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Man Utd draw Barcelona, Tottenham to face Man City in Champions League quarter-finals



Man Utd draw Barcelona, Tottenham to face Man City in Champions League quarter-finals

Liverpool to meet Porto, Ajax drawn against Juventus

Tottenham have been drawn against Manchester City in an all-English Champions League quarter-final tie, while Manchester United will face Barcelona.

In the other two ties, last season’s finalists Liverpool were drawn against Porto, while Real Madrid’s conquerors Ajax will face Juventus in a rematch of the 1973 and 1996 finals.

United and Barcelona have met twice in the final, in 2009 and 2011, with the Catalan giants winning on both occasions.

The draw means a return to Nou Camp for United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who scored a stoppage-time winner in United’s Champions League final win over Bayern Munich in 1999.

Although Barcelona were initially drawn to be at home in the first leg, the tie will take place at Old Trafford to accommodate neighbours Man City.

UEFA said ahead of the draw: “Manchester City and Manchester United will not be able to play at home on the same night, nor on consecutive nights, following a decision made by the relevant local authorities.

“Therefore, should both clubs be drawn at home in the same week, the team having finished lower in the domestic league the previous season – in this case Manchester United – will be reversed in accordance with the UEFA Club Competitions Committee principles.”

The first legs of the quarter-final ties will take place on April 9 and 10, with the second legs coming a week later on April 16 and 17.

Spurs will travel to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on April 20, live on Sky Sports, meaning the two sides will play three times in the space of 10 or 11 days.

Liverpool’s quarter-final against Porto will be a repeat of last year’s last-16 tie which Jurgen Klopp’s side won 5-0 on aggregate.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told the club’s official website: “What can I say? It’s Porto and we’ve played there already and we know how good we had to be last year.

“The result in the end was a strange one; it was very good for us, of course, but it was a strange one. In the second leg, we saw the character of Porto and the quality they have.

“I could not be further away from thinking it’s the best draw because it isn’t – it is just the draw, it’s the opponent we have to prepare for and that’s all we will be thinking about from when we start preparing for the game.”

Speaking about Manchester United’s tie with Barcelona, former Old Trafford boss David Moyes told Sky Sports News: “It’s an incredibly tough draw but a great draw. After beating Paris Saint-Germain you can take anybody on.

“A great occasion, the sort of games that Manchester United are used to and it will be a great night.”

The draw was also made for the semi-finals, where United would meet Liverpool, should both progress to the last four. Tottenham or Manchester City will face the winner of the quarter-final between Ajax and Juventus.

Champions League quarter-final draw

Ajax vs Juventus

Liverpool vs Porto

Tottenham vs Manchester City

Barcelona vs Manchester United

Champions League semi-final draw

Tottenham or Manchester City vs Ajax or Juventus

Manchester United or Barcelona vs Liverpool or Porto

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Ghana 1-0 Kenya: Ekuban strike sinks Harambee Stars in Accra



Ghana 1-0 Kenya: Ekuban strike sinks Harambee Stars in Accra

March 23, 2019 will be stay with Caleb Ekuban forever as he came off the bench on his debut Black Stars on his birthday to score the goal that beat Kenya 1-0 in Accra in the final Group F AFCON 2019 Qualifier.

In the 83rd minute, the Trabzonspor forward allowed a pass from midfield to go in front of him and he followed through with a powerful that slipped under Kenyan goalie Patrick Matasi.

Until that moment, the Black Stars did not look like finding the breakthrough despite a bit more urgency in the second half.

Christian Atsu, Lumor Agbenyenu and Mubarak Wakaso were liveliest Ghanaian players on the field but their efforts were still off the mark.

Ekuban’s goal could have been the second for Ghana had Andre Ayew’s goal in the 33rd minute not been ruled for a foul on Matasi.

After an opening poor 32 minutes, Daniel Opare got a cross right and it found Ayew whose header was saved by Matasi but he spilled the ball and Andre Ayew followed up and tucked it in albeit illegally according to the referee.

In between that moment and the goal from Ekuban, the Stars struggled all game against their own lack of creativity and the discipline of the Kenyan defence.

The only moment that seemed promising came in the 72nd as Atsu and Jordan Ayew combines to release the Newcastle United winger but his shot was off target.

The victory for Ghana sends them to the top of Group F ahead of Kenya even though both teams have made it to the final tournament in Egypt.

However, top spot will now mean being seeded and the possibility of a decent group in the tournament.

Man of the Match: Mubarak Wakaso

Although Christian Atsu ran him close, Mubarak Wakaso was the team’s best player on the day. He gained control of the boat and he gave the Black Stars a base from which things could happen.

