Guinea and Nigeria battled out a scoreless 90 minutes in the first semi-final of the 13th Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Tanzania, before a marathon penalty shoot-out that ended when Ogaga Oduko blasted his effort sky-high sent the Junior Syli Nationale into Sunday’s final.
Characteristically, the Eaglets fluffed gilt-edged opportunities that would have long settled the encounter before the end of regulation time, and paid dearly through the lottery of penalty kicks as they would be battling for the bronze instead of the gold medal.
Forward Wisdom Ubani should have done better with two opportunities in the first half, but he delayed his decision each time and the chances went away. Guinea also came close through Bah Algassime and Toure Momo but also could not utilise the openings.
Seven minutes into the second half, Ubani fluffed another golden opportunity when it appeared easier to put the ball in the net, and three minutes later, Fawaz Abdullahi’s dipping shot flew narrowly over the sticks.
On the hour, Algassime rocked goalkeeper Sunday Stephen’s upright from long range, and Toure Alya came close in the 66th minute as he hit the bar from a corner. In the 72nd minute, Ubani was clever enough to create an opening for himself, only to waste it again.
Three minutes later, with goalkeeper CamaraSekou wrong-footed, Ubani’s 25-yard free-kick was deflected onto the crossbar. Abdullahi and Ogaga Oduko had chances later on, but the two teams would only be separated by sudden death penalties.
Bangoura Alya, Toure Alya, Conte Aboubacar, Bangoura Sekou, Keita Ahmed, Bangoura Mahmoud, Bah Algassime, Fofana Ibrahima, Dado Ibrahima and Soumah Mohamed made no mistake from the spot, while Nigeria’s Ogaga Oduko lost his kick after Ibraheem Jabaar, David Ishaya, Olakunle Olusegun, Clement Ikenna, Olatomi Olaniyan, Shedrack Tanko, Fawaz Abdullahi, Wisdom Ubani and Samson Tijani had scored.
The result means Nigeria, already with a ticket to the 2019 U-17 World Cup in Brazil, will battle for the consolatory third-place match of the tournament on Saturday.
Present Your Primary Six Certificate If You Went to School, PDP Tells Oshiomhole
The Peoples Democratic Party, on Monday, asked a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, to present his Primary School Leaving Certificate if he actually went to school.
The Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council for the Edo governorship election, Chief Dan Orbih, made the demand while addressing party members and supporters in the Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the state.
Orbih also urged Oshiomhole to tell Nigerians the cause of his quarrel with his successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki, whom he described as a worthy alumnus of the University of Ibadan.
“They said Governor Godwin Obaseki, who graduated from the University of Ibadan, has no certificate. I challenge Adams Oshiomhole to show us his Primary 6 certificate,” Orbih stated.
He urged Oshiomhole to “allow Edo people to decide who governs them. In four years, Godwin Obaseki has done more than what Oshiomhole did in eight years.”
On his part, Obaseki announced that the construction of the 12.75km Ososo-Okpella Road, which was abandoned by previous administration, would begin before the end of the year.
How Arsenal Conquered Chelsea to Win 2019/20 FA Cup
The 2020 FA Cup will always be remembered as the final without any fans.
It will also be remembered as Arsenal’s first trophy under Mikel Arteta after they came from behind to beat Chelsea and claim a record 14th FA Cup triumph.
Chelsea drew first blood when Olivier Giroud teed up Christian Pulisic, who slotted the ball past Emi Martinez.
The American terrorised the Arsenal defence in the opening stages of the game and he threatened to double Chelsea’s lead shortly afterwards.
But Mikel Arteta’s side rode the storm and looked to hit the Blues on the break with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang operating down the left channel in between Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta.
And it was down that channel that Aubameyang hauled his side back into the final.
Kieran Tierney’s lovely ball found the Arsenal skipper as he outpaced Azpilicueta before being brought down by the Chelsea defender.
Penalty and a yellow card for the Spaniard.
Aubameyang brushed himself down and sent Willy Caballero the wrong way.
But it was game over for Azpilicueta shortly afterwards as he went down holding his hamstring and was replaced by Andreas Christensen.
After half-time, Chelsea’s goalscorer suffered the same fate as Pulisic also left the pitch close to tears as Pedro replaced him.
Pulisic was probably the best player on the pitch but his injury didn’t appear to stunt Chelsea as they looked the more likely to score.
That was until, out of nowhere, Aubameyang grabbed his second goal of the game in clinical style.
Hector Bellerin’s surging run forward saw the ball break to Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian found Aubameyang, who twisted Kurt Zouma inside-out before dinking the ball delightfully over Caballero.
Six minutes later, Arsenal had a mountain to climb after midfielder Matteo Kovacic was shown a second yellow card for an innocuous-looking challenge on Granit Xhaka.
Quite why VAR was used to reverse the decision is baffling.
While Chelsea will feel hard done by, Arsenal saw out the remaining 17 minutes – plus seven additional minutes – in a professional manner as they won the FA Cup yet again!
Grocery Retailer, Shoprite, Pulls Out of Nigeria
Africa’s biggest grocery retailer, Shoprite, is exiting Nigeria after 15 years.
The Cape Town-based retailer has started a formal process to consider the potential sale of all or a majority stake in its supermarkets in Nigeria, it said in a trading statement for the 52 weeks to end June released on Monday.
South African retailers have struggled in the Nigeria market and most recently Mr Price has exited the market after Woolworths did the same six years ago.
In the statement, Shoprite said the results for the year do not reflect any of their operations in Nigeria as it will be classified as discontinued operation.
International supermarkets (excluding Nigeria) contributed 11.6% to group sales, and reported 1.4% decline in sales from 2018. South African operations contributed 78% of overall sales and saw 8.7% rise for the year.
As a result of lockdown, customer visits declined 7.4% but the average basket spend increased by 18.4%.