CAF League:Sudan Holds Enyimba to Goalless Draw in Aba
Enyimba International Football Club of Aba were held to a disappointing goalless draw by 10-man Al- Hilal FC of Sudan in Sunday’s CAF Champions League Second Preliminary Round first leg clash in Aba.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Peoples’ Elephant were dominant all through the duration of the match, but lacked the cutting edge on the final third.
Enyimba fired an early warning to Al-Hilal FC when Nelson Ogbonnaya planted his headed effort from Stanley Okorom’s free kick into the side netting just five minutes after the start.
The visitors heeded the warning and applied caution in their defensive approach, absorbing all that the hosts threw at them at the end of a one-sided first half.
Enyimba again came close to breaking the deadlock two minutes later when Okorom hit the side netting from a free kick almost on the same spot as the first.
Ghana import, Daniel Darkwa drifted up field and just when he was about getting a clear sight on goal, he was tripped by Abuaagla Named.
Enyimba’s centre-back, Ifeanyi Anaemena added his name to the list of those who missed scoring opportunities when he swept his glorious chance waywardly over the crossbar in the 12th minute.
This was after Onuwa Emeruwa’s sleek touch off Dimgba’s cross from the right.
On the quarter hour mark, Stanley Okorom stung the gloves of goalkeeper Salim Macoola with a rising strike from distance, but the shot stopper did well to push the ball away for a corner.
Five minutes later, Al- Hilal were reduced to 10 men with Nazar Nassr shown a straight red card for violent conduct, after the defender had stepped on Enyimba defender, Daniel Darkwa.
With the numerical advantage, Enyimba patiently worked and waited for the breakthrough as they encamped in their opponent’s territory and continued to pile countless pressure on Al Hilal’s defence.
Obi Damson had his effort parried by the goalkeeper in the 42nd minute and the ball came back gloriously for him, unfortunately his second bite at the cherry went wide off target.
For the first time in the game, the visitors sneaked behind Enyimba’s back line with Barnet Named getting to the byline, but his left foot effort was easily caught off by goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai.
Perhaps, the best chance of the half fell on Dimgba who found his way into the crowded Al-Hilal box.
He twisted and turned all the defenders who virtually got fixed on a spot but his shot towards the far post went wide to the consternation of the packed stands that included governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
Both sides went into the break on equal terms.
The restart followed same pattern as the first with Enyimba in absolute control of the game but were unable to break down the visitor’s resolute defence.
Al-Hilal found an opportunity for a counter attack with Mohammed Darac firing a left foot drive that went marginally wide with Afelokhai fully stretched in the 51st minute.
In a frantic move to shore up his attack, coach Usman Abdallah substituted Obi Samson for Bashir Abdulrahman and Martins Usule for Onuwa Emeruwa.
The move almost paid off as Abdulrahman came close to finding the back of the net with a fierce strike from close range, but the goalkeeper reacted brilliantly, pushing the ball for a corner.
With seven minutes remaining on the clock, Stanley Dimgba fired a ferocious shot from the edge of the box but Macoola went down early enough to gather.
Al-Hilal displayed tremendous composure, organisation and confidence as they repelled every Enyimba offensive till the final whistle.
The Peoples’ Elephant will travel to Sudan on September 29, for the return leg. (NAN)
Kick-off and Final Match Dates Confirmed for 2023 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire
Dates for the kick-off and final matches at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled for Cote d’Ivoire have been officially confirmed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the opening match of the competition is scheduled to take place on Jan.13 at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan.
The four-week tournament, which will involve Africa’s best 24 national teams, will officially conclude on Feb.11.
This will be the 34th edition of the competition which began in 1957 and it is returning to Cote d’Ivoire for the second time.
It was first held there in 1984, with Cameroon emerging as winners for the first time.
Already, the AFCON 2023 Qualifiers are approaching the business end, and the road to Cote D’Ivoire is gradually taking shape for Africa’s biggest football spectacle.
Following the thrilling fourth round of qualifiers few days ago, six countries have secured their places at the competition to join hosts Cote d’Ivoire.
