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African stars who set Europe on fire last weekend

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With the European football season fully back and hostilities back on track, some African soccer stars represented the continent well with mouth watering performances.

In England, Nigerian striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, entered Nottingham Forest’s history books by scoring The Reds first EPL goal in 23 years.

It was a dream start for Senegalese captain, Kalidou Koulibaly as he opened his Chelsea home debut with a goal while another Nigerian striker, Ademola Lookman was also on song as he scored his debut goal as Atalanta beat Samdoria 2-0.

Africanewswatch takes a look at some of the continent’s stars who stood out with their performances.

Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest and Nigeria)

Taiwo Awoniyi’s home debut for Nottingham Forest was the stuff folktales are made of as he scored The Reds first Premier League goal in 23 years as the EPL sent back West Ham empty handed at the City Ground.

Taiwo Awoniyi and Reds teammates celebrate first EPL goal (Photo Credit: Nottingham Forest FC)

Taiwo Awoniyi and Reds teammates celebrate first EPL goal (Photo Credit: Nottingham Forest FC)

The former Union Berlin striker may have been fortunate with the goal but that did not diminish his all round contribution to the team as he tormented the West Ham backline before he was substituted late in the second half.

Joe Aribo (Southampton and Nigeria)

Nigerian midfielder, Joe Aribo, played a vital part as Southampton came back from two goals down to seal a 2-2 draw against Leeds United.

Aribo was on target as he got his goal with 20 minutes remaining on the clock to net his first EPL goal for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men.

The goal was more fitting as Aribo was introduced in the second half of the game.

Joe Aribo (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Joe Aribo (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Ademola Lookman (Atalanta and Nigeria)

Nigerian forward, Ademola Lookman had a dream debut for Atalanta as he started his Series A campaign on with a debut goal for Atalanta as they defeated Sampdoria 2-0 at the Marassi.

Lookman got his maiden goal in the 95th minute to open his account for La Dea making sure of the three points for Gian Piero Gasperini men.

Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea and Senegal)

Senegal captain, Kalidou Koulibaly made his Chelsea home debut count as he struck a wonderful volleyed goal in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the Stamford Bridge.

Kalidou Koulibaly made a scoring debut for Chelsea (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Kalidou Koulibaly made a scoring debut for Chelsea (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Outside the goal, Koulibaly did well to hold off the twin threats of Harry Kane, Hyu Min Son, Richarlison and other Tottenham attackers but could do nothing about Kane’s equaliser.

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Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel retires from football as one of African most decorated stars

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Former Nigerian international footballer, John Mikel Obi has retired from the sport after a boisterous career both home and abroad.

The 35-year-old Nigerian started his career at the age of 12 when picked as a talented footballer by over 3,000 young talents to play in Pepsi Football Academy. Mikel would later have his professional career in Norway, England, China, Turkey, and Kuwait.

His most successful club career stint was at Chelsea football club of England which he joined after a dramatic transfer battle between Chelsea and Manchester United.  Mikel enjoined eleven years of stay at the London club where he won 2 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cup, 1 Football League Cup, 1 FA Community Shield, 1 UEFA Champions League, and 1 UEFA Europa League.

On the national stage, Mikel won the Africa Cup of Nations with the Super Eagles of Nigeria in 2013 and a third-place finish in 2006, 2010, and 2019. He was also the captain of Nigeria’s Summer Olympic team that won bronze in 2016

Meanwhile, there have been congratulatory messages and accolades to the former Nigerian star by his former clubs, football bodies, and colleagues.

 

His personal honour includes FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Ball in 2005, CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year in 2005, Chelsea Young Player of the Year: 2007, and 2008, He was part of the CAF Team of the Year in 2005 and 2013, Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament in 2013, and ended as African Footballer of the Year runner-up: 2013.

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(VIDEO) Big shame as Mali women’s basketball players fight following World Cup match loss

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It was a show of shame on Monday when two members of Mali’s women basketball team at the ongoing FIBA Women World Cup in Sydney, Australia, threw caution to the wind and engaged each other in fisticuffs afterafter the team was defeated 81-68 by Serbia.

The two players, Salimatou Kourouma and Kamite Elisabeth Dabou, were caught on video going at each other’s throat during a post-match interview with Serbian player, Sasa Cado, in the post game mixed zone and was captured by a Serbian news camera.

Prior to the shameful fight, Mali which is lowest-ranked side at the tournament at number 37 in the world, had lost their first four games of the tournament and were no longer in contention for the knockout stage.

They even managed to set a record by losing to hosts Australia by a 118-58, a whopping 60 points difference.

Meanwhile, basketball’s world governing body, FIBA, in a statement on Tuesday, says it has opened an investigation into the fight.

The two Malian basketball players engaging in a shameful fight

The two Malian basketball players engaging in a shameful fight (Photo Credit: SNA)

The statement issued by a FIBA spokesperson, confirmed it was aware of the incident.

“FIBA acknowledged today that there was an altercation between Mali players in the mixed zone following the Group B game Serbia-Mali at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.

“Following the incident, FIBA has opened an investigation. Once the investigation is concluded, FIBA will decide on any applicable disciplinary measures.”

Mali was only a late replacement for at the World Cup after the Nigeria withdrew from the tournament due to administrative issues around the sport in their country.

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