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Neymar back to PSG training amid likely Barcelona return

Neymar showed up for training at Paris Saint-Germain on Monday, according to French media reports, a week late and days after controversially claiming his best football memory was beating PSG when he played for Barcelona.

A video posted on the website of leading sports daily L’Equipe showed the 27-year-old Brazilian – his hair dyed peroxide blonde – getting out of a black Mercedes van at the club’s training ground in the suburbs of the French capital.

PSG officially began pre-season training last Monday but Neymar, linked with a move back to Barcelona, was not there with the player’s camp maintaining he had a prior agreement to stay away.

The French champions responded last week by threatening to take “appropriate action” against the world’s most expensive player, who said he had stayed in Brazil to attend a charity five-a-side football tournament run by his foundation, the Neymar Institute.

On Saturday, Neymar, who joined PSG for €222 million (Dh913m) from Barcelona in 2017, made a series of remarks that strained his relationship further with the club and sparked outrage on social media.

Asked by online sports channel Oh My Goal about his best memory in football, the troubled superstar cited Barcelona’s incredible 2017 Champions League victory over PSG when he was part of the team that overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit by winning 6-1 in the second leg of their last-16 tie.

Neymar posted a 10-second video of himself in a Barcelona shirt and a quote from the Bible: “No weapon turned against you will prosper.”

Neymar’s father, who is also the player’s representative, later defended his son in an Instagram post, saying: “At no point did my son show a lack of respect to PSG or the players who played in that game in 2017.”

“My son plays for PSG, but he can’t simply ignore his past. A past that led to him arriving at the French club,” Neymar Senior added.

After God, it’s Otedola in my life, says Christian Chukwu

Christian Chukwu, former Super Eagles coach, says he lack words to use in thanking Femi Otedola, billionaire businessman, for footing his medical bill.

Through the assistance of Otedola, Chukwu, who was down with prostrate cancer, underwent a surgery at Wellington Hospital in London.

Otedola had issued him a cheque of $50,000 ahead of the medical trip.

When he visited the billionaire upon his return to the country, Chukwu said after God, Otedola is the next person in his life.

“Otedola has made me, I can play football again. If you saw me before I left for London, you won’t believe I’ll be here talking to you. I think I won’t be making a mistake if I say after God, it’s Otedola in my life,” he said.

“I had many complications and I couldn’t walk. When I heard Otedola brought out money for my treatment, I marvelled because in my circle, we didn’t know him before then. We have people with us but maybe they forgot or it’s not in their character (to help). I don’t know how to thank Otedola enough, God bless him.”

Lilian, Chukwu’s wife, who was with him, said God used Otedola to bring her husband back to life.

Earlier, Otedola had said he was glad to have been of help to the sportsman, saying assisting people is his way of life.

He said while some of his friends could spend N50 million on champagne, he would rather spend money on people.

Hamilton wins record sixth British GP, extends F1 lead

Lewis Hamilton made the most of a favourable safety car intervention on Sunday to claim a record sixth British Grand Prix victory at a packed Silverstone.

The defending five-time world champion clocking fastest lap on his final lap to finish 25 seconds clear of Mercedes team-mate and nearest title rival Valtteri Bottas after an action-packed contest.

The Briton moved 39 points clear of the Finn behind in the title race, but Bottas was unlucky with the timing of the safety car which effectively gave Hamilton a free pit stop.

Charles Leclerc of Ferrari was third.

Pierre Gasly finished fourth ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, whose race was compromised by a late collision when Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari drove into him, and Carlos Sainz of McLaren.

It was Hamilton’s seventh win in 10 races this year and the 80th win of his career. He had shared the British Grand Prix record of wins, on five, with fellow-Briton Jim Clark and Frenchman Alain Prost.

Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Renault ahead of Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo, Daniil Kvyat in a Toro Rosso and Nico Hulkenberg in a Renault.

“What a day,” said Hamilton. “To all the crowd, thank-you so much for coming out.”

Hamilton, who stopped on his slow-down lap to collect a British ‘Union Jack’ flag, added: “I love you Silverstone. I appreciate everything and the opportunity to be a part of this.

