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CAF Champions League: Kano Pillars 3-2 Asante Kotoko – Rabiu Ali inspires comeback



CAF Champions League: Kano Pillars 3-2 Asante Kotoko - Rabiu Ali inspires comeback

Captain Rabiu Ali scored with an overhead kick as Kano Pillars came from behind to beat Asante Kotoko 3-2 in the first leg Caf Champions League preliminary round clash at Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano on Saturday.

Sai Masu Gida opened the scoring 11 minutes into the game through Rahaqqu Adam and held on to a 1-0 advantage until half-time.

However, the Porcupines came strong in the second half as goals from Justice Blay and then Godfred Asiamah looked like they were going to steal a famous 2-1 win in Nigeria.

Pillars are aware they still have a huge task ahead of them as they head for the second leg in Kumasi in a fortnight, having conceded two goals at home in Saturday’s thrilling encounter.

With four of his regular players not registered for this preliminary round, coach Ibrahim Musa expectedly tweaked his usual attacking set-up.

Nwagua Nyima was paired up front with Rahaqqu with captain Ali behind the two strikers.

Coach Kjetil Zachariassen also named a strong starting line-up for Kotoko having promised a solid away performance.

Justice Blay, Samuel Frimpong, Emmanuel Gyamfi and George Abege were all handed starting roles by the manager.

Pillars were dominant in the early exchanges and after a series of attacking pressure on the Kotoko defence, they got the opening goal in the 11th minute through Rahaqqu who hit a low shot from inside the box.

Despite the early opening goal, Pillars were unable to increase their advantage as they failed to utilise the other chances they created until half time.

Those missed chances by Pillars in the first half proved costly as the Porcupines came out smoking in the second half and ten minutes after the restart, the visitors got a deserved equaliser.

Blay, who had been threatening all day, kept his head down to produce a low header beyond the helpless Kano Pillars goalkeeper Suraj Ayeleso to restore parity for his team.

While Pillars tried to get back in front as fast as they could, they committed some needless fouls and they were punished in the 67th minute for one of their rash challenges.

Asiamah won a free-kick after he was illegally halted in his run towards the penalty box.

The winger dusted himself for the resulting kick and hit it straight into the net to give Kotoko a shock 2-1 lead.

From then it was Pillars all the way as their vociferous fans cheered them on and captain Ali came to the rescue with his 70th-minute bicycle kick before Gambo sealed victory with another goal moments after.

Despite Saturday’s win, Pillars are still walking a tightrope in their quest to progress to the next stage as they would be faced with a stern test in the second leg in Kumasi in a fortnight.

The winners after the two-legged tie between Pillars and Kotoko are billed to face Hafia FC of Guinea or Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel in the next stage.



Kwesi Appiah scores as AFC Wimbledon lose to Fleetwood



Kwesi Appiah scores as AFC Wimbledon lose to Fleetwood

Ghana forward Kwesi Appiah was on target for AFC Wimbledon as they narrowly lost to Fleetwood Town in the English League 1 on Saturday.

The 27-year old scored his first of the season after putting the Dons in the lead on 26 minutes.

Wimbledon had to put in a resilient performance to hold their lead in the first half at the Highbury Stadium.

However, Paddy Madden pulled the level for Fleetwood after 56 minutes.

The home side then took the lead a little over the hour mark through Josh Morris.

Appiah lasted the entire duration but the Dons could not salvage a point despite a good end to the game.


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Thomas Partey happy to play first preseason game as Atletico Madrid beat Juventus 2-1



Thomas Partey happy to play first preseason game as Atletico Madrid beat Juventus 2-1

Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey is happy to have played his first preseason game which ended in a win against Italian giants Juventus at the Friends Arena in Sweden.

Atletico defeated Juventus by 2-1 in the International Champions Cup played on Saturday.

Record signing Joao Felix got the two goals for the Madrid club while Khedira pulled one back for the Italian Champions.

