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Enyimba On Tight Rope As Raja Casablanca Wins In Aba

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Enyimba On Tight Rope As Raja Casablanca Wins In Aba

Nigeria’s flagbearers in the CAF Confederation Cup, Enyimba of Aba now have a mountain to climb following their 0-1 home loss to Raja Casablanca of Morocco in the first leg of their semifinal tie yesterday.

The defeat at the newly refurbished Aba Stadium could have been avoided if the People’s Elephants had converted a penalty awarded them midway into the second half of the match.Enyimba, who defeated Rwandan side, Rayon Sports 5-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals to progress to the last four, paid the big prize in the 48th minute, as Abdelilah Hafidi scored the only goal for Raja Casablanca, a low shot from distance that squirmed through the legs of goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai.

Raja, a traditional powerhouse in African football thus grabbed a vital away victory. The first half had ended goalless despite constant pressure from Enyimba, who failed to utilize the numerous chances that came their way.

What could have been a respite for the Nigerian side came in the 65th minute, when the Tunisian referee awarded a penalty to Enyimba after a Raja defender handled the ball in the 18-yard box. But Stanley Dimgba blew the chance when he blasted his penalty way off target. Their efforts to come back into the game were frustrated by the visitors, who held on to the 1-0 advantage.

The Moroccan side celebrated yesterday as if they had won the trophy. They travel back home with a victory and an away goal.To progress, Enyimba must go to Morocco on Wednesday, October 24, and win by two goals to progress on the away goals rule.

Meanwhile, some Nigerian sports analysts have blamed Enyimba’s home defeat to Raja on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), which they accused of failing to protect ‘their own’. To the analysts, the NFF put Enyimba in danger by allowing them to play five matches within one week in the yet to be concluded Aiteo Cup. Before facing Raja yesterday in Aba, Enyimba played an Aiteo Cup game in Gombe on Friday and returned to Aba Sunday morning.

“Considering the huge hour they had to spend on the road, it was obvious in the match against Raja that Enyimba must have been fatigued,” one of the analysts said yesterday. “At least the NFF ought to have re-scheduled their game to a nearby venue. It is also curious that with all the noise of the NFF President being an insider in CAF, the body still picked a Tunisian referee to officiate a game between a Nigerian team and a Moroccan side.” Enyimba will be heading back to Gombe tomorrow for their Aiteo Cup quarterfinal match against Kano Pillars on Sunday.

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19 Year Old Defeats Oshonaike At National Sports Festival

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19 Year Old Defeats Oshonaike At National Sports Festival

Veteran Olympian Funke Oshonaike suffered another defeat at the ongoing 2018 national sports festival in Abuja when she was sent packing four-three in the quarter-finals of the women’s singles table tennis event by unknown youngster Nimota Aregbesola from Lagos state.

Oshonaike and another veteran player, Segun Toriola, representing akwa ibom state crashed out in the mixed doubles event to the team in the last eight.

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Morocco And Spain To Place Joint Bid For 2030 FIFA World Cup

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Morocco And Spain To Place Joint Bid For 2030 FIFA World Cup

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez says Spain and Morocco are discussing the possibility of placing a joint bid for the 2030 FIFA world cup.

The Spanish Premier has already held talks with Morocco’s King Mohammed the sixth about the same. If the bid were to be successful, it would present the possibility of one of the most interesting world cup showdowns ever.

According to the Spanish Prime Minister, the bid would involve Portugal as well. The first joint hosting of the world cup was in 2002. The tournament was hosted by Japan and South Korea, for the first time in Asia.

This will not be the first joint hosting bid by three countries. The 2026 FIFA world cup will be jointly hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

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Gernot Rohr Searches For Grade A Matches To Prepare Super Eagles For AFCON 2019

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Gernot Rohr Searches For Grade A Matches To Prepare Super Eagles For AFCON 2019

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr wants top friendlies to prepare his team for the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles are already qualified for the tournament with a game to spare, and Rohr is hopeful that the team will be kept busy with at least three grade a matches.

The Super Eagles have won the AFCON three times, but they are only back in the tournament proper in four years after they failed to qualify for the last two editions in 2015 and 2017.

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