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Ivory Coast’s Pepe Shines As Over 30 Africans Feature In Europa League

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Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe, put up a stellar performance as Arsenal defeated Norwegian champions FK Molde to book a place in the knockout phase of the Europa League.

The Ivorian who was roundly criticised for his red card in the Gunners’ match against Leeds United bounced back to produce a man-of-match performance.

Pepe opened the floogates with a well-taken finish of the encounter and was the greatest threat all night for Arsenal.

Molde’s Nigerian attacker, James Leke and Ivorian Mathis Bolly also featured in the game, as Molde lost a second straight game against Arsenal.

Moroccan, Omar El Kaddouri featured for French club OGC Nice as they got battered by Slavia Praha who had Nigerian, Peter Olayinka in action. Olayinka grabbed a goal in the second half of the encounter which his team won 3-1. Senegalese winger Abdallah Sima also scored for the Czech giants.

Congolese, Jordan Ikoko featured for Ludogorets as the Bulgarians were humbled 4-0 by Tottenham. Senegalese Stephane Badji also featured in the game.

Cameroon’s Collins Fai and Congolese Merveille Bope both featured as Standard Liege defeated Polish side Lech Poznan 2-1.

AS Roma’s Guinean enforcer, Amadou Diawarra was in action for the Romans as they defeated Romanian champions CFR Cluj 2-0 away from home.

Faouzi Ghoulam and Khalidou Koulibaly were in action for Napoli as they defeated Croatia’s Rijeka 2-0. The Algeria and Senegal internationals played from start to finish in the Partenopei defence. Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen missed out to injury.

Leon Balogun was in action as Rangers played out a 2-2 draw against Benfica. His Nigerian compatriot Joe Aribo wasn’t listed for the game.

Abdullahi Shehu was in action for his Cypriot side, AC Omonia as they lost 2-1 to Granada.

Younousse Sankhare of CSKA Sofia featured for the Bulgarians as they lost 1-0 at home to Swiss club Young Boys. The Gambia international, Ali Sowe and Cameroonian, Jean Pierre Nsame also featured in the game for Sofia. Guinean, Mohammed Ali Camara, Cameroonian international Nicolas Ngamaleu and Congolese Elia Meshack were all in action for the Swiss giants in the encounter.

Kelechi Iheanacho started for Leicester as they played a 3-all draw against Sporting Braga. Libyan international, Ali Elmusrati was in action for the Portuguese side in the game.

In Qarabag’s game against Sivasspor, Malian goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa was in action with 37-year old Ivorian international Arouna Kone also featuring. Chadian Casimir Ninga and Nigeria international Olanrewaju Kayode completed the African quartet for the Turkish side.

Cameroonian defender Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Nurio Fortuna of Angola, Jordan Botaka of the Congo DR, Osman Bukari of Ghana and Ivorian, Anderson Niangbo were all in action for Belgian team, Gent, in their Europa League fixture against Red Star Belgrade. Ghana international Richmond Boakye and Comoros’ El Fardou Ben were in action for Red Star.

Kamso Mara of Guinea was in action for Czech side Slovan Liberec as they lost to German side TSG Hoffenheim. The Germans were without Nigeria’s Kevin Akpoguma.

Nigeria’s Chidera Ejuke was in action as CSKA Moscow played out a goalless draw against Feyenoord.

Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze impressed as Villareal were held to a goalless draw against Israelis, Maccabi Tel Aviv.

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North Africa Sports

Sudan’s Al Hilal Omdurman Sign Jamaica Defender Alvas Elvis Powell

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Sudan’s Al Hilal Omdurman have announced the signing of Jamaica defender Alvas Elvis Powell and Senegalese forward Ibrahima Mame N’Diaye.

Powell, 26, who joined from David Beckham’s MLS side Inter Miami sign a contract until the end of the season, with an option for a one-year extension.

Powell spent most of Inter Miami’s inaugural Major League Soccer season as an unused substitute, playing just four matches in total and only starting two of those.

The Jamaican previously played for Cincinnati FC where he spent the 2019 season. He also played for the Portland Timbers for six years.

Powell was a key member of the Portland Timbers squad that won the 2015 MLS Cup. He made 31 regular season appearances and six playoff appearances en route to the title, starting in each one.