“I couldn’t have done this without these guys or without my team.”

A glum Bottas said: “Congrats to Lewis…It wasn’t my day.”

A much happier Leclerc said: “It’s probably the race I’ve enjoyed the most in my career.”

The safety car was deployed when Antonio Giovinazzi spun into a gravel trap in his Alfa Romeo – gifting Hamilton a ‘free’ first, and only, pit stop. The luckless Bottas, on a two stop strategy, had already pitted before the incident.

On an overcast and cool afternoon, Justin Whiting, the 12-year-old son of the late Charlie Whiting, the official Race Director who died suddenly in Melbourne in March, started the race. before a crowd of 141,000 at Silverstone.

As the lights went out, the Mercedes pair pulled clear, Hamilton chasing Bottas throughout the first lap ahead of Leclerc and Verstappen with Vettel fifth.

By lap 10, the lead was three-tenths, Hamilton oozing confidence could not pass Bottas slithering to protect his lead. Behind them, Leclerc blocked attacks from Verstappen.

But on lap 17, Bottas came in for a new set of mediums and Hamilton inherited the lead ahead of Vettel, the pair delaying their stops as long as possible. Then Giovinazzi beached his Alfa Romeo at Club.

Hamilton took advantage and pitted for hards, followed by Vettel and Verstappen, making a second stop. Ferrari, reacting slowly, called in Leclerc, who emerged sixth behind Gasly and Verstappen. All this left Hamilton leading Bottas with Vettel third.

Racing resumed on lap 23, the field, backed up by Hamilton, swarming like bees at the re-start.

Bottas, on mediums, traded fastest laps with Hamilton, knowing he had to make a second stop. Verstappen, helped by quick thinking from Red Bull, rose to fourth when Gasly moved over on Hangar Straight and began his pursuit of Vettel.

The Dutchman caught and passed him at Stowe only for the German to ram into the rear end of the 007-branded Red Bull, who had Bond actor Daniel Craig in their garage, both spinning into the gravel but surviving to re-join the fray.

A stewards’ investigation followed, but both races were compromised.

Leclerc rose to third and Gasly to fourth. Verstappen regained fifth while Vettel pitted for a new nose, fell to 17th and was then given a 10-seconds time penalty.

With eight laps remaining, Hamilton was told to pit, but ignored the call, persuading Mercedes to bring in Bottas for softs, a tilt at fastest lap and a secure run to the flag.

(AFP)

Dangote, Otedola promise $75k for every goal Eagles score

Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola, Nigerian billionaires, have promised the Super Eagles $75,000 for every goal scored in their remaining games at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

Dangote has promised $50,000 per goal, while Otedola pledged the sum of $25,000 for each goal scored by the Eagles.

Earlier in the group stage of the 2019 AFCON, Aiteo group, one of the official sponsor of the senior men national team gave the Eagles $75,000 for the three goals scored in their 3-2 victory over Cameroon in the Round of 16.

Hosea Wells Okunbo, a businessman, also pledged the sum of $20,000 per player, while Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos state governor, rewarded the team with $5,000 per player.

The Gernot Rohr’s men defeated Bafana Bafana of South Africa 2-1 to qualify for the semifinals on Wednesday night at the Cairo International stadium.

The Super Eagles will take on the winner between Algeria and Cote D’Ivoire in the semi final game.

Femi Otedola recently donated $50,000 to Christian Chukwu, former Super Eagles coach in need of medical attention.

AFCON 2019: Algeria beat Ivory Coast 4-3, reach semi-final

Algeria beat Ivory Coast 4-3 during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final football match at the Suez stadium

BREAKING: Nigeria beats South Africa 2-1..through to semis

Nigeria has defeated South Africa in a gruelling match ..2-1 to qualify for the Semi Finals of the African Cup of Nations football competition holding in Egypt.

Details later

Senegal pips Benin 1-0 to reach semi-finals after 13 years

Senegal reached the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals for the first time since 2006 when Idrissa Gueye scored to deliver a 1-0 last-eight win over Benin in Cairo Wednesday.

