compatriot Aleia Hobbs ended in third place in 11.21secs.Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo Olympics 100m and 200m gold medalist, could only manage ninth place in 11.48secs as she continues to search for her best form this season.
“Just like practice, stay calm and just go, finish your transition because that’s the issue, and whatever happens will happen. I wanted to get the standard here and I give God glory for the win,” Ofili told Tidesports source after the race.
“For the trials, stay calm and just do what I know how to do, go back and do some training before I go back home for the national trials.”
The Olympic trials are scheduled to hold in Benin City, Edo State from June 16 to 18. The trials will serve as the selection of the nation’s athletes for both the Senior Africa Athletics Championships, holding between June 21 and 28 in Douala, Cameroon and the Paris 2024 Olympics, which hold from July 26 to August 11.

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Olympic Day Celebrations Hold June 29

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The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), at the weekend, said the annual Olympic Day celebrations would be held on June 29 across the country.
The Olympic Day is a global event that commemorates the birth of the modern Olympic Movement, founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894.
Speaking with news men, the Secretary-General of the NOC, Babatunde Popoola, said this year’s celebration holds special significance as it precedes the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
It’s where Nigerian athletes will compete and inspire the world with their achievements.
“Olympic Day is a chance for people of all ages and abilities to experience the magic of the Olympic Games in their own communities.
“It is an ideal platform to highlight the benefits of physical activity and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect,” Popoola said.
Popoola said that NOC had received positive responses from various states and stakeholders, and preparations were well underway for the nationwide celebration.
He added that no fewer than 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory have indicated their plans to organise activities for the event.
The states are: Abia; Anambra; Bayelsa; Delta; Edo; Enugu; Ebonyi; Lagos; Kogi; Gombe; Jigawa; Kebbi; Kano; Kwara; Taraba; Imo; Ondo; Plateau; Rivers; Nasarawa and Osun
Also speaking, the Chairman of the NOC Sport For All Commission, Abdul Ibrahim, said that Olympic Day was a special day to come together, move together, and learn about the Olympic values.
“We encourage everyone to participate and experience the joy that only sport can bring,” he said.
According to him, a series of activities have been lined up in Lagos, with fitness clubs at the National Stadium Complex and the general public gearing up to take part in the global event.
“The celebration will conclude with the presentation of diplomas signed by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach.
The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr. Habu Ahmed Gumel and other dignitaries will officially flag off the event in Abuja,” he added.

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