Joy For Ndidi, Iheanacho As Leicester Lift English FA Cup For First Time

Leicester City's Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi holds the winner's trophy as the Leicester players celebrate victory after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on May 15, 2021. Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP
Leicester City’s Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi holds the winner’s trophy as the Leicester players celebrate victory after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on May 15, 2021. Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP

 

Super Eagles stars Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho played key parts as Leicester beat Chelsea on Saturday to lift its first English FA Cup.

Although it was Youri Tielemans’s sensational screamer which handed Leicester victory, Iheanacho, who had a dour final, has been instrumental throughout the tournament, scoring four goals.

Meanwhile, Ndidi was as solid as ever, playing the full 90 minutes on Saturday.

Five years after the Foxes stunned the Premier League’s giants to become champions, Leicester have now, with the help of the Nigerians, claimed English football’s other prestigious trophy at the fifth time of asking.

Four times they had previously lost the final, but the last of those was 52 years ago.

“Perfect birthday gift for my daughter Loudly,” Ndidi said after the win. “What a feeling having to see the fans again. Thank you everyone.”

 

“It’s a historical day for the football club,” said Rodgers. “Winning the FA Cup for the first time. I’m so happy for the players and suppporters. They’ve lost four finals and now a fifth time we’ve managed to do it for them.”

A historic week for Rodgers’s men could get even better as they are on the verge of sealing a place in next season’s Champions League.

The sides meet again in three days’ time at Stamford Bridge in a pivotal clash to decide who secures a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Leicester City's Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates on the pitch as the Leicester players celebrate victory after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on May 15, 2021. Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP
Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates on the pitch as the Leicester players celebrate victory after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on May 15, 2021. Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP

 

And Rodgers suggested his side were the neutrals favourites as they aim to upset the applecart of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ once more.

Chelsea were among the clubs to sign up to the failed, quasi-closed European Super League (ESL) project last month, along with Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal.

“The success of this team and club is getting to positions like this and competing. The so-called bigger clubs are expected to win but our success is competing and if we can perform like today we can go and win,” added Rodgers.

“After everything that has happened this year, I’m sure there were people hoping from a neutral perspective that we could go on and upset the odds.”

Chelsea need a quick response after losing for just the fourth time in 27 games since Thomas Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.

The Blues also have a Champions League final to look forward to against Manchester City in two weeks’ time, but could end the campaign without silverware or a place in Europe’s premier club competition next season.

“Of course we are disappointed but we are not angry,” said Tuchel. “This performance was enough to win it, today we are simply unlucky. You need luck in this game to be able to win”

VAR to the rescue

Chelsea’s success under Tuchel has come thanks to an excellent defensive record, but their struggles at the other end were again exposed as they rarely threatened until going behind.

The welcome return of noise echoing down from 6,000 fans of each side from both ends of the ground helped mask a general lack of quality on the field for the first hour.

One moment of magic proved decisive as Tielemans collected possession midway inside the Chelsea half and strode forward before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top corner past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Tuchel flexed the strength in depth of his squad in an attempt to find an equaliser as Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz, Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic were all introduced off the bench.

But they were denied by the brilliance of Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester goal.

Chilwell, whose every touch was booed by the Leicester support, twice nearly came back to haunt his old club as his first effort was turned onto the post by the Dane.

Leicester City's English-born Jamaican defender Wes Morgan (L) and Leicester City's Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (R) hold up the winner's trophy as the Leicester players celebrate victory after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on May 15, 2021. Nick Potts / POOL / AFP
Leicester City’s English-born Jamaican defender Wes Morgan (L) and Leicester City’s Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (R) hold up the winner’s trophy as the Leicester players celebrate victory after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on May 15, 2021. Nick Potts / POOL / AFP

 

Mason Mount then could not believe his luck as his sweetly struck shot was turned behind by a brilliant stop from Schmeichel.

Even when the Leicester ‘keeper was beaten, Chelsea were denied by a VAR review.

Wes Morgan’s attempted clearance deflected in off Chilwell, but the England international had strayed offside in the build-up.

“Thank you VAR! What an amazing technology,” said Tielemans.

Leicester players and fans celebrated the decision like a goal and were in raptures again moments later after seeing out a nervy finale.

 

 

Wilfred Ndidi Likely To Undergo Surgery

Wilfred Ndidi,

 

Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi could be ruled out for several weeks after Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers revealed he may need surgery.

Nigeria international Ndidi was missing from Leicester’s squad for their League Cup semi-final first leg against Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Rodgers said Ndidi suffered an injury in Tuesday’s training session and may face an operation, although he did not specify what the problem is.

“Wilf took a knock in training yesterday, which unfortunately means he might need a slight operation tomorrow,” Rodgers said.

“That’ll put him out for a few weeks, but it’s not overly serious, so hopefully, going into February, he’ll be fit and ready to go again.”

If Ndidi misses the rest of the month he will sit out five Leicester games, including their semi-final second leg at Villa on January 28.

