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Nigeria Premier League

Spurs take the points at Vitality Stadium Bournemouth

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Goals either side of half-time from James Maddison and Dejan Kulusevski earned Tottenham Hotspur a 2-0 win over AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

Spurs drew first blood when Maddison bagged his first goal for the club following his summer move from Leicester City in the 15th minute.

And although the Cherries had chances to level, Sweden international Kulusevski doubled their lead midway through the second half.

Summer signing Justin Kluivert made his full Premier League debut as Cherries head coach Andoni Iraola made two changes to his starting line-up.

Kluivert, who made substitute appearances against West Ham and Liverpool, was joined by defender Lloyd Kelly, the pair replacing Marcos Senesi and Jaidon Anthony.

The visitors were forced to defend in numbers as the Cherries made an encouraging start with an early penalty appeal for a push by Cristian Romero on Dominic Solanke falling on deaf ears.

Spurs were thwarted during the early stages when Kelly cleared Son Heung-min’s low cross and Illia Zabarnyi cut out a through ball from Maddison.

Max Aarons charged down an attempt by Richarlison before Philip’s timely tackle prevented Destiny Udogie from delivering a cross from the byline.

The Cherries had a let-off after Neto’s intended pass had been intercepted, a combination of the Cherries goalkeeper and Aarons doing enough to prevent Maddison from profiting in the 15th minute.

However, the Spurs man drew first blood just two minutes later, Maddison scuffing the ball past Neto and into the bottom corner after Pape Matar Sarr had picked him out with a defence-splitting through ball.

Neto smothered after Sarr had taken aim through a crowd of players before Son fired wide of the upright after Maddison’s corner had fallen to him midway through the first half.

Antoine Semenyo, who was on target in the Cherries’ defeat against Liverpool, saw an effort blocked by Spurs defender Micky van de Ven having been teed up by Philip’s cushioned pass.

Philip then climbed at the far post to meet Ryan Christie’s free-kick, his header deflecting off Pedro Porro and landing in the grateful hands of Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.

Referee Tim Robinson deemed Romero’s crunching challenge on Semenyo to have been fair, much to the annoyance of the Cherries bench and supporters who were convinced it should have been a foul.

To compound their frustrations, Spurs immediately mounted a counter-attack with Milos Kerkez and Joe Rothwell both playing a part to clear their lines after Richarlison had looked to add a second.

Richarlison then headed Maddison’s free-kick into the side netting before Vicario threw himself to his left to beat away Christie’s stinging drive from the edge of the box.

Deep in first-half stoppage time, Philip curled an effort inches past the post after Kluivert’s shot had been blocked and rolled into his path around 15 yards from goal.

Cook replaced Rothwell for the start of the second half, the former Blackburn man possibly having succumbed to injury after having treatment in the first half.

Yves Bissouma and Richarlison were booked in quