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Vettel beats Hamilton in Bahrain GP thriller

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Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel won a hectic and thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton’s hopes were hit by a penalty for gamesmanship.
Mercedes’ Hamilton was penalised five seconds for driving slowly on pit entry to hold up Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Serving it at his second and final pit stop, Hamilton rejoined in third place.
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas was ordered to let Hamilton by so he could chase Vettel, but 12 seconds in nine laps was too big a task and he took second.
Vettel’s win gives him a seven-point lead over Hamilton in the championship.
It was not completely clear who had the quickest car – Ferrari argued it was them; Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said Hamilton was the fastest. And the world champions may well feel this was a race that got away from them.
But the best race of the season, in which all three so far have been good, underlined one key fact – Ferrari are absolutely competitive and they and Mercedes are in a titanic struggle for the championship.
Hamilton and Vettel look like the men who will fight it – Bottas is not yet on Hamilton’s level and Kimi Raikkonen was again relatively anonymous, a poor start leaving him a long way behind but recovering to take fourth place ahead of Ricciardo.
Verstappen may well have been in the fight, too, on a relatively positive weekend for Red Bull, who have hopes of joining the fight at the front before too long, reports the BBC.

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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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