Bayana Bayana Get $100,000 For Olympic Qualification

bayana bayanaSouth African women football team, Bayana Bayana, will get $100,000 for qualifying for 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The South Africans stunned 2-time African Champions, Equatorial Guinea, with a 1-0 away victory in Bata after drawing 0-0 at home, to reach their second successive Olympic Games.

Sponsors, Sasol and the South African Football Association surprised the women’s national team by pledging a $50,000 bonus each.

Coach Vera Pauw has been handed a life line to lead the Bayana Bayana to the Games.

Oil Theft: Group Calls For Government’s Urgent Action

PIBThe Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria is seeking the Nigerian government to establish a Special Task Force to monitor Nigeria’s pipelines and guard against oil theft.

The President of the association, Mr Francis Johnson, said that the establishment of such force would ensure sound pipeline integrity and safe transportation of crude.

Mr Johnson raised the issue at the group’s Shell Branch Triennial Delegates Conference in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

Nigeria’s loss due to crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism is estimated to be the combined daily production of Ghana, Gabon and Equitorial Guinea.

While decrying the activities of oil thieves, the group also wondered why the Petroleum Industry Bill had not seen the light of day.

According to them, the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill in the National Assembly has adversely affected the level of investment in the oil and gas industry.

Meanwhile, The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has explained that the PIB , which has been pending before the National Assembly in the last seven years, requires extensive engagements with all stakeholders to iron out all grey areas.

He has also sought military support in pipeline monitoring and said that the NNPC would also deploy drones in the monitoring of the oil-rich nation’s pipelines.

Cote d’Ivoire Beat Ghana 9-8 To Win AFCON 2015

AFCONThe Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire have defeated the Black Stars of Ghana 9-8 on penalties to win the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2015.

The Ivorian’ winning goal was scored by the goalkeeper, Barry.

The game had ended scoreless after regulation time.

Cote d’Ivoire also beat Ghana on penalties to clinch their first AFCON title in Senegal, 1992.

More details to follow

Joseph Yobo Predicts Ghana Will Win AFCON 2015

afconFormer Super Eagles Captain, Joseph Yobo, has predicted that Ghana would win the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ongoing in Equatorial Guinea.

“I tip Ghana to win the tournament. As our brothers and long term allies, I would like them to win the tournament. Above all, I think they have a good team,” he said.

The Black Stars beat host country, Equatorial Guinea, in the semi-final to land in the final match against Ivory Coast who beat Algeria to progress.

Yobo, who confessed that he has not been following the tournament, feels the Black Stars led by former Chelsea Manager, Avram Grant, have shown enough resilience to win the trophy.

The Sunday evening duel would be a replay of the 1992 AFCON final, which saw Ivory Coast defeating Ghana to win in Senegal.

It is believed that the Black Stars, gunning for a fifth continental glory, would also be seeking revenge.

Ghanaian Striker, Jordan Ayew, has, however, said that the AFCON 2015 final match against Cote d’Ivoire would not be about revenge for the 1992 defeat that the Ghanaian team including his father – Abedi – suffered at the hands of the Elephants.

While expressing his hope for a win against the star studded Elephants, he said that the team’s focus would on ending their three decades of heartbreak in Africa’s biggest football prize.

Jordan insisted that he and his brother, Andre would not have revenge at the back of their minds when they walk on to the pitch to face Africa’s best player for four years, Yaya Toure; former Arsenal forward, Gervinho and other top players who make up the equally glory starved Ivorian team.

“We want to win the game on Sunday not because of 1992, but because we have not won an AFCON tournament since 1982,” Jordan said.

AFCON 2015: We Will Win This For Ghana – Ayew

ayewAhead of the Africa Cup of Nations AFCON 2015 final match that is to hold at the Bata Stadium on Sunday, the Ghanaian team are optimistic of the outcome.

Andre Ayew, the Ghanaian forward has vowed that the Ghanaian team will fight to win Sunday’s AFCON final match against Cote d’Ivore for the whole of Ghana.

The Ghanaian forward has shone in this competition, scoring three goals but he insisted it was the result of the confidence he has enjoyed both from his teammates and the coach.

