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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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Jose Mourinho extols Nigerian forward, Victor Osimhen, after wonder goal

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Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, has heaped praises on Nigerian forward, Victor Osimhen, after the striker scored a wonder goal which can potentially compete for the goal of the season in the Italian Serie A.

The former Chelsea boss said Osimhen, who is a target of one of his former clubs, Manchester United, can compare favourably with former Ivorian striker, Didier Drogba who terrorised defences in the English Premier League.

However, Mourinho said the only hindrance to the Napoli striker reaching legendary status is if he desists from “diving” to gain favours from referees.

“He is of the same level as Drogba, but Didier didn’t dive,” Mourinho told reporters after the game when asked to access the Super Eagles forward’s performance.

“If Victor changes, then OK. I’d buy him if I was at a club with a lot of money.”

“However, if he does go to England one day, he needs to change, because in Italy they put up with this sort of behaviour, whereas in the Premier League, they’d come down hard on him.”

“I told him that he scored a wonderful goal and needs to stop diving so much. His goal was fantastic, he did the same thing when we met earlier this season, so he’s a fantastic player. But he mustn’t dive,” the Portuguese coach said.

The red hot Osimhen, has scored 14 goals in 16 league matches, propelling Napoli to a healthy 13 point lead at the top of thr Serie A.

Watch Osimhen’s wonder goal against Roma here:

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CHAN 2023: Niger, Madagascar make history, beat Ghana, Mozambique, to reach semi-finals

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It was a night of shocks and history on Saturday at the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria when one of the tournament’s favourites, Ghana, was knocked out by outsiders, Niger Republic in a 2-0 defeat which saw the Nigeriens qualify for the semi-finals.

As if the shock was not enough, first-time qualifiers, Madagascar, thumped Mozambique 3-1 to also qualify for the semi-final in some style.

While Madagascar was dealing with Mozambique in Constantine, Niger shocked two-time runners-up, Ghana, in Oran to complete the last-four line-up alongside host, Algeria and Senegal.

Niger’s reward is a date with Algeria while Madagascar will square up against Senegal, both on Tuesday.

Though Algeria and Senegal are outright favourites to win the tournament meant for African footballers playing in their country of birth, pundits believe underating the so called minnows could spell doom as Ghana, Cameroon, DR Congo and other top playing nations found out the hard way.

Madagascar had earlier shocked Ghana and hammered Sudan to win Group C, while Niger had pulled up the shock of the group stages by sending Cameroon packing with a 1-0 victory in their last group D match.

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