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AFCON qualifiers: Nigeria suffer shock defeat at home to Guinea Bissau, South Africa, Cameroon held



The third round of qualifying matches for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2024 which will hold in Ivory Coast, threw up some surprising results as African football giants, Nigeria, got the shock of the lives after they were handed a humiliating1-0 win by minnows, Guinea Bissau at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.

The Friday matchday 3 proceedings in the group phase also saw the Bafana Bafana of South Africa held to a 2-2 draw at home by Liberia while Cameroon were also forced to a 1-1 draw at home by unfancied Namibia.

The disappointing results, however, did not manifest in other matches as heavyweights Egypt, Senegal and Ivory Coast all romped to impressive wins.

In Group I of the matches played on Friday afternoon matches, DR Congo registered their first three points with a 3-1 win over 10-man Mauritania in Douala, with goals from Gael Kakuta, Cedric Bakambu and Arthur Masuaku, while Uganda lost at home to Tanzania1-0 in an East African derby Group F.

The win saw the Taifa Stars jumping up to second spot in Group F behind Algeria.

In Group A, Nigeria which had an array of stars including Napoli’s hitman, Victor Osimhen, Alex Iwobi of Everton, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City and a host of others, were humbled by minnows Guinea-Bissau who hit a smash and grab first half goal from Mama Balde, this displacing the Super Eagles at the top of the log.

AFCON host, Ivory Coast, did not have such bad luck as the hammered Comoros 3-1 with goals from Cristian Kouame, Sebastien Haller and Jean-Philippe Krasso, to reclaim top spot in Group H.

Cape Verde were held to a goalless draw by less fancied Eswatini with the Blue Sharks were frustrated throughout the match played in Praia, missing out on the chance to take battle for control of Group B alongside Burkina Faso.

South Africa let up a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Liberia and now walk a tight rope to qualify from Group K.

A first half brace from Lyle Foster had put the hosts in complete control of the match but Liberia responded in the second half with goals from Tonia Tisdell and Mohammed Sangare to secure a valuable draw.

Reigning AFCON champions, Senegal, moved to within touching distance of guaranteed qualification with a 5-1 demolition of Mozambique in Dakar, as Youssouf Sabaly, Sadio Mane, Iliman Ndiaye, Boulaye Dia and Habib Diallo helped themselves to the goals.

Seven times champions, Egypt maintained their top spot in Group D with a 2-0 home win over Malawi in Cairo, the goals from coming from Mohamed Salah and Omar Marmoush, while Equatorial Guinea defeated 10-man Botswana 2-0 with strikes from Saul Coco and Federico Bikoro to take top spot in Group J.

Burkina Faso beat Togo 1-0 in their Group B match in Marrakesh while Mali proved too strong for Gambia in Bamako, claiming a third straight win in Group G as Kamory Doumbia and Adama Traore scored the goals in a 2-0 victory.


Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon shatters women’s 1500m world record at Diamond League



Kenyan long distance runner, Faith Kipyegon Friday broke the 1500m women’s world record after clocking 3:49.11 at the third leg of the Wanda Diamond League meeting of the season held in Florence, Italy.

The two-time Olympic and two-time world champion who went into the Golden Gala as the second-fastest women’s 1500m runner of all time, took some minutes off the 3:50.37 she clocked in Monaco in August last year on her way to shattering the world record.

In the process, the 29-year-old Kipyegon bettered the previous record of of 3:50.07 set by another African, Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in Monaco in 2015.

Top British runner,
Laura Muir, settled for second position while another Briton, Imani-Lara Lansiquot was third.

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Osimhen can’t help Man U win trophies— Andy Cole



Former Manchester United top goalscorer, Andy Cole has kicked against the club’s hunt for Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen, whom he believes cannot help the English Premiership giant win a trophy.

Cole who was one of the of the most prolific strikers in the history of the English game, warned the Red Devils against splashing a mouthwatering transfer fee on the Napoli hotshot as that would not guarantee them winning the Premier League title or other diadems next season.

The English team have been in the the hunt for a new attacker to rejuvenate their strike force next season and Osimhen who ended the season as the highest goal scorer in the Italian Serie A has been repeatedly linked with a move to Old Trafford in a bid to bolster their squad for the 2023-24 season.

The Red Devils entered the fray for Osimhen who has scored 25 goals in 31 appearances in the Serie A, along with several European giants, including Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and PSG.

However, Cole who formed a devastating strike partnership with Dwight Yorke in the 90s, believes signing the Nigerian forward will not be enough to help United conquer England and Europe.

The 1999 treble-winning forward who bared his mind on Thursday night about the FA Cup final involving United and bitter rivals, Manchester City, said categorically that Osimhen was not the answer to Man U’s attacking problems.

“No, Manchester United can’t win the league next season. It frustrates me when people think that buying two more players, we can then win the league,” Cole said.

“So why are Manchester City in such a good position if all it takes is buying two players? Make it make sense. Two players, including Victor Osimhen, can’t help Manchester United compete for the league title.

“Unless Manchester City don’t buy anyone this summer and say ‘we’ll let everyone catch us up.’ Football doesn’t work like that, so I’m honest when people ask if Manchester United can compete for the league title next season, I say no.”

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