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2019 FIFA U20 World Cup: Flying Eagles Target Another Three Points Against USA

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2019 FIFA U20: Flying Eagles Target Another Three Points Against USA
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Another three points that will take them to the championship’s knockout stages is the objective of Nigeria’s U20 boys, Flying Eagles, as they confront Team USA in their second match of the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup on Monday evening.

Venue is the 15,000 –capacity Bielsko-Biala Stadium in the city of the same name, a facility constructed on the site of an old facility and which hosted its last international game in March 2018, when Poland tackled England in an U20 match.

Coach Paul Aigbogun is banking on the flaming form of his boys, who amassed four goals against Qatar in their first match against Qatar in Tychy on Friday, to consume a desperate Team USA still looking for its first point of the finals. The Americans lost 1-2 to Ukraine also on Friday.

“We had a great game against Qatar and we want to stay in that spirit all through the championship.

We will not make the mistake of under-rating any team; our approach remains taking it one game at a time. We go in there and fulfill our game plan of achieving victory.

“It is not going to be an easy match; the Americans are hurt after losing their first game. But we are in good form and we need the three points to assure our place in the Round of 16,” Aigbogun said on Sunday.

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Both countries first met at this level in the semifinals of the 1989 edition in Saudi Arabia, with a high –spirited Nigeria side just coming from a miraculous triumph over old Soviet Union in the quarter finals. The Flying Eagles had come from a 0-4 deficit with 15 minutes left on the clock, to tie the encounter with the Soviets in Dammam and went ahead to win on penalties.

On 28th February 1989, goals by Mutiu Adepoju sealed a 2-1 win over USA at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium in Jeddah to send Nigeria into her first –ever Final match of the FIFA U20 World Cup.

Today in the Polish city of Bielsko-Biala, victory over USA will send the Flying Eagles into the knockout rounds, and Maxwell Effiom, Henry Offia, Ayotomiwa Dele-Bashiru and Aliu Salawudeen, who all scored against Qatar, will look to add to their tournament tally.

On Saturday night, the Embassy of Nigeria in Poland feted the Flying Eagles, with His Excellency, Ambassador Eric Bell-Gam expressing his joy at the team’s demolition job on Qatar.

SPORTS

Hovland Edges Scottie Scheffler at Hero World Challenge

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Norway’s Viktor Hovland held off challenger Scottie Scheffler with a final-round, 3-under-par 69 to win the Hero World Challenge in New Providence, Bahamas, Sunday.

It was the second straight win for Hovland at the Hero World Challenge, making him the second player to defend his title at the event (Tiger Woods, 2006-07).

“Over 72 holes you’re not going to hit great shots all the time, I hit plenty of terrible shots today, but it’s making those key putts and kind of keeping yourself in it,” Hovland said. “That’s been the reason why I’ve been able to be in contention without really hitting it all that well this year.

Hovland came into the day with a three-stroke lead and his Sunday round included five birdies, but a pair of bogies, including one on 18 to open the door for Scheffler, added drama to the finish.

“It was a lot more stressful than it should have been,” Hovland said.

“When you’re standing there with a two-shot lead, it’s like the last thing you can do.”

Scheffler, who had birdied four of six holes along the back nine to put himself into contention at two strokes back with one hole to go, couldn’t capitalise on Hovland’s shaky finish, bogeying the final hole as well to finish 4-under-68 for the day.

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“I’m proud of how I played the back nine,” Scheffler said. “I got some good looks and made some nice putts and it was good to kind of make a little run. Granted it wasn’t enough, which definitely hurts, but it was nice to make a run.”

Hovland’s blistering Saturday performance, an 8-under 64, gave him just enough breathing room to win the tournament with a 16-under 272. Scheffler finished second at 14 under.

Matching Scheffler at 4 under Sunday and finishing directly behind him on the leaderboard were fellow Americans Cameron Young (12 under for the tournament) and Xander Schauffele (11 under). Another American, Justin Thomas, finished in fifth at 10 under after his round of 2-under 70.

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SPORTS

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr Make Offer for Ronaldo

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Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr have made a huge offer to sign Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo after the World Cup.

A number of clubs have expressed interest in him, with Al-Nassr’s offer the biggest at around 200m euros a year, according to reports.

Ronaldo, 37, is a free agent after his Manchester United contract was terminated last month following a controversial interview.

He criticised the club and said he had “no respect” for manager Erik ten Hag.

In the interview with TalkTV, he also said he turned down a £305m deal to join a Saudi Arabian club in the summer – a move that would have seen him become the highest-paid footballer in the world.

It is understood Ronaldo is fully committed to Portugal’s World Cup campaign and is not intending to make a decision about his future plans until that is over.

Portugal face Switzerland in the last 16 in Qatar on Tuesday.

Earlier in the tournament, Ronaldo became the first man to score at five World Cups as he converted a penalty in their 3-2 group stage win against Ghana.

Although he is a free agent, Ronaldo is not allowed to sign for a new club until 1 January as he was contracted to United when the last transfer window closed.

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He must also serve a two-game ban at domestic level with any new club – in England or abroad – for knocking a phone out of an Everton fan’s hand last season.

Ronaldo scored 145 goals in 346 appearances for United over two spells, leaving for Real Madrid in 2009 before returning to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2021.

He had just over seven months remaining on his £500,000-a-week contract with United.

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SPORTS

Fury Says He May Need Surgery on Right Elbow

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WBC heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury said he might need elbow surgery, potentially delaying a unification showdown with Ukrainian rival Oleksandr Usyk early next year.

The Briton told ESPN television after his 10th-round stoppage of title challenger Derek Chisora on Saturday that his right elbow was the problem.

“I’ve got some hand problems and I’ve got to maybe have some surgery on my elbow but after that, I’m ready for anybody,” he said.

“I had the left (elbow) done back in October (2021) after the Wilder III fight, so I’ve got to have it done. It will take about six to eight weeks to heal.

“We’ll see when we’ll be ready for this fight, we’ll see when it can be made.”

Fury said his promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren had talked of a potential clash with Usyk, the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion, towards the end of February or in March.

Adding to the uncertainty, the undefeated WBC champion told reporters at a post-fight news conference that he felt great and was looking forward to a “massive 2023”.

Fury taunted Usyk, who was ringside for the fight at London’s Tottenham Hotspur stadium, and challenged him to get the fight on.

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The Briton also said he would take on his undefeated compatriot Joe Joyce, the 2016 Olympic super-heavyweight silver medallist, at Wembley if the Usyk fight could not be made.

“I just think I can beat anybody. There’s no stopping me, I’m on a roll. I’m going to be match fit going into the next fight, can’t wait,” he told ESPN.

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