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Updated: Osimhen named man of the match as Super Eagles thrash Lesotho 3-0

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Victor Osimhen has been named man of the match in Nigeria’s 3-0 win against the Crocodiles of Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Tuesday.

Osimhen scored the opening goal for the Super Eagles in the 22nd minute of the game and later set up Oghenekaro Etebo for the second goal five minutes after the break.

The 22-year-old Napoli forward, who was replaced by Paul Onuachu 14 minutes from time, finished the qualifiers joint top scorer with five goals alongside Zambia’s Patson Da.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria were at their best in the match, beating Lesotho 3-0 in their last African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match in Lagos. They were playing for the first time in Lagos after 20 years, with about 8,000 fans allowed into the Teslim Balogun Stadium to cheer them to victory.

The Nigerian side had already qualified for AFCON after defeating Benin Republic by a lone goal at the weekend in Port Novo.

Tuesday’s match was therefore going to be an entertaining one as the home side had no pressure on them.

The match saw the Super Eagles scoring their first goal on 23 minutes through Victor Osimhen.

Oghenekaro Etebo scored Nigeria’s second goal on 50 minutes of the match.

Etebo latched on to a loose ball and beat the Lesotho goalkeeper.

Paul Onuachu, who came in as a substitute on 76 minutes to replace Osimhen got the third goal for the Eagles on 83 minutes.

It was Onuachu who gave Nigeria the win against Benin on Saturday by scoring the lone goal of the match after coming in as a substitute.

The Super Eagles dominated the match from the beginning to the end as they entertained the Lagos fans who have been yearning for Eagles to play in the state for a long time.

The Eagles had 61 per cent ball possession, with 13 goal attempts and six shots on goal, while Lesotho had no shot on goal.

The Eagles finished as group L leader with 14 points, winning four games and drawing two.

The game between Sierra Leone and Benin in Freetown will determine which team qualifies for AFCON as second in the group.

Sierra Leone will need to win the match with at least two goals to qualify for AFCON, while a draw will see Benin through.

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Tottenham name Mason as interim manager

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Tottenham management has appointed Ryan Mason as new interim manager of the club following Jose Mourinho’s sacking on Monday.

Mourinho was removed at Spurs after 17 months in charge, six days before he was due to oversee the team’s appearance in the 2020-21 Carabao Cup final.

Mason, who had been serving as the club’s head of player development, will now be saddled with the duty of delivering their first major trophy since 2008 and will see out the remainder of the season before a new permanent boss is appointed over the summer.

Tottenham confirmed the news in a statement, which read, “Following the departure of Jose Mourinho, we can now confirm that Ryan Mason will take charge as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

“Ryan will be joined by Chris Powell and Nigel Gibbs as interim assistant head coaches and Michel Vorm as interim goalkeeping coach. Ledley King will continue in his role as first-team assistant.”

The club’s Chairman, Daniel Levy, also said, “We have great belief in this squad of talented players.

 

“We have a cup final and six Premier League games ahead of us and we shall now focus all our energies on achieving a strong finish to the season.”

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UEFA: We’ll ban players in Super League from World Cup, others

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UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin says all players that play in the Super League will be banned from the World Cup, European competitions and other global football events.

The threat followed the decision by 12 top European football clubs to found a Super League, which was announced in a joint statement late on Sunday.

The founding clubs of the mid-week league were listed as English Premier League clubs Manchester United and Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea. The others are Italy’s Juventus and Milan clubs AC and Inter, and the Spanish trio of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

“It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable,” the 12 clubs said in the statement.

Reported to be financially very lucrative, the project does not have the support of football’s governing bodies.

UEFA and football leagues and federations from England, Italy and Spain described it as “a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.”

Fifteen of the 20 participating clubs are to be permanent members, and the remaining five will “qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season,” the statement said the 12 clubs involved in the Super League had “spat in the face of football.

“The players that play in the Super League will be banned from playing in the World Cup and Euros.”

He also said, “We will take all the sanctions that we can. I cannot stress more strongly how everyone is united against this disgraceful, self-serving proposals, fuelled by greed above all else.

“We urge everyone to stand tall with us as we do everything in our power to ensure this never ends up in fruition.”

According to the New York Times the new league would “generate hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue for the participating teams.”

The club’s are already the richest clubs in the sport.

It was however reported that 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich and finalists Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) were not among the clubs that had signed up or expressed interest.

In a statement UEFA and football leagues and federations from England, Italy and Spain said, “As previously announced by FIFA and the six federations, the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level.

“Their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.

“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this.”

Before the announcement the Premier League in England said it “condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit. These are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.”

German Football League chief Christian Seifert spoke of his body’s opposition, saying, “We reject any kind of European Super League concept” which would “irreparably damage the national leagues as the basis of European professional football.”

The latest development comes on the eve of a UEFA executive committee meeting.

The meeting, apart from finalising the host cities for the summer’s Euro tournament, is also to approve a Champions League reform from 2024 onwards.

The powerful European Club Association (ECA) and UEFA’s club competitions committee were reportedly in agreement Friday about the reform.

Under this, the elite event is to be increased from 32 to 36 teams and each team plays 10 instead of six group games in what is known as “the Swiss model.”

Two of the additional four clubs are to controversially come via historic results not through qualification via domestic action.

The large number of additional matches is a threat to domestic competitions.

Fan groups have also voiced their dissent, with an even bigger outcry expected if a Super League becomes reality.

The reports said that European officials were discussing counter measures which could include banning Super League clubs from next season’s Champions League.

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Tottenham sack Jose Mourinho

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Tottenham Hotspur management has sacked coach Jose Mourinho.

The announcement comes after Tottenham Hotspur drew 2-2 with Everton on Friday evening, leaving them down in seventh place in the table.

Mourinho was appointed as Tottenham manager in November 2019, a day after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.

He guided them to sixth place in the table by the end of the campaign, but his style of football often didn’t win him much acclaim from fans.

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