Mane Ends Goal Drought As Senegal Overcome Nine-Man Cape Verde

Senegal's forward Sadio Mane (L) is challenged by Cape Verde's defender Steven Fortes during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 round of 16 football match between Senegal and Cape Verde at Stade de Kouekong in Bafoussam on January 25, 2022. Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP
Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane (L) is challenged by Cape Verde’s defender Steven Fortes during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 round of 16 football match between Senegal and Cape Verde at Stade de Kouekong in Bafoussam on January 25, 2022. Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP

 

Liverpool star Sadio Mane ended a 243-minute Senegal goal drought by scoring in a 2-0 win over nine-man Cape Verde in a fiery Africa Cup of Nations last-16 clash in Bafoussam on Tuesday.

The goal came on 63 minutes after the islanders had goalkeeper Josimar ‘Vozinha’ Dias and midfielder Patrick Andrade sent off.

Mane was forced to leave the field soon after breaking the deadlock as his face was swollen following a collision with Vozinha, which led to the second red card.

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Bamba Dieng, who replaced Mane, added a second goal two minutes into added time after a breakaway left a single Cape Verde defender facing two Senegalese attackers.

Senegal, seeking to win the flagship African competition for the first time after twice finishing runners-up, will meet Mali or Equatorial Guinea on Sunday in the quarter-finals.

“We expected Cape Verde to be very defensive and that is what transpired,” said Senegal coach and former star Aliou Cisse.

“I told my players to be extremely patient and they followed instructions perfectly. Even when Cape Verde had 11 players, we dominated the match.”

Before the kick-off, the teams and match officials stood still and silent in memory of the eight people who died in a crush at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde on Monday before Cameroon defeated the Comoros.

Cape Verde welcomed back head coach Pedro ‘Bubista’ Brito, who had to watch the group stage in the island nation as he recovered from coronavirus.

In the opposite dugout was Cisse, a Cup of Nations runner-up as a player in 2002 and as a coach in 2019.

Having failed to score in their last two group matches against Guinea and Malawi, Senegal almost took the lead 40 seconds into the match through Mane.

Major blow

Following a move down the left flank, the ball ran loose in the box and the reigning African Footballer of the Year unleashed a thunderbolt that cannoned off the far post.

Senegal seemed determined to end their goal drought early in the match and continually put pressure on the Cape Verde defence at Stade Kouekong in the western Cameroon highlands.

Cape Verde suffered a major blow on 21 minutes when Andrade was sent off for stamping on the leg of Pape Gueye.

The Algerian referee initially produced a yellow card, then upgraded it to a red after watching replays of the incident on the touchline VAR monitor.

Despite being numerically disadvantaged, Cape Verde contained Senegalese attacks until Mane came close to breaking the deadlock six minutes before half-time.

A slick exchange of passes inside the box set Mane free, but Vozinha and Steven Fortes combined to block his attempt to score.

As if facing one of the tournament title favourites with 10 men was not sufficiently difficult, Cape Verde were reduced to nine men when Vozinha was sent off 12 minutes into the second half.

The goalkeeper and Mane collided as they chased a long pass and after going to the monitor again, the referee brandished his red card to the goalkeeper, who had left the field suffering from concussion.

Marcio da Rosa, who plays in the Portuguese third division, took over as goalkeeper with forward Garry Rodrigues taken off.

Senegal were quick to take advantage of having two extra outfield players as Mane scored with a superbly placed shot into the roof of the net when a corner was only partially cleared by Nuno Borges.

Qatar 2022 Qualifier: Super Eagles Survive Blue Sharks Battle To Reach Final Qualifying Round

 

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria survived an intense battle against the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde to qualify for the final round of the African qualifying series for the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.

Before the start, the three-time African champions led the Group C table with 12 points, with the visitors at 10, both had a chance to reach the final round and that gave the contest high importance.

Napoli forward, Victor Osimhen scored the Super Eagles’ only goal and then worked assiduously at the fore and elsewhere to ensure Nigeria got the ticket, and in the process picked up both the Man-of-the-Match and Most Valuable Player awards.

Nigeria got the best possible start when Victor Osimhen lashed in off a defensive mistake by Roberto Lopes after an in-swinger by Moses Simon caught the visitors’ rearguard napping.

Osimhen admits the Blue sharks had a good game and that makes the draw a valuable result for the Super Eagles.

