AFCON 2019: Super Eagles renew fierce rivalry with Bafana Bafana

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A semi-final spot at the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is up for grabs when the Super Eagles of Nigeria take on the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in one of the tournament’s quarter-final games today.

The match between two past winners of the African Cup of Nations, billed for Cairo International Stadium, will be broadcast live at 8pm on SuperSport 7 and 10 on all DStv packages, and SuperSport Select 2 and 4 on GOtv Max and Plus packages.

The Super Eagles, who posted two underwhelming victories and lost 0 – 2 to minnows, Madagascar booked their place in the quarter-final after a hard-fought 3 – 2 victory over continental powerhouse and defending champions, Cameroon, on Saturday.

South Africa, on the other hand, qualified for the knockout stage as one of the third-best placed teams. They advanced to the quarter-final with an impressive performance against hosts and one of the pre-tournament favourites, Egypt, in front of 80,000 fans at the Cairo International Stadium.

Both teams have met 13 times, with six Nigerian victories against South Africa’s two, the most recent being the 2 – 0 away victory over the Super Eagles in a 2019 AFCON Group E qualifier played in June 2017. The return leg last November in Johannesburg ended 1 – 1.

Coach Gernot Rohr will once again look to Odion Ighalo for inspiration, with the China-based striker seeming to have rediscovered his scoring touch. The Super Eagles coach will also hope that his side’s defence, which has proved a source of worry, will enjoy better protection by hard-working midfielders, Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo. The Super Eagles can also count on midfielders Alex Iwobi and defender Ola Aina to provide attacking spark.

The Bafana Bafana look very capable of ending the Super … Read More...

AFCON 2019: Senate President Lawan heads Govt delegation

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President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) has nominated the President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Ahmed Lawan as leader of the Federal Government delegation to the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals holding in Egypt.

Also on the delegation are the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha and; Governors Ifeanyi Okowa and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Delta and Lagos States respectively.

There are also Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele; President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engineer Habu Ahmed Gumel; a Representative of the Presidency; Captain Hosa Wells Okunbo and; the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Olusade Adesola.

Completing the list are Arc. Muhammad Gambo, Director of Facilities in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and; a former Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung.

Thenff.com was informed that members of the delegation will arrive in Egypt in time for the Super Eagles’ Round of 16 encounter at the finals next weekend.

 

Anthony Nlebem

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AFCON 2019: Boost for Super Eagles as Kalu declared fit to play against Guinea 

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The camp of the Super Eagles of Nigeria bubbled on Monday evening after news came that France –based forward, Samuel Kalu, had been declared fit to future at the ongoing 32nd Africa Cup of Nations( AFCON)  after another test in Cairo.

Team Administrator Dayo Enebi Achor told thenff.com that team doctor Ibrahim Gyaran travelled to the Egyptian capital with Kalu to conduct the test alongside a CAF medical officer.

“Kalu has been declared fit to play as from now. His featuring in Wednesday’s match against Guinea however depends on if he is picked by the technical crew led by Coach Gernot Rohr,” Achor said from the team’s Helnan Palestine Hotel in Alexandria.

The pacy Girondins Bordeaux of France ace, who also performed creditably as a wing back in the AFCON 2019 ticket –winning 1-1 draw with South Africa in Johannesburg in November 2018, had fallen while about to take a corner kick at training in Alexandria on Friday evening. He was quickly stabilised but taken to hospital for a round of tests, where he was said to be dehydrated and needed to take more fluids.

The scare knocked him out of reckoning for selection for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of Burundi in Nigeria’s first match of the AFCON 2019 at the Alexandria Stadium.

 

Anthony Nlebem

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Reasons why you should stay hooked to AFCON 2019

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For the first time, the 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) takes a different approach in 2019 than previous years, the tournament has been expanded from 16 to 24 teams, which has never been done before. That means this year’s AFCON is going to be different and much more exciting! Hosted by Egypt, with Cameroon as the defending champions, Africans are going to be buzzing with excitement as we enjoy this season. Throughout this period DStv and GOtv will be dishing out to you live matches from 21 June to 19 July 2019, so worry not about missing a live match.

Here are 10 reasons to keep up with AFCON 2019

Content will be showing in High Definition

Definition (HD) television which means you will see everything showing on your screen much clearer than watching standard television. Imagine watching a live football match in much finer details, not having to worry about a blur or not getting a clear view of the football or the player; whether it grazed the stand of the goal post or it went into the post.

Live matches

This has been mentioned throughout the text, but that is to emphasize the reality of it. Your matches will be brought to you as it is happening. It’s almost as though you’re at the stadium watching it directly. You’re watching as it is happening, not after it happens

Time to socialize with family and friends

This is an amazing time to bond with family and friends. Discuss, laugh over amazing plays, banter about upcoming and legendary players. Regardless of what happens, the moment and experience will be infinite. Someone might be like, “only family and friends?” Not just family and friends. The impact football has made on socializing is … Read More...

AFCON 2019: Super Eagles pick three points off Burundi

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles got off to a winning start at the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals after Odion Ighalo came off the bench to score the only goal of an engaging duel at the Alexandria Stadium. In the event, the Super Eagles picked the three points and took an early lead in Group B ahead of the second match of the pool between Guinea and Madagascar.

Nigeria dominated possession in the early stages but the Burundians were the ones with the very clear chances. Onuachu put two headers past the Burundian goalpost in the 7th and 13th minute, but a minute later, Cedric Amissi came close to getting the Itamba in front when he latched onto a well –placed pass and stung Akpeyi’s palms with a fierce, close range shot.

Onuachu’s tame shot in the 27th minute was held by the Burundian goalie, and a minute later, Samuel Chukwueze sliced a decent chance in the box horribly wide.

Gael Bigirimana, Abdoul Fiston, Amissi and Said Berahino were a thorn in the flesh of the Nigerian rearguard but failed to get the ball past Akpeyi.

In the second half, Ahmed Musa’s introduction for captain Mikel Obi quickened Nigeria’s pace and race towards goal. But nothing was delivered until Ighalo converted a clever pass by Ola Aina to put the Itamba to the sword.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who is also 1st Vice President of CAF and President of AFCON, dedicated the victory to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari who had spoken to the players to pump up their spirit two hours before the match.

“We praise His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for reaching out to the team before the match. There is no doubt that his words of … Read More...