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Morocco’s win over Belgium thrills Okocha

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Austin Okocha

The Atlas Lions of Morocco pulled off a huge shock in a World Cup Group F clash at the Al Thumama Stadium on Sunday by beating Belgium 2-0 courtesy of goals from Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal.

With their victory over the European nation, Morocco only need to avoid suffering a defeat in their final group game against Canada to be sure of progressing to the last sixteen of the tournament.

The African side thought they had opened the scoring late in the first half through Hakim Ziyech  but the goal was chalked off for offside after a VAR review. Seventeen minutes from time, Sabiri became the first player to score from a direct freekick at the 2022 World Cup, and Aboukhlal sealed the win when he fired into the top corner in stoppage time.

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Three-time World Cupper and Nigeria legend Austin Okocha, who was on punditry duties for SuperSport, revealed shortly after the game that he loved the Atlas Lions’ win because of the way they managed the game after taking the lead.

Okocha said : “It’s a well-deserved win today and what I love about the win is after they scored they managed the game – the way they defended in numbers, the way they took responsibility to make sure that this Belgium team does not get anything against them today.

“I am overwhelmed with joy and I think we will  say congratulations to Morocco.”

Morocco will wrap up group play on Thursday evening with a game against Ike Ugbo’s Canada at the Al Thumama Stadium, Doha.

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Mourinho Compares Victor Osimhen to one of the African legend, Didier Drogba

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Victor Osimhen

AS Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, has compared Super Eagles of Nigeria and Napoli of Italy hitman, Victor Osimhen, to Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend, Didier Drogba.

NEWSBREAK reports that the  Nigerian striker netted a world-class goal as his side, Napoli, marched towards the Serie A title on Sunday. Osimhen’s classic goal came against Mourinho’s Roma at the Diego Maradona stadium where Napoli won 2-1.

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Speaking after the match, Mourinho, a former Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid manager, said: “He (Osimhen) is of the same level as Drogba, but Didier didn’t dive.

“If Victor changes, then OK. I’d buy him if I was at a club with a lot of money. However, if he does go to England one day, he needs to change, because in Italy they put up with this sort of behaviour, whereas in the Premier League, they’d come down hard on him.”

He added: “I told him that he scored a wonderful goal and needs to stop diving so much. His goal was fantastic, he did the same thing when we met earlier this season, so he’s a fantastic player. But he mustn’t dive.”

Osimhen, 24, is currently the highest goal scorer in the Italian league Serie A with 14 goals scored in 16 matches.

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Kelechi Iheanacho’s record goal helps Leicester qualify for last 16 FA Cup

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Leicester city needed the goal from Nigerian footballer Kelechi Iheanacho to avoid a shock elimination from the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at Walsall on Saturday.

The Nigerian has scored more goals in the competition than any other player since making his debut in 2016.

Iheanacho’s 17th goal in 23 FA Cup appearances had some fortune as his strike from the edge of the box took a deflection for the only goal 23 minutes from time.

Leicester, Leeds and Man United join Manchester City as the first four sides to book their place in the last 16 of the competition.

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French footballer gets 30-year ban for punching referee

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An amateur footballer in France, described as a “fanatic”, was on Friday banned from playing for 30 years for punching a referee.

“The penalty is appropriate. These fanatics must not be able to set foot on a football pitch again. They have no place there,” said Benoit Laine, president of the Loiret football district in central France.

The 25-year-old player, who was not named by officials, was angry at being sent off while featuring for Entente Sportive Gatinaise in a local cup game on January 8.

He punched the referee so hard that the official was signed off work for two days.

The team was also kicked out of the tournament for the next two seasons.

AFP

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