AFP

CAF Nominates Osimhen, Ndidi, Ighalo For 2019 Mens Footballer Awards

 

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has nominated Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo, Victor Osimhen and Wilfred Ndidi for the 2019 CAF Men Footballer of the Year.

The three players were shortlisted alongside Mohammed Salah of Egypt and 26 others.

The 28th edition of the annual football awards will hold on January 7, 2020, in Egypt.

READ ALSO: Enugu Rangers Protest CAF Cup Afternoon Kick-Off

In the women’s category, Asisat Oshoala is shortlisted alongside Uchenna Kanu, Chiamaka Nnadozie and seven others.

Samuel Chukwueze and Osimhen also made the list of Youth Player of the Year category, fighting it out with 14 others including Moussa Ndiaye of Senegal.

The list of nominees is compiled by a panel of media and technical professionals.

See the full list of nominees for CAF Awards 2019 below:

African Player of the Year

  • Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmund)
  • André Onana (Cameroon & Ajax)
  • Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria& Al-Sadd)
  • Carolus Andriamatsinoro (Madagascar & Al Adalah)
  • Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon & Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Ferjani Sassi(Tunisia & Zamalek)
  • Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax)
  • Idrissa Gueye (Senegal & Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Ismail Bennacer (Algeria & AC Milan)
  • Jordan Ayew (Ghana & Crystal Palace)
  • Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)
  • Kodjo Fo Doh Laba (Togo & Al Ain)
  • Mahmoud Hassan”Trezeguet” (Egypt & Aston Villa)
  • Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania & Genk)
  • Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)
  • Moussa Marega (Mali & Porto)
  • Naby Keita (Guinea & Liverpool)
  • Nicolas Pepe (Côte d’Ivoire & Arsenal)
  • Odion Ighalo (Nigeria & Shanghai Shenhua)
  • Percy Tau (South Africa & Club Brugge)
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal)
  • Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City)
  • Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
  • Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)
  • Thomas Teye Partey (Ghana & Atlético Madrid)
  • Victor Osimhen (Nigeria & Lille)
  • Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria & Leicester City)
  • Wilfried Zaha (Côte d’Ivoire & Crystal Palace)
  • Youcef Belaili (Algeria & Ahli Jeddah)

African Women’s Player of the Year

  • Ajara Nchout (Cameroon & Valerenga )
  • Ange N’Guessan (Côte d’Ivoire & Tenerife)
  • Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Barcelona)
  • Chiamaka Nnadozie (Nigeria & Rivers Angels)
  • Elizabeth Addo (Ghana & Jiangsu Suning)
  • Gabrielle Ouguene (Cameroon & CSKA Moscow)
  • Refiloe Jane (South Africa & AC Milan)
  • Tabitha Chawinga (Malawi & Jiangsu Suning)
  • Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa & Beijing Phoenix FC)
  • Uchenna Kanu (Nigeria & Southeastern Fire)

African Interclubs Player of the Year

  • Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)
  • Anice Badri (Tunisia & Esperance)
  • Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Emmanuel Okwi (Uganda & Simba)
  • Ferjani Sassi (Tunisia & Zamalek)
  • Fousseny Coulibaly (Cote d’Ivoire & Esperance)
  • Franck Kom (Cameroon & Esperance)
  • Herenilson (Angola & Petro de Luanda)
  • Ismail El Haddad (Morocco & Wydad Casablanca)
  • Jean Marc Makusu (DR Congo & AS VITA)
  • Kodjo Fo Doh Laba (Togo & RS Berkane / Al Ain)
  • Mahmoud Alaa (Egypt & Zamalek)
  • Meddie Kagere (Rwanda & Simba)
  • Meschack Elia (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)
  • Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)
  • Tarek Hamed (Egypt & Zamalek)
  • Themba Zwane (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Trésor Mputu (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)
  • Walid El Karti (Morocco & Wydad Casablanca)
  • Youcef Belaïli (Algeria & Esperance / Ahli Jeddah)

African Youth Player of the Year

  • Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmund)
  • Amadou Haidara (Mali & RB Leipzig)
  • Amadou Sagna (Senegal & Club Brugge)
  • Enock Mwepu (Zambia & Red Bull Salzburg)
  • Ismaïla Sarr (Senegal & Watford)
  • Krépin Diatta (Senegal & Club Brugge)
  • Moussa Djenepo (Mali & Southampton)
  • Moussa Ndiaye (Senegal & Excellence Foot)
  • Musa Barrow (Gambia & Atalanta)
  • Osvaldo Pedro Capemba ‘Capita’ (Angola & Primeiro de Agosto)
  • Patson Daka (Zambia & Red Bull Salzburg)
  • Samuel Chukwueze (Nigeria & Villarreal)
  • Sekou Koita (Mali & Red Bull Salzburg)
  • Steve Regis Mvoue (Cameroon & AS Azur Star)
  • Victor Osimhen (Nigeria & Lille)
  • Zito Luvumbo (Angola & Primeiro de Agosto)

