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Thu, Jun

Early goals from Bernard Ovoke and Frederick Obomate helped Nigerian representative in the CAF confederations cup, Rivers United back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Ugandan side Kampala City Council Authority, KCCA in the match-day 4 encounter at the Yakubu Gowon stadium Port Harcourt.

Rivers United had the upper hand from the kick off and the advantage saw Bernard Ovoke capitalised on the sloppy KCCA defence to head home the first goal in Just 54 seconds after kickoff before Frederick Obomate connected a pass and with all the composure and calm slotted home beyond the goalkeeper despite the pressure from the KCCA defence in the 15th minute of the game.

the goal jolted the Ugandan side to life with Geofrey Serunkuma profiting from a defensive lapse by Rivers united to reduce the deficit just before half time.

The second half saw KCCA grow in confidence but could not convert the dominance to goals before they were reduced to 10 men when Kavuma received a  second booking for a foul on Bolaji Sakin in the 89th minute.

The victory moves Rivers United into second spot in group A of the with 6 points from 4 games.

 

Stuart Baxter, coach of the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, has mocked Nigerian Super Eagles after their 2-0 loss in Uyo on Saturday in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

 

The Englishman said that much as the Super Eagles controlled the match, especially in the early stages, the team lacked the required quality upfront.

 

 

Speaking to South African media on Sunday, Baxter noted that with good cutting edge in front of goal, the score line would not have been bad for the Super Eagles.

 

“We are still relishing that result and it is good that we win. I am so happy because I just joined the team back and it is good we start well for the AFCON qualifiers.

 

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“I will still say kudos to the Nigerians because they stretched us and made some dangerous movements. But if I may sound very respectful and modest, their attack was not the very best they could have presented.

 

 

“They were without quality frontline, otherwise, they could have scored in the early exchanges but like I said earlier, it is good that my players responded very well in the match,” he said.

 

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Nigeria is currently third in the qualifying group behind leaders, Libya, and South Africa and will play Seychelles, who lost 1-5 to Libya in their next encounter.

The Super Eagles will on Thursday, 1st June 2017 take the pitch against the Hawks of Togo in an international friendly in Paris.

 

Coach Gernot Rohr is using Thursday’s game, just like last Friday’s session against Corsica Island in Ajaccio, as preparation for next weekend’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in Uyo.

 

The match against the Hawks will be played at the Stade Municipal de Saint Leu La Foret, Paris starting from 7pm (6pm Nigeria time).

 

Forward Kelechi Iheanacho, who scored from the spot to level scores (1-1) against Corsica on Friday, is one of 20 players in the Eagles’ Hyatt Regency Hotel camp in Paris, and who have been training in the French capital ahead of Thursday’s game.

 

Goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Alampasu, defenders Elderson Echiejile, William Ekong, Chidozie Awaziem, Tyronne Ebuehi and Abdullahi Shehu, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Mikel Agu, Oghenekaro Etebo, Alhassan Ibrahim and Uche Agbo, and strikers Ahmed Musa, Stephen Odey, Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekuru, Alex Iwobi, Olanrewaju Kayode and Sikiru Olatubosun are the others.

 

Thursday’s match will be the 17th clash between both West African countries at senior level, with Nigeria having won nine of the previous 16 clashes. Togo won in three, while four matches were drawn.

 

The first match between both countries at senior level took place on 6th October 1956. Albert Onyeanwuna (of blessed memory) scored the game’s only goal, with Nigeria’s roster also including the likes of Dan Anyiam, Sam Ibiam, Asuquo Ekpe and Cyril Asoluka. Paul ‘Wonder Boy’ Hamilton (also of blessed memory) scored the one goal in each of two friendlies in Lagos in 1966.

 

Nigeria’s biggest win over Togo remains the 3-0 scoreline in a 1992 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match in Lagos in August 1990, but Nigerians will never forget the 5-2 hiding by the Hawks in a WAFU Cup match in Abidjan in December 1983.

