Oshoala, Nnadozie make CAF Awards final shortlist – Newstrends
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Oshoala, Nnadozie make CAF Awards final shortlist

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Asisat Oshoala

Oshoala, Nnadozie make CAF Awards final shortlist

Super Falcons duo Asisat Oshoala and Chiamaka Nnadozie have been named in the final shortlist for the CAF Player of the Year award in the women’s category.

Oshoala, the first African woman footballer to win the UEFA Champions League, aims to win her sixth award while Nnadozie hopes to make the podium for the first time.

The duo have been outstanding for both club and country in the year under review but face stiff competition from Moroccan trio Anissa Lahmari, Fatima Tagnaout and Ghizlaine Chebbak

Andile Dlamini, Thembi Kgatlana and Hilda Magaia from South Africa and Cameroon’s Ajara Njoya and Barbara Banda from Zambia complete the top 10 list of players vying for the award

CAF also announced nominees for other categories namely Interclub Player of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, National Team of the Year and Club of the Year.

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For the Goalkeeper of the Year Nnadozie is up against Dlamini, Imane Abdelahad, Khadija Er-Rmichi and Kaylin Swart while Falcons duo Deborah Abiodun and Esther Ajakaye will battle Comfort Yeboah, Nesryne El Chad and Thubelihle Shamase for the Young Player of the Year award.

Out of contract Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum, will jostle with Mehdi El Qaichouri, Reynald Pedros, Desiree Ellis, Jerry Tshabalala for the Coach of the Year award in the women’s category.

Waldrum led the Falcons to a Round of 16 finish at the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. The Nigerian women’s national team is also listed for the National Team of the Year award alongside Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia.

The ultimate winner of each category will be decided after votes from a voting panel consisting of CAF Technical Committee, media professionals, national team coaches and captains from member associations and clubs involved in the group stages of the Interclub competitions.

The Awards Gala will hold on December 11 at the Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, Morocco.

Oshoala, Nnadozie make CAF Awards final shortlist

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UCL: Osimhen helps Napoli snatch late draw against Barca as FC Porto defeat Arsenal

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Victor Osimhen

UCL: Osimhen helps Napoli snatch late draw against Barca as FC Porto defeat Arsenal

Victor Osimhen scored as Napoli drew 1-1 with Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League (UCL) second-round match.

The 25-year-old equalized for the Serie A champions in the 75th minute, after Robert Lewandowski put Barcelona ahead at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday.

Osimhen spun away from Inigo Martinez inside the box after Zambo Anguissa’s pass reached him. The Lagos-born striker rolled the ball past Ter Stegen, who went the wrong way, and into the goal.

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The match marked Osimhen’s first start for Napoli since December 23, 2023, when he was sent off in a 2-0 loss to Roma.

He played an important role in the Super Eagles of Nigeria’s silver-winning effort at the just ended Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire.

In the other game of the night, Galeno’s late goal helped FC Porto defeat Arsenal 1-0 at the Estadio do Dragao.

Galeno picked up the ball 35 yards outside Arsenal’s goal area deep into stoppage time, proving that the best play was saved for last. The Brazilian carried the ball forward before finding his place and bending a shot past Raya’s stretched limbs into the net.

UCL: Osimhen helps Napoli snatch late draw against Barca as FC Porto defeat Arsenal

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Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

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Pep Guardiola

Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has apologised to Kalvin Phillips for saying the midfielder was overweight when he returned from the 2022 World Cup.

Guardiola had told reporters that Phillips was not in the right condition to go through training sessions after returning from Qatar, where he was used for only 40 minutes in two substitute appearances in England’s campaign.

Phillips endured a wretched time at City after signing from Leeds United in 2022, making only six starts in 18 months, and the 28-year-old joined West Ham United on loan last month.

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After making the switch to West Ham, the midfielder said his confidence had taken a “big knock” from Guardiola’s comments.

“Yeah, I’m sorry,” Guardiola told reporters on Monday.

“I apologise to him. I spoke to him before making the comment. I never, ever don’t speak to the team before I say something here, or the player in that case.”

City, who are third in the Premier League, can close the gap to leaders Liverpool by one point if they beat Brentford at home later on Tuesday.

Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

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Osimhen gets new coach as Napoli hire Calzona to replace sacked Mazzarri

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Francesco Calzona

Osimhen gets new coach as Napoli hire Calzona to replace sacked Mazzarri

Struggling Napoli sacked Walter Mazzarri on Monday and brought in Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona just two days before hosting Barcelona in the Champions League.

The 62-year-old Mazzarri became the second man to be sent packing this season by the ailing Italian champions.

Mazzarri took charge in November after Rudi Garcia was dismissed but Napoli then fell to ninth in Serie A ahead of Wednesday’s last 16, first leg with barca at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

“I thank Walter Mazzarri, a friend of the De Laurentiis family and Napoli, for having helped the team in a tricky period,” said Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis on X, formerly Twitter.

De Laurentiis confirmed that Calzona has been hired, reportedly until the end of the season, and will be in charge on Wednesday night.

“It’s always painful to sack a friend,” said De Laurentiis in a short interview with Sky Sport.

“But we need to consider that in Naples you have to give Napoli fans something extra. Now we’re going to try to do that with Francesco Calzona.”

Calzona guided Slovakia to Euro 2024 but has a huge job on his hands as he returns to Napoli, where he was an assistant under Maurizio Sarri and during Luciano Spalletti’s trophy-less first season with the club.

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The 55-year-old will reportedly keep his job with Slovakia while also trying to drag Napoli back up the table after the disappointing end to Mazzarri’s brief second spell in charge of southern Italy’s biggest club.

Mazzarri helped return Napoli to the upper echelons of Italian football between 2009 and 2013.

He guided Napoli to the 2012 Italian Cup, beating undefeated league champions Juventus in the final to win the club’s first trophy in over two decades.

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