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AFCON: Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong dreams of lifting trophy




Nigeria had looked like they would close out victory against South Africa inside 90 minutes on Wednesday, with Troost-Ekong’s penalty putting them ahead in the 67th minute.


Victor Osimhen thought he had made it 2-0 with five minutes to go – but in a major twist Bafana Bafana were awarded a penalty for a foul in the build-up to that goal following a Video Assistant Referee review, allowing Teboho Mokoena to equalise.


“It’s good VAR because it was a penalty against us,” Peseiro conceded.

“But for us, for our minds, it was not good because we were winning 2-0 and then we were drawing 1-1.”


Khuliso Mudau almost won it for South Africa in second-half added time before a nervy 30 minutes of extra time and Nigeria’s eventual 4-2 triumph on penalties.


“This was a hard one. I think we showed real character,” defender Calvin Bassey told BBC Sport Africa.


“It just shows we could do the dirty work. We just had to keep believing in ourselves.

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“[South Africa were] a well-organised team, a quality team. To outdo them on penalties, it’s crazy.


“Kudos to all the boys that stood up and took [a penalty]. It’s not easy to go out there with the pressure and they kept calm.”

Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali was the hero in the shootout for the Super Eagles, denying Mokoena and Evidence Makgopa before Kelechi Iheanacho netted to clinch victory.


“Seeing myself winning the man of the match (award) and also going to the final is a dream come true to me,” Nwabali, who plays his club football in South Africa, said.


“Credit to my coaches, because when it’s penalty time, they guide me a lot.”

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Oshoala, Nkwocha, Adesanya, Kamaru make ESPN’s best 25 African athletes list





The Nigerian quartet of Asisat Oshoala, Israel Adesanya, Perpetua Nkwocha, and Kamaru Usman have been listed among the best 25 athletes from Africa in the 21st century by the prestigious US cable sports channel ESPN.



Oshoala and Nwokocha are female football players while Adesanya and Usman are mixed martial arts (MMA) male fighters.


Ethiopia’s long-distance runner Kenenisa Bekele, who dominated the 5,000 and 10,000-metre track races throughout the 2000s and held the world record in both distances until 2020, occupied the number one position on the list.


Oshoala secured the ninth spot, while Adesanya occupied the 15th position. Nkwocha and Usman took the 20th and 23rd spots respectively.


Oshoala was honoured for her exploits as a six-time winner of the ‘African Women’s Footballer of the Year’ award and for taking “African women’s football to new heights”.


Nwokocha was also recognized for her ruthlessness in front of goal. The attacker scored 80 goals in 99 appearances for the national women’s side, won the ‘African Women’s Footballer of the Year’ honour on four occasions, and is a five-time African Women’s Cup of Nations champion.

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Adesanya and Usman were recognized for their reign in the middleweight and welterweight divisions respectively for four years (2019 to 2022).  They also have similar records of being two-time champions with five successful title defences in the UFC.


Adesanya, based in New Zealand, had previously been predicted as the “next big thing” in MMA.


Other notable mentions on the list include Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, Sadio Mane, Casper Semanya, and Osi Umenyiora, an American football player of Nigerian descent who won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants.



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VIDEO: Falcons players rescued after getting stuck in elevator in France





Some players of the Super Falcons of Nigeria escaped an elevator crisis in Bordeaux, France on Saturday.


In a now-viral video of the incident, at least seven players were trapped in the malfunctioned elevator awaiting help at Hotel Mercure in Bordeaux.


The Super Falcons are representing Nigeria at the Paris 2024 Olympics women’s football event.

The team arrived in Bordeaux on Thursday from Sevilla, Spain, where they had been fine-tuning preparations for the Olympics.


While returning to their hotel rooms, however, the players were stuck in the elevator for minutes due to a technical glitch.


“God abeg o,” a player retorted in pidgin English as they awaited an emergency rescue that arrived minutes into the video.


“If I survive this one, see that stares, if I no pieces am,” another player promised as they were being evacuated from the elevator.

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Asisat Oshoala, Tochukwu Oluehi, and Uchenna Kanu were some of the players identified in the footage.


The Paris 2024 Olympics will begin on June 26 with an opening ceremony on the Seine River in Paris. The Super Falcons will face Brazil in their opening match on the same day in Bordeaux.


Randy Waldrum’s Falcons are drawn in Group C alongside Brazil, Spain and Japan

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Argentina beat Colombia to win Copa America





Argentina beat Colombia to win a record 16th Copa America but the game was marred by the kick-off being delayed by 80 minutes because of trouble outside the ground in Miami.


Lautaro Martinez struck in the second half of extra time from Giovani lo Celso’s through ball to secure the win.


Captain Lionel Messi was left in tears when he had to be replaced midway through the second half after injuring himself while chasing for the ball – but was celebrating his country’s third successive major tournament at the final whistle.

Kick-off was delayed because of chaos outside the Hard Rock Stadium.


Organisers said ticketless fans tried to get into the ground, leaving some fans waiting for hours in the Miami heat for the gates to open.

Fans and police officers and security clashed with several arrests made. Several supporters needed treatment from paramedics.


On top of that the half-time break lasted for 25 minutes because of a concert by Colombian popstar Shakira on the pitch, a move that was criticised by Colombia boss Nestor Lorenzo beforehand.

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It was a game of few clear chances in hot, humid conditions, with Colombia’s Jhon Cordoba hitting the woodwork in the first half.


Argentina thought they had taken the lead with 15 minutes to go but Nicolas Tagliafico’s effort was ruled out for offside.


Martinez would end up as the hero – and win the Golden Boot with five goals.

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