The Ghanaian International who missed Atletico Madrid’s tour to the USA due to his involvement with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations made his debut for the club ahead of the new season as he came off the bench in the second half.

Partey had a decent game and helped his side to secure the win.

“Great team performance, happy for my first minutes to prepare for the season ahead”, Partey indicated on his page.


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ICE Africa to bring together Africa’s iGaming industry for the second year



ICE Africa to bring together Africa's iGaming industry for the second year

For the second consecutive year, one of the most important iGaming events in the world is coming to Africa. Between the 2nd and 3rd of October, South Africa’s Johannesburg will be home to ICE Africa—the first extension of ICE London outside the British capital.

The exhibition will bring in one place visitors and industry leaders from all over the world and will foster the growth and investment in Africa’s iGaming scene. The event will consist of two parts—an exhibition of the latest breakthroughs in iGaming, and a conference where more than 60 experts will host talks.

John Kamara, Director of Global Gaming Africa, has been the event’s brand ambassador since its initiation. This year’s edition will take place under the motto “Shining a light on Africa’s gaming ecosystem.”

ICE Africa

More than 50 iGaming companies are expected to showcase their products during the exhibition part of the event.

The conference will feature talks on critical topics such as regulation, online presence, integrated resorts, branding, marketing, product development, and eSports, as announced by the organisers.

The event will also feature (paid) slot machine and sports betting masterclasses organised by Totally Gaming Academy, where participants will learn best business practices from the industry. The conference will also host Pitch ICE Africa—a pitching event for start-ups; The Executive Network (TeN)—a networking event exclusive to ten selected industry experts; and the International Legislators’ Agenda—an event for regulators and legislators.

The first edition of ICE Africa happened last year, at the Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa’s largest city.

“Following the hugely positive coming together of all sectors of the industry at the inaugural ICE Africa last year, we saw over 1500 visitors flock from across Africa and the world to join invaluable conversations about the development of this market,” says on the event’s website.

South Africa is emerging as an important link in the African iGaming market. Aside from ICE Africa, the country also hosts other important industry expos such as Sports Betting East Africa, while Cape Town was chosen by sports betting company Betway as home base for its Africa-oriented presence.

ICE North America

This year the ICE conference and exhibition also landed in North America; just months after the first edition in Africa. The happening took place 13-15 May in Boston and next year will be visiting Austin between 8-10 June.

The event followed the traditional ICE format with a conference, exhibition, and networking parts. An interesting fact is that ICE North America happened a year after the US Constitutional court repealed a federal act that prohibited states from legalising sports betting.

ICE Africa is an extension of ICE London, which is one of the most significant events of its kind. The next edition will take place on 4-6 February at the ExCeL London convention centre.

From online sports betting and bingo to mobile gaming and online payments, every aspect of the iGaming business is covered during ICE London’s exhibition and conference events.

At the 2018 edition, over 100 speakers gave talks that totaled over 64 hours, while more than 33,000 people from 150 countries visited the event. Among the topics covered by the conference, dubbed ICE VOX, were cybersecurity, world regulations, and AI.

ICE VOX happened in four formats—Hive, Counsel, Boardroom, and Elevator, each of which provided different opportunities to network, share ideas, and learn about the newest breakthroughs in the industry.

Like ICE Africa, the London edition features an exhibition, seminars, and a pitching session.

Overall, the ICE conferences are growing to be an essential part of the international iGaming industry. The London edition has been a popular happening for quite some time now, but with the expansion across continents, the brand is demonstrating its determination to provide platforms for thought leaders and experts in an industry that’s experiencing global growth.

On its website, ICE Africa quotes John Kamara saying that the event “can help develop a deeper understanding of the contribution the industry can make in relation to the social, economic development of many national economies in Africa.”

Just days ago, South Africa’s National Gambling Board held a conference aimed at establishing better communication between regulators and gambling operators. One of the key takeaways of the event was the growing place of technology in iGaming, along with the expected continuous growth of the gambling industry.

Source: Ojo Olayiwola

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