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Let’s be optimistic and prepare for AFCON – Rohr

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Gernot Rohr is already looking forward to Nigeria’s outing at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament after qualifying Super Eagles to the next stage of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The coach who was satisfied with his wards’ performance after they were forced to a 1-1 draw at home by Cape Verde on Tuesday, said now they have enough time to prepare for the Nations Cup.

“Now we have to be optimistic as we have time to prepare for Afcon. Some of our players are coming back from injury, so let’s give them time, they will do better and better.”

Heading for the last Group C game against Bubista’s men, the three-time African champions knew that victory or a draw would power them into the third round.

Like a house on fire, the Super Eagles took an early lead through Napoli star Victor Osimhen in the first minute, while Stopira levelled matters four minutes later after profiting from an assist from Kenny Santos.

The intense fixture produced no other goals, and that result was enough to send the West Africans into the final round – where Africa’s representatives would be selected.

read also:WCQ: Super Eagles playoffs foe emerges December 18

For Rohr, the result against the Blue Sharks was like a triumph – stating that his men deserved to have scored at least another goal.

“First of all, sometimes, a draw can be like a victory. That was the case. Because we wanted to qualify, we knew that a draw is already qualification,” he told the media.

“It was not an easy game because Cape Verde have a good technical team and they scored a goal in a moment when we believed we had the match in the hands.

“We missed a lot of chances in the first half, and I think we deserved to score a second goal.

“That did not come, and we had to defend, and the players did it very well.”

The former Gabon and Burkina Faso tactician also opened up on the kind of advancement he wants in his team before the commencement of the third round.

“The improvement I want to see is for us to exploit the opportunities we have to score, to be more effective defensively and also play quicker from behind – it is still too slow from behind for me.

“Our central defenders still take much time to take the ball forward. So, we have to work on that.

“We have 13 points from six matches, it’s not a bad result – because we have two more points above the team that placed second [Cape Verde].

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Tyson Fury ordered to defend heavyweight world title against Dillian Whyte

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Tyson Fury has been ordered to defend his WBC heavyweight title against British rival Dillian Whyte.

The Body Snatcher has been named the Gypsy King’s mandatory challenger by the sanctioning body.

Whyte pulled out of an October bout with Otto Wallin but a potential clash with Fury has been simmering for several months.

A war of words between the former sparring partners has been growing since Fury’s knock-out defence of his title against Deontay Wilder.

The 33-year-old champ stopped his American rival in the 11th round of their Las Vegas trilogy fight.

read also:Pele back in hospital to undergo treatment for colon tumour

Fury then had a window of 30 days to set up a blockbuster undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk.

The Ukrainian snatched Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight titles back in September and is set to face a rematch with the Brit early next year.

There had been talk of AJ stepping aside to allow the two champions to meet in the ring.

But the WBC decision now sets up a mouthwatering all-British superfight, likely to be held in March.

Cardiff and Manchester have been mooted as potential locations, with promoter Frank Warren eager to hold a ‘homecoming’ fight in Britain.

Fury has been typically vocal about the prospect of facing former pal Whyte.

Earlier he vowed to ‘smash the c***’s face in’ and ‘butcher him, no problem’ if the Brixton bruiser was named his mandatory.

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Pele back in hospital to undergo treatment for colon tumour

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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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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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