- Amuneke:Friendly’ll test Nigeria’s readiness for W/Cup
The only time the Super Eagles beat Argentina, talismanic Lionel Messi was unavailable for La Albiceleste and the Barcelona star won’t be around again when the two sides meet today in a friendly game in Russia, providing an opportunity for the West Africans to seal their second victory over the South Americans. Messi, who featured in Argentines’ 1-0 win over Russia at the weekend, has been excused from the Nigeria tie by coach Jorge Sampaoli.
The three-time African champions can steal the show in Barca star’s absence just like they did when the two sides first met in a friendly match in Abuja on June 1, 2011 as Nigeria handed a 4-1 defeat to Argentina without Messi. Although the story changed when the forward returned to the team’ s starting line up in another friendly match September same year in Dhaka, Bangladesh as his magic was too much for the Eagles.
The match ended 3-1 in favour of the South Americans. Of the football’s super powers, the eight countries that have won the World Cup, Argentina is the team Nigeria has met most often. Today clash in Krasnodar in Russia will be the eighth time both team will meet.
Five of the previous matches were competitive and Nigeria escaping defeat only once. Eagles have lost all their competitive matches against the Argentines but the two friendlies ended in one victory apiece. The Eagles will enter the tie high on confidence after they completed their World Cup qualifying series without a loss following a 1-1 draw in Algeria on Friday.
They will welcome Captain Mikel Obi who was rested for the game against Algeria. The former Chelsea midfielder could make his 80th appearance for the country to become the fifth player to reach that milestone. Reports from Argentina’s camp suggested coach Sampaoli would field a weaker side with the likes of Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria unlikely to start.
Nigeria coach is excited about the friendly and he insisted the venue of the clash was also perfect for Eagles’ preparation for the World Cup. Ex-international Emmanuel Amuneke has urged the Eagles to take the match seriously, saying the tie will give an idea about the side ahead of the World Cup.
“It is one match the Super Eagles should pay attention to all its details because aside national pride, it is one game that gives you a clear picture of what to expect during the World Cup in Russia next year,”
Heineken extends UCL football experience to Port Harcourt
After kicking off the special live viewing of 2017/2018 UEFA Champions League knockout games on February 14 in Lagos, International Premium Lager Beer, Heineken has now extended its premium cinematic football experience to the city of Port-Harcourt, with live broadcast of the Chelsea vs Barcelona game on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018.
The much anticipated clash between last season’s English Premier League champions and current Spanish League leaders was watched by hundreds of excited football fans at special Heineken viewing venues simultaneously in Lagos at IMAX Cinemas, Lekki and FilmHouse Cinema, in Port Harcourt.
Heineken’s upscale viewing centres equipped with impressive giant screens also offered guests ice cold Heineken drinks and delicious snacks. In addition to the refreshments, football fans also had access to a variety of recreational games to keep busy before kickoff, as well as quizzes, contests and giveaways during the halftime break.
The Chelsea vs Barcelona game ended in a one-all draw, courtesy goals from Willian, who scored on the 63rd minute, and Messi, who equalized in the 75th minute, effectively ending an 8 match goal drought against the London side. Also on the same night, Bayern Munich beat Besiktas 5-0, giving the German side a huge boost ahead of the return leg in Turkey in a fortnight.
A dramatic night of top class football ended on a high for fans, both in Lagos and Port Harcourt, and sets up delightful expectations for the next set of UEFA Champions League games to be broadcast live at Heineken’s exclusive viewing centres in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja throughout the rest of the 2017/2018 season’s edition of Europe’s elite football competition.
Cow throws football club into crisis
It appears that the issue of cows causing havoc is not limited to only Nigeria if news out of Scotland is anything to go by.
According to multiple reports, a cow in that country has caused crisis for a Scottish Championship club after a runaway hit its reserve goalkeeper.
Queen of the South’s Sam Henderson, 19, hurt his shoulder in the incident on his father’s farm.
First choice goalkeeper Alan Martin is out with a thigh injury with Jack Leighfield standing in.
Henderson was on the bench for last weekend’s draw with Morton and was expected to do the same against Dunfermline on Saturday.
However, the accident has meant he is facing a race to be fit.
Regular number one Martin is expected to be out for five to six weeks which meant Leighfield played at the weekend.
That saw youth team keeper Henderson promoted to the bench last Saturday.
He was expected to take the same spot for the clash with Dunfermline this weekend which is vital to the Dumfries side’s promotion play-off hopes.
The club confirmed Henderson had been struck by a cow and injured his shoulder and was now an injury doubt.
NOGIG 2018: NLNG dominates swimming
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas yesterday proved that they were the best in swimming at the ongoing 17th Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry Games tagged NOGIG 2018, as they emerged tops in the swimming event concluded on Wednesday at Chevron Complex, Gbagada, Lagos.
NLNG won five gold and one silver medals to top the medals table ahead of Shell that won three gold, three silver and one bronze medals, while Chevron took third position, with three gold and one bronze medals. The fourth and fifth positions went to Nigeria Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Mobil respectively.
In the 33.33 metres freestyle for women, Inye Samuel, representing Shell took the gold medal in a time of 25:51secs. The silver medal went to Chioma of NNPC, who returned a time of 25:95secs, while NAOC’s Opubiri Ton-Ifiye took the bronze medal after finishing at 28:07secs.
Chevron looks good for a medal sweep in the chess events which will be concluded today at the same venue.
As at yesterday, Ogwuche Otokini, who had earlier won bronze medal for Chevron in the swimming event, was leading comfortably in the women’s chess, having recorded four over four with the fifth and final game yet to be decided.
In the men’s chess event, Clifford Ogolowa, also of Chevron is just one step away from sealing the gold medal. With four points in his kitty and one game left to be decided, Ogolowa’s fate is in his own hands as he is closely followed by Innocent Ekpu of NLNG and Emelife Chinedu of NNPC, who have three and half points each.
Meanwhile, Technical Director of the event, Bayo Babalola, has hailed the players for their performances and conduct since the commencement of the chess event.
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