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Argentina outclass Poland to advance, in spite of Messi’s penalty kick miss

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Argentina outclass Poland to advance, in spite of Messi’s penalty kick miss

 Lionel Messi missed a first-half penalty kick but Argentina’s Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez scored in a 2-0 victory over Poland at Stadium 974 on Wednesday in Qatar.

The result however ensured that both teams booked their places in the knockout stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Argentina’s victory moved Lionel Scaloni’s side to the top of Group C and they will face Australia in the last 16.

Second-placed Poland, who qualified on goals difference after Mexico beat Saudi Arabia 2-1, will take on reigning champions France.

Argentina took the lead just one minute into the second half when Mac Allister got on the end of Nahuel Molina’s cross.

In spite of making weak contact, he saw his shot creep over the line with Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny beaten.

The goal was just a reward for Argentina who had dominated possession while Poland had barely managed to get out of their own half.

The South American side’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was a mere spectator for the majority of the game.

The second goal was the result of some patient build-up, where Argentina knocked the ball around before Enzo Fernandez unlocked the defence with a through-ball for Alvarez.

He found space in the penalty box and smashed the ball into the top corner.

Earlier, Poland was up in arms when Argentina was awarded a controversial penalty kick after a VAR check for a foul on Messi.

That was when Szczesny’s glove brushed his face as the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward rose up for a header at the far post.

But Szczesny was up to the task and in spite of the thousands of Argentina fans raising the decibel levels inside the arena, he kept his composure and guessed correctly.

He dived to his left and used one hand to swat aside Messi’s effort from the spot.

In spite of the miss, Messi ran the show for Argentina in a match where the two skippers represented FC Barcelona’s past and present.

With a last-16 spot and potential elimination both on the cards in a close group, it was Barca’s record goalscorer Messi who was at the heart of Argentina’s attacks.

He dictated play by dropping deep and tormented the Polish defence.

Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, who has 18 goals in 19 games for Barca this season, did not have a single attempt on goal.

At the other end, Szczesny had been kept busy the entire half with the Poland defence breached time and again.

But the Juventus goalkeeper stood firm to deny Argentina who grew more confident with every attack.

He first denied Alvarez when the Manchester City forward broke through the offside trap.

Then, he tipped Angel Di Maria’s cross over the bar when his Juve teammate attempted to score directly from a corner kick.

But Szczesny could do nothing but scramble when Mac Allister took his shot even before Poland could settle down after the restart.

Alvarez’s shot for the second goal was too good for any goalkeeper.

“It’s so emotional for me, for the whole squad. It’s a dream come true,” Mac Allister told reporters.

“I debuted with this team, I’m so proud of that. And now managing to score in a World Cup —- I’m so happy.

“(After Messi’s penalty kick) we tried to stay positive, to stay calm. We did not feel down. We tried to be optimistic…Fortunately, we managed to win and go through.”

Argentina nearly made it 3-0 in second-half added time when Nicolas Tagliafico was released down the left and he chipped the ball over Szczesny.

But he saw Jakub Kiwior track back to make a timely intervention and head the ball off the line.

However, Argentina got what they wanted — leapfrogging Poland to take top spot in the group and avoid an early knockout fixture against mighty France.

Poland, meanwhile, will be relieved to reach the last 16 for the first time since 1986.

How They Finished in Group C

Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts

Argentina 3 2 0 1 5 2 +3 6

Poland 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4

Mexico 3 1 1 1 2 3 -1 4

Saudi Arabia 3 1 0 2 3 5 -2 3

* Argentina and Poland advance to the second round

– Reuters

Economy

LASG Issues Travel Advisory Ahead Of Students Rave Event

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LASG Issues Travel Advisory Ahead Of Students Rave Event

… Says traffic will be restricted between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout from 7:00 am*** 

The Lagos State Government has advised Motorists to plan their movement around Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Old Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island ahead of the Students Rave 2023 event scheduled for Friday, 27th January 2023.

As a result of the above rally, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde disclosed that traffic will be restricted between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout from 7:00 am on the aforementioned day. He assured that Officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) will be available to manage traffic flow.

Explaining the alternative routes, Oladeinde advises Motorists plying Island Club road by Police Headquarters Zone 2, Onikan to go through Ozumba Mbadiwe road inbound Falomo Bridge (Five Cowries Bridge) to link Alfred Rewane and Osborne road to complete their journeys.

In the same vein, Motorists from Bonny Camp according to the diversion plan can access CMS/Marina Bridge after Independence Bridge (Mekunwen Bridge) and loop it down towards Cathedral Church to connect Lagos Island proper through Odunlami Street for their desired destinations,

The Transport Commissioner also advises Motorists to utilize Force road beside Muson Centre to link J.K Randle Avenue (Race Course) or go through Onikan Roundabout to connect JK Randle Avenue/Water Board area to access CMS Bridge by the State House/Old NITEL Building.

