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UEFA League: Juve stop another Barca ‘miracle’ as Monaco beat Dortmund

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Juventus produced an exceptional defensive performance to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League after stopping Barcelona from scoring at the Nou Camp.
Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, Barca peppered the Italian goal but failed to repeat their last-16 heroics when they overturned a first-leg 4-0 deficit to beat Paris St-Germain.
Lionel Messi, who had earlier been denied by Gianluigi Buffon, fired wastefully over the bar while Luis Suarez and Neymar also spurned chances.
Juve’s Gonzalo Higuain fired tamely at Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Juan Cuadrado missed another chance but the final whistle was celebrated wildly by the champions of Italy.
And Monaco also reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2004 after an impressive second-leg performance in the last eight against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
The Ligue 1 side took a 3-2 first-leg lead back to Stade Louis II, where kick-off was pushed back five minutes after Dortmund’s team bus was delayed.
Teenager Kylian Mbappe pounced from close range to increase Monaco’s advantage after three minutes and Radamel Falcao headed in soon after to all but put the tie beyond Dortmund.
The Bundesliga outfit threw on exciting forward Ousmane Dembele and it was a fantastic run from the 19-year-old that set up Marco Reus to lash in after the break.
But substitute Valere Germain scored 21 seconds after coming off the bench for the hosts to secure their spot in the last four.
Monaco will discover their semi-final opponents when the draw is made on Friday, with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Juventus also progressing, reports the BBC.
UEFA LEAGUE RESULTS
Barcelona 0 – 0 Juventus
(Agg 0-3) FT
Monaco 3 – 1 Bor Dortmd
(Agg 6-3) FT

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Taribo West: Eagles’ character vital in Russia

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Ex-international, Taribo West, has stated that the character of the Super Eagles will help them to excel at the World Cup in Russia. Speaking with our correspondent, West said the team’s strength was based on their collectiveness and that would make them difficult to beat in Russia.

“The good thing about this set of Eagles is that they play on their strength and that is the level of fitness and teamwork,” he said. “When you play a team that has no standout player but all playing for each other, they play as a unit, with strong stamina, they will not just surprise the people in their group but also everyone at the tournament. “In the past, we looked up to one or two players to make the difference in a difficult situation, but when you expect a player like Victor Moses, another like Alex Iwobi will turn up.

At times it will be the defender and that is the true strength of this team.” He also said the decision of the Nigeria Football Federation to honour exinternationals in a recent award ceremony, Aiteo/ NFF Awards, was a good initiative. According to him, all those who have been holding grudges against the team and the federation in the past would have forgiven them after the NFF honoured them. He also applauded the NFF for the preparation given to the team and all the other friendly games lined up to takeplace in the coming days.

He added: “The grudges and the pains have been released and the blessings that follow reconciliation will follow for the team and the federation. The performance will be awesome at the World Cup. “For how far the NFF, have gone, it has been fantastic and the plans also good enough for the team. If you look at the numbers of friendly games, I will say I am satisfied.”

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Akwa Utd thank Udom, Nigerians for support

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The Management of Akwa United FC have expressed appreciation to Nigerians for their prayers and supports which they said helped a great deal in their qualification to the First Round of the CAF Confederation Cup competition on Wednesday in Banjul.

Speaking after the team’s victory against Hawks FC in Banjul, Chairman of the club, Elder Paul Bassey, expressed gratitude, first to God and to Nigerians for standing by the team despite the first leg lost in Uyo. Bassey was particularly grateful to Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State for his massive support and trust in the team even during the most difficult times.

“When we received the good news that Plateau United and MFMFC had qualified, we knew that we had to win and we reacted positively by keeping the Nigerian flag flying on the continent. “The level of support we received from Nigerians before the game was awesome and we thank the Almighty God who made it possible,” Bassey said.

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Rohr considers Martins for World Cup

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Obafemi Martins looks set to gate crash the Super Eagles final squad to the World Cup in Russia after he scored a goal and provided an assist for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua to draw 2-2 with Sydney FC of Australia in the Asia Champions League. Martins opened scoring after 26 minutes, before he assisted for his team’s second goal.

The nippy striker has been firing goals in the Chinese Super League. Sources have said he had now in serious contention for a place on the Super Eagles World Cup squad as coach Gernot Rohr is shopping for a proven goal scorer. ‘Oba-goal’ has scored goals in Italy, Spain, England, Russia and in the Major League Soccer League (MLS) in the United States of America.

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