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Qatar 2022: Morocco bow to France, but make history for Africa

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France may have beaten Morocco 2-0 in the semifinals of the FIFA 2022 World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday night to end the North African side’s dream run in Qatar, but the Atlas Lions made history by becoming the first from the continent to ho that far in any world cup.

An early goal from France’s left back, Theo Hernandez, and a late tap in from substitute Randal Kolo Muani, gave the defending champions the win over the valiant Morocco side.

Morocco’s loss also ended hopes that they could become the first team from outside of Europe and South America to be crowned men’s world champions, but Walid Regragui’s team will still leave Qatar as the most successful African nation in World Cup history.

The best African teams have managed have three quarter final appearances – Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010), where they all lost out.

Morocco will meet Croatia in the third-place playoff on Saturday while Didier Deschamps’ team will face Argentina, who sealed a 3-0 win over Croatia on Tuesday, as the two heavyweights meet for the first time in a World Cup final.

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Exclusive: How Super Eagles captain Musa parted ways with Turkish club Sivasspor

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Contrary to various reports in some Nigerian media that Turkish Super Lig club, Sivasspor, sacked Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, due to low productivity, africanewswatch.com can authoritatively report that the veteran winger was the one who terminated his contract with the club.

A close associate of the Jos, Plateau State-born Musa, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the player decided to quit the club as they had failed to pay his salaries for the past six months.

“Please disregard the rumours that Ahmed Musa was sacked by Sivasspor of Turkey. The rumour has no iota of truth in it.

“On the contrary, it was Musa who terminated the contract and it was mutually agreed that it was the best step going forward.

“I can tell you that Ahmed had informed the club since December that he wanted to cut short his contract after they failed in their obligations.

“So it is appalling that some media houses will publish unverified reports that Musa was sacked by Sivasspor without even making any effort to confirm the true position of things. It is sad, to say the least,” the associate who is a member of Musa’s management team, said.

According to him, the veteran player is already working on a move to another club in the summer after leaving Sivasspor which he joined in 2022 from another Turkish outfit, Fatih Karagumruk.

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Napoli fans vote Osimhen best striker ahead of Higuain, Cavani

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Fans of Italian Serie A side,
Napoli, have voted Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen, as the best forward the club has had, ahead of clubs legends like Edinson Cavani and Gonzalo Higuain.

Shortly before the Champions League match between Napoli and Barcelona last week, the fans were tasked with picking the best of the three strikers who had y made great impacts in the team in their recent history.

After a poll, Cavani, Higuain, and Osimhen’s names popped up and although the poll had split opinions, the African Footballer of the Year came out on top.

The poll was conducted randomly as the fans were handed the quiz as they were making their way into the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium for the match.

When the results of the poll were collated at the end of the match where the Super Eagles forward scored the equaliser to tie the match at 1-1, the total number of votes was 38, split as follows:

MVictor Osimhen (18), Edinson Cavani (14) and Gonzalo Higuain (6), with the Nigeria international being the clear winner.

Cavani, who joined Napoli in 2010, quickly established himself as a dominant force in Serie A and during his time with the club, he helped Napoli clinch the Coppa Italia in 2012 and was the Serie A top scorer in the 2012-13 season with 29 league goals.

He scored 104 goals in 138 appearances and demonstrated his vital role in the team’s success, earning him the nickname “El Matador” for his clinical finishing and composure in front of goal.

Higuaín who starred for between 2013 to 2016, broke the Serie A goal scoring record in the 2015-16 season by scoring 36 league goals, setting a new Serie A record for most goals in a season.

On his part, Osimhen was sensational last season as he led Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years, scoring 26 goals to emerge the highest goal scorer, the first African player to achieve such feat in the Italian league.

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