African Men’s Coach of the Year

  • Aliou Cisse (Senegal – Senegal)
  • Christian Gross (Switzerland – Zamalek)
  • Corentin Martins (France – Mauritania)
  • Djamel Belmadi (Algeria – Algeria)
  • Faouzi Benzarti (Tunisia – Wydad Athletic Club)
  • Gernot Rohr (Germany – Nigeria)
  • Moïne Chaâbani (Tunisia – Esperance)
  • Mounir Jaouani (Morocco – Berkane FC)
  • Nicolas Dupuis (France – Madagascar)
  • Pitso Mosimane (South Africa – Mamelodi Sundowns)

African Women’s Coach of the Year

  • Alain Djeumfa (Cameroon)
  • Bruce Mwape (Zambia)
  • Clementine Toure (Côte d’Ivoire)
  • Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
  • David Ouma (Kenya)
  • Thomas Dennerby (Nigeria)

African Men’s National Team of the Year

  • Algeria
  • Madagascar
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Tunisia

African Women’s National Team of the Year

  • Cameroon
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Zambia

 

Crystal Palace Stun Chelsea At Stamford Bridge

http://www.eurosport.com

Christian Benteke’s 11th minute strike has helped Crystal Palace stun league leaders, Chelsea, by two goals to one at Stamford Bridge.

Cesc Fàbregas gave the Blues a 5th minute but two goals in two minutes from Wilfred Zaha and Benteke ensured the Eagles took home all three points.

Elsewhere, Tottenham beat Burnley 2-0 to close the gap on Chelsea to seven points.

Hull City edged West Ham 2-1, Super Eagles midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, scored Leicester City’s opening goal in their 2-0 win over Stoke City.

Manchester United and West Brom drew goalless at old Trafford.

Watford pipped Sunderland 1-0, while in the day’s lunchtime kickoff, Liverpool beat Everton by three goals to one at Anfield.

Ndidi Hopes To Learn From Leicester City Players

Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester CityWilfred Ndidi believes he will learn a great deal from his new teammates after signing a five-and-a-half-year deal with Leicester City.

After finalising his move from KRC Genk on Thursday, the Nigerian footballer took part in his first training session with the club.

Welcomed by Coach Claudio Ranieri and the City squad, he revealed just how much he enjoyed the exercise.

“I feel good. My team-mates are nice people and they have welcomed me, so I’m happy.

“My first impression was ‘wow’. I trained and it was really good because it was really high intensity. I feel I can learn a lot here.

“Claudio welcomed me and then he explained to me how the team and everything worked, which I’ve sometimes seen on TV,” Ndidi told the club’s LCFC TV.

The 19-year-old said he was preparing to ply his trade in one of the most highly-regarded leagues in the world.

Leicester City Confirm Wilfred Ndidi’s Move From Genk

Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester City, GenkLeicester City have confirmed that an agreement has been reached with KRC Genk for the permanent transfer of Nigeria’s Wilfred Ndidi.

This announcement comes as the midfielder agreed personal terms and went through a medical test.

He is expected to sign a contract that would last till June 2022, once a work permit has officially been granted.

The 20-year-old, who is to wear City’s number 25 shirt, has earned a host of admirers across Europe for his performances both in Belgium’s Pro League and in the UEFA Europa League.

He had helped Genk progress to the ongoing season’s knockout stages of the European competition as Group F winners.

Ndidi is expected to complete the formalities of his move to Leicester City later in the week.

Super Eagles Squad For Zambia Clash Released

Gernot Rohr,Super Eagles On FIFA RankingSuper eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has released final squad for next month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying clash against Zambia’s Chipolopolo in Ndola.

The goalkeepers are Carl Ikeme, Emmanuel Daniel and Ikechukwu Ezenwa.

The defenders are Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamiu Alimi, Abdullahi Shehu.

Others are Musa Muhammed, Elderson Echiejile and Kingsley Madu.

Chelsea star, Mikel Obi leads a midfield that include Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, Nosa Igiebor, and Anderson Esiti.

Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Saac Success, Brown Ideye and Alex Iwobi will lead the attack.

Invited players are expected to start arriving in Abuja as from October 2, 2016.

Yusuf Invites 26 Players For Super Eagles Friendlies

Super Eagles-Salisu Yusuf-Eagles FriendliesSuper Eagles Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has called up 26 players for the international friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg in Europe.

The three-time African champions would take on the Les Aiglons of Mali in France on May 27 before flying to Luxembourg to play the country’s national team on June 1.

Yusuf, who was installed as interim Head Coach by the Nigeria Football Federation last week, picked a relatively young squad that also includes former U-20 and former U-23 players.

All the invitees in the goalkeeper categories are: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa), and Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars).

The defenders invited are: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal), Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey), Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France), Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa SK, Turkey), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05, Germany), Gbenga Arokoyo (Gaziantepspor, Turkey), William Troost Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway), and Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal).

For the midfielders, players called up are: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England), Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium), Raheem Lawal (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), and Etebo Oghenekaro (SC Farense, Portugal).

The players invited in the forward category are: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium), Victor Moses (West Ham United, England), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England), Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia), and Brown Ideye (Olympiakos FC, Greece).