He further explained that Water Board inbound Broad Street to Tinubu Square will be available to Motorists, adding that they can equally access Old Defense road/ Ganiyu Smith from Water Board to link Igbosere/Sandgrouse to Simpson Street and connect Third Mainland Bridge to continue their journeys to other parts of the State.

The Transport Commissioner reiterated that Security and Law Enforcement Agencies will be at all strategic junctions and intersections to ensure the safety and security of all road users and the free flow of traffic within the perimeter of the venue and alternative routes outside the venue.

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Health and Safety

Military Destroys 39 Illegal Refineries, Apprehends Oil Thieves; Niger Lifts Curfew on Lambata

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Military Destroys 39 Illegal Refineries, Apprehends Oil Thieves; Niger Lifts Curfew on Lambata

 Defence Headquarters says the troops of the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, have in the last two weeks destroyed 39 illegal oil refining sites in the South-South zone.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami made this known at a bi-weekly news briefing on military operations on Thursday, in Abuja.

Danmadami said the troops in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip and other operations destroyed 48 cooking ovens, 103 storage tanks, 27 dugout pits and 33 wooden boats during the period.

He said the troops also recovered one tug boat, a barge, 3 pumping machines, three speedboats and 13 vehicles.

According to him, troops recovered 274,000 litres of crude oil, 71,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, and 15 Ak47 rifles, while 40 suspected economic saboteurs were arrested.

“All recovered items and apprehended suspects have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action,” he said.

“Equally, the air component of Operation Delta Safe conducted air interdiction to several illegal refining sites and creeks at Gogokiri Degema and Okrika Local Government Areas both in Rivers State between Jan. 12 and Jan. 24.

“Crew observed the sites to be active makeshift tents sighted as well as illegal refining activities been carried out.

“Targets were engaged with weapons and the locations were observed to have exploded in an inferno while the illegal refining equipment were also destroyed,” he said.

In South East, defence spokesman said the military and other security agencies had sustained the offensive against the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals in the zone.

He said the troops had neutralised six terrorists, arrested 24 and rescued 16 abducted civilians.

According to him, several calibres of arms and ammunition including AK47 rifles, pump action rifles, IEDs and locally made explosive pipes among other items were also recovered.

In another development, Gov.  Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger has directed the lifting of the curfew on Lambata town in Gurara Local Government Area of the state.

The directive is contained in a statement by the Secretary to the state Government, Mr Ahmed Matane in Minna on Thursday.

The governor had on Jan. 15 imposed from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. as a result of a violent clash that led to the killing of the village head of Lambata, Alhaji Muhammed Abdulsafur.

Matane explained that the lifting of the curfew would begin on Jan. 26.

He said that the curfew was lifted having reviewed the security situation and return of peace in Lambata town and environs.

He said that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ogundele Ayodeji had visited Lambata town and commenced investigation into the matter that led to the killing of the village head, stressing that arrests had also been made in connection with the violent clash.

Matane, however, urged the people of Lambata and the public to always be law-abiding and to remain peaceful with one another regardless of social, political or religious affiliations.

According to him, security agencies have been directed to ensure the safety of lives and property of the people of the area.

Matane noted that the governor thanked the residents of Lambata town for their understanding in complying with the curfew.

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crime

Adamawa Violent Crimes: Police arrest 208 suspects in January, Recover AK47 riffles, locally fabricated guns

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Adamawa Violent Crimes: Police arrest 208 suspects in January, Recover AK47 riffles, locally fabricated guns

The Police Command in Adamawa says it has arrested 208 suspects in connection with various crimes in the state.

The Commissioner of Police (CP) Sikiru Akande, disclosed this at a news conference in Yola on Thursday.

Akande disclosed that 108 of the suspects had already been charged in court.

He disclosed that the suspects were arrested in connection with suspected Kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling and other violent crimes.

According to him, seven AK47 riffles, seven locally fabricated guns, generators, and televisions among other exhibits, were recovered.

“Early this year the command renewed its commitment and designed a security template to deliver on the mandate of the IGP Usman Alkali Baba to leave a deepened legacy of Democratic system and credible electoral process in the country.

“From Jan. 1st to date, the command operatives carried out tactical and intelligence-driven patrols, raiding of criminal hideouts, rescue operations, stop and search operations, community policing, and engagement of stakeholders among others.

“These operations yielded positive results and a total of 208 suspects were arrested in connection with kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling and other violent crimes, out of which 108 suspects were charged to court.”

Akande commended the government and people of Adamawa for the support and cooperation rendered to the command that yielded the success recorded.

He gave assurance that all the suspects would be diligently prosecuted upon completion of investigation.

“Those at large will equally be traced and made to face the wrath of the law,” he said.

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