They are Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, Burkina Faso and defending champions Senegal.
Meanwhile, CAF General Secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba has confirmed that the Final Draw of the 2023 AFCON will be held in September, with the date and venue to be confirmed in due course.(NAN)(
Fury Can ‘Redeem Himself’ by Fighting Me – Joshua
Anthony Joshua said Tyson Fury can “redeem himself from the circus” of a collapsed undisputed heavyweight bout by agreeing to fight him.
Talks between Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO, WBA (Super) and IBF champion, and WBC title-holder Fury broke down last week.
Joshua, 33, faces American Jermaine Franklin on Saturday in his first bout in 2023.
He said he wants an all-British fight with Fury, whatever the outcome against Franklin at the O2 Arena.
“There’s no better time to get Fury in the ring than now because he needs me to redeem himself from this circus, this letdown.
“He needs me so there’s no better time than for him to call my name out and I’m someone that will take on any challenge,” Joshua said.
Joshua was in talks with his British rival over a fight last year following successive losses to Usyk, but could not reach an agreement and Fury fought Derek Chisora at Wembley Stadium in December instead.
Fury then set his sights on facing 36-year-old Usyk in what would have been the first undisputed heavyweight contest since 1999.
But after weeks of negotiations, both parties announced an agreement could not be reached due to a dispute over the terms of a potential rematch.
“It’s not my position to slate or slag anyone off. I’m pretty sure that fight [Fury v Usyk] will happen because I feel like there could potentially be a method to the madness,” Joshua told Steve Bunce on 5 Live Boxing.
“If, number one, I was in that position [and] didn’t take that fight, how would people treat me?
“And number two, if I didn’t take that fight what would Fury have to say about me? So I’m not going to stoop to that level.
“I respect everyone that steps into the ring. But I just sometimes think some people should watch their mouths a bit.”
IMC Fines Lobi over Delayed Match Kick-off, Warns Doma Utd
The Interim Management Committee (IMC), has fined Lobi Stars FC a total of ₦2 million for infractions of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) following incidents that led to late kickoff of their MatchDay 10 fixture in Gombe against Doma United.
The Club’s Executive Vice Chairman, Dominic Iorfa was also issued a stern warning for his role in the disruption of the start of the game.
The Interim Management Committee (IMC) in a Summary Jurisdiction signed by Davidson Owumi, the Head of Operations, also expressed displeasure at the unsporting conduct of fans of the host team, Doma United during the said fixture.
He said some of the match officials have been summoned for in-house administrative procedure with a view to determining their actions on the day, before and during the match.
Lobi Stars were charged for breaches of Rule B13.26, C1.1, and C 9.
The charge read, “You are in breach of Rule B13.26 of the Frameworks and Rules of the Nigeria Premier football League, in that on Sunday 26th of March 2023, in the course of Match Day 10 Fixture: Doma United FC vs. Lobi Stars FC, your Vice-Chairman, Mr. Dominic Iorfa, caused disturbances and disruptions that delayed the kick-off for the match”.
Iorfa was also found to be complicit in acts capable of bringing the game to disrepute in breach of Rule C1.1
Lobi was also found in breach of Rule C.9 for failing to “control your officials and ensure their proper conduct which resulted in the disruption of Match Day proceedings”.
The Club was consequently fined ₦1.5 million for disturbances and disruptions caused by their team that led to delayed kickoff.
Another fine of ₦500,000 was imposed on Lobi Stars for “failing to control and ensure the proper conduct of your official (s)”.
The club has been ordered to pay the fine within 14 working days. Lobi must communicate its acceptance of the decision in writing within 48 hours or elect to appear before a panel.
In the matter of Doma United, the IMC noted that “all stakeholders, including fans and supporters, are expected to act in the best interest of the game and comply with the principles of fair play, sportsmanship, as well as the rules and regulations governing the League, at all times”.
Consequently, Doma United were warned that a repeat of such conduct would lead to sanctions on their home ground, the Pantami Stadium.
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