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Qatar 2022 Race: Eagles back in Lagos, say target is to defeat Sharks

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super eagles celebrate

Super Eagles’ delegation to Saturday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Liberia in Tangier, Morocco flew into Nigeria on Sunday morning aboard a chartered Air Peace Embraer E-195 E2 jet after a four-and-half hour cruise from Morocco’s principal northern town to Lagos.

 

The aircraft touched down at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at 7.30am and the three –time African champions were immediately driven to their Eko Hotel abode, with a gym session in the evening to limber up ahead of a full training session on Monday at the match venue – Teslim Balogun Stadium.

 

The 2-0 victory in Tangier over the Lone Star meant the Eagles have won all their away matches in this qualifying series, and need only a draw against the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde on Tuesday to progress into the final knockout round of African series for Qatar 2022. They have scored two goals in each of the away games, with a 2-1 defeat of the Sharks on the island on Mindelo and 2-0 defeats of Central African Republic and Liberia in Douala and Tangier respectively.

read also:Okowa Hails South West Athletics Association On Developmental Meet

Captain Ahmed Musa, who won a record 102nd senior cap for Nigeria after coming in as a substitute in Saturday’s triumph, said none of the players is thinking of a draw against the Sharks at the Teslim Balogun Satdium.

 

“No one is thinking of a draw. It is a must-win match, as far as we are concerned. The mindset is to win and reach the final round of the World Cup series without any story.”

 

Victory or draw against the Sharks will send 12-pointer Eagles into the knockout round, with the visitors, who are on 10, needing to win at the Teslim Balogun to make progress at Nigeria’s expense.

 

Nigeria has participated in all FIFA World Cup final tournaments since its debut in 1994 in the United States of America, bar the 2006 finals in Germany that she missed narrowly after FIFA opted to use the head-to-head rule in the qualifying campaign, which favoured Angola.

 

Already, in-form Senegal as well as Egypt, Mali, Morocco and Democratic Republic of Congo have sailed into that final round, with African champions Algeria expected to have no trouble doing the same. One of Ghana’s Black Stars and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana was set to emerge on Sunday night after their group’s final fixture in Cape Coast, with the home team needing a win and the visitors only in need of a draw.

 

Three other matches will produce the remaining two qualifiers. Five –time African champions Cameroon are at home to Cote d’Ivoire’s Elephants in Yaounde on Tuesday. The Lions, on 12 points, need a win while 13-pointer Elephants require only a draw.

 

Tunisia hosts Zambia also on Tuesday, and would scale through with a draw as long as Equatorial Guinea, who shocked the Carthage Eagles on Saturday, do not pick all the points in Nouakchott against Mauritania. The Eagles and the Guineans are both on 10 points. Zambia, who victimized Mauritania 4-0 on Saturday to go to seven points, are also still in with a chance, if they win well in Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea drop all points in Nouakchott.

 

The final round of the African qualifying series will hold in March 2022.

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Pele back in hospital to undergo treatment for colon tumour

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Pele

Football legend, Pele, is back in the hospital and being treated for a colon tumour.

The Brazilian legend was hospitalised for nearly a month earlier this year after having a colon tumour removed.

read also:Germany legend Matthaus defends Dortmund midfielder Bellingham
Pele, 81, has now been readmitted for further treatment.

The three-time world champion was admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo ‘for follow-up treatment of the colon tumour identified in September this year,’ his medical team said in a statement.

They added: “The patient is stable, and is expected to be released in the coming days.”

He revealed back in September that he would need to keep undergoing chemotherapy sessions, according to The Sun report.

The tumour was found during routine checks in August.

Pele was previously discharged on September 30.

He wrote on Instagram at the time: “When the path is difficult, celebrate each step of the journey.

“Focus on your happiness. It’s true that I can’t jump anymore, but these past few days, I’ve been punching the air more times than usual.

“I am so happy to be back at home. I want to thank the entire Albert Einstein Hospital team, who made my stay a pleasant one, with a humane and very affectionate welcome.

“Thanks also to all of you, who from afar, make my life complete with so many messages of love.”

Pele had originally left intensive care on September 14, but was readmitted three days later after suffering an acid reflux.

Pele is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers in history, helping Santos win six Brazilian titles and the Copa Libertadores twice – in addition to his World Cup triumphs with the Selecao.

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Germany legend Matthaus defends Dortmund midfielder Bellingham

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Bellingham

Germany World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus has defended Jude Bellingham.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been fined by the German Federation after referencing ref Felix Zwayer’s past match fixing ban following defeat to Bayern Munich last weekend.

Matthaus said: “His words were inappropriate and he would probably never say them again today, but I can understand his frustration and anger after the game ends.

read also:Real Madrid captain Marcelo makes exit call

“Something similar happened to me in Karlsruhe too.

“The adrenaline and the emotions you feel after losing such an important match due to a controversial decision are difficult to control, even if you don’t have to overdo it.”

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Real Madrid captain Marcelo makes exit call

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Macelo

Real Madrid captain, Marcelo is ready to return home to Brazil in 2022.

Ole says after 13 years with Real, the Brazilian will leave when his contract ends next June and everything indicates that he will not renew and will return to his country, specifically to Fluminense, his formative club.

read also:Everton plan to appoint two new directors

Marcelo has already made the decision, though is willing to see out his current contract, rather than leave in January.

The wing-back has struggled for minutes this season.

 

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