“It is good for us. The first leg wasn’t easy, we know they have qualified players in their team and it’s important for us to be on top of our game to get this sort of result to qualify for the final round and I’m really happy about this,” the former Lille striker stated.

But the lead was speedily erased when at the other end, William Ekong needlessly conceded a corner kick and then stood flat-footed as Stopyra connected to beat a flailing Maduka Okoye. This was in the 6th minute.

Four minutes later, Alex Iwobi’s shot was powerless to trouble goalkeeper Josimar Dias, and in the 24th minute, Leon Balogun’s header from a corner kick flew away from goal.

Joe Aribo could have scored but his shots in the 26th and 30th minutes narrowly missed the target.

In the 33rd minute, returnee forward Odion Ighalo should have scored with a free header as the inspired Osimhen found him with a pullout, but the wall went narrowly over.

In the second half, the Blue Sharks, realizing they needed to score to advance at the expense of the Super Eagles, piled the pressure and came close on a few occasions, but Nigeria held on and were able to keep things tight at the rear to reach the final round of the series, scheduled for March next year.

Coach Rohr, as expected, praised his team and described the draw as a valuable win for the Eagles.

“It was a good match, we had a draw that looks like a victory today. Some people were scared so we don’t have the same scenario like Portugal. We did very well and defended very well. We have qualified for the next phase of the qualifiers, we can continue to dream,” Rohr concluded.

Lagos To Divert Traffic At Teslim Stadium Over World Cup Qualifier

File photo of Teslim Balogun Stadium

 

The Lagos State government has announced that traffic will be diverted at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Tuesday, November 16.

The traffic leaving and coming into the Stadium located at the Surulere area of the state will be diverted from 12:00 noon till 5.00 pm when the match will commence.

This according to a statement signed on Tuesday by the Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde is due to the third stage Super Eagles World Cup Home Qualifying Match with Cape Verde is scheduled to hold on Tuesday at the stadium.

The Commissioner explained that vehicles will be barred from accessing Surulere from the Teslim Balogun axis.

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“To manage traffic during the period of the match, the Lagos State Government will divert Traffic leaving and coming into the Stadium, Surulere from 12:00 noon till 5.00 pm when the match will commence.

“The diversion plan will have Motorists heading towards Costain, Lagos Island from Masha/kilo and Surulere diverted to Adeniran Ogunsanya or Bode Thomas to link Iponri or Eric Moore to access their destinations.

“Alternately, Motorists can also utilise Adelabu to connect Babs Animashaun/Eric Moore axis to link Brewery and access Costain or Eko Bridge.”

For further traffic management of the match, motorists are advised to use the aforementioned routes to access Surulere from Lagos Island, as well as Ikorodu Road bound motorists from Surulere to make use of Akerele to link Ogunlana Drive inwards Itire road and connect Ojuelegba to their destinations.

The Transport Commissioner assured that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) alongside other security agencies will be on the ground to ensure seamless traffic flow. He stressed that the cooperation of the Surulere community and other road users of the affected axis is vital to ease traffic flow.

Qatar 2022 Qualifier: Musa Assures ‘No Pressure’ Ahead Cape Verde Clash 

Super eagles
Super Eagles before their game against Liberia in Tangier, Morocco. Photo: [email protected]_supereagles

 

Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa has assured that the Super Eagles are mature, professional, and ambitious enough to deal with any pressure when taking on the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde in Tuesday’s crucial game of Group C of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying African series.

No Pressure!

Nigeria lead the group C table after five matches with 12 points, Cape Verde follow closely with 10 points and that explains the importance of the encounter in Lagos.

After a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Liberia in Tangier, the former Leicester City forward confirmed the team has the right mindset to execute tomorrow’s mission.

“There will always be all kinds of pressure when you are out there on the football field, as a professional sportsman or woman. You just must have strong fibre to cope with the pressure from everywhere, focus on getting the result and get the job done. Pressure is never an excuse not to put out your best; sometimes, it helps you to get beyond your level best,” Musa stated.

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At a pre-match press conference earlier on Monday in Lagos, Musa who holds Nigeria’s record international appearance also said a number of players in the squad are yet to feature at the FIFA World Cup finals and that will serve as good motivation.

“The FIFA World Cup is the biggest stage for every professional football player. They all want to be there; you don’t need any more motivation than that. We said after the match with Liberia in Tangier on Saturday that we will not be going for a draw against Cape Verde. Nothing has changed.”

