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De Bruyne misses penalty kick as Manchester City draw with Liverpool

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De Bruyne misses penalty kick as Manchester City draw with Liverpool

…As Medvedev wears down Zverev to claim third Masters title***

Kevin De Bruyne missed a potential match-winning penalty kick as Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Liverpool in the English Premier League (EPL) on Sunday.

The match’s two goals, a Mohamed Salah penalty kick for Liverpool and a fine turn and finish from Gabriel Jesus for Manchester City, came in a pulsating opening 45 minutes.

The goals, as well as the missed penalty kick, were part of a half in which the last two league champions produced some exciting football.

But the quality and entertainment faded badly after the break.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp will however be the happier with the result, given the fact his side had lost their last three visits to the Etihad stadium in the league.

They now retain a five-point advantage over Manchester City’s ongoing campaign.

Klopp answered the question of whether to replace Roberto Firmino with the in-form Diogo Jota by picking both players in a very attacking line-up and unsurprisingly his side began positively.

The visitors took the lead in the 13th minute when Sadio Mane turned sharply in the box and went down after contact from Kyle Walker and Salah converted the penalty kick.

An even better turn produced Manchester City’s equaliser in the 31st minute when De Bruyne found Jesus in the penalty box.

The Brazilian’s superb twist set him free of Trent Alexander-Arnold and earned him just enough space to poke past Alisson.

Manchester City then wasted an opportunity to take the lead, three minutes before the interval, when De Bruyne missed a penalty kick.

It was awarded after his cross struck the arm of Joe Gomez and referee Craig Pawson gave the penalty kick after checking the pitchside monitor.

Yet the excitement of the opening 45 minutes was not replicated after the break as Manchester City gained greater control but struggled to create real openings.

Ederson did well to save from Diogo Jota at the near post and at the other end Jesus was off-target after being found unmarked in the box by Joao Cancelo.

Liverpool are third on 17 points after eight games with 11th-placed Manchester City on 12 points, having played a game fewer.

In another development, the Russian Daniil Medvedev outclassed German Alexander Zverev 5-7 6-4 6-1 in the Paris final on Sunday to claim his third Masters title.

The third seed, who also defeated Zverev in the Shanghai final last year, returned strongly throughout the match to take his first title of the year.

Medvedev, 24, had more energy in the deciding set and made the most of his opportunities against an inconsistent Zverev, who had won five of their six previous meetings.

A double-fault gave the Russian his eighth career ATP title after two hours and seven minutes.

Both players had a high first-serve percentage early on, holding comfortably until Zverev went 40-0 up on the Russian’s serve at 6-5 to earn the match’s first break-points.

Medvedev saved the first two by dictating the rallies, but he whacked a forehand long on the third and conceded his second set of the tournament.

Zverev faced his first break-points in a fiercely-contested third game in the second set, which he won.

But he dropped serve in the ninth game when he sent a crosscourt backhand long.

Medvedev won his service game to love to level the match and send it into a decider.

He broke to love, held serve after saving four break-points and broke again thanks to a booming service return as he moved 4-0 up.

Zverev’s confidence was gone and the fourth seed never looked capable of mounting a comeback as Medvedev added to his 2019 Shanghai and Cincinnati Masters titles.

Both players will take part in the season-ending ATP Tour Finals at the O2 in London from Nov. 15 to Nov. 22.

Medvedev, the fourth Russian player to win at Bercy after three-times champion Marat Safin, Nikolay Davydenko and Karen Khachanov, said he would go into the tournament full of confidence.

“I’m coming in better shape than last year. Last year I was real exhausted, I had lost in the first round in Paris. That’s when you lose your confidence,” he said.

“When you lose first round you always lose your confidence.”

 

 

Reuters

 

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Ikoyi Club Hosts Asiodu At 90 Golf Tournament

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The Chairman of the famous Ikoyi Club 1938 Alhaji Tafa Zibiri-Aliu, is set to lead other dignitaries to a golf tournament at the Club to celebrate the former Permanent Secretary and Secretary of Petroleum Chief Philip Asiodu (CON, CFR), who turned 90 years recently.

The Golf Kitty which is invitational, and comes up on Thursday 14th March 2024, at the Golf Section of the Club, will have in attendance the Captain Mr. Tade Adekunle, and other distinguished members playing, according to Dr. Austin Irabor a member of the Club who spoke on behalf of the organizers.

He pointed out that it promises to be a true celebration of excellence at the Ikoyi Club 1938 golf course, as members, veterans, captains of industries, and leaders in government and business amongst others gather at the club’s golf course for the 90th birthday celebration golf kitty in honour of Chief Philip Asiodu, who was also a Chief Economic Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Golf Kitty is scheduled to hold on the 14th of March 2024 as part of the activities for the celebration of Chief Asiodu’s 90th birthday.

Chief Asiodu  is the Patriarch of the Asiodu family of  Nnikwu village, Umuaji, Asaba, Delta State, and a distinguished senior member, a veteran of the Ikoyi Club, and the Golf section for many decades

Also, speaking on behalf of the family, Ogbueshi Peter Osamgbi noted that “Chief Asiodu’s landmark age attainment comes as a thing of great joy to us, family and friends of the Retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Former Secretary of Petroleum of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and  Chief Economic Adviser to the President, who is also the Izoma of Asaba”

Pointing out that the sporting engagement through golf is a testament to his blessed life and a celebration of one of Nigeria’s revered economists and dedicated public servants.