“I have tried to raise my game because I have been given responsibilities both on and off the pitch. It is due to the group and the confidence from the coach,” he said.

He also blamed inexperience for the Black Stars loss at the 2010 AFCON final to Egypt saying that 14 players had been brought from the U20 World Cup and the team was in the final after three months of the tournament where they were attacking, but couldn’t score.

Ayew said, “I remember the red coat my father wore (sitting on the sidelines in the 1992 final). My father is a Ghanaian and so I want to win this cup for all Ghanaians.”

Ghana last won this competition in 1982 with Andre’s father, the legendary Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew, one of the top stars from that triumph in Libya.

Ten years later, Ayew senior could not play another Africa Cup final after he picked up a second yellow card against Nigeria in the semi-final and Cote d’Ivoire went ahead to beat the Black Stars 11-10 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes of action. “When you get to the final, you need to do everything to win the trophy,” he said.

Ghanaian Black Stars Captain, Asamoah Gyan, returned to training in Bata on Saturday ahead of the AFCON 2015 final against Ivory Coast.

Gyan did not join his colleagues during the team work out, but trained separately with physical trainer Jamie Lawrence due to his health status.

Gyan must pass a late fitness test to make Avram Grant’s starting line-up for the final against Ivory Coast.

The 29-year-old missed Ghana’s AFCON 2015 semi-final against Equatorial Guinea due to a hip injury he suffered against Guinea last Sunday.

Avram Grant, the black star coach also said that reaching the final of the AFCON tournament is as important to him as reaching the UEFA Champions league final.

“For me, I do not rate any final as the best; it’s a good achievement we have reached with these guys and all Ghanaian should get behind the team,” he said.

The former Chelsea boss took charge of the West African giants three weeks to CAF’s flagship competition, but has managed to reach the final of the competition.

AFCON: CAF Confirms New Match Venue

wizzyThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) has shifted the matches scheduled to hold in Ebebiyin and Mongomo in Equatorial Guinea to Bata and Malabo, after the group-stage matches left the pitches damaged beyond use.

The tournament officials confirmed the two venue switches on Tuesday and said that all Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final ties will take place in Bata and Malabo.

Originally, the last-eight showdown between Tunisia and hosts Equatorial Guinea was scheduled to take place in Ebebiyin on Saturday.

Similar problems occurred in Mongomo where a quarter-final match was originally slated to take place on Sunday, but that will now be held in the capital Malabo.

That match will kick off at 16:00, which means the remaining quarter-final, also taking place in Malabo, has been pushed back to start at 19:30.

Consequently, the CAF Executive Committee feels that the eight teams qualified for the quarter-final stages onwards should be given the opportunity to play on grounds that provide the highest standards, specifically those of Bata and Malabo, to ensure the quality of play remained at the highest possible level.

There have already been instances of overcrowding at matches earlier in the tournament and police being overrun by supporters.

Moving the match to Bata Stadium, which will also host the final on 8 February, means an extra 30,000 fans will be able to attend.

Report also has it that it is the first time in the history of the Nations Cup that quarter-finals matches have been relocated, but the logistics of holding the tournament in Equatorial Guinea at short notice have presented unique problems.

AFCON: Algeria, Senegal Fight Back To Top ‘Group of Death’

AFCONAlgeria and Senegal made winning starts to their African Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaigns on Monday with dramatic come-from-behind victories in Group C.

Moussa Sow scored with the last kick of the game at the Estadio de Mongomo to see Senegal to a 2-1 win over Ghana while South Africa missed a penalty and scored an own goal as they allowed Algeria to fight back and win 3-1.

The victories left both Algeria and Senegal on course for a knockout place if they win their next group games on Friday.

Senegal were behind after just 13 minutes when their captain Bouna Coundoul brought down Christian Atsu and Andre Ayew converted the penalty.

But patient play allowed Senegal to take command in the second half as they out-muscled a Ghanaian side who had new coach Avram Grant in charge for the first time.

Mame Biriam Diouf grabbed the second half equaliser when he reacted quickest to a rebound before Senegal snatched the win deep in stoppage time.