Musa also assured that the Eagles will not be complacent or underrate the Sharks but will go all out as from the blast of the whistle by Algerian referee Mustapha Ghorbal.

Rohr’s Influence & Confidence

Head Coach Gernot Rohr, who will be in charge of his 54th game for the Nigeria senior men’s team on Tuesday, expressed confidence that the three-time African champions will collect all three points against the Sharks, just as they did when both teams met at the Estadio Municipal Adérito Sena on the island of Mindelo on 7th September.

“We have a job on our hands and that is to win tomorrow. It is important to win so as to be sure of where you will be at the end of the day. We are top of the table now and a win keeps us there and sends us to the final knockout round.

“I really don’t think we are under any pressure. We have 12 points, two more than the opponents. They are the ones with the big pressure to come out and look for a win. Our approach for tomorrow will be to win. The players are looking forward to doing that.”

Forward Odion Jude Ighalo, who was unable to play any part in Saturday’s encounter in Tangier because he arrived in Morocco only two days to the match as he was taking his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Riyadh, is likely to be involved against the Sharks at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

It would be his first run-out with the squad since he announced his retirement from the international scene after the 2019 AFCON, where he was tournament top scorer.

Cape Verde lost 1-2 to the Eagles two months ago in the first leg fixture but a 2-1 victory over the Central African Republic in their last match put them in a confident mood ahead of the final group clash with the Super Eagles.

Opposition Candidate Wins Cape Verde Presidential Elections

In this file photo taken on October 1, 2015 Cabo Verde's Prime Minister Jose Maria Pereira Neves addresses the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York. Jewel SAMAD / AFP
In this file photo taken on October 1, 2015, Jose Maria Pereira Neves addresses the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York. Jewel SAMAD / AFP

 

Left-wing candidate Jose Maria Neves has won the Cape Verde presidency in the first round of voting, according to provisional results published on an official website.

Neves won 51.5 percent of the vote according to results based on 97 percent of votes counted. A first-round absolute majority means the election does not need to go to a second round run-off.

Neves, 61, who served as prime minister of the tiny west African nation between 2001 and 2006, ran for the opposition African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV). The PAICV ruled the former Portuguese colony when it was a one-party state.

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His main rival, another former prime minister, was 71-year-old lawyer Carlos Veiga, won 42.6 percent of the votes counted.

Veiga was the candidate of the centre-right Movement for Democracy (MpD), which has a majority in parliament.

Turnout for the election was 48.3 percent.

Veiga acknowledged defeat on television, congratulating his rival.

If the results are confirmed by the electoral commission, the left-wing president and the centre-right ruling party will have to find a way to cooperate politically.

Sunday’s election comes six months after the MpD won parliamentary elections, beating the PAICV into second place.

Between them, the two parties have run the country since it won independence from Portugal in 1975.

Under Cape Verde’s semi-parliamentary political system, the prime minister has executive powers while the president acts as arbiter.

Post-Covid recovery debate

The election campaign was marked by debate over the future for the tiny west African nation battered by the Covid-driven slump in global tourism.

Prior to the pandemic, visitors accounted for a quarter of the economy for the volcanic archipelago, a former Portuguese colony of half a million inhabitants lauded for its stable government and smooth democratic transitions of power.

GDP shrank by 14.8 percent last year and many hotels and restaurants closed as coronavirus fears and restrictions kept hundreds of thousands of visitors away.

Soaring inflation is another concern. Since the beginning of the month, the price of water and electricity has risen by 37 percent.

A total of 398.864 people were eligible to vote, including 56,000 Cape Verdeans living overseas, choosing between seven candidates.

Outgoing president Jorge Carlos Fonseca (MpD) could not run again, having already served the maximum two terms.

Cape Verde is home to just over half a million people, living on 10 arid islands scattered around 500 kilometres (300 miles) off Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.

The islands were uninhabited until they were settled in the 15th century by Portuguese traders who brought in slaves from the African mainland.

The country is ranked second for governance in Africa on the index drawn up by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, after Mauritius.

Since Cape Verde staged its first free elections in 1991, it has never recorded any violence linked to election campaigns or their results.