 

NIGERIA & TOGO AT SENIOR LEVEL 

6 Oct 1956: Nigeria 1 Togo 0 – Lagos (Friendly)

29 Dec 1964: Nigeria 1 Togo 2 – Lagos (All-Africa Games Qualifier)

6 Mar 1966: Nigeria 1 Togo 0 – Lagos (Friendly)

9 Apr 1966: Nigeria 1 Togo 0 – Lagos (Friendly)

2 Apr 1967: Togo 1 Nigeria 0 – Lome (Afcon Qualifier)

15 Apr 1967: Nigeria 4 Togo 2 – Lagos (Afcon Qualifier)

23 Apr 1975: Togo 0 Nigeria 1 – Dakar (Friendly)

13 June 1980: Togo 0 Nigeria 1 – Lome (Friendly)

9 July 1983: Nigeria 2 Togo 1 – Ibadan (Olympics Qualifier)

27 July 1983: Togo 1 Nigeria 1 – Lome (Olympics Qualifier)

16 Dec 1983: Togo 5 Nigeria 2 – Abidjan (WAFU Cup)

29 July 1986: Togo 2 Nigeria 2 – Lome (Friendly)

18 Mar 1987: Nigeria 2 Togo 0 – Lagos (Afcon Qualifier)

2 Apr 1987: Togo 1 Nigeria 1 – Lome (Afcon Qualifier)

18 Aug 1990: Nigeria 3 Togo 0 – Lagos (Afcon Qualifier)

27 Jan 1991: Togo 0 Nigeria 0 – Lome (Afcon Qualifier)

 

Former Super Eagles chief coach, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, has paid a glowing tribute to the late wife of one of Nigeria’s biggest legendary players, Teslim ‘Thunder’ Balogun, as the family marks the 19th year memorial of her demise.

 

Onigbinde, stated that, Alhaja Mulikat Balogun, was a great motivator to her late husband when he was an active Nigeria’s international footballer. “Thunder Balogun was a great asset to Nigeria because of the active contributions of his wife. She rendered quality assistance to various youth clubs in Lagos state that aided the development of the game that brought fame to her husband.”

 

The former General Manager of the IICC Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan noted that, Mulikat ‘Thunder’ Balogun left behind a memorable high profile of her immense contributions to the development of Nigerian football. “In 1958, she was the one who persuaded her husband to dump his British club, Queens Park Rangers to return to Nigeria so as to assist the West Rovers in their quest to win the Nigeria Challenge Cup title, which ‘Thunder’ eventually helped achieved. This followed a passionate plea to her by the then Premier of Western Nigeria, Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.”

 

The President General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, in his tribute to the late Mulikat ‘Thunder’ Balogun, said she was a great lover who played a noble role on her husband’s glorious soccer career.

Derrick Nsibambi scored twice for Uganda's KCCA to earn them a 2-1 win over Nigeria's Rivers United in Kampala on Saturday.

He scored KCCA's first after 15 minutes before Bolaji Sakin fired into the roof of the net 18 minutes later to equalize for Rivers.

Nsibambi scored what proved to be the winner with a shot from inside the area with 19 minutes left to play.

Despite the win KCCA coach Mike Mutebi felt his side should have won by more.

"We should have got more goals because we created the chances, but now we return to the drawing board for the away game in Nigeria on June 20th," he said.

His Nigerian counterpart Stanley Eguma was not happy with his defence.

"My boys tried to play a good game, but the early goal was our problem. We also didn't defend well," he said.

The other match in Group A was played on Friday and Morocco's FUS Rabat came from behind to beat visiting Club Africain of Tunisia 2-1.

Algerian Ibrahim Chenihi gave the Tunisian's the lead after 19 minutes before FUS drew level early in the second half through a penalty by Mohammed Fouzair.

Ayoub Skouma found the net in injury time to give the Moroccans all three points.

The results mean that after three group matches FUS and KCCA both have six points while Rivers and Club Africain are on three.

Also on Saturday in Group D there was a 1-0 win for Guinea's Horoya away in Gabon against Mounana.

Seydou Camara with the only goal of the match after 72 minutes.

The result puts Horoya onto five points from three matches while Mounana are still searching for the first one of the group stage.

On Sunday holder TP Mazembe of DR Congo host SuperSport United of South Africa in the other Group D encounter both sides are on four points from two games.

On Friday in Group B Swaziland's Mbabane Swallows earned a goalless draw with visitors Mouloudia Alger of Algeria.

The draw keeps Mouloudia at the top of Group B with five points and Mbabane second a point behind.

Three-time winners CS Sfaxien can overtake both teams if they beat South Africa's Platinum Stars in Tunisia on Sunday evening.

Viewers tuning into watch Zambia so far at the FIFA U-20 World Cup may have noticed a subtle but consistent feature of their games – outside of the raw attacking pace and power they have often displayed.

 

While drums have been adding to the atmosphere across the stadia so far at Korea Republic 2017, when Zambia is in town, there is one notable addition to that percussion section. With his chants of “Let’s go Zambia, let’s go” repeated a thousandfold across the course of a game, Peter Makembo – drum strapped to his chest – cannot be faulted for the lengths he goes to to pull the current of the crowd behind his team.

 

As the President of the Zambia Sports Fans Association, it is perhaps not a surprise to find him leading the charge. “Whatever is going on on the field,” he told FIFA.com following their thrilling 4-2 comeback against Iran, “they can look up into the stands and see the big man, drumming up the crowd, only wanting victory.”

 

Providing “a 4-2-4 system of drums and support” and decked out in the colours of his country, Makembo is clearly committed to his role as chief cheerleader, and knows the power it can have. “In football, the 12th man plays a very big role,” he explained from the stands of the Jeju World Cup Stadium.

 

“When the 12th man goes to sleep, it becomes a problem. We don’t make room for that at all. We make sure that we give them the extra power, the extra munition, that comes with extra support.

 

“Most fans, when their team is down, follow them. All fans ever want is to see their team go on to victory, so when things are going badly on the pitch, you have to be seen adding extra force and rhythm to the team.”

 

But maintaining the vocal stamina to keep that four-second chant alive throughout the game is a mean feat, but when Makembo adds that he is a church pastor, the natural command of voice and crowd all makes sense. As too his religious commitment to following his team around the globe.

 

“Wherever my national team is, they provoke my presence,” he passionately insisted, with plans already in place to travel to Algeria for their FIFA World Cup™ qualifier. “To me, football is my food. I sleep in it, I wake up in it, that’s my nature. When there is nothing like that, I feel like I’m missing something.”

 

Makembo hopes to see his ranks bolstered by even more fans when Zambia take on Germany in Jeju, hoping to provide the extra push, as the Junior Chipolopolo look to achieve their best-ever U-20 World Cup finish – having been roared on by packed-out crowds in becoming African champions on home soil in March.

 

But the clergyman’s message to the players for their next challenge is simple. “Play to the last whistle. When god says it’s over, it’s over.”

A team of inspectors from the Nigeria Football Federation has declared the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo ready for next month’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying cracker between Nigeria and South Africa.

 

Led by the Chairman of NFF Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green, the team expressed delight with the state of the pitch during a final inspection carried out on Monday.

 

“We want to express our appreciation to the Akwa Ibom State Government and the people of the State for their co-operation in observing no activity on the pitch of the stadium. That has helped to retain the lush nature of the turf.

 

“The NFF is of the belief that this abstinence will be observed until after the match,” said Green, who led a first inspection to the venue last month.

 

Also in the NFF delegation were NFF Executive Committee member, Ibrahim Musa Gusau and Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme.

 

Green and his team were conducted round the arena by the Permanent Secretary, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Aniedi Dickson, the Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Football Association, Mr. Emmanuel Iba and the Chairman of Akwa United Football Club/SSA to Governor on Sports, Mr. Paul Bassey.

 

PHOTO: (L-R): Mr. Dickson (Permanent Secretary, Akwa Ibom Ministry of Youth and Sports); Paul Bassey (Chairman, Akwa United/SSA to Governor on Sports); Dr. Ikpeme (NFF Deputy General Secretary); Barr. Green (leader of delegation); Mr. Iba (Chairman, Akwa Ibom FA) and; Alh. Gusau (Member, NFF Executive Committee).

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