Sports: FIFA U-20 World Cup: Nigeria beat Qatar

By Fifa.com

Nigeria delivered a bold statement of intent with a 4-0 thumping of Qatar in their Group D curtain-raiser at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019,. The Flying Eagles, runners-up to a Joao Pinto-propelled Portugal in 1989 and a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina in 2005, soared 2-0 up inside 25 minutes – and both goals were indebted to their left-back, reports FIFA.

Ikouwem Utin duped his marker and unleashed a swerving shot, which Shehab Mamdouh could only push into the path of Maxwell Effiom, whose first-time volley broke the deadlock. The Nigeria No3 then somehow sprung four challenges down the left and cut the ball back to present Okechukwa Offia with a comfortable finish from close range. Qatar did have their chances. Zulkifilu Rabiu catapulted himself across the Tychy turf to make an outstanding block from Yusuf Abdurisag, and Nigeria goalkeeper Olawale Oremade was alert to break up a three-on-one break from which the underdogs should have made more.

They were further punished, esteemed Manchester City midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru making it 3-0 before Aliu Salawudeen’s swivel and shot completed the rout. The teams return to action on Monday, when Qatar face Ukraine and Nigeria encounter USA.

Advertisements

ZAMBIA: ARROWS HOST TOP SPOT HUNTING ZESCO UNITED

By Lucky Mwewa Chama

Zambia Air Force sponsored side Red Arrows Football Club will this afternoon welcome seven time Zambia Super League champions, Zesco United at in a rescheduled week seven encounter at Nkoloma Stadium.

The Chisi Mbewe drilled side will play host to Zega, with the Airmen boasting two wins on the trot, a winning run that has seen them beat Zanaco 2-1 at Nkoloma Stadium as well as Mufulira Wanderers 3-nil away in Mufulira over the weekend.

Red Arrows Captain Bruce Musakanya and his lads will be looking to break into the top four with a win, having won the league title once in 2004 and will be fancying their chances of playing continental football with race for the top two places still far from being over.

Zesco on the other hand have also managed to pick six points in their last two league encounters and in the process scoring five goals, allowing two goals. A win for the Ndola based side will see them top the table in Stream A of the transitional league.

On a day that marks exactly one year since George Lwandamina who is fondly called ‘Chicken’ by the Zesco fans was appointed for the second time as Zesco United boss after returning from Tanzania where he coached Yanga Football Club, the likes of Lazarous Kambole will be expected to play a pivotal role for Zesco United alongside Jesse Were and John Ching’andu.

The match will kick-off at 15:00Hrs.

Source Zambian Football

South Africa: PSL Confirm Changes To Kick-Off Times, While 6 Serve Suspension

By Soccer Laduma

The Premier Soccer League has confirmed changes to the kick-off times due to the change in season.

With just six games left to play in the current 2018/19 Absa Premiership campaign, the league has since changed afternoon kick-off times from 15h30, to 15h00.

However, the PSL confirmed that this would apply to all fixtures across the PSL, including the National First Division and cup competitions, such as the Nedbank Cup which is currently underway.

“This is in line with PSL’s standard practice of adjusting afternoon kick-off times in winter and in summer.”

“The 15h30 kick-off time will now move to 15h00. This will apply to all Absa Premiership, National First Division and Cup Competitions,” as stated in a press release.

In addition, heading into this weekend’s Absa Premiership clashes, there are currently six players serving a suspension.

Thembinkosi Lorch from Orlando Pirates, Black Leopards’ Khomotso Masia and Khuliso Mudua, Chippa United’s Tercious Malepe and Rusaigh Gamildien and AmaZulu’s Phumlani Gumede will all miss this weekend’s league action.

Source Soccer Laduma

Nigeria: Willy Udube happy with Go Round NPFL season

By Kolade Oni

The Omoku-based side handler has explained some of the challenges his team is facing in their second season in the top-flight

Go Round head coach, Willy Udube has expressed his delight at the club’s form in the 2019 Nigeria Professional Football League despite the challenges that come with playing against other top-flight teams.

Despite only missing out on a place in the relegation zone last season by the whiskers, the Omoku-based side have been turning heads in their second season in the elite division and Udube is thrilled that his inexperienced side is coping in the elite division.

He noted that it has not been easy for him and the rest of the technical crew to ensure that the club remains very competitive amidst experienced clubs in the top-flight who have the financial power to spend big in the transfer market.

“The games are tough, but this is the case because we have a young and inexperienced team,” Udube told the club media.

