Technical Adviser of RiversUnited Football Club of Port Harcourt, Stanley Eguma, has said that his team’s 1-0 win against visiting 3SC was a keenly contested game.
Eguma who disclosed this in a post match press session held shortly after their victory at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium said that both teams were very strong and 35C gave them (Rivers utd) a keenly contested game.
“I did not expect an easy game. We had a very good first half but the second half was not quite as good”.
The most important thing was to get the three points but me have to improve in the area of scoring “goals”, Eguma said.
According to the media officer of the club, Sammy Wejinya, Shooting Stars Head Coach, Fatai Amoo did not attend the post – match press conference but his assistant Edith Agoye, who did in his place commended Rivers Utd for their victory.
“It was a very good game and both teams gave their all. Anyside could have won, as we both had chances”, Amoo said.
Meanwhile, the match saw Rivers United’s John Odumegwu make his mark as he fired in a brilliant effort past the 3SC goal keeper, Charles Tambe, but his furious celebrations were rudely abbreviated as the ‘goal’ was chalked off for offside. The united team and particularly, Odumegwu did not let their heads drop and due reward was to arrive 19 minutes later when the attacker bundled home from two yards out 3SC content with adopting the safety first approach before them, had to predictably come out of their shells as the game improved. Ajani Ibrahim should have levelled matters for the Oluyole warriors but he saw his powerful drive from 12 yards beaten away impressively by the United goal keeper, Femi Thomas in the 35th minute.
The second half was never going to match the first in terms of excitement and sheer drama but Benard Ovoke, a man slowly but surely returning to form, cracked a 25 yard rocket which was flying into the top right hand corner but Tambe did well to divert the effort away for a corner with 19 minutes remaining.
NYG: ‘Medals Or No Medals, We’ll Still Be Happy’
An Akwa Ibom State government official, Paul Bassey says winning or not winning medals is not a problem for the state’s contingent to the ongoing 5th National Youth Games (NYG).
Bassey, the Special Assistant on Sports to Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, said yesterday in Ilorin that discovery of new athletes was rather their target.
“We will still be happy if we win no medal by the end of the Games. Our target here is not to win medals but to discover athletes for the state,’’ he said.
Bassey said they were more concerned with the state’s youths being exposed and to be nurtured into stardom later by the state.
“We really do not have a target here in Ilorin, and by that I mean in terms of winning medals. But I thank our state governor for the opportunity given to the youths since he came on board.
“He has emphasised the need for grassroots development, because those of us who are old enough to know what happened 20 to 30 years ago knew that Nigeria had stars in all spheres.
“But now, during international competitions one hardly hears about Nigeria.
“So, he (Udom) has laid emphasis on youths and sports development, and this is what led to the State Sports Festival which we hold every year,’’ he said.
Bassey pointed out that making an appearance at the Games in Ilorin was itself a big opportunity.
“For us to come here, first of all, we have exposed the youths, and then we can nurture them afterwards.
“What I am saying now is that even if we don’t win a gold, silver or bronze at the end of the games, we are still happy because the youths that we brought here would have learnt something.
“Then after the whole thing, we will have so much back home to develop them on,” the former sports journalist said.
He however did not fail to point out out that they were still going to pose some challenge to other athletes from other states.
“Nonetheless, Team Akwa Ibom are here (in Ilorin) to compete and also discover athletes to be nurtured.
‘We are here to compete in the spirit of competition and secondly to see how we can help to produce golden athletes that would in the next five or six years represent this country in international competitions.’’
Bassey disclosed that the state had put in place a number of post-Games programmes for the athletes.
“We have post-Games programmes for them, since they are in schools. We bring them together during holidays to train them.
“Now, we have three athletes who are on scholarship, schooling in the U.S. That’s developmental on its own.
“So, we track them and also develop the coaches so that they will be well trained.
“There is no youth that will win here or at the state sports festival that we won’t be encouraged to train.
“We are not all meant to be doctors or professors. Some will feed through sports, and the state has to support them,’’ he said.
It would be recalled that Akwa Ibom placed fifth on the medals table at the end of the Games’ fourth edition held in 2018.
‘Involvement Of Female Referees, Judges, Raising Karate’
The President of World Karate Federation (WKF), Antonio Espinós said the involvement of more female referees and judges had grown the game in Africa.
The WKF’s President said this in a statement available in the federation’s web site yesterday in Lagos.
According to Espinós, the advances in African refereeing is also confirmed with the growing presence of female judges officiating at events.
He said 10 top-level female referees from six countries, including Nigerian Zainab Saleh participated at the 2019 UFAK Senior Championships in Botswana in July.
The President said that over 75 referees from 25 countries officiated at the 2019 edition of the continental event.
He said that the number represented a notable increase from previous editions of 56 referees from 19 nations who participated in the tournament in 2018, while 43 judges from 19 nations registered in 2017.
“One of the aspects that contributed to the success of the event was the notable progress of refereeing on the continent.
“Our primary goal is to further enhance our refereeing to make sure that the rules of our sport are constantly protected.
“It is also our intention to continue keeping up with the times to further demonstrate that Karate is a modern, unbiased and balanced sport. All of this was clearly manifested at the UFAK Championships
“We are committed to continue improving our sport in all its structures, and referees are a fundamental part of our progress,” WKF President said.
He noted that the level of competition had increased in Africa as “the sport continues to take steps towards its Olympic debut in 2020 in Tokyo.”
The President said the improvement of the structures and training programmes for referees and judges had ensured the continued attainment of high standards of officiating and progress of the sport in Africa.
ZBWBL: Air Warriors, Customs Set For Battle
Air Warriors Babes continued their impressive performance at the ongoing 2019 Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League by thrashing Kanem Queens of Maiduguri 79-19 on Wednesday in Abuja.
The victory ensured that Air Warriors maintained their unbeaten record so far at the Abuja centre of the second phase of the league.
Also at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, venue of the tournament, Nigeria Customs were too good for debutants FCT Wings, as the log leaders ran away with a 73-37 win.
Tidesports source reports that the battle for qualification for the National Conference phase of the league will now be taken to the final day.
Both teams have now won all four of their encounters each and will meet on Thursday to decide the ultimate zonal champions.
Coach of Customs, Abdulrahman Mohammed, told newsmen after the game against FCT Wings, that his team’s experience and calibre of players would make the difference against Air Warriors.
“We have been consistent in the league and although Air Warriors have had a good tournament, you can’t discountenance our experience.
“As far as this zone is concerned, I’m optimistic that we will clinch the qualification for National Conference.
“My players are used to the big stage and they know what is at stake. On Thursday, we are going to confirm our status,” he said.
Emmanuel Odah, coach of FCT Wings, corroborated Mohammed’s position, stating that his team put up a good fight against a vastly experienced Customs side.
“The Customs team are the most experienced and talented in this zone. If things were done well in Nigeria, they ought to be a franchise team. They have players who have played abroad.”
Odah, however, commended his players for holding their own against their formidable opponents.
“I commend my team for their impressive performance. Here in the FCT, promoting the game at the grassroots is more important than any individual glory,” he said.
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