Everton midfielder Gueye struck on 70 minutes, side-footing the ball into the net from close range after being set up by Liverpool star Sadio Mane.

This was the first Cup of Nations match to use the VAR (video assistant referee) system and there were no controversial incidents.

Benin was reduced to 10 men in the closing stages when Olivier Verdon was given a straight red card for a last-defender foul.

(AFP)

Federer wins 100th Wimbledon match to reach 13th semi-final

Roger Federer racked up his 100th match win at Wimbledon on Wednesday as he reached his 13th semi-final at the All England Club and a possible duel with old rival Rafael Nadal.

Eight-time champion Federer recovered from losing the opening set to defeat Japan’s Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to book his place in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the 45th time.

The 37-year-old is also the oldest man to make the last four of a major since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open.

Federer will now face Nadal at Wimbledon for the first time since their epic 2008 final should the two-time champion Spaniard defeat Sam Querrey in his quarter-final.

“We have a lot of information on Rafa and so does he about us. I know people always hype it up in a big way,” said Federer.

“They did that again in Paris this year (when Nadal won their semi-final in straight sets). I’d love to play against him here at Wimbledon.

“But I go about it like every other match.”

Federer and Nadal have met 39 times in their careers but just three times at Wimbledon.

The Swiss star won their first two encounters in the 2006 and 2007 finals before Nadal famously triumphed in 2008 in a five-set epic which is widely regarded as the greatest Slam final ever played.

Federer said he was unaware that he had become the first player ever to win 100 matches at the same Slam.

“A fan told me congratulations on your hundredth win and I thought, oh yes, you’re right!”

Nishikori, bidding to become the first Japanese man to reach the semi-finals since Jiro Satoh in 1933, broke Federer in the first game on Centre Court.

It was enough for the 29-year-old to pocket the first set.

However, 20-time Grand Slam title winner Federer roared back, levelling the quarter-final with breaks in the second and sixth games of a 22-minute second set.

It was more of the same in the third as Federer found his range with a break for 4-3 before taking the set on a fourth set point.

Uganda fires coach Desabre after AFCON exit

Uganda have parted company with coach Sebastien Desabre in spite of performing above expectations at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt where they reached the last 16.

The Ugandan Football Federation (FUFA) said in a statement in Cairo on Sunday that it had “mutually agreed” to end the Frenchman’s contract.

“The reasons for termination of the employment contract are for the benefit and growth of both parties,” it said.

Desabre is the second coach to part company with his team at the tournament.

This was after hosts Egypt sacked Javier Aguirre immediately following their shock elimination against South Africa in the round of 16 on Saturday.

Uganda’s announcement was surprising as Desabre had led the team into the knockout round for the first time in 41 years.

He had also spoken about the importance of developing football in the country.

Uganda, playing a bold attacking game, beat Democratic Republic of Congo in their opening game and outplayed hosts Egypt in spite of losing 2-0.

They also gave Senegal a run for their money in the round of 16 before losing 1-0.

However, their campaign was also hit by a payment row with players at one point refusing to train.

It was settled after FUFA said it had offered the players an additional $6,000 each.

“FUFA recognises the contribution by Mr Desabre for the improvement of the sporting and professional organisation of the Uganda Cranes, inclusive of qualification to the AFCON 2019 Finals and also to the Round of 16,” said the statement.

“Mr Desabre is grateful to the people and the government of Uganda, FUFA, sponsors, staff and the players who have provided him a good environment to fulfil his obligations in his first time role as a National Team Coach.”

Desabre, 42, only played football semi-professionally and abandoned his career early to concentrate on coaching.

Before being appointed by Uganda in December 2017, he coached clubs in Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Algeria, Morocco and Egypt.

Egypt sack coach, FA president quits over AFCON exit

Egypt coach Javier Aguirre has become the first casualty of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

He was sacked just hours after the hosts were bundled out of the tournament by South Africa in the round of 16 on Saturday in Cairo.

Hosts Egypt lost 0-1 after an 85th minute goal from Thembinkosi Lorch.

It was for Egypt a lacklustre display in which their talisman Mohamed Salah looked out of sorts and they produced few goalscoring chances.

