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Siasia’s men qualify for Olympics

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Nigeria demonstrated what a good away team they are by forcing a 0-0 draw in Congo Brazzaville at the weekend to win a 2016 Olympic Games football qualifier.

Known as the ‘Dream Team’, the west Africans advanced 2-1 on aggregate after winning the first leg in Port Harcourt two weeks ago by that score.

Nigeria also impressed on the road this year in qualifiers for the 2015 All-Africa Games, an under-23 competition like the Olympics. After hammering Gabon 4-1 in Libreville, they overcame Zambia 2-1 in Lusaka to reach the Africa tournament during September in Brazzaville.

In November, Nigeria will join hosts Senegal, Algeria, Egypt, Mali, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia at an Olympic tournament, with three 2016 Rio Games places up for grabs.

After wasting many first-leg chances, Nigeria coach Samson Siasia vowed that his team would attack a Congolese side guided by veteran French coach Claude Le Roy at Stade Municipal in Atlantic oil hub Pointe-Noire.

Keeping the promise, the ‘Dream Team’ spent much of the opening half on the offensive with Usman Mohammed, Daniel Etor and Oghenekaro Etebo threatening to score. Even during a more balanced second half, Nigeria created the better chances and substitute Aminu Umar squandered a late chance to win the second leg.

Nigeria have been the most successful African football nation at the Olympics, winning the 1996 Atlanta tournament and finishing runners-up to Argentina in Beijing seven years ago.  Mali followed up a solitary-goal away victory over Gabon by winning the return match 2-0 at Stade Modibo Keita in Bamako.

The Gabonese had to score first to have a realistic chance of salvaging the tie, and they did after 68 minutes. Unfortunately for the visitors, the goal came at the wrong end of the pitch with Mboudou Karl putting the ball into his net. Adama Traore added a second Mali goal a minute from time to earn his team an easier-than-expected passage to Senegal for the November 28-December 12 tournament.

Mali qualified once for the Olympics football tournament, topping a 2004 Athens group before losing to Italy in the quarter-finals.

 

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Guardiola reacts as Haaland fumes over not scoring hat-trick against West Ham

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Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has said Erling Haaland’s anger at not scoring a hat-trick against West Ham, reminded him of Lionel Messi.

Haaland grabbed both goals as the Premier League champions began defence of their title with a 2-0 win at the London Stadium.

The Norway striker converted a first-half penalty, before running onto Kevin De Bruyne’s pass to complete a brace on his City debut.

In a post-match interview, Haaland said it was “a bit s***’” that he was unable to score one more, before being substituted in the closing stages.”

But Guardiola said the player’s reaction was what he would expect from a top player.

“I was fortunate to be with [Lionel] Messi.

“When he scores two, he wants three, when he scores three, he wants four. All the top players are the same.

“They are never satisfied, always hungry, starving for goals, and want more, but at same time, I have to use other players,” Guardiola said.

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Ten Hag to sign two strikers after 2-1 defeat to Brighton

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Manchester United have opened talks to sign Benjamin Sesko and Marko Arnautovic, ESPN reports.

United have contacted Bologna about Arnautovic, who has previously played in the Premier League for Stoke and West Ham.

United manager, Erik ten Hag, has pressed the club to sign an experienced forward who would be content with a back up role off the bench.

Arnautovic is 33 years old and Ten Hag is a fan of the player after working together at FC Twente.

The move for Arnautovic is considered separate from that of Sesko.

Chelsea are also interested in the 19-year-old, although Salzburg would rather keep him until next summer.

Ten Hag was asked after the 2-1 defeat against Brighton on Sunday about the need for new players.

The Dutchman replied: “I don’t go into names and I think in this preseason, 250 players are involved or linked with Man United, so that’s it.

“We have two strikers [Ronaldo and Martial], maybe a third one, [Marcus] Rashford.

“We considered him as a striker, but he had a really good season on the left side and he had two really good chances but the typical nine wasn’t available today.”

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Tobi Amusan wins 100m hurdles gold

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Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan has won the gold medal in the women’s 100m hurdles at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The world champion successfully defended her title at the Alexander stadium on Sunday.

This is coming days after she won gold and bagged the world record at the World Athletics Championships in the US.

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