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Tunisian tennis star, Ons Jabeur, becomes first African woman to reach US Open final

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Tunisian tennis star, Ons Jabeur, has made another history when she became the first African female player to ever reach the US Open Women’s finals after she eased past France’s Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-3 in a pulsating semi final match on Thursday.

The Tunisian who also became the first North African woman to reach the Wimbledon finals earlier this year, will face World Number One, Iga Swiatek, in Saturday’s final in New York.

Jabeur who is the Number Two ranked player in the WTP, was in her element on her way to defeating Garcia in the first game, when she breezed through with great ease to take the first set with six aces and 11 winners.

In the second set, she continued from where she left off and despite a few unforced errors, decisioned Garcia
6-3 to set up a 1-2 final against Swiatek who defeated her semi final opponent, Aryna Sabalenka 3-6, 6-1. 6-4.

After the epoch making match, Jabeur, who is popularly known as “Minister of Happiness” in her country, admitted her struggles in the second set but expressed gladness that her opponent didn’t get the better of her.

“In the second set I was trying, she was playing much better but I’m really glad she didn’t break me at the end because it was going to be tough.

“It feels amazing. After Wimbledon, there was a lot of pressure on me and I’m really relieved that I can back up my results.

“The hard court season started a little bit bad but now I’m very happy that I made it to the finals here,” she said

Sports

Too Good, Too Bad: How African stars performed in Europe last weekend

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With the return of football after the international break, African stars plying their trade in Europe returned to action for their clubs with bags of mixed results.

Some picked up where they stopped and gave man of the match performances while others could not live up to their high expectations.

Arsenal’s Ghanaian midfielder, Thomas Partey stood out of the bunch when the Gunners took on North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur where he scored a beautiful screamer to put the league leaders ahead.

Partey scored a screamer against Spurs (Photo Credit: Arsenal FC)

Partey scored a screamer against Spurs (Photo Credit: Arsenal FC)

Nigerian star, Alex Iwobi once again, showed Everton fans that his season is no flash in the pan as he was instrumental to Frank Lampard’s men coming back from one goal down to defeat Southampton 2-1.

Apart from action in the EPL, African players were also in action in top European leagues like the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, Dutch Eredivisie, and the Ligue 1.

Africannewswatch brings you review of some of the good and the bad of African players in Europe last weekend.

Too Good

Thomas Partey – Arsenal

Ghana international, Thomas Partey was the cynosure of all eyes when he returned to action at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal took on their eternal rivals, Tottenham, in a North London derby on Saturday which saw the Gunners thrash the Whites 3-1.

The 29-year-old was on hand to give the Gunners the lead when he curled home an effort from 25 yards which whizzed past Hugo Lloris to nestle in the top corner.

Further goals by Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka sandwiched Harry Kane penalty goal which had cancelled out Partey’s opener, ensuring Arsenal claimed the derby bragging rights.

Interestingly, Arsenal have won every match Partey has featured in this season and his injury-induced absence was felt as Arsenal suffered their only defeat of the season, a 3-1 against Manchester United.

Alex Iwobi – Everton

Nigerian midfield star, Alex Iwobi picked up where he stopped before the international break when he put up another man of the match performance as Everton ran out deserved 2-1 winners away to Southampton.

The Arsenal youth product who scored against Algeria in an international friendly, had his third assist of the season as he had a hand in Everton’s winning the goal scored by Dwight McNeil.

Sadio Mane – Bayern Munich

Sadio Mané ended his goal drought for Bayern Munich in the 4-0 drubbing of Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, after going over six matches without a goal.

The Teranga Lion’s vice captain grabbed the third goal, his fourth in the league, in the one sided match after Leroy Sane and Jamel Musiala had put the Bavarians in front.

The win also ended Bayern’s four match winless run in the Bundesliga.

