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Nigeria Name 25 Players For Ivory Coast, Tunisia Friendlies2 minutes read

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25 players have been invited for Nigeria ahead of next month’s friendly matches against the Elephants of Ivory Coast and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.

The encounters are scheduled for Austria.

Gernot Rohr, the Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, also placed five other players on standby.

The friendlies are the three –time African champions’ first games this year due to the prolonged global coronavirus pandemic.

Rohr has listed top names Ahmed Musa, Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong and Wilfred Ndidi, as well as new brooms Frank Onyeka and Chidera Ejuke as part of the squad.

Former U-17 World Cup winning goalkeeper Dele Alampasu returns to the group, as well as midfielder Mikel Agu. Captain of the most recent Nigeria U17 squad, Samson Tijani will join up with the elite, as well as Portugal –based exciting wing back Zaidu Sanusi.

Goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, now in The Netherlands, is heading to Austria as England –based forward Kelechi Iheanacho also returns. Victor Osimhen, now in Italy with Napoli, and another former U17 World Cup winner Samuel Chukwueze are also called.

The Super Eagles, now ranked 29th in the world and third in Africa, will take on the Elephants on 9th October and four days later, will engage the Carthage Eagles, who are second in Africa in the rankings.

Both games have been arranged by the Nigeria Football Federation to prepare the Eagles for the next rounds of 2022 AFCON qualifiers, home and away against Sierra Leone in November.

THE FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Dele Alampasu (FK Ventspils, Latvia); Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered, Slovakia); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)

Midfielders: Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasary SK, Turkey); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Cyril Dessers (KRC Genk, Belgium); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)

Standby: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Joshua Maja (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands)

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Another Clean Sheet For Mendy As Chelsea Beat Burnley 3-0

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Senegalese goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, on Saturday kept another clean sheet in the Premier League as Chelsea beat struggling Burnley 3-0 at the Turf Moor.

The 28-year-old shot-stopper has now recorded five clean sheets in his first six games as a Chelsea player while just conceding one goal.

Hakim Ziyech shined and Kurt Zouma and Timo Werner were on target for The Blues on Saturday night.

The win moves Chelsea to fourth on the table and just a point behind leaders Everton and Liverpool before Jurgen Klopp’s side play West Ham United later on Saturday.

Chelsea, who had a long trip to Krasnodar in Russia in midweek, made five changes from Wednesday’s Champions League starting line-up and made a bright start at Turf Moor.

The impressive Ziyech drilled the ball home in the 26th minute from the edge of the box, after a smart passing move from Frank Lampard’s team, to claim his first league goal for the club.

Burnley, who are without a win and have just a single point from their opening six games, struggled to cause any real problems for the Chelsea defence and manager Sean Dyche threw on an extra striker at the break with Jay Rodriguez coming on.

While that gave Burnley more of an attacking presence, Chelsea comfortably dealt with early second-half pressure from the Clarets and then extended their lead in the 63rd minute when Zouma thundered in a header from a Mason Mount corner.

The outcome was put beyond any doubt when Burnley midfielder Ashley Westwood’s pass was intercepted by Reece James and Ziyech did well to feed Werner, the German confidently beating Nick Pope from inside the area.

Chelsea substitute Olivier Giroud had an effort ruled out for offside as the visitors looked to add to their tally.

“It was a very complete performance from us,” said Lampard, whose team have now kept clean sheets in their last four games in all competitions.

“We controlled massive parts of the game, so I’m very happy.

“Performances like this show that we’re doing something positive. We need to get our heads down and keep working hard,” he said.

Burnley’s winless start has them stuck at the bottom of the table after their opening six games but Dyche said there is no question of his team panicking.

“I don’t panic in general, to be honest, I’m not that sort of fella. I don’t think panicking will change anything. I think structure, organisation and hard work, that may change things,” he said.

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CAF Champions League Semi-final, Final Get New Dates

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced new dates for the semi-final and final Champions League matches.

The semi-final second leg between Egypt’s Zamalek and Raja Casablanca of Morocco will now be played on 4 November with kick-off at the Cairo International Stadium set for 1900GMT, CAF said in a statement.

The statement reads, “The CAF Organizing Committee for Interclub Competitions and Clubs Licensing announces that the remaining matches of this season’s Total CAF Champions League are rescheduled as follows:

“· Semi-final match: Zamalek SC vs. Raja CA on the 4th of November 2020 at 19:00 GMT in Cairo International Stadium, Egypt

“· Final match: Winner of Zamalek – Raja vs. Al Ahly SC on the 27th of November 2020 at 19:00 GMT in Borg Al Arab Stadium of Alexandria, Egypt

“Postponement made following the request of the host Member Association’s authorities and in compliance with the international protocol for COVID-19.”

The Moroccan champions lost 1-0 to Zamalek in the first leg in Casablanca earlier this month and are battling to meet another Egyptian side, Al Ahly, in the final.

That final will be played on 27 November at the Borg Al Arab Stadium near Alexandria, with both games set to be played behind closed doors.

The second leg of the semi-final had twice been postponed after an outbreak of Covid-19 at Raja in the run-up to the fixture.

Initially the match should have been played in Cairo on 24 October before it was delayed by a week due to the outbreak.

The final itself was originally set for 6 November but has been delayed by three weeks after Egyptian authorities expressed concerns about the timing of the games because of parliamentary elections in Egypt.

Fulfilling the 2019-2020 Champions League season has proven extremely challenging for Caf because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The final was originally scheduled to be played in May, before being moved back to October and then to November.

Caf will be hoping that the fourth rescheduling will be the last.

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Cameroon Striker Bahoken Issued Suspended Prison Sentence

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Cameroon and Angers striker Stephane Bahoken has been handed a four-month suspended prison sentence with a fine of €2,000 for acts of domestic violence against his partner. He also has a three-month suspended sentence with a fine of €6,875 for traffic violation.

The Cameroon international striker was arrested by the French police earlier this week for allegedly assaulting his spouse and also threatening her with violence.

He came out of police custody after he was charged to court where he was punished for the traffic offence he committed in the summer and the domestic violence.

Bahoken released a statement through his lawyer, Florine Talon, vowing not to make anyone talk about him beyond the football pitch.

“The Public Prosecutor’s Office has chosen a measure of appearance on prior admission of guilt, an alternative option to the classic trial before a criminal court, chosen when the personality of the defendant and the relative gravity of the charges justify it,” the statement read.

“Mr. Bahoken, who is unknown to the courts, spontaneously explained himself and showed himself to be extremely cooperative with both the gendarmes and the magistrates.

“With regard to the acts with which he was accused, it emerges from the investigation that in isolation, Mr. Bahoken and his partner may both have had regrettable attitudes and words which fortunately remained at the stage of words, in the absence of blows.

“Be that as it may, Mr. Bahoken who has never wished to harm his partner, bitterly regrets these heated exchanges and wishes their separation will continue in the best interests of the child.

“In any case, Stephane Bahoken accepts his reprehensible behaviour, accepts the sentence without complacency. And does not intend to make anyone else talk about him beyond the football stadiums.”

Bahoken played for 80 minutes as Angers defeated Rennes 2-1 at the Roazhon Park in a Ligue 1 game. He now remains a doubt for their next league game at home against Nice this weekend having missed a lot of the training sessions this week due to his detention.

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