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Mane, Salah, Lewandoski make FIFA best player award list

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  • Zidane, Klopp for coach of the year

Two African players in Liverpool Club, Senegal’s Sadio Mane, Egyptian Mohamed Salah on the shortlist of 11 players for the best FIFA men’s player award unveiled Wednesday.

European player of the year Robert Lewandowski is one of players along with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Besides Polish striker Lewandowski, one other winner of the Champions League with Bayern Munich made the list, Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who joined Liverpool in September.

Apart from Sallah and Mane, one other member of Liverpool and English champions, Dutchman Virgil van Dijk, is on the shortlist

Paris Saint-Germain stars, Mbappe and Neymar also make the list.

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos complete the list.

Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui headline a list for the men’s coach award, which also feature Bayern’s Hans-Dieter Flick and Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa, who led Leeds into the English Premier League.

Three finalists from categories also including men and women’s goalkeepers, and women’s players and coaches will be announced on December 11, with the award handed out on December 17.

Shortlists for Best FIFA awards

Men: Thiago Alcantara (ESP/Bayern Munchen/Liverpool), Cristiano Ronaldo (POR/Juventus), Kevin De Bruyne (BEL/Manchester City), Robert Lewandowski (POL/Bayern Munich), Sadio Mane (SEN/Liverpool), Kylian Mbappe (FRA/Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (ARG/Barcelona), Neymar (BRA/Paris Saint-Germain), Sergio Ramos (ESP/Real Madrid), Mohamed Salah (EGY/Liverpool) and Virgil van Dijk (NED/Liverpool)

Women: Lucy Bronze (ENG/Lyon/Manchester City), Delphine Cascarino (FRA/Lyon), Caroline Graham Hansen (NOR/Barcelona), Pernille Harder (DEN/Wolfsburg/Chelsea), Jennifer Hermoso (ESP/Barcelona), Ji So-yun (KOR/Chelsea), Sam Kerr (AUS/Chelsea), Saki Kumagai (JPN/Lyon), Dzsenifer Marozsan (GER/Lyon), Vivianne Miedema (NED/Arsenal), Wendie Renard (FRA/Lyon)

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UCL: PSG advance to semis, beat Bayern on away goals

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There was joy around Paris, France, last night and among fans of the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club globally as the French team defeated Bayern Munich on away goals to qualify to the UEFA Champions League semifinal.

Eric Maxim Choupo Moting’s header levelled the scores on aggregate but the PSG’s three away goals allowed the French champion to progress to the next round.

In a match where the PSG had many chances to score, it can count itself lucky as the missed chances did not come to bite them at the end as Bayern failed to get the all-important second goal.

In the other quarterfinal, Chelsea conceded a late goal in the 93rd minute but it did not matter as Chelsea qualified to the semifinal with a 2-1 aggregate.

Mehedi Taremi’s exceptional overhead kick beat Chelsea keeper Mendy at the twilight stages of the game but Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell’s goals from the first leg were enough to shepherd Chelsea to the Champions League semis for the eighth time, more than any English side in the competition’s history.

Full-time: PSG 0 Bayern 1 (Aggregate Score- PSG 3 Bayern 3).

PSG qualifies to the UEFA Champions League semis via the away goals rule.

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National Sports Festival: Boxer knocks out opponent in 15 seconds

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Ondo state boxer, Adedeji Adegbola, on Friday, knocked out his opponent, Oluwafemi Adetoye of Yobe state, in a record 15 seconds of their first round heavyweight boxing bout at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Benin.

The bout, held at the Oba Akenzuwa Cultural Center, Benin, was at the semi-finals stag

With the win, Adegbola has qualified for the semi finals of the heavyweight category and placed him with the medals range, alongside five team mates vying in other weight categories.

Adegbola said that he trained very hard for the festival, while expressing his optimism of clinching the gold medal in the heavyweight category.

“I am happy and I thank God, I trained very well ahead of the festival and I thank my coaches for the advice and the training process,” he said.

According to Guinness World Records, the fastest knockout in boxing history was in a Golden Gloves tournament at Minneapolis, United States on Nov. 4, 1947, when Mike Collins knocked out Pat Brownson in four seconds.

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UCL: Mbappe inspires PSG to beat Bayern as Chelsea thrash Porto

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Kylian Mbappe scored two goals to help Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to an emphatic 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in their UEFA Champions League (UCL) quarter-final first-leg tie at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old French striker scored in the first half and second to punish Bayern’s shaky defence and end the defending European and world club champions’ 19-match unbeaten run in the UCL.

The French champions also became the first team to win a European away match against both Bayern and Barcelona in a single season.

PSG scored with their first attack, thanks to a howler from Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich goalkeeper. The Bavarians’ captain let a Mbappe shot slip through his hands into the net following a PSG fast break in the third minute.

The hosts recovered from their nightmarish start and fashioned several chances of theirs but Keylor Navas, PSG goalkeeper, denied Thomas Muller, Leon Goretzka, and Benjamin Pavard. They were however dealt another sucker punch by PSG in the 18th minute.

A routine corner kick was half cleared and Neymar — with his second assist of the night — picked out an unmarked Marquinhos to control and slot home for a 2-0 lead.

Eric Choupo-Moting was drafted in to fill in for injured Lewandowski, Bayern’s dependable goalscorer, and the Cameroonian finally made one count after previously hitting the bar. The 32-year-old was picked out by Pavard’s cross and his header found the bottom corner in the 37th minute for a 2-1 score line.

Muller had another opportunity before the interval but Navas held the German international’s header to preserve the visitors’ lead at halftime.

A frantic second half began with both sides exchanging chances — Neymar Jr. was denied by Neuer while Navas also saved from both Jerome Boateng and Pavard.

Another header would eventually beat PSG’s Costa Rican shot-stopper, this time Muller meeting Joshua Kimmich’s in-swinger in the six-yard box to equalise 2-2 on the hour.

An undeterred PSG were continually invited by Bayern’s defence and the deadly duo of Neymar and Mbappe combined again to retake the lead in the 68th minute. The Brazilian superstar released the French forward who was afforded time by Boateng in the penalty area to beat Neuer at the near post.

Hansi Flick’s side continued to pour forward with Choupo-Moting, David Alaba and Kingsley Coman all going close but PSG held on to take a 3-2 lead to the second leg set for Parc des Prices stadium next week Tuesday.

Chelsea-Porto match

Chelsea defeated Porto 2-0 in the other match of the night at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjan stadium in Spain.

The tie, which was moved to Sevilla’s stadium due to COVID-19 restrictions, was livened up by Mason Mount’s first UCL goal to hand the Blues a 1-0 lead.

Porto, despite missing suspended duo Sergio Oliveira and Medhi Taremi, started the better side and Super Eagles of Nigeria’s Zaidu Sanusi should have put the hosts in front but the full-back blazed high and wide with the goal at his mercy.

Chelsea had several opportunities to double the lead in the second period before Ben Chilwell pounced on an error to round the goalkeeper and tap into an empty net to seal the 2-0 win.

The win sees Thomas Tuchel become just the second Chelsea manager to win his first three UCL knockout stage games.

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