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Flying Eagles overpower Zambia’s Junior Chipolopolo in 6-goal thriller

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Nigeria’s under-20 national football team, the Flying Eagles, on Friday in Abuja overpowered their Zambian counterparts, the Junior Chipolopolo, 4-2 at the end of a thrilling international friendly.

Newsmen reports that the match at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium’s mainbowl was a tune-up game for both teams before the Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations.

The 2023 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations is scheduled to take place in Egypt from Feb. 19 to March 11.

The Flying Eagles started the friendly on the front foot as they looked to dominate the game from the onset.

They had their first shot on target as early as in the fifth minute, after Flying Eagles’ prolific midfielder Daniel Daga took a long shot from outside the penalty box.

It was a shot goalkeeper Jeban Tembo found difficult to handle as he parried it to on-rushing Ayuba Abubakar who failed to convert from close range.

The Flying Eagles had another lovely chance at goal in the 11th minute.

But man-of-the-match award winner Haliru Sarki saw his 30-yard free-kick hit the upright before goalkeeper Tembo parried the ball out for a corner-kick.

The Junior Chipolopolo had a chance of their own in the 17th minute but Moses Mulenga saw his powerful strike from outside the box parried away by goalkeeper Nathaniel Nwosu.

The Flying Eagles had two quick chances at goal six minutes later, but Ibrahim Muhammad squandered both opportunities with wayward and indecisive shots respectively.

Sarki had another lovely opportunity to open scoring for the hosts in the 33rd minute, after a clever dribble saw him take out two Zambian defenders.

But goalkeeper Tembo made himself big and punched Sarki’s shot away for a corner-kick.

The stalemate would however be broken barely five minutes later.

Sarki was gifted another opportunity and his lovely-placed shot from just outside the box crept into the bottom right corner of goalkeeper Tembo’s post in the 38th minute.

The second half saw a rejuvenated Zambian side begin to find their rhythm as they went in search of the equaliser.

The visitors responded well and scored in the 55th minute through a simple tap-in by Amon Chulu, after a defensive error in the Flying Eagles’ vital area.

Sarki came close to grabbing his brace and Nigeria’s second goal three minutes later, but his lovely free-kick again hit the upright to save goalkeeper Tembo’s blushes.

He then provided a lovely cross for substitute Olamilekan Adams in the 60th minute after a clever dribble from the right.

But Adams saw his powerful header parried away by goalkeeper Tembo.

Nigeria’s second goal would however come barely three minutes later after Solomon Agbalaka’s pin-point cross from the left corner connected with Adams’ powerful header once again in the 63rd minute.

It was beginning to look like a ding-dong affair as the Zambians drew level once again from a lovely corner-kick taken by Henry Mbuti.

It found a lurking Lasmond Phiri who pounced with a powerful header to beat goalkeeper Nwosu following another defensive blunder.

The match was however far from over as Flying Eagles’ coach Ladan Bosso made several tactical changes, including substituting Emmanuel Uchebu for Sarki in the 71st minute.

The move paid off almost immediately as substitute Uchebu scored Nigeria’s third goal from a simple tap-in.

That was after a lovely pass from another substitute following a defensive error by the Zambians in the 77th minute.

Bosso made another late tactical substitution in the 83rd minute, bringing in Samuel Lawal for Daga.

The move again paid off barely five minutes later as Lawal added a fourth for Nigeria.

This was after his solo effort which saw him race with the ball from midfield to place a right-footed shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Tembo from just outside the box.

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EPL: Lee Sharps wants ex-PSG coach to replace Ten Hag at Man Utd

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Former Manchester Player, Lee Sharps wants former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery to replace Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag’s long-term future at Man United is unclear because of the Re Devils’ performances this season.

Man United currently sit outside of the Premier League top four behind the likes of Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City.

In a recent interview with DAZN, Sharpe said:

“If I were choosing and Erik ten Hag was to go, Unai Emery would be at the top of my list.

“I think given the support and the full backing, he could replicate what he has done at [Aston] Villa. I think he’d be a class manager for United.”

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Europa League: Klopp reacts as Atalanta sends Liverpool out of competition

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Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has hailed his players despite their exit from the Europa League.

The Reds beat Atalanta 1-0 in Bergamo, but lost the tie 3-1 on aggregate.

After Mohamed Salah’s early penalty, Klopp’s men failed to get more goals, despite having control for most of the game.

Klopp has now said they will concentrate on the Premier League, where they are in third place, two points behind leaders Manchester City.

“It was clear we gave ourselves a massive hurdle. I liked the game a lot tonight with the desire and power the boys show. It was incredible from them.

“It was really tricky and we were too hasty in moments. We won the game and that was the reaction we wanted to show. It was difficult and we knew it would be but they deserve to go through 100%.

“We have to focus on the league and that is exactly what we will do from now. Tonight we won the game so we are back to winning ways.

“We have a few days to recover to go again against Fulham. That will be a different game but it will be tricky,” Klopp said.

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Juventus releases statement after order to pay Cristiano Ronaldo’s unpaid wages

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Italian giants Juventus have released a statement after being ordered to pay their former player, Cristiano Ronaldo his unpaid wages.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS, ordered the Serie A giants to pay Cristiano Ronaldo his unpaid wages.

The court gave the verdict following a dispute arising from pay reductions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ronaldo, who now laces his boots for Saudi Super League side, Al-Nassr, told the court he was owed €19.5 million ($20.81 million) by the Turin giants in unpaid wages.

The Court ruling will see Juventus pay Ronaldo around half that amount, with a €9.8 million settlement reached.

The Italian giants quickly moved to make a statement after the ruling, stating, “The arbitration tribunal ruled Juve had to pay half of the sum requested by the 39-year-old Portugal striker.

“They partially granted the request made by [Ronaldo]… ascertaining Juventus’ pre-contractual liability resulting from the failure of negotiations and ordered the defendant to pay an amount of approximately Euro 9.8 million.”

Juventus have also hinted at their desire to contest the ruling in their statement, saying:
“The Company, also with the support of its legal counsel, is reviewing the decision made by the arbitration board, reserving all assessments and initiatives to preserve its rights.”

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