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Afcon 2021: Burkina Faso to meet Equitorial Guinea or Senegal following a 1-0 win against Tunisia




Burkina Faso have booked a place in the Africa Cup of Nations semifinals after they defeated Tunisia 1-0 at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua on Saturday night.

Dango Ouattara, scored the only goal of the game and was later sent off I the 82nd minute for an elbow on Ali Maaloul.

The 19 year old ran onto Blati Toure’s through ball, held off two defenders and cut inside before firing in.

But he was then sent off in the 82nd minute for an elbow on Ali Maaloul.

The Stallions reached the semis for the third time in the last five AFCONs, while the Carthage Eagles struggled to gain any traction and looked a shadow of the team which shocked Nigeria earlier in the week.

After a cagey opening quarter hour, Burkina Faso had the first genuine chance when Edmond Tapsoba’s shot from a free kick deflected off the wall and fell kindly for Cyrille Bayala, but his low effort was no trouble for Tunisia goalkeeper Bechir Ben Said.

Bayala had a far more dangerous moment midway through the first half when he skinned Mohamed Drager down the Stallions’ left before firing a low shot on goal from a tight angle which required a sharp save with his legs from Ben Said.

On 27 minutes it was Tunisia’s turn to threaten in attack, with Wahbi Khazri firing a powerful effort on target direct from a free kick, but Burkinabe goalkeeper Herve Koffi turned the shot over the top for a corner kick.

Burkina Faso continued to enjoy some strong forays and on 40 minutes they created an opening for Djibri Ouattara, but his left-footed volley was comfortably saved by the Carthage Eagles ‘keeper.

The first half looked set to end goalless, but in injury time before the interval the Stallions claimed the lead when Blati Toure played a fine through ball to set Dango Ouattara free down the right flank, before the attacker cut inside of defenders Oussama Haddadi and Dylan Bronn and fired home a left-footed shot.

The West Africans could have doubled their lead six minutes after the restart when a fast-paced counter attack set Bayala free down the right of the penalty area, but his shot from a tight angle was blocked by Ben Said to keep Tunisia in the contest.

The North Africans spurned a great chance to level the game on 57 minutes when substitute Naim Sliti drove a dangerous ball into the box which picked out the run of Khazri, but the attacking midfielder fluffed his attempt to get a shot on target.

Eleven minutes later another Tunisia substitute, Ali Maaloul, had a shot on target direct from a free kick, but Koffi made a diving save to keep Burkina Faso in the ascendancy.

The Stallions were dealt a major blow with just under 10 minutes to play when Dango Ouattara was sent off after a VAR review for elbowing Maaloul in an aerial challenge, leaving them a man down and under siege for the remainder of regulation time.

However, the Burkinabe defence stood firm in the face of wave after wave of Tunisian attacks and ultimately held out to seal a place in the final four.

The Stallions, who have never won the tournament, will meet either Senegal or Equitorial Guinea who play each other on Sunday.

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Osimhen netted for as Nigeria routs Sao Tome 10-0




Victor Osimhen scored four goals as Nigeria routs Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 in African Nation’s Cup qualifying

The Super Eagles missed out on a place at the 2022 World Cup in Africa’s play-offs in March but have made a perfect start in Group A as they seek a spot at next year’s Nations Cup in Ivory Coast.

The victory away from home is the biggest win the Super Eagles have recorded, surpassing a 10-1 triumph over Benin in 1959.

Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis and Ademola Lookman, who spent last season on loan at Leicester City, were also on the score sheet for Jose Peseiro’s Nigeria.

Osimhen, 23, now has 15 goals in 22 international caps, with the Napoli striker becoming only the second Nigerian to score four goals in an international, with Rashidi Yekini the first to do so in a 7-1 Nations Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso in 1991.

Sao Tome and Principe are ranked 183 in the world by Fifa and had to come through a preliminary qualifying tie against Mauritius to reach the group stage.

The islanders were then thrown out of qualifying for fielding an ineligible player – but Sao Tome were subsequently reinstated just nine days before Group A got under way following a successful appeal.

Nigeria join holders Senegal, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali and Morocco with two wins from their first two qualifiers, with the next two rounds of matches scheduled for September.