Egypt Football Association president Hany Abo Rida announced the firing of the Mexican coach.

Abo Rida also announced his own resignation, less than three hours after the game as a stunned host nation digested the defeat.

He also called on his board members to step down, calling his resignation a “moral obligation, although the football association had given the national team full material and moral support”.

Aguirre had told reporters after Saturday’s defeat that he took sole responsibility but was proud of all of his players.

“The game was open and saw many chances. The only difference was that South Africa managed to score,” he said.

Aguirre, 60, departs after less than a year in the job but not before setting a unique record by coaching at four different continental championships.

He won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with his native Mexico in 2009.

Aguirre took them to the final of the Copa America and was in charge of Japan four years ago when they went out in the Asian Cup quarter-finals.

U.S. beat Netherlands 2 – nil to retain World Cup

The USA have won the Women’s World Cup for the fourth time after beating the Netherlands 2-0 in Sunday’s final.

Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring with a second-half penalty, which was awarded by VAR after Stefanie van der Gragt brought down Alex Morgan.

Rose Lavelle then made certain of the victory with a powerful strike from the edge of the area.

Rapinoe’s goal also meant she won the Golden Boot after finishing with six goals and three assists.

The USA’s triumph adds to previous World Cup victories in 1991, 1999 and 2015.

The Netherlands, in the final for the first time in their history, had done well to frustrate the USA for long periods before they finally made the breakthrough, with goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal making a string of fine saves in the first half.

Van Veenendaal also prevented the USA from winning by a bigger margin as she denied Morgan and Crystal Dunn late on.

Dollar rain for Super Eagles as NFF hails dignitaries for support

 

The Nigeria Football Federation has commended top Nigerian dignitaries who were in Alexandria, Egypt on Saturday and cheered the Super Eagles to victory over Cameroon in an interesting AFCON 2019 Round of 16 clash.

The NFF commendation came admist  the shower of dollars on the team following the significant victory that has secured a quarter finals ticket for Nigeria.

Acting President of the NFF, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi listed the top officials and said the Federation is immensely grateful to them not only for their presence but their passion in cheering and believing in the Super Eagles to overcome even when the team fell behind in the game.

“We want to specially thank the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Sanwo-Olu; the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and; Captain Hosea Wells Okunbor, a staunch financier and supporter of the Super Eagles.

“These distinguished personalities not showed up at the Alexandria Stadium; they oozed passion and love for the game of football and for our dear nation. They were so much involved and always believed the Super Eagles would carry the day.”

Three –time champions Nigeria put the Cup holders to the sword with two quick goals in the second half that took the scoreline to 3-2 after the Lions topped the first half 2-1 also with two quick goals late in the half.

Nigeria will take on South Africa in a much –anticipated quarter final duel at the 75,000 –capacity Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday night.

Apart from their presence at the match venue, Captain Hosea Okunbor gifted the Super Eagles with the sum of $20,000 per player, while Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu showered the players with $5,000 each. The President of AITEO Group, NFF’s Optimum Partner, Mr. Benedict Peters weighed in with the sum of $75,000 for the entire team for the three goals scored, at $25,000 per goal as he promised before the match.

These financial gifts are aside the $12,500 per player that the Nigeria Football Federation will pay the players for a place in the last eight.

AFCON 2019: Buhari congratulates Eagles, asks team to stay focused after beating Cameroon

President Muhammadu Buhari was elated on Saturday, following the Super Eagles victory over the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the ongoing African Cup of Nations hosted by Egypt.

He congratulated the team on the 3-2 win over the lions, saying that it was “delightful.”

Nigeria edged Cameroon out of the AFCON in one of the Round of 16 games played in Alexandria on Saturday.

Buhari’s congratulatory message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

The President urged the Eagles and their handlers to remain focused as they progressed in the championship, saying that they still had some hurdles to overcome ahead.

The Presidency stated, “President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates the Super Eagles of Nigeria for making progress in the African Cup of Nations Egypt 2019, after a delightful win over Cameroonian football team.

Cameroon’s player react to their loss during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match against Nigeria

“President Buhari recognises the hard work, team spirit and sportsmanship the boys have exhibited in the tournament, which are good signs for a team destined to excel.