 

AFP

Super Eagles Beat Cape Verde 2-1 In World Cup Qualifier

(File Photo) Super Eagles players pose for a group picture before the start of the FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification football match between Nigeria and Liberia at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, on September 3, 2021. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have beaten the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde 2-1 in the World Cup Qualifiers in Mindelo.

Victor Osimhen’s strike and Kenny Rocha Santos’ own goal helped Nigeria come from behind to beat Cape Verde in their qualifying game.

Two defensive blunders from the hosts secured maximum points for the Super Eagles as they clinched back-to-back wins in Group C, thus helping the three-time African champions grab a crucial win on the road as they stretched their dominance in the group.

However, a 75th-minute own goal by Cape Verde earned the Eagles the victory, a result that propelled the Super Eagles’ leadership of the pool as they await a home-and-away fixture against Central African Republic next month.

Dylan dos Santos steered the home team in front after 19 minutes of an intense back-and-forth by both sides, when he slipped behind the Eagles’ rearguard and slammed a rocket of a shot past goalkeeper Maduka Okoye.

Tuesday’s win in two games has pushed the Eagles three points clear at the top of Group C ahead of Liberia, Central African Republic and Cape Verde.

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The Blue Sharks drew first blood in the 19th minute after Dylan Dos Santos beat an offside trap to fire his left-footed shot past goalkeeper Maduka Okoye.

Five minutes later, Ryan Mendes tried to test the Super Eagles shot-stopper with another shot but it went off target.

Osimhen and Ejuke linked up a few minutes later as Nigeria kept pushing for an equaliser and the CSKA Moscow winger forced Cape Verde’s Vozinha to parry his long-range shot for a corner-kick.

Their push finally paid off as Osimhen capitalised on a defensive error to draw both teams level in the 29th minute.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare has commended the Super Eagles on their second consecutive win of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

He also hailed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for ensuring that the team travelled in comfort.

“Congratulations to Nigeria, congratulations to all Nigerians and the Super Eagles. The team has made us proud once again,” Dare said.

“I salute everyone for the roles they played. The NFF ensured the team travelled in comfort and the coaches had to overcome a lot of setbacks owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the game we had to dress only 19 players as against the 23 allowed by FIFA for World Cup qualifiers, added to this, we had to fight from a goal down to snatch all three points at stake.

“In spite of this victory, I will like to charge everyone that the journey to Qatar is still a long one. We must keep fighting and working hard until the World Cup ticket is firmly in our hands.”

Paralympics: Athlete Gets Surprise Proposal After Race

 

In the soggy Olympic Stadium on Thursday, Cape Verde’s Keula Semedo failed to qualify for the women’s T11 200m semifinals — but there was a surprise consolation.

After the race, her guide runner Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga got down on one knee and proposed.

Video of the special moment showed both athletes beaming as Semedo accepted.

Vaz de Veiga revealed afterwards that he’d been planning the proposal since his bride-to-be was selected for the Cape Verde squad in July.

“I thought this was the best occasion and the best place to do it,” he said.

And Semedo said she had been considering retiring, but the proposal made her rethink.

“Now I have an additional motivation to carry on after the games, always with him by my side.”

 

Guide runner, Manuel Antonio Vaz da Veiga proposing to Keula Semedo.

 

Tokyo bid a colourful farewell to the paralympics on Sunday after 12 days of stereotype-defying, record-shattering performances despite a year-long pandemic delay.

International Paralympic Committee chief Andrew Parsons declared the Games closed on a cool night in the Olympic Stadium, saying they had “not just been historic, they’ve been fantastic”.

It was a games like no other, postponed a year because of the pandemic and dogged by difficulties and low public support in the build-up.

But the action did not disappoint when it got underway, with a record 86 teams winning medals and 62 claiming at least one gold.

Super Eagles Of Nigeria Unmoved In New FIFA Rankings

Super eaglesThe Super Eagles of Nigeria remain unchanged in the latest FIFA rankings for the month of May.

The Super Eagles retain the 14th spot in Africa and 67th in the world, Algeria remains Africa’s best playing nation on the 33rd spot.

The continent’s top ten team remind unchanged, with Cote D’ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt, Cape Verde Islands, Tunisia, Cong Dr, Guinea and Congo.

With no grade A international matches played in April, the world’s top ten team were also unchanged.

 

Nigeria Moves Up In Latest FIFA Ranking

FIFAThe Super Eagles of Nigeria have moved up three places in the latest FIFA world ranking for the month of February.