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Afcon qualifier: Nigeria came from behind to best Sierra Leone 2-1




Nigeria came from a goal down to defeat Sierra Leone 2-1 in their opening 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, on Thursday at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja.

Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen struck in the wake of Jonathan Morsay’s early opener for the Leone Stars, sending the hosts level at the top of Group A with Guinea-Bissau who won their match against Sao Tome & Principe.

A choppy playing surface offered challenges for both teams, though Sierra Leone seemed to adapt more quickly, as attacker Mohamed Buya Turay fired a first shot in the third minute, but was tipped over the crossbar by Nigerian goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.

The Super Eagles then had a couple of chances through Victor Osimhen, and it seemed they would soon seize control of the match, but they were stunned when the Leone Stars claimed the lead in the 11th minute.

Musa Kamara sent in a cross from the left flank to pick out the run of Jonathan Morsay, who threw himself at the ball and scored with a diving header to put the visitors 1-0 up.

It was almost 2-0 just a few minutes later, as Sierra Leone cut through Nigeria’s defence on a counter attack and Musa Kamara struck a low shot which was tipped onto the post by Uzoho.

Nigeria then went straight up the other end and equalised to make it 1-1 on 16 minutes: Moses Simon played a well-weighted pass to put Alex Iwobi into space on the edge of the box and the Everton man opened up his body and whipped a shot into the bottom corner of the net.

The teams went on to trade half-chances before Nigeria claimed the lead for the first time in the 41st minute: Ola Aina’s cross from the right picked out Simon, who registered a second assist with a downward header across the six-yard box which was buried by Osimhen to make it 2-1.

The Super Eagles may have enjoyed the lead at half time, but the start of the second stanza saw them opt for a tactical change, as forward Sadiq Umar made way for central midfielder Peter Etebo.

The home side blew a great chance to add to their advantage when Samuel Chukwueze shot wide from a glaring opportunity in the 54th minute, and shortly thereafter Sierra Leone almost levelled the game when substitute Amadou Bakayoko beat Uzoho to a ball into the box, but sent the ball wide of the target.

Nigeria had half chances to kill off the game in the final quarter, but of more note were injuries suffered by captain William Troost-Ekong (groin) and striker Osimhen (hamstring), who were replaced by Kenneth Omeruo and Terem Moffi in the dying minutes.

The teams will return to Group A action on Monday 13 June, with Nigeria away to Sao Tome & Principe, while Sierra Leone will host Guinea-Bissau.

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Real Madrid crowned champions of Europe




Liverpool were denied a seventh European crown as Real Madrid became the chapions of the continent once again thanks to Vinicius Junior’s strike in a Champions League final marred by chaos outside the Stade de France.

Paris stepped in as host after UEFA stripped St Petersburg of the showpiece following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it did not provide a fitting host as European royalty went toe-to-toe in the biggest club match of the season.

Kick-off had to be delayed by 36 minutes due to substantial security issues outside the Stade de France, where Liverpool where edged out 1-0 in a tense, engaging final settled by Real star Vinicius Jr.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds were unable to find a response to the second-half strike as Carlo Ancelotti, managing a record fifth Champions League final just a year after leaving Everton, oversaw the Spanish giants’ 14th European Cup triumph.

It was a heartbreaking end to a memorable season for Liverpool, who won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup before being pipped to the Premier League title by a point and losing in the French capital.

Liverpool had settled quickest in Paris, where Thibaut Courtois denied Mohamed Salah – a man in search of revenge following his injury in the 2018 defeat to Real – before tipping a Sadio Mane strike onto the post

Karim Benzema, this season’s Champions League top scorer, saw a goal ruled out for offside just before half-time and the LaLiga champions caught Liverpool napping in the 59th minute, landing a match-winning blow.

Vinicius Jr snuck behind Trent Alexander-Arnold to turn home Federico Valverde’s low cross and Courtois produced one of the best performances of his life to keep Liverpool at bay.

Salah led the charge for an equaliser that never arrived on a night that will be remembered by many for the farce outside the Stade de France, which led Liverpool to request a formal investigation midway through the final.

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