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Super Eagles Loss To Ivory Coast Not A Disgrace- Ahmed Toro

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…As Bauchi fans hail referee Beida for good officiating 

Sani  Ahmed Toro, former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) and ex-member House of Representatives, has commended the Super Eagles’ resilience at the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Ahmed Toro in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the aftermath of the Super Eagles 1-2 loss to the Elephants, said that the outcome of the match was not a disgrace.

The Super Eagles on Sunday failed to fly past the Elephants at the finals of the AFCON 2023, played at the 34th edition of the game, at Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan.

Ivorian combative Sebastien Haller, scored the tap in a winning goal to help the hosts 2-1 win over Nigeria.

On-field captain, and Most Valuable Player of the tournament, William Troost-Ekong, with a thumping header as he rose to meet Samuel Chukwueze’s flick-on from a corner, but Franck Kessie equalized just after the hour mark after being left unmarked at the back post from a set piece with another header.

The Ivorians then repeated their comeback strategy as Borussia Dortmund player, Haller, tapped in from Simon Adingra’s cross into the goal.

Ahmed Toro

Ahmed Toro, however,  commended the team for their bravery even though most football pundits did not give them a chance.

“The Super Eagles of Nigeria did their best having gone far till the final match. We were not disgraced at the AFCON.

“Some of us expected them to win, but the game did not go our way. The Federal Government of Nigeria has done its part, so also the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to motivate the team.

“In all, it was a good fight from the Super Eagles,  because this was against all odds or expectations. For every sports-loving Nigerian, we wanted a victory.

“The Super Eagles deserve our commendation, so I congratulate them,” he said.

Ahmed Toro also said it was time for the Eagles to start thinking about the World Cup qualifications.

“We now have to go back to the drawing board and make sure that we qualify for the World Cup, we should focus on that.

“Going forward, we must make sure that we qualify for the World Cup because AFCON is over now, this is the right time for us to put our house in order,” he said.

In another development, the football fans in Bauchi State have praised referee Dahane Beida, of Mauritania, for good officiating during the Cote d’Ivoire finals win over Nigeria, at the 34th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire beat Nigeria’s Super Eagles to capture the African crown, they came from behind to beat Nigeria 2-1, to win the AFCON 2023  title on Sunday, Feb. 11. 

Some football fans in an interview with the News Agency of  Nigeria (NAN) at midnight on Monday in Bauchi, lauded the officiating referee for unbiased officiating.

Mr Adamu Imam, a football fan, said the referee was composed and focused while officiating the match.

“The Mauritanian referee has put in his best to see that the game was perfectly coordinated, without much argument and fewer yellow cards issued. 

“So, I must commend his professionalism at the 2023 AFCON finals.”

Nasiru Ibrahim,  a sports commentator,  said the match was neat and was well-officiated by the referee.

“The referee has done well,” he said. 

Ibrahim, however, said that the Super Eagles coach made some mistakes.

“It was unexpected, and I am devastated. I am hoping to be able to bear the pain of the loss,” he added.

A sports writer, Jennifer Emmanuel, said the referee knew his job, “as a referee, he was impartial to the two teams”. 

“There was no sentiment nor bias in officiating the finals, he deserves commendation,” she said.

According to her, I feel bad but we accept everything in good fate, that’s football for you, Congratulations to Côte d’Ivoire .

“They played like patriots. no matter what happened tonight maximum respect to the super eagles,” Jennifer said with a salute.

Another Sports Enthusiast, Abubakar Waziri, however, noted that while officiating the match, the Mauritanian referee made some mistakes, adding that “it is the beauty of the game”. 

“The Super Eagles played more of a defensive game,  instead of attacking at the beginning of the match.

“There was much pressure on the defence because our midfield was not well coordinated, this put pressure on the defense,” he said. 

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Super Eagles Soar Past S/Africa, Berth In 2023 AFCON final

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Enugu State Football league begins May 24 – Official

The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Wednesday in Bouake qualified for the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), after defeating South Africa in a pulsating semi-final clash.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match played at the Stade de la Paix, Bouake,  was decided on penalties after the game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes of tension-soaked encounter.

The match started on a fast pace, with the South Africans dominating play but was pegged back by the resilient Nigerian defence,  Marshalled by Captain William Troost-Ekong.

The cagey first half ended goalless, despite the forays by both teams.

But in the second half, Nigeria took the lead after Victor Osimhen was fouled inside the 18-yard box.

Ekong stepped up to put the Eagles one goal up.

However, late in the game, substitute Alhassan Yusuf gave away a penalty, which Teboho Mokoena tucked away.

The match was eventually decided on penalties, with Nigeria winning 4-2 after a nervy shoot-out.

Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winning penalty as Nigeria booked their place in the final, sparking a wild celebration in the stadium.

Nigeria will now face the winners of the Cote d’Ivoire vs DR Congo match in Sunday’s final.

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