His passing was assured and that served as the starting point for the forays going forward.

He was also willing to do the defensive work and he was available to stop Kenyan counter-attacks.

Ghana starting lineup:

Richard Ofori; Daniel Opare, John Boye, Nicholas Opoku, Lumor Agbenyenu; Thomas Partey, Mubarak Wakaso, Christian Atsu, Andre Ayew (Joseph Aidoo 86′); Jordan Ayew (Ernest Asante 75′), Emmanuel Boateng (Caleb Ekuban 60′)


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Ghana wallop Gabon 4-0 in U-23 AFCON Qualifier



Ghana wallop Gabon 4-0 in U-23 AFCON Qualifier

The Black Meteors of Ghana took a giant step in qualifying for the Under 23 AFCON in Egypt as they gave Gabon a 4-0 mauling at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Ghana started the game brightly making early incursions to the Gabonese vital area. Kwabena Owusu had the first clear chance of the game in the fourth minute but his effort from close range went wide.

Poor defensive work by Zakaria nearly gifted the Gabonese the opener but Meteors Goalkeeper Kwame Baah pulled a superb save from Babicka shavi to keep Ghana in the Game.

In a split second, Kwabena Owusu also went solo on the left flank after being beautifully played through. He turned his marker inside out but his swerving effort was saved by goalkeeper Apaya Ngouegne.

The Meteors opened the scoring in the 16th minute after Kwabena Owusu excellently curled the ball to the left corner of the net after being superbly set up by Osman Bukari.

Two minutes later, Joseph Paintsil was played through but with Benjamin Tetteh in a better position to score, the winger selfishly went for personal glory and his effort was saved.

The game was gaining momentum with Ghana dictating the pace of the game. Benjamin Tetteh found space on the right wing and delivered a superb cross to Musah Nuhu but with the yawning net at his disposal, the defender just tapped the ball off target to the dismay of the supporters.

The Gabonese came strongly in the game with danger man Babicka Shavi hitting the wood work after the Ghana back four failed to clear their lines.

Despite the late scare from the Gabonese, Ghana finished the first half with their lead intact.

Bernard Tekpertey replaced Benjamin Tetteh just after the break as Ibrahim Tanko decided to play one top.

The Paderborn FC winger netted Ghana’s second goal with his first touch of the game as he hit a pile driver inside the box after cutting back.

The Gabonese recoiled to their shells and decided to hit the Meteors on the counter but it did not work out as Simon Zibo who played in the heart of midfield thwarted all their effort.

Ghana had the third goal through Osman Bukari in the 78th minute as the Slovakian-based attack hit the roof of the net with a sumptuous effort after going through the Gabonese backline.

Coach Ibrahim Tanko brought on Isaac Twum for Joseph Paintsil to stabilize the midfield and it worked to perfection as skipper Yaw Yeboah who was by far the best player on the field had more room to operate.

With just two minutes to end the game, Bukari completed a brace after pouncing on a loose ball and racing into the Gabonese penalty box to unleash a ferocious strike to make make it four for Ghana.

Richard Danso replaced Bukari in injury time as Ghana held on to a convincing 4-0 win.


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Chelsea whiz-kid Hudson-Odoi breaks 64-year-old record in England victory



Chelsea whiz-kid Hudson-Odoi breaks 64-year-old record in England victory

Chelsea whiz-kid Callum Hudson-Odoi broke a 64-year-old record to become the youngest player to make his England debut in a competitive match when he came on during the Three Lions’ 5-0 win against Czech Republic in the EURO 2020 qualifier on Friday.

Hudson-Odoi came on for Raheem Sterling after 70 minutes to earn his first international cap at the age of 18 years 135 days, breaking the record set by former Manchester United forward Duncan Edwards.

Edwards was 48 days older than Hudson-Odoi when he made his Three Lions debut in a British Home Championship tie against Scotland in April 1955.

The tricky wideman made an impact too, with his late curling effort parried by goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka into the path of Tomas Kalas, who inadvertently deflected to ball into his in own net to complete the scoring.

Hudson-Odoi’s introduction meant England ended the game with two 18-year-olds on the pitch with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho handed his first competitive start.

It’s the first time England have had two players aged 18 or younger in an international match in 138 years, going back to a meeting with Wales on February 26th, 1881.

Hudson-Odoi was originally called-up to the England Under-21 squad but was promoted to the senior side after the squad was hit by a number of withdrawals.

That is despite not yet starting a Premier League game for Chelsea, with his long-term future at Stamford Bridge uncertain.

Next up for Southgate’s side is a game against Montenegro in Podgorica on Monday.


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