“With yet more hurdles to scale before lifting the diadem, the President urges the team and their handlers to remain focused and determined, assuring them of the fervent prayers and support of all Nigerians.”

Nigeria beat Cameroon 3-2, qualify for quarter-finals

Odion Ighalo scored twice and teed up Alex Iwobi’s winning goal as Nigeria eliminated defending Africa Cup of Nations champions Cameroon after a thrilling 3-2 victory in Alexandria on Saturday.

China-based forward Ighalo bundled home a scrappy opener but Clarence Seedorf’s Cameroon hit back through Stephane Bahoken and Clinton Njie with two quick-fire goals before half-time.

Nigeria drew level as Ighalo volleyed in his second just past the hour and he then turned provider to play in Iwobi to steer home three minutes later and set up the prospect of a highly anticipated quarter-final clash with hosts and favourites Egypt.

JUST IN: Benin beat Morocco on penalties to reach AFCON quarter-finals

Benin stunned Africa Cup of Nations title contenders Morocco on penalties to reach the quarter-finals for the first time after a 1-1 draw in Cairo on Friday.

Moise Adilehou put Benin ahead early in the second half before Youssef En-Nesyri equalised, but Hakim Ziyech blew the chance to seal victory for Morocco by striking the post with a 96th-minute penalty.

Sofiane Boufal and En-Nesyri both missed in the shootout as Benin, who reached the last 16 on the back of three draws, triumphed 4-1 on spot-kicks.

(AFP

AFCON 2019: INigeria faces Cameroon in round of 16

Nigeria will confront Cameroon in one of the Round of 16 matches of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals ongoing in Egypt.

Nigeria who finished second will now meet second placed Ghana from Group F in Alexandria on Saturday by 5pm Nigeria time.

This fixture was accomplished on Tuesday evening after a 0-0 draw with Benin Republic, and Ghana’s 2-0 defeat of Guinea Bissau.

Cameroon defeated Nigeria in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1984, 1988 and 2000, but most painful for the Super Eagles was that agonizing penalty shoot-out loss in front of home fans at the National Stadium, Lagos on February 13, 2000.

In 2004, Jay Jay Okocha spearheaded a sweet 2-1 defeat of then Cup holders (as they are now) Cameroon in a quarter final match at the Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet in Monastir, Tunisia.

In the 2018 FIFA World Cup African qualifying series, the Super Eagles lashed the Lions 4-0 in Uyo and were forced to a 1-1 draw in Yaounde.

Nigeria and Cameroon share eight African titles between them.

While the Indomitable Lions have won five times (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017), Nigeria were champions in 1980, 1994 and 2013.

Saturday’s game is indeed a titanic battle, and the Super Eagles would be expected to pick themselves up from Sunday’s stunning defeat by Madagascar and battle the bitter rivals the way they should.

AFCON 2019: Buhari shocked over Super Eagles unpaid allowances, protest —Lalong

President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have been shocked by reports that allowances were owed the Super Eagles for their first two matches against Burundi and Guinea at the ongoing African Cup of Nations hosted by Egypt.

Plateau State Governor, Mr Simon Lalong, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja after he met with Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

Lalong stated that the President was alarmed that the players were owed their entitlements in spite of the fact that approvals were made for the payment of the allowances.

The players had protested at their Helnan Palestine Hotel in Egypt, though the Nigerian Football Federation had said Buhari approved the payment.

Lalong was on the government delegation that visited Egypt to watch the Super Eagles games against Burundi and Guinea.

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However, the team played Madagascar on Sunday and lost by 2-0.

Madagascar team is one of the minnows in the competition, qualifying for the finals for the first time.

Speaking with reporters, the governor stated, “I came to see the President on behalf of my state and on behalf of the 19 northern states as the Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum.

“I came in to have a discussion with Mr President. Of course, many of you know that I just came back from Egypt where we went to cheer our Super Eagles. I also brought him the concerns of our players over there and he promised to handle the matter immediately.

“This is because football is a unifying factor in Nigeria and we should not joke with it. If they bring back the cup, it will cement our relationship and that is one of it.”