A long upfield punt by Coundoul fell kindly for substitute Henri Saivet, whose crisp one-two with Diouf released Sow in the heart of the penalty box and the striker gave goalkeeper Razak Brimah no chance with a first-time shot into the far corner.

“We might have been behind at half-time but we always knew we had the potential to win the game,” said coach Alain Giresse.

South Africa coach Ephraim Mashaba declared the “best team lost” after watching his men squander an early lead and lose in front of a capacity 15,000-strong squad.

But that was unfair on the top-ranked Algerians, who finished strongly to confirm their status among the favourites.

Thuso Phala scored after a slick passing move for South Africa in the 51st minute and they then won a penalty just minutes later for a chance to go 2-0 ahead.

But Tokelo Rantie blasted his kick against the crossbar as a set of calamitous errors cost his side dearly.

Thulani Hlatshwayo mistimed a clearing header to concede an own goal in the 67th minute to allow Algeria back into the game. An innocuous-looking chip shaved the top of his head and beat goalkeeper Darren Keet.

Algeria were ahead four minutes later through as full back Faouzi Ghoulam scored from the right side in the 71st minute.

Islam Slimani made sure of the win with a third goal in the 82nd minute as the ball slipped under Keet’s body in another error from the South Africans.

“It was an intense game and it could have been catastrophic. But things turn quickly in football and we played well to come back and win,” said Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff.

Ikhana quits Falcons job, says target wasn’t met

Coach Kadiri Ikhana has quit his job as the head coach of Falcons two days after the disappointing outing of the squad against Cameroon in the third place tie of the African Women’s championship in Equatorial Guinea.

Prior to their third place loss to Cameroon’s Lionesses, the Super Falcons went into the 2012 edition of the AWC as the defending champions after lifting the trophy in the previous edition but their chances of defending the title slipped out of their hands after they lost 1-0 to 2012 host; Banyana Banyana in the semi-final.

And to worsen their predicament, the Falcons finished fourth place making it their worst-ever result at continental level.

According Ikhana, he decided to quit because his target was to lift the trophy in the 2012 edition of the AWC.

“I resigned because my personal target was to lift the trophy,” said Ikhana.

“I let the country down, so I deeply apologize and take full responsibility for the disappointment in Equatorial Guinea.

“This failure informed my decision to quit the stage.”

Ikhana, who was speaking to local media in the capital Abuja, had met the target set for him in his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) but the 60-year-old felt that was not enough.

The NFF is expected to make an official statement on Ikhana this week.

Kadiri ikhana replaced the former coach; Eucharia Uche, whose contract was not renewed after last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, and he signed a four-year deal in April.

He was charged with reviving the fortunes of the Super Falcons following their failure to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

Ikhana set the task of reaching the semi-finals of both the 2012 African Women’s Championship and the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup finals in Canada, as well as qualification for the 2015 All Africa games in Mozambique and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Hosts Equatorial Guinea beat South Africa 4-1 on Sunday to win the African Women’s Championship.

AWC 2012:South Africa ready to tackle Falcons with ‘No Fear’ approach

South Africa’s Banyana Banyana decided to adopt a ‘no fear’ attitude ahead of their clash against the Super Falcons of Nigeria; Africa’s top ranked women’s football team in the semi-finals of the  African Women’s Championship at Nkoantoma Stadium in Bata, Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday.

Banyana Banyana finished as the bronze medallists at the African showpiece event two years ago, going down to Equatorial Guinea in the semi-finals before beating Cameroon in the playoff match for third place.

At this year’s tournament, the South Africans finished second on the Group A log after recording wins over Senegal (1-0) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (4-1) and a loss (1-0) to the hosts, Equatorial Guinea, in the opening fixture.

The two teams have played a draw in the two friendlies played this year, one was in Rustenburg and it enede 1-1 and the second was in Lagos Nigeria, ending with a goalless draw.

According to Coach Joseph Mkhonza; it is an epic battle between both teams as they are the major teams in the African Women’s football.

South Africa’s coach Joseph Mkhonza commented in a statement: “The stage is set for an epic battle between the two sides and the power of African women’s football is clear, with all four of the top ranked teams on the continent in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and SA having made the semi-finals.

