Nigeria’s Super Falcons have been eliminated from the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Falcons were defeated by England 4-2 on penalties at the Suncorp Stadium, Milton, Australia, on Monday.
Desire Oparanozie and Michelle Alozie missed their penalties as Nigeria crashed out after a spirited performance against the Lionesses, who went down by a player in the 87th minute.
Nigeria qualified for the World Cup round of 16 after finishing second in Group B.
Randy Waldrum, Falcons head coach, opted to start Ifeoma Onumonu ahead of Asisat Oshoala at the tip of Nigeria’s attack.
Early into the match, Mary Earps was forced into an early save by Rasheedat Ajibade’s cross, which initially appeared to be straying off target.
Shortly after, Michelle Alozie’s header from a corner kick was blocked at the mouth of the goal.
Ashleigh Plumptre, who played for England at the youth level, proved a handful for her country of birth. The 25-year-old struck the crossbar with a shot outside England’s goal area before forcing another brilliant save from Earps shortly after.
The English nation had to wait till the 23rd minute to get their first attempt at a goal. Blessing Demehin fluffed a clearance and presented the ball for Alessia Russo, whose first-time shot was stopped by an alert Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Nnadozie was forced into another save afterward. She was well positioned to palm out Rachel Daly’s volley after a scuffle in the Nigerian goal area following a corner kick.
The match reached a crescendo in the 30th minute after Ajibade got involved in a tussled with Daly inside the Nigerian goal area. The English woman crashed down, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. But a lengthy video assistant referee (VAR) review convinced the official otherwise.
The most significant incident in the second half was James’ red card for stumping her boot on Alozie. But the Falcons failed to make their superior number count as the game tapered into extra time and penalty shootout.
Alozie and Oparanozie missed their respective kicks as England edged Nigeria to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Nigeria loses bid to host AFCON 2027
Nigeria has lost the joint bid with the Benin Republic to host the African Cup of Nations in 2027, as Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania are named joint hosts of the 2027 tournament, AFP reports.
This comes after the Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh arrived in Egypt on Tuesday with representatives of the Nigeria Football Federation to bid to host AFCON in 2027.
We report that Nigeria’s only hosting of the AFCON was in 1980 when Christian Chukwu led the team to victory in front of enthusiastic home fans, including former President Shehu Shagari.
The joint hosting with Ghana ended in disappointment as Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions claimed the trophy at the National Stadium in Lagos.
Osimhen’s agent threatens legal action against Napoli
Roberto Calendar, the agent of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, on Tuesday said he “reserves the right to take legal action” against the club.
Calenda’s threat came after a video mocking the player was posted and then deleted from the Serie A side’s official TikTok on Tuesday.
He released a statement on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, saying the video caused “very serious damage to the player”.
“What happened today on Napoli’s official profile on the TikTok platform is not acceptable.
“A video mocking Victor was first made public and then, but now belatedly, deleted,” said Calenda.
“We reserve the right to take legal action and any other useful initiative to protect Victor.”
Napoli did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside normal business hours.
Osimhen missed a late penalty kick in a goalless draw against Bologna in Serie A on Sunday.
He was substituted as the game drew to a close and appeared to protest the decision, shouting at coach Rudi Garcia before leaving the pitch.
Later on the French manager, however, played down the situation.
Winners to get N150m as 2023/24 NPFL season kicks off September 30
The board of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has announced a new kick-off date for the 2023/24 season.
In a statement on Monday, the board disclosed that the NPFL will commence its new season on September 30.
According to Davidson Owumi, NPFL chief operating officer, the season’s champions would receive ₦150 million, a 50 percent increase from the previous season’s prize money.
He added that the league’s board would also administer a take-off grant of N10 million to each of the 20 teams participating.
“The 20 clubs will, as was done last season, receive a take-off grant of ten Million Naira (₦10,000,000) each to smoothen your operations as the season starts,” the Owumi said.
“We are therefore expecting the Clubs to as a matter of urgency, forward their respective account details to the NPFL Secretariat for the transfer of the said amount as the season is set to commence on Saturday, September 30, 2023.”
The season was scheduled to commence on September 9, with Enyimba billed to face Bendel Insurance in the opening matchday.
But a few days to the date, the kick-off was postponed due to the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), which was held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.
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