He also has 49 caps for Jamaica including playing at two Gold Cups and two Caribbean Cups, which he won in 2014.

N’Diaye, 26, joined from Serbian side FK Čukarički. The forward played for ASC Linguère in Senegal before Serbian club, Napredak Kruševac, in 2012.

In 2017, N’Diaye joined Danish club Randers on a five-month contract, making seven competitive appearances for the side and scoring one goal in the Danish Cup.

In 2018, N’Diaye returned to Serbia and his former club Napredak Kruševac.

The deal for the players was reportedly organised and financially backed by Al Hilal’s honorary president Turki Al Sheikkh, a wealthy businessman who is also the chairman of Saudi’s General Entertainment Authority and former owner of Egyptian club Pyramids.

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West Africa Sports News

No Apology for 2010 World Cup Goal Miss – Former Super Eagle, Yakubu Aiyegbeni

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Former Nigerian striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, says he won’t apologise for an open goal he missed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The Yak, as Aiyegbeni is known amongst fans, had missed what many considered a ‘simple’ tap-in during the Super Eagles must-win World Cup Group B match between Nigeria and South Korea at the Durban Stadium on June 22, 2010.

The goal could have put Nigeria ahead but with the encounter ending 2-2, many Nigerians are yet to forgive the former Portsmouth and Everton striker for the miss.

The miss

Speaking on Wednesday during an interview tagged Live with Yak on NationTV, Aiyegbeni said he has no apology for the miss.

He said, “I won’t apologise at all. Why should I? I have scored so many goals for Nigeria too. I have sacrificed a lot for the country. Did anyone apologise to me?

“I cannot apologise because it wasn’t a deliberate miss. I seriously wanted to score. But it wasn’t to be. So many have strikers have missed chances too and nobody will apologise so I won’t.”

In May 2020, the 38-year-old revealed that Nigerians still send him messages to express annoyance over the miss.

“I felt bad when I missed it but people still talk about it and are saying if I had scored, we should have gone to the next round,” the former Everton forward said in May 2020.

“Even if I scored, are we going to win the World Cup? That I am not sure of.

“I have sored so many goals for Nigeria and even when people thought we will never qualify for the World Cup, I stood up to be counted.

“I have always done my best to help the country but it’s weird that people still send me messages till date even on social media about that miss.

“They would write things like ‘I never forget o, I never forget the goal wey you miss o’ [I haven’t forgotten the goal you missed], ‘we no go forgive you o’ [we won’t forgive you], etc and I would be like wow.”

Aiyegbeni, who is Nigeria’s third highest goalscorer with scored 21 goals in 57 appearances for the Super Eagles, retired from football in 2017.

He started his career with Julius Berger FC in Lagos as a teenager in the Nigerian Premier League. He was later loaned to Portuguese club Gil Vicente. He made 250 appearances in the English Premier League, playing for Everton FC, Middlesborough FC, Portsmouth FC, and Blackburn.

He made four African Cup of Nations appearances for Nigeria and also played at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

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Arsenal’s Aubameyang Misses Second Straight Game Over “Family Issue”

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As Arsenal romped to a 3-1 win at the St. Mary’s Stadium on a rainy Tuesday evening, their Gabonese skipper, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was missing in action again.

It was Arsenal’s second visit to Southampton in just over three days and it was Aubameyang’s second absence.

Unconfirmed reports coming out of Arsenal say it’s a personal problem as insinuations keep spreading about the roots and source of his upheavals.

While some have said Aubameyang is facing a divorce from his French wife after being reportedly caught cheating, others have said it’s about his family.

Aubameyang has finally come out to clear the air on Wednesday, as he revealed that his mum is battling a serious health condition.

The Arsenal captain has had a turbulent season and was just settling into his better days when family problems struck. He was excused by the club to attend to the pressing issues.

The Gunners hierarchy and manager, Mikel Arteta have promised to stay with him through the troubles as he hopes to get back to the team soon.

It is likely that Aubameyang will miss Arsenal’s clash against high flying Manchester United this weekend.

The Gunners, smarting from a strong run in the league, having picked 16 from their last 18 points after a dreadful start to the season, will hope to continue their boogey dance against the Red Devils.

Against Southampton on Tuesday, Ivorian winger, Nicolas Pepe was on the score sheet as he hopes to bounce back from a poor season so far.

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