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Mane equals Drogba’s Champions League goal scoring record as Reds down Villarreal

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Liverpool and Senegal hotshot striker, Sadio Mane, has equalled a goal scoring record held by Ivory Coast and Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, when he scored Liverpool’s second goal as they beat Villarreal 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final match played at the Anfield on Wednesday.

With the goal, the 30-year-old Afcon winner moved level with Drogba with his 14th goal in the Champions League knockout stages.

Mane who played only 73 minutes in the match, latched on to fellow African striker Mohamed Salah’s exquisite through ball in the 55th minute and poked past Geronimo Rulli in the Yellow Submarine’s goal to double his side’s lead, edging them closer to May’s final.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had gone in front after Jordan Henderson’s cross was deflected in off Villarreal defender, Pervis Estupinan, less than two minutes before Mane struck.

The Senegal star matched Drogba’s output with his goal number 14, which is the record for an African player in Champions League history.

Back in 2012, Drogba had won the UCL with Chelsea after bagging a memorable header in the final against Bayern Munich before scoring the winning penalty in the shoot-out.

But Drogba’s achievements could be eclipsed by Mane who is hoping to lift his second European trophy in May.

In February, Mane also overtook the Chelsea icon in the Premier League goalscoring charts, becoming the top African goalscorer with his 106th goal and has gone on to notch a further three strikes to take him farther clear of Drogba, who retired in 2018 after a trophy-laden career with Chelsea.

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Kelvin Kiptum: Autopsy reveals late Marathon record holder died from head injuries

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An autopsy carried out by the Kenyan government has revealed that late world marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum, died from severe head injuries in a ghastly road accident on February 11.

Kenya’s chief government pathologist, Johanssen Odour, told journalists at a press conference on Wednesday that the injuries were consistent with those suffered in motor vehicle accidents.

The 24-year-old rising star died in a car accident alongside his Rwandese coach Gervais Hakizimana in killed in a late-night accident near his home in north-western Kenya.

According to a release by his family, Kiptum will be laid to rest on Friday at his home village, Chepkorio in Elgeyo-Marakwet County, in what is expected to be a state event.

Kiptum rose to fame when he became a world marathon record holder when he set a time of 2:00:35 in the Chicago Marathon in October last year after switching to running the marathon from shorter distance races a year before.

At the London Marathon, he set a record pace and improved his personal best time by 50 seconds to beat the 2:01:09 record set by fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, widely considered the greatest marathoner of all time.

Kiptum broke the course record for the London Marathon, winning the men’s event in the second-fastest marathon in history, crossing the finish line in two hours, one minute and 25 seconds.

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CAF unveils preliminary round draws for 2025 AFCON finals

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has unveiled the preliminary round of draws for the 35th edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) which will hold in Morocco in 2025.

The draws which took place Tuesday at CAF’s headquarters in Cairo, Egypt on Monday, saw the participation of the eight lowest-ranked teams in the latest FIFA ranking.

The first leg of fixtures scheduled to be played on a home and away basis between March 20 and 26, 2024, will Somalia face off against Eswatini in Somalia, Sao Tome will take on South Sudan in Sao Tome, Chad will play against Mauritius in Chad, and Djibouti will take on Liberia in Djibouti.

The hosting is reversed in the second leg, with Eswatini will hosting Somalia, South Sudan will welcome Sao Tome, Mauritius will play host to Chad, and Liberia will have the home advantage against Djibouti.

The winners of the preliminary round matches will advance to join the 44 exempted teams for the group stage of the tournament, with only 24 teams ultimately qualifying for the AFCON 2025 finals.

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