Inaki Williams was in superb form for Atletico Bilbao(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Inaki Williams was in superb form for Atletico Bilbao(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Inaki Williams – Athletic Bilbao

New Ghana international, Inaki Williams who made his international debut against Brazil during the international break, returned to his club with a goal and an assist Athletic Bilbao defeated UD Almeria 4-0 in a La Liga match on Saturday.

The 28-year-old former Spain youth international celebrated his international call up with the opening goal for Bilbao after he was set up by his brother, Nico Williams, who also set up Oihan Sancet to double Bilbao’s lead.

Inaki then turned provider with a clever assist to brother Nico, who scored the third.

Ademola Lookman – Atalanta

In the Italian Serie A, Nigerian winger, Ademola Lookman was the hero for Atalanta as the pipped Fiorentina 1-0 on m Sunday.

The Nigerian international returned to action after the Algerian friendlies and got the only goal on the hour mark at the Gewiss Stadium, beating Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano with a simple tap in off an assist by Luis Muriel.

Ademola Lookman was the difference for Atalanta (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Ademola Lookman was the difference for Atalanta (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The goal was Lookman’s second Serie A goal of the 2022-23 campaign.

Too Bad

Taiwo Awoniyi, Emmanuel Dennis – Nottingham Forest

The duo of Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis were at the receiving end when Nottingham Forest suffered a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Leicester City who grounded out their first EPL win of the season on Monday.

While Awoniyi was on from the start and hit the woodwork in the first half, Dennis was a second half substitute but even his presence could not change The Reds fortunes as they suffered their fifth straight defeat.

Mohammed Kudus – Ajax

Ghana international, Mohammed Kudus could not replicate the form that saw him scoring in three straight Eredivisie matches, as he failed to extend that run of as Go Ahead Eagles held Ajax to a surprise 1-1 draw at home at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Saturday.

Kudus who started from the bench, was brought on by coach Alfred Schreuder for Ghana-eligible Brian Brobbey with seven minutes left on the clock and could not find the target.

Ghana and Agax midfielder, Mohammed Kudus (Photo Credit: Ajax FC)

Ghana and Agax midfielder, Mohammed Kudus (Photo Credit: Ajax FC)

Prior to the fixture, he had scored against Cambuur in a 4-0 win, Heerenveen in the 5-0 victory and the 2-1 defeat against AZ Alkmaar. In between the league matches, he was on target against Rangers and Liverpool in the Champions League.

Samuel Chukwueze – Villarreal

Nigerian winger, Samuel Chukwueze was quite disappointing as Villarreal were held to a 0-0 draw by Cardiz at the Nuevo Mirandilla Stadium where his La Liga goal drought in the 2022-23 La Liga campaign continued.

Chukwueze who was left in the bench for 83 minutes was brought on for his seventh league match of the season as a replacement for Nicolas Jackson, but he put every foot wrong and could not add any impact for the Yellow Submarines .

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Sports

CAF strips Guinea of 2025 AFCON hosting rights over insecurity

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Troubled West African country, Guinea, has been stripped of the 2025 African Nations Cup (AFCON) hosting rights by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), over insecurity fears and the country’s inability to assure the football governing body it can upgrade its facilities in time for the tournament.

CAF President Patrice Motsepe, who made the announcement on Saturday after a visit to Conakry where he held meetings with military leader, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, said the decision to take away the hosting rights from Guinea was taken way back in July.

Motsepe also said CAF will call for fresh bids because “Guinea will not be ready to host the event in 2025”, with the assurance that a “fair and consistent” process in the race to replace Guinea as hosts of the 2025 African Cup of Nations will be followed.

Back in March, Doumbouya had appointed a new organising committee after removing the one inaugurated by the regime he overthrew and issued a decree declaring the organisation of the 2025 CAN “of national interest and priority”.

Following rumours in August that the hosting rights may be taken away from Guinea, former Nigerian Football Federation boss, Amaju Pinnick, had hinted that Nigeria would bid to host the competition.

Meanwhile, Algeria, Senegal and Morocco have already indicted their intentions to bid for the 2025 AFCON tournament.

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