The Atlas Lions of Morocco continued their devastating form at the African Nations Championship with a 4-0 thrashing of hosts, Cameroon.
The Moroccans, extending their mean streak from defeating Zambia in the quarterfinal took the host nation to the cleaners.
Soufiane Bouftini scored the first goal for the Moroccans before top scorer hopeful, Soufiane Rahimi made it two goals before the half time break.
The defending champions hardly took their feet off the gas in the second half as they piled more misery on Cameroon after Rahimi grabbed his second of the game.
Mohammed Ali Bemammer made it four for the Moroccans as Cameroon were put to the sword in front of their fans.
In the other semifinal fixture, the Eagles of Mali defeated the National Elephants on penalties after a goalless stalemate for 120 minutes.
The Guineans had scored a good goal in the first half but it was ruled for offside after a second check.
Guinean star player and arguably the best player of the tournament, Morlaye Sylla missed a penalty for the Syli Nationale and condemned them to defeat.
Morocco and Mali will slug it out in the final of the competition.
Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury Agree to World Title Unification Bout
Nigerian-born British boxer, Anthony Joshua has reached an agreement with WBC World Heavyweight Champion, Tyson Fury on a world title unification fight.
Both boxers have agreed to an all-British, mouthwatering pugilistic masterclass with the venue and date still to be decided.
Boxing show promoter, Bob Arum made the disclosure on Wednesday and said as far as he’s concerned there’s nothing stopping both fighters now to lay it all down.
Joshua holds three world titles – the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles and faces Fury, usually dubbed the finest pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Both boxers have gone on sprees of verbal onslaughts with their fans calling for a fight for years now.
Fury said in the past that the pandemic and logistics were reasons for the delay but with both parties now coming to an agreement, a potential match of great global proportions may finally be happening.
A potential summer date has been slated with June and July being tipped. If the match goes ahead, it will be the first time an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world will emerge since Briton, Lennox Lewis achieved the feat 21 years ago.
Both boxers will get 50% from the match which is reportedly worth more than $300m.
Saudi Arabia has been tipped as potential venue for the match, with Eddie Hearn, AJ’s promoter pointing out that there are little details to be agreed like who appears on the poster first and who gets on the ring first for the bout.
Joshua knocked Bulgarian, Kubrat Pulev out in the 9th round in their December clash and has called for a match once for all with his compatriot, Fury.
U-20 AFCON: Debutant Uganda to Play Ghana in Final after 4-1 Trashing of Tunisia
Derrick Kakooza on Monday scored a hattrick as debutants Uganda continued with their dream run at the Total Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), beating Tunisia 4-1 at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott to book a date against Ghana in Saturday’s final.
Earlier in the day, Ghana pipped Gambia 1-0 to reach the finals.
Kakooza, duly named man of the match, moved clear of Ghana’s Precious Boah in the race for the Golden Boot, his hattrick against the Tunisians taking his tally to five. He scored one in the first half and two in the second, adding on to Richard Basangwa’s early opener.
According to a report in the CAF media outlet, the CECAFA regional champions led 2-1 at the break, Basangwa’s left foot causing all the damage for the Tunisians with a goal and an assist.
The forward broke the deadlock in the fourth minute with a brilliant strike on the half volley. He picked up a cross from the left, took a deft touch to loop the ball over Mohamed Aziz Guesmi’s reach, before rifling a low shot into the box.
The Ugandan Hippos were not showing any signs of stage fright despite this being their first ever time at the tournament and were taking the Tunisians by the horns from the opening minute.
They, however, had to make unexpected changes when Najib Yiga who had started as the left-footed swinger of a three-man midfield went down injured and Ivan Bogere was summoned to replace him. This necessitated a change in shape for the Ugandans.
Despite the change in strategy, they were still on top of their game and pressed Tunisia into committing mistakes. The Ugandans worked hard and ran all over the pitch, closing down the spaces for the North Africans.
They were two goals up after 36 minutes and it was Basangwa who hurt them again. The forward picked up the ball on the left, drove into the box before cutting back a cross that Kakooza gleefully tapped into an empty net for his third of the tournament.
But Tunisia halved the deficit just two minutes on the turn, when Adam Benlamine tapped into the net from close range after goalkeeper Jack Komakech had pushed Chiheb Labidi’s flick off a Zied Berrima corner against the upright.
Uganda almost snapped back their two-goal advantage a minute to the break when Bobosi Byaruhanga pinched the ball off the Tunisians in midfield, before playing Isma Mugulusi through, the midfielder’s ferocious shot coming off the bar with keeper Elias Imed left rooted to his spot.
At the start of the second half, Tunisia made changes in front, Nabil Makni coming off for Hamdi Abidi. The substitute almost came in with a bang just a minute after coming on, his towering header off Mohamed Amine Ben Zghada’s cross from the left going inches over.
But the Ugandans got themselves back in comfortable space just two minutes later, Kakooza scoring his second with a looping header after his run behind the defense was picked out by the impressive Byaruhanga.
With a comfortable two-goal margin, the Ugandans eased the pressure with the Tunisians looking lost for answers. A good interchange of passes at the edge of the box saw Uganda almost score a fourth, but Bogere’s shot after a backheel flick from Steven Sserwadda went over.
Tunisia tried to find their way back into the match and they were inches close in the 71st minute, but were denied when Musa Ramathan cleared off the line. Keeper Komakech had been beaten by Abidi as he came out to pick a cross, but the substitutes header was cleared before it crossed the chalk.
Off the resultant corner, Uganda were away on the counter attack and they made it 4-1, putting the game to bed. Skipper Gavin Kizito looped the ball forward and Bogere controlled and put Kakooza through, the forward striding through on goal to slide in the fourth and his fifth of the tournament.
There was no way back for the young Carthage Eagles as Uganda took control of the tempo of the game, calming down the pace and managing the time well.
Tributes as 21-year-old Ivorian Player, Willy Ta Bi, Dies of Liver Cancer
Italian club, Atalanta, and the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) are mourning the demise of 21-year-old midfielder, Willy Braciano Ta Bi, who died after a long battle against liver cancer.
Willy Ta Bi, who joined Atalanta from Ivory Coast’s Asec Mimosa in 2019 and immediately helped the team win the Italian youth title, the Primavera, died in his homeland on Tuesday.
In a statement on their website, Atalanta said: “President Antonio Precassi and the whole Atalanta family are deeply saddened by the untimely death of Willy Braciano Ta Bi.
“A cruel destiny interrupted a dream that began with the Nerazzurri shirt in January 2019 too soon.
“He only needed a few months to carve out a leading role in the Primavera and help bring the Scudetto back to Bergamo, but above all to leave a great memory.”
Former Ivory Coast and Chelsea striker, Didier Drogba, also paid tribute to Ta Bi on social media.
“Ivory Coast, the football world are mourning you, you fought against this damn disease as you fought on the pitches like a real boss, a leader!!!!,” he wrote.
Juventus midfielder Dejan Kulusevski, who was also part of that youth team at Atalanta, also paid tribute to his ex-teammate on Instagram: “Rest in peace, brother”.
18-year-old Manchester United’s new Ivory Coast-born winger, Amad Diallo, who joined the Old Trafford side from Atalanta, posted a picture of them embracing on Instagram and wrote: “Now sleep in peace, friend.”
Ta Bi captained the Ivory Coast at youth level and represented his country at the Francophone Games in 2017, with Drogba posting a video of a passionate team talk given by the youngster.
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