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On Buhari’s reaction to the players’ protest over unpaid allowances, Lalong said, “Well, many of the concerns raised were that their allowances were not paid and Mr President expressed surprise because he signed these allowances and wondered why they were not paid to them.

“I was a footballer. It is not like before when you played football out of patriotism, now it is combined with the economic aspect.

“When you bring people, definitely from the ministry, you must ensure that their allowances are paid. We went there for the joy of it and the day we were there they won their match but when we left yesterday, I understand they lost to Madagascar.

“Defeating Guinea and allowing Madagascar to defeat us is a surprise, but I think with good motivation, these boys would bring back the cup.”

Court orders arrest of Amajo Pinnick over alleged N4bn embezzlement

A Federal High Court in Abuja has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick and four other officials of the organisation accused of misappropriating funds belonging to the football body.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu gave the order on Monday after the case involving the NFF officials was called and they were absent in court.

Also, the be affected by the arrest order are NFF Secretary, Sunusi Mohammed; the 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwumi; the 2nd Vice-President, Shehu Dikko and an Executive member, Yusuff Fresh.

The Federal Government had earlier this year filed a 17-count charge, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019, before the court, in which its accused the NFF officials of alleged misappropriation of $8,400,000 belonging to the football body.

The money was said to have been paid by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to the NFF as appearance fees in the group state of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

The defendants are also accused of “moving dishonestly and intentionally the sum of about N4bn” belonging to the NFF without the consent of the NFF.

Justice Ojukwu gave the order for the arrest of the defendants upon an oral application by the prosecution lawyer, Celcius Ukpong when the case was called and the defendants were absent.

AFCON 2019: Madagascar beat Nigeria to top group B

Madagascar pulled off one of the great shocks of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after defeating the Super Eagles of Nigeria to finish top of group B.

The newcomers, who had never scored against the Super Eagles, defeated the three-time champions 2-0 on Sunday at the Alexandria Stadium to advance to the knockout stages.

The Super Eagles had the bigger share of possession and had an effort on goal in the early stages.

Odion Ighalo was fouled metres away from the box. Ahmed Musa took the free kick which went off target.

The Indian Ocean islanders raced in front after a mix up at the back in the 12th minute. Leon Balogun was slow to John Ogu’s diagonal pass and Lalaina Nomenjanahary stole the ball, rounded past goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa before firing to the empty net.

The Eagles surged forward in numbers and searched for the equalizer. Samuel Kalu tried a shot from the edge of the box but his effort went inches wide.

Musa also wasted the chance to equalize. Oghenekaro Etebo stole the ball near the Madagascar box, his pass found Ahmed Musa who couldn’t score.

It was 1-0 in favour of Madagascar at halftime.

Madagascar scored their second goal from a free kick in the 52nd minute through Carolus Andriamatsinoro.

Substitute Wilfred Ndidi tried a shot from inside the box but the goalkeeper saved it.

Madagascar finished top of the group in their first ever appearance at the AFCON while Nigeria qualified as runners-up.

 

AFCON 2019: Rohr makes five changes as Super Eagles face Madagascar

Coach Gernot Rohr has rung five changes in the Super Eagles’ line-up as the three-time African champions look forward to a Group B encounter against Madagascar in the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.

Both sides clash at the Alexandria Stadium with contrasting pictures in their heads before kick-off.

Nigeria are comfortable and already have a ticket into the round 16 with six points from their first two matches in the group phase, while Madagascar have four points and must record a positive result to be sure of a place in the last 16.

Super Eagles coach Rohr will deploy 4-2-3-1 formation against the well-organised Madagascar team.

Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong will play as centre-backs while Ola Aina and Chidozie Awaziem will operate as left and right backs respectively.

John Obi Mikel, Oghenekaro Etebo and John Ogu are the three midfielders named for the game.

Odion Ighalo will lead the line for the Eagles and will be ably supported by Samuel Kalu and Ahmed Musa.

Nigeria’s six points have come from wins over Burundi and Guinea.

 

AFCON 2019: Rohr makes five changes as Super Eagles face Madagascar