Despite the early exit from the African Nations Championship in Rwanda, the team are up from 66th to 63rd in the world and 12th in Africa.

Cote d’ Ivoire dropped nine spots to 28th but remains Africa’s best playing nation, while Cape Verde moved six places to 33rd in the world and second in Africa.

Algeria slid eight places to 36th, dropping to the third spot in Africa, the Black Stars of Ghana also dropped to the 41st position while Senegal who occupy the 45th spot completes the continent’s top five.

Meanwhile, with the current 10 best-ranked teams yet to play a game in 2016, the top 10 positions remain unchanged for the February edition of the ranking.

Belgium, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Colombia, England and Austria stay in the world’s top ten.

Teams from Asia, Africa and Central America dominated the list of teams that improved by more than five positions.

Ghana Receives Two Guantanamo Prisoners

GuantanamoThe Pentagon says two Yemeni detainees held at the controversial US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been transferred to Ghana.

Mahmoud Omar Bin Atef and Khalid Al-Dhuby are suspected of participating in hostilities against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Their lawyers have denied the accusations.

The Pentagon described Bin Atef in 2007 as “an admitted member of the Taliban.” But his U.S. lawyer, George Clark, said he was cleared for release in 2009.

“He’s a smart, bright young man and I’m sure he’ll be successful,” said Clarke. He added that Bin Atef’s priorities upon release would likely be getting married and starting a family, learning the local language, and finding employment.

Khalid al-Dhuby had also been approved for release since 2006.

The West African nation has not taken any Guantanamo prisoners before but Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Hanna Tetteh, said that the men have permission to stay for two years subject to security clearances.

Several other African countries have received Guantanamo detainees, including Uganda and Cape Verde.

“Many countries have already taken people in such situations so it’s not out of the ordinary,” Ghana’s Communications Minister Edward Boamah told Reuters.

The Guantanamo jail was set up after the September 11, 2001 attacks to detain what Washington called “enemy combatants”.

A total of 780 men have been held at Guantanamo since 2002, the US Navy Base now has 105 detainees, nearly 50 of whom have been cleared for release. US President Barack Obama has said he wants to close the jail down before he leaves office in 2017.

President Barack Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to close the prison, views it as a damaging symbol of detainee abuse and detention without charge that he inherited from Republican President George W. Bush.

FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Drops Seven Places As Belgium Tops

FIFA The Super Eagles of Nigeria have dropped seven places to 66th in the latest FIFA world ranking.

The Super Eagles garnered a total of 541 points to fall to 14th in Africa, behind Cote d’ivoire, Algeria, Ghana, Cape Verde, Tunisia, Senegal, Congo, Guinea, Egypt, Cameroon, Congo Dr, Mali and Uganda.

Cote d’ivoire are ranked first in Africa with 950 points, while Algeria end 2015 as runners-up, after gathering 845 points.

Ghana are third on the log with 778 points.

Team of the Year

Belgium will end the year as the number one ranked football playing nation in the world.

The red devils moved into first position in November, and consolidated their position with a 3-1 victory over four-time world champion Italy, in Brussels on November 13.

Argentina, Spain, Germany, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Colombia, England and Austria round off the top 10.

The first-place finish on the last FIFA ranking of the year sees Belgium claim the Team of the Year award for 2015.

Turkey receive the award for Best Mover of the Year thanks to the 329 points they collected over the last 12 months of football.

Having last competed at a major tournament back in 2008, Turkey secured a place at the UEFA EURO 2016 in a campaign that saw them defeat Netherlands, Czech Republic and Iceland during the crucial final stages.

Further big movers for 2015 include Hungary (20 places, 313 points) and Nicaragua (92 places, 295 points).

Rare Hurricane Hits Cape Verde

hurricane hits cape verdeA hurricane with winds of up to 120km/h has hit the island nation of Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa.

Government has grounded all flights as heavy rain and winds lashed north-western islands in the archipelago.

Reports said hurricane Fred weakened to a tropical storm as it moved away from the islands, late on Monday. Strong winds and rain are expected to persist as it moves through other parts of cape Verde on Tuesday.

Unconfirmed reports said the last time a hurricane was recorded hitting Cape Verde was 1892, before the advent of weather satellites in the mid-1960s.

Fred is the fourth Atlantic named storm to form east of 19 degrees West longitude, the National Hurricane Center, said in its advisory issued for the storm.