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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Source: Goal.com

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Wafu Cup: We want to make Ghanaians happy by scoring Senegal in the final – Maxwell Konadu

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Wafu Cup: We want to make Ghanaians happy by scoring Senegal in the final – Maxwell Konadu

The Black Stars boss looks ahead to the tournament’s climax against the hosts.

Ghana coach Maxwell Konadu has set his sights on beating Senegal in the final of the Wafu Cup of Nations to re-affirm their status as the West African powerhouse on Sunday.

The most successful team in the history of the tournament with two titles, the home-based Black Stars are set for a showdown with the hosts at Stade Lat-Dior in Thies.

Ghana’s run to the final has come as a surprise to many considering the side’s pre-tournament preparation challenges and a 1-0 home loss to Burkina Faso in a 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier two weeks to kick-off.

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“We have to thank the Ghanaian public for giving us their support,” Konadu said in a Facebook video.

“We started this campaign two weeks ago and in our run-up to the competition, we lost to Burkina Faso which wasn’t the best for our image but we did our best to rally the boys back, to motivate them and lift their spirit high.

“I think the loss [to Burkina Faso], although painful, told us a lot, that we needed to come here and fight it out.

“Yes we have made history but that is behind us now. We just want to go for the cup and make sure we make Ghanaians happy. We have to stay focused.

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“That is what we want to do. Yes, if we win it, we will make history.”

Ghana are defending champions of the tournament, the last triumph coming under Konadu when they hosted the competition two years ago.

The Black Stars had beaten Cote d’Ivoire 3-1 in the semi-final to make Sunday’s final.

Source:goal.com

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals as Portugal beat Lithuania in Euro 2020 qualifying

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals as Portugal beat Lithuania in Euro 2020 qualifying

The Juventus forward has now scored 93 international goals, 16 behind Iran legend Ali Daei’s world record.

He scored an early penalty, before Vytautas Andriuskevicius equalised.

Ronaldo’s 20-yard shot went in off the head of Lithuania goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus and he scored two more from Bernardo Silva passes, before William Carvalho’s injury-time fifth.

The result keeps Portugal in an automatic qualifying place, five points behind Group B leaders Ukraine.

It was an eighth international hat-trick for 34-year-old Ronaldo, who also scored four against Andorra in 2016.

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Serbia moved up into third place in the group with a 3-1 win at Luxembourg, with Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring twice.

Source: bbc.com

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Kenya cannot stand in our way – Black Queens Coach

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Kenya cannot stand in our way - Black Queens Coach

Madam Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo Head Coach of the female national football team, the Black Queens has said Kenya, will not be a stumbling block to their quest of qualifying to the next round of matches for the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers.

Madam Tagoe made this known in an interview in Accra after the Queens did a double over their Gabonese counterparts 5-0 in aggregate over the two legs played.

According to her, though she is building a formidable team for the future, their aim of qualifying to the next Olympic Games still remained a priority and Kenya would not stand in their way.

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“Kenya would not be a difficult game for us, we have played them in their backyard before and it ended in a draw.

“I believe with the crop of players I have put together coupled with a little more of camping time and the right blend, we would gel and Ghanaians would see good results.

“We have a target of qualifying to the Tokyo 2020 Games and we are determined to take each game at a time, so Kenya wound not stand in our way, they are women like us and we would see to them,” she said.

The coach said the team was well determined and focused and there is nothing like pressure to distract them.

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A goal each from Queens captain Portia Boakye and Juliet Acheampong in the 16th and 75th minute helped Ghana to beat Gabon by 2:0 in Accra, after beating them 3:0 in the first leg in Libreville to book a date with Kenya in the next qualifying match.

Source: Ghananewsagency.org

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