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WWC: Paralluelo scores in extra time as Spain beat Netherlands to reach semi-finals

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Teenager Salma Paralluelo hit an extra-time winner as Spain beat the Netherlands 2-1 at the Women’s World Cup on Friday to set up a semi-final clash with Japan or Sweden.

Over a tense 90 minutes in Wellington full of incident, Mariona Caldentey scored an 81st-minute penalty for Spain, only for Dutch defender Stefanie van der Gragt to equalise in added time 10 minutes later.

With the quarter-final seemingly headed for penalties, the 19-year-old substitute Paralluelo produced a brilliant solo finish in the 111th minute to put Spain into the last four for the first time.

They will now face Sweden or Japan in Auckland on Tuesday while the tournament is over for the Dutch, beaten finalists four years ago.

“It’s hard now,” said Van der Gragt, whose last game in football was an eventful one — conceding the penalty for handball, then equalising, before Paralluelo’s decisive, late intervention.

“We had the chance in extra time and we didn’t score, they had one chance and they scored. That’s football.”

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Nigerian League

Dreams FC land in Uyo for crunch clash with Rivers United

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Ghanaian club, Dreams FC have arrived Uyo for their CAF Confederation Cup clash with Rivers United.

Abdul Karim Zito’s side top the Group C table with 12 points from five games.

The Ghanaian FA Cup champions need just a point from the game to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

Rivers United occupy third position in the group with nine points from same number of matches and just 1-0 win will be enough for the Port Harcourt club to qualify for the knockout round.

The encounter is slated for the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Sunday.

Tunisia’s Club Africain and Academica do Lobito of Angola will clash in the other group game.

 

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Nigerian League

StarTimes to air four NPFL games weekly

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StarTimes has increased its weekly live broadcast of Nigeria Professional Football League matches to four from February, instead of the usual two live matches per week.

The Pay-TV firm said fans should brace themselves for an electrifying weekend as the NPFL serves scintillating fixtures on Beta Sports channel 244 on StarTimes.

As the sun sets on Saturday (today) at 5:30pm, Remo Stars take on Bayelsa United. Remo, renowned for their attacking flair, aim to extend their winning streak, while Bayelsa, hungry for points, will be out to play party spoilers.

Also, Doma United square off against Sporting Lagos on Monday. The stakes are high as both teams jostle for mid-table supremacy.

Midweek, two matches were already aired live. Some of the other matches scheduled for this weekend like the Gombe United vs Shooting Stars match have been rescheduled to Tuesday.

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Nigerian League

NPFL U-17 Youth League: Elegbeleye Reveals Major Reason Behind Programme Creation

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The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has revealed that the major reason for making inroads into the NPFL Youth League is to have a pool of players the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) can consider for international youth tournaments.

At a media parley in Benin, venue of the maiden edition of NPFL Youth League Playoff, NFF 2nd Vice-Chairman and NPFL Chairman, Gbenga Elegbeleye also said the league body has picked some former Super Eagles players whose recommendation would be relied upon to assemble a solid structure for the junior national teams.

“Nigeria have an enviable record of winning the U-16 World Cup on five occasions. However, we couldn’t even qualify from Africa the last time the competition was held due to our lack of planning.

Now that we know that without good planning, you can’t get result, we decided to come up with the idea of the NPFL Youth League exclusively for players in the elite league.

With that, we hope to have a pool of talented players where NFF can pick for U-17 Africa Cup of Nations or FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

He insisted that NPFL should be the main focus of such players.

Four ex-Nigeria International players were unveiled as brand ambassadors.

They are current Super Eagles coordinator Patrick Paschal; Nigeria’s third highest scorer of all time, Yakubu Aiyegbeni; Seyi Olofinjana, a chemical engineer and NFF technical director, Augustine Eguavoen.

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