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Super Eagles Crush Cameroon 2-0, Secure Q/Finals Place Against Angola

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Ademola Lookman scored both goals as Nigeria defeated old rivals Cameroon 2-0 on Saturday to march on to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Nigerians had an early Semi Ajayi goal disallowed following a VAR review in this last-16 clash before the constant pressing and bullying of the Cameroon defence by Victor Osimhen led to Lookman finding the net in the 36th minute.

The Super Eagles then kept the Indomitable Lions at bay before Lookman made sure of the victory in the 90th minute in front of 22,085 fans at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

They will now return to the same venue for a last-eight meeting next Friday with Angola, who earlier defeated Namibia 3-0.

With the fearsome Osimhen leading from the front, the Super Eagles are clearly a serious threat to reigning champions Senegal as they chase a fourth continental crown.

This fixture is a Cup of Nations classic, with the first three of Cameroon’s five titles coming after wins over Nigeria in the final.

The very first, when a side led by Roger Milla came from behind to win 3-1 in 1984, was achieved in this same stadium in Ivory Coast’s economic capital.

Yet Nigeria won the most recent encounter with their neighbours, in the last 16 in Egypt five years ago, and their current side came into this match as favourites against Rigobert Song’s Cameroon.

The Super Eagles eased through their group unbeaten, while Cameroon needed a stoppage-time goal against Gambia to progress.

Their most recognisable name is Andre Onana, but the Manchester United goalkeeper was dropped for a second successive game, with Fabrice Ondoa of French third-tier side Nimes preferred between the posts.

Vincent Aboubakar, their skipper and main goal threat, was named among the substitutes after missing the entire first round injured.

Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro brought back captain William Troost-Ekong, Lookman and Alex Iwobi – scorer of the winner in that 2019 tie –- after all were rested for their last match against Guinea-Bissau.

-Tireless Osimhen-

Their pressing game caused problems for Cameroon from the off, and Nigeria thought they had taken the lead inside eight minutes.

A Moses Simon shot was saved by Ondoa but the ball broke to Ajayi and the West Bromwich Albion defender found the net despite the goalkeeper getting a touch.

Wild celebrations ensued, only for the Moroccan referee to come across to the VAR monitor and disallow the goal because Ajayi was deemed offside and interfering when the initial shot came in.

Not to be discouraged, Nigeria simply did not stop running, with the tireless Osimhen setting the example.

He provoked the opening goal, dispossessing Oumar Gonzalez after a throw-in had been played back towards the Cameroon defender, and then unselfishly setting up Lookman.

The Atalanta forward’s shot was straight at Ondoa, but the goalkeeper could only help the ball on its way.

Osimhen slumped to the turf on the half-time whistle, but the African footballer of the year discovered the energy to go again after the restart.

Peseiro has stressed that the priority for his team has been to make sure they don’t concede goals, and they stood firm despite having goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili stretchered off injured late on.

Aboubakar’s introduction for Cameroon changed nothing, and Nigeria got the killer second just before the game moved into 10 minutes of injury time.

Calvin Bassey crossed low from the left and London-born Lookman applied the finish.

AFP

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Manchester City Wins Fourth-Successive Premier League Title

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Manchester City won a record fourth-straight Premier League title on Sunday by beating West Ham 3-1 in the final game of the season.

City is the first team to be crowned champion of English soccer’s top division four years in a row after holding off the challenge of second-place Arsenal, which beat Everton 2-1.

Two goals from Phil Foden in the first half set Pep Guardiola’s team on course for its latest title. Mohammed Kudus pulled a goal back for West Ham with a stunning overhead kick, but Rodri restored City’s advantage as it marched toward a sixth title in seven seasons.

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Nigerian Tennis Star, Quadri Aruna Shines at 2024 ITTF Africa Cup in Rwanda

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By Dolapo Aina

May 14th will remain a remarkable day for Nigerian table tennis community and Nigerian table tennis legend, Quadri Aruna as he won the International Table Tennis Federation Africa Cup. The tourney took place at the Kigali Arena in the city of Kigali, Rwanda. The Nigerian table tennis maestro had a sublime 4-0 victory over Mohamed EL Beiali of Egypt.

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Dina Meshref who is an Egyptian table tennis player and who is African number one table tennis player were the newly crowned ITTF Africa Cup champions by winning the 2024 edition of the tournament in the men and women singles respectively.

Nigeria’s Aruna, had an unstoppable and commanding win in the final against Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali with a 4-0 (11-5, 11-6, 12-10, 11-3) win to emerge as the new Africa Cup champion. It is noteworthy to state that Quadri Aruna lost the title to Egypt’s Omar Assar in 2018.

After the final, Aruna stated that; “There is never an easy win in any competition, and I am happy that I gave my best and my best resulted in the victory. It has always been in me not to give up, even when I am down, and I am happy that all my hardwork paid off with the victory. I must commend Rwanda for providing excellent facilities and great hospitality for us, the players, and I look forward to returning again to this beautiful country.”

He is quoted to have stated; “I never gave up on my dream, it doesn’t matter where you come from, I came from a small place in Oyo state in Nigeria, and it was really difficult growing up, I just want to tell them that something great is very possible to happen in every individual.”

Egypt’s sensation Meshref was at her best after coming back from 2-0 down to defeat a fellow Egyptian, Mariam Alhodaby, 4-3. Meshref becomes the new Africa Cup champion after losing the last two editions in the final.

In her own words; “I am happy that I was able to come back, especially coming back from an injury I sustained before the tournament. I thank my family and my mother who sacrificed to be with me in Rwanda. It was a tough win for me here in this beautiful country and I will cherish this moment for a very long time to come.

She further stated that; “This title means a lot to me, just so happy to be able to fight and be able to reclaim this title, I wouldn’t have done it without my family, especially my mother who’s in the crowd. Thank you so much and of course, I want to thank God.”

Despite trailing 2-0, she fought harder with every setback, ultimately earning her 14th title on the African Continent.

Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu also congratulated Nigeria’s table tennis legend, Mr. Aruna Quadri, on winning the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Cup title.

In an official statement, the President stated; “Mr. Quadri achieved a resounding victory in the final match of the 2024 ITTF Africa Cup in Rwanda, reclaiming his title and sealing his place as Africa’s table tennis champion.”

President Tinubu commended the table tennis star for his dogged pursuit of excellence even in the face of gnawing obstacles, declaring that the zeal for distinction, the hardiness to succeed, and the inventiveness to solve complex problems are the exceptional qualities that define Nigerians.

Nigeria’s team at the end of the ITTF Africa Cup 2024 in Kigali had Men’s singles Gold won by Quadri Aruna, Men’s singles Bronze won by Olajide Omotayo and Women’s singles Bronze won by Edem Offiong.

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Amusan Sets New World-leading Time, Hailed by Sports Minister

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The world record-holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, was the fastest over the barriers, setting a world-leading time of 12.40 (0.9m/s).

Danielle Williams, a two-time world champion, was ahead for most of the race but lost her rhythm over the final two hurdles and finished second with 12.46.

“This is the healthiest I’ve been. It’s a pain-free season compared to other years,” World Athletics website quoted Amusan to have said.

“I told myself: ‘I’m not getting a DQ today’. I’m not the best of starters, but looking at how I executed today, it could have been better, but I am thankful for the win.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, John Enoh, took to his X handle to congratulate the Nigerian athletics queen for her latest feat.

“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!

“You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s.

“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you,” Enoh wrote.

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