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La Liga: Granada suffer home loss, Valencia draw





Granada’s slim hopes of launching a bid for La Liga survival under Tony Adams were further diminished as an under-strength Celta Vigo ran out 3-0 away winners on Sunday.

Former Arsenal and England captain Adams took temporary charge until the end of the season earlier this week having previously worked at Granada as an adviser to Chinese owner Jiang Lizhang.

Granada remain seven points off safety with just six games remaining.

Adams named a side of 11 different nationalities and without a single Spaniard in his starting line-up at Nuevo Los Carmenes stadium.

But Granada rarely threatened a much-changed Celta side, with one eye on the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Genk, and Jozabed opened the scoring midway through the first half.

Marcelo Diaz’s fine free-kick doubled Celta’s lead 17 minutes from time before Claudio Beauvue added a third after Theo Bongonda’s effort came back off the post.

At the other end of the table fourth-placed Sevilla’s slump in form continued but they were grateful to escape with a point from a 0-0 draw at Valencia.

Valencia were denied a fourth consecutive win as Italian striker Simone Zaza had a goal ruled out for handball 17 minutes from time, reports

Sevilla’s best effort saw Stevan Jovetic hit the post early on, but Jorge Sampaoli’s men have now won just one of their last eight games in all competitions.

A point means Sevilla trail Atletico Madrid by three points in the battle for automatic Champions League qualification in third.

However, they enjoy a comfortable eight-point lead over fifth-placed Villarreal, who travel to Alaves on Monday.

Leganes remain just five points above the relegation zone after Leo Baptistao struck in stoppage time to hand Espanyol a 1-0 win.

Eibar’s quest to qualify for Europe for the first time faltered as they lost 2-0 at Real Betis.

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Commonwealth Games: Team Nigeria to depart March 24



Team Nigeria athletes for the XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia are expected to depart for the games on March 24, an official of the Federal Ministry of Sports, Yemi Usikaye, said on Monday.

Usikaye, the Deputy Director, Para-Sports and coaching department in the ministry, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that 56 athletes and 22 coaches would depart from Abuja ahead of the games.

“This first batch of athletes and coaches will come from Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Gymnastics, Para Athletics, Para Power lifting, Para Table Tennis, Table Tennis and Weightlifting.

“The second batch which will consist of athletes and coaches from Wrestling and Athletics Federations will leave on April 2,’’ the official said.

NAN report that an advance team of officials from the ministry departed Nigeria on March 18 to attend the Delegates’ Registration Meeting due to hold on March 22.

NAN also reports that athletes competing in the Games would round-off their training and proceed to Brisbane on March 24.

The athletics federation would depart with 25 home-based athletes and five coaches.

The Games Village will officially open on March 25 while team officials are allowed to check their athletes’ rooms five days before the commencement of the event.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games will hold from April 4 to April 15.(NAN)

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Bigwigs tussle over Eagles’ World Cup slots



  • Rohr under intense pressure to include some players in final squad
  • Don’t impose players on coach, Nwosu warns


With less than 90 days to the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Saturday Telegraph can report that the Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, is under intense pressure as top Nigerians are lobbying him to include some players in the final squad to the Mundial.

New Telegraph’s investigation revealed that quite a number of highly placed citizens including members of the Nigeria Football Federation and political heavyweights had approached the coach through different means on behalf of certain players. Our correspondent reliably learnt that some players who had played for the country in the past but are no longer considered have been using some influential individuals and their agents to reach the coach with a view to the squad for the Mundial.

A source, who is so close to the team, reliably told our correspondent that these players including those who are in the current squad were ready to throw anything at the ‘project’ to make sure they go to Russia. “Rohr is an honest individual who loves his job but he’s now facing the ‘Nigerian factor’.

There are a lot of dealings going on as regard the Eagles’ squad for the World Cup; many agents have approached some people who are close to the coach, and some of them even called Rohr up themselves. “The interesting thing is that some players who are playing regularly for the team are using their agents to do ‘PR’ for them. For instance, about two weeks ago, one exinternational contacted me to help reach out to the coach. He was ready to pay any bills on behalf of a player and even confessed to have approached a member of the technical committee too,” the source said.

Our correspondent also learnt from another key source who confirmed that, “one player who is not in the squad for the friendly matches with Poland and Serbia boasted that his case for the World Cup was already settled; a sitting Governor is the one ‘pressing the button’ for him and the hands of the President of the NFF Amaju Pinnick is tied on this case because the governor contacted him directly. It is true that some interesting stuffs are going on and don’t be surprised if you get to see some names in the final squad to the tournament.” Meanwhile, ex-international Henry Nwosu has urged stakeholders not to put pressure on Rohr as he plans to build a squad for the World Cup.

“I will advise that the coach should not be disturbed; he should be left alone to select his team for the World Cup. He has been doing a good job and what we need to do is to support the team. He knows that he takes the responsibility if anything happens to the Super Eagles at the World Cup and I am not sure he will like to destoy the good work he has started,” he said.

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Goal excites red-hot Ambrose



Super Eagles defender, Efe Ambrose, has expressed great delight after banging in a goal for his team, Hibernian FC, away at St. Johnson at the weekend. Ambrose scored the only goal for his side in the 1-1 draw recorded in the Scottish elite League encounter.

It was Chris Kane’s late equaliser that erased Ambrose’s goal as Hibernian played 76 minutes with 10 men at McDiarmid Park. Ambrose headed Hibs into an early lead, but with the game still in its infancy, goalkeeper Ofir Marciano was sent off for handling outside the box.

And Saints could have won it when Scott Tanser’s free-kick hit the bar The draw means Hibs missed the chance to overtake Aberdeen in third place in the Premiership, while Saints also passed up the chance to leapfrog Motherwell into seventh.

Ambrose has now scored three goals in the elite league this season and also the defender has recorded three assists. He said: “It was a great feeling especially because I recorded an assist in the previous match against Hearts. I love scoring goals to help the team because strikers also come back to help in defending.

“I have scored goals also for the Super Eagles and so it’s no big deal to me. This season has been fantastic for me. I am enjoying my best season in recent time and to cap it all, the fans are so wonderful.” The defender vowed to work hard to score more goals for his club and country.

“I will always work hard to take my chances and score goals for both club and country. I expect to get a chance again in the Super Eagles and when that comes, I will grab it with both hands. “For now, the focus is to earn a better placing with the team on the table such that we book a ticket to play in Europe next season,” Ambrose added.

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