“I have said it before and I will continue to say it that I have a very average team. Go Round FC is a modest club that does not have the financial power to bring in experienced players to the team.

“All this time, we have been trying to see how we can blend the players we have. It is not easy for us. It is a very big job for us, but I strongly believe that with the little we are putting in, this team will pick up before the middle of the FA Cup.”

Go Round are presently in the sixth spot in the NPFL Group B with 21 points from 14 matches and they will up against FC IfeanyiUbah this weekend in another top-flight action in Nnewi.

Source Goal

Nigeria: Lobi Keep Up With MFM With Sunshine Stars in NPFL

By Ridwan Yusuf

Sikiru Alimi‘s 42nd-minute goal is all Lobi Stars require to collect maximum points and rise from No 8 to fourth in Group A of the Nigeria Professional League (NPFL) 2019. For Sunshine Stars, they drop one place to No 10, allowing Bendel Insurance to gain one spot after the MatchDay 14 tie.

Concise News reports that with two matches outstanding (both away – to Sunshine Stars and Rangers), Lobi Stars are now only three points behind leaders MFM.

At the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi on Monday, the two-time Nigeria champions took the game to their visitors from the blast of the whistle with Alimi Sikiru and Samad Kadiri combining well and posing a constant threat to the away side’s defence. However, Sunshine’s Ayo Ojo prevented his team from going down to an early goal pulling some impressive saves.

The defence line of the Akure-based club would be breached in the 42nd minute when tormentor-in-chief, Alimi scored from an assist by Samad.At the start of the second half, Sunshine Stars improved their game, creating some chances, but Lobi shot-stopper, John Lawrence was at his best to help his team clinch all three points.

Following the victory, Lobi Stars have moved to the fourth position with 20 points from 12 games on the Group A log, while Sunshine Stars dropped further into the relegation zone, occupying 10th position with 16 points from 13 games.

Source Concise

SA: Amajita claim bronze at Africa Youth Championships

By MIHLALI BALEKA

Amajita claimed bronze in the Africa Youth Championships following a 5-3 win in the lottery of penalty shoot-outs against Nigeria in the third/fourth place play-offs after the game ended 0-0 in regulation time at Stade General Seyni Kountche on Saturday night in Niger.

Captain Khulekani Kubheka was yet again the hero for the South Africans as he pulled off an important save in the Flying Eagles’ initial spot kick in the shootouts.

This was a continuation from the qualifiers for the Amajita goalkeeper and captain as he had ensured that they made it to this tournament after spot-kick saves against Lesotho.

Amajita will now exit the tournament on a high especially with the qualification of the World Cup and third spot secured.

Coach Thabo Senong made six changes to the team that lost to Senegal in the semi-final of the tournament as he gave starts to Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Malebogo Modise, Simphiwe Ncami, Njabulo Blom, Bayanda Shangase and Luvuyo Phewa.

Amajita started the encounter on a high note as they could easily combine the passes going forward. Their penetrative effect was centred around Ngcobo, who was a link between attack and defence.

Midway through the first half, they should have taken the lead when Ngcobo connected with Siphesishle Mkhize but for the latter to only deliver his header wide of the target.

The Nigerians nearly punished Amajita for that missed opportunity, but Paschal Durugbor also put his header wide. Durugbor is no stranger to scoring goals having netted the equaliser that took them to the lottery of penalties against Mali in the semi-final.

Kobamelo Kodisang, who plies his trade for Associação Desportiva Sanjoanense in Portugal, was the standout man for Amajita in the first half as he also came close to putting his name on the score-sheet but only to fluff the opportunity.

The second stanza lacked flow as both teams wanted to maintain their defensive record. Prior to this encounter, Amajita had kept two clean sheets while conceding only twice. On the other hand, the Flying Eagles had only conceded once against Mali in the semi-final.

The Nigerians, did, however, have numerous chances to take the lead in the second half but only to be denied by some brilliant goalkeeping from Kubheka or with their long-range attempts failing to hit the target.

However, neither side could find the breakthrough in regulation time and the two teams went straight into penalty shootouts. Senong’s men got all their kicks on target, while Mkhize scored the all-important decider that ensured that they grabbed their first ever third spot – and ultimately walking away with the bronze medal.

Meanwhile, Senegal will be hoping for a third-time-lucky charm when they play Mali in the final on Sunday, and with kick-off at 5:30 pm. In the previous edition, the Young Lions of Teranga finished second as they went down to hosts Zambia.

Source iol