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Real on cusp of ending La Liga drought

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Real Madrid can almost touch the La Liga title after a five year wait, needing only to avoid defeat to Malaga on Sunday to grab the trophy from the hands of arch rivals Barcelona.

Real lead the standings on 90 points, three above Barcelona. Standing in the way of a first title since 2012 is a Malaga side with little at stake and who are coached by Michel, who spent 14 trophy laden seasons at the Bernabeu.

Madrid famously squandered two consecutive titles in 1992 and 1993 away to Tenerife, then coached by another Real great, Jorge Valdano, handing the trophy to Barcelona on the final day.

Michel stirred controversy in a radio interview last month when he declared “I’m a much bigger Madrid fan than Valdano”.

However, Michel, who oversaw a surprise 2-0 win over Barca in April, has promised to treat the game like any other: “It’s my Madrid but also my Malaga. I have to respect the competition and always go out to win.”

Barcelona host Eibar and coach Luis Enrique last month said his side’s hopes of stealing the league in the final match were as likely as pigs flying. In his last media appearance, though, he said Malaga had beaten Barca and could spring a surprise on Madrid too.

Real opened up a three-point lead at the top with a 4-1 win over Celta Vigo on Wednesday, returning to the league’s summit for the first time since April 23 when they lost to Barca.

They have been in rampant form since that defeat, hitting 20 goals in five games through 10 different scorers, demonstrating the devastating attacking power coach Zinedine Zidane has at his disposal.

The Frenchman’s rotation policy was criticised early in the season after four straight draws but has paid off with Real hitting their peak in the final run-in, having also reached the Champions League final in June against Juventus, reports Reuters.

“We’re all playing as we are thanks to the work of Zidane, thanks to his rotations we can now win the double,” midfielder Isco told reporters after a sensational display against Celta.

“We won another crucial game and now we have to make the final push. Malaga will be as tough as this game but we’re very motivated. A point will be enough, but we’ll go out to win as we always do.”

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Obaseki ready to unveil rebranded Bendel Insurance

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All is now set for the unveiling of the rebranded Bendel Insurance Football Club and the technical crew ahead of the 2018 National League football season and it will be done by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki. A statement from the Government House, Benin City and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Ebomhiana Musa, read that the technical crew was headed by Monday Odigie as the Manager, while he is to be assisted by Baldwin Bazuaye as the chief coach and Greg Ikhenobas the assistant coach. Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, is the chairman of the committee charged with the responsibility of repositioning sports in the state.

According to Shaibu,” With the calibre of players we have on board coupled with the technical crew, we have no doubt that Bendel Insurance FC are out to thrill football lovers with good play and bring back the old glory associated with the club. Ultimately they will move to the premier league where we believe they are rightfully belong to with the kind of investment we have put into it.”

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Lagos Polo: Caverton, Agad, Optima Energy triumph

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Lagos Caveron/Sao Polo began their chase for a place in the final of the Low Cup of the 2018 Lagos International Polo Tournament mainly sponsored by GTBank with an 8 – 4 ½ win over Lagos STL. Lagos Optima Energy outgalloped their city rivals, Lagos Plug to also brighten their chances of making it to Sunday’s final.

Martin Juaregi, unsurprisingly, ran the show on behalf of Caverton/ Sao Polo netting a large chunk of his side’s goals while Jamilu Umar and Rotimi Makajuola, the side’s patron, were also on target. STL parading Omololu Agoro, Mario Gomez, Khalifa Ibrahim and Seyi Tinubu, who is the patron began on ½ goal handicap but had their lead wiped off in the opening chukka with Argentine four-goaler, Juaregi scoring twice but STL stayed in touch with a goal by Ibrahim.

The third match of the day saw Lagos Plug having no answer to the intense play of Optima Energy who ran out 7-2 winners. Ibrahim Dantala and Saidu Umar starred as Optima Energy were optimally energized for what turned out to be a resounding victory.. The match between Lagos Agad and Kaduna Trappco which was called-off due to poor visibility was concluded with Agad scoring a goal to win 7- 5 1/2 having led 6 – 7 1/2 before the final two minutes was decided.

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NOGIG 2018: NAOC, DPR shine in scrabble

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Nigerian Agip Oil Company and Department of Petroleum Resources shared the gold medals in the scrabble event of the ongoing 17th Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry Games tagged NOGIG 2018. Vivien Kagbo representing NAOC won gold medal in the women’s category after amassing 10+1119 points after 12 rounds of game.

The silver medal went to Adesanwo Olusola, while Akpagher Vihimga got the bronze medal. In the men’s category, DPR’s Iyanam Nsikan came tops after withstanding stiff oppositions in 26 rounds of game, garnering 24+2809 points, the silver and bronze went to Shell’s Osikhena Ojior and Mpakaboari Jack respectively. Nsikan, who spoke after emerging as the men’s champion, attributed his gold-winning feat to hard work and determination to excel, insisting that he never doubted his ability to win.

He admitted that the only player that gave him tough time in the game was Adowei Ebikeme of Chevron, who finished fourth. “I’m excited with the victory. It didn’t come to me as a surprise though. It’s all about hard work and determination.

I must admit that the victory was not that easy. I was really tested by Chevron’s Adowei Ebikeme. He gave me a real fight but I was equal to the task. In general it was a good championship,” he said. The team events will be concluded Friday (today).

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