Experienced Banyana Banyana midfielder Portia Modise, who scored for South Africa in the international friendly played in Rustenburg on 3 June, said the Nigerians had fielded full strength teams during the international friendly matches, and Banyana Banyana could break the mental block to record their first-ever win over the Super Falcons.

“The Banyana Banyana players are so keen to get the win over Nigeria and give South African football fans lots to be proud of as the win will allow our team to make the final, which is one step further than what we achieved at the CAF African Women’s Championship 2010 held in Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg,” Modise said.

Super Falcons beat Cote d’Ivoire 3-1 to enter semis

 Nigeria’s super Falcons yesterday qualified for the semi-finals of the on-going Africa Women Championship after thrashing Ivory Coast 3-1 in the final group B match.

Evelyn Nwabuoku would have been the stage opener effort with a pass from defender Ngozi Ebere went astray as it the side net, but less than a minute after that effort, the Super Falcons got the lead through Ogonna Chukwudi.

Chances were coming in great measure for the Nigerian women who dominated their rivals with Stella Mbachu and Ngozi Okobi being constant threats to the Ivorian team and in the 42nd minute it paid off again as defender Ngozi Ebere latched home the second for Nigeria a free kick while Mbachu took the game beyond the opponents with the third goal in the 75th minute.

But the Ivorians fought back in the closing stages of the game and were rewarded with a consolation goal scored by N’Rehy Tia Viho Ines in the 82nd minute.

Falcons coach Kadiri Ikhana praised the performance of his players saying the maximum points gained from three group matches were indication that Nigeria could retain the title.

Nigeria’s semi-finals opponents are the Bayana Bayana of South Africa on Wednesday at the Nkoantoma Stadium, 5.30pm Nigerian time.

AWC 2012: Super Falcons devour indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon

Nigeria’s Super Falcons made good their promise of beating the Lionesses of Cameroon to take their pound of flesh after beating the Cameroonians 2-1.

Perpetual Nkwocha made sure that promise was met when she scored the sealing goal very late into the second half to see the French speaking country that ensured the Falcons miss the  London Olympics as Falcons lost 4-3 on penalties after aggregate scores stood at 3-3.

Substitute Ngozi Okobi brought life to Nigeria attack and her pull-out found the durable Perpetua Nkwocha at far post to connect home with a diving header in the 90th minute to seal a hard-earned victory for the African champions.

It was the Super Falcons all the way from the blow of the start whistle with impressive moves as they dominated and took the lead at the tail end of the first half thanks to an Onyinyechi Ohagugha canon from 20 yards.

Though, it wasn’t all smooth sail going into the clash which held today in Equitorial Guinea as the water-logged pitch adversely affected the standard of play culminating into so many chances wasted by both sides, also denying the players the chance to show their full potentials on pitch.

On resumption of the second half as if some dressing room talk down was handed to the Cameroonians, Indomitable Lioness of Cameroon fought back  and that paid off as they drew level in the 53rd minute with a penalty converted by skipper Patience Mani after a Nigerian defender committed an infringement inside the box.

Before then the Super Falcons had a chance to double their lead through Stella Mbachu’s 19-yard shot which hit the crossbar in the 49th minute.

After their equalizer, the game sort of changed in favour of the Cameroonians as they dominated the better part of second half and would have taken the lead through a rebound which Louni fired wide unfortunately in front of an open net.

Meanwhile, hosts Equatorial Guinea beat South Africa 1-0 on Sunday.

AWC 2012: Super Falcons in E. Guinea for title defence

The Super Falcons of Nigeria has proceeded to Equitorial Guinea for their title defence in the 2012 edition of the African Women’s Championship (AWC).

The defending champions left Ghana on Wednesday on a 5pm flight, touching down at the Malabo International airport later in the evening.

Nigeria is in Group B of the 2012 AWC.

The Super Falcons will begin their campaign against Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses at the Nkoantama Stadium, Bata on October 29 before facing Ethiopia at the same venue, on November 1.

The AWC champions will then round off their preliminary campaign at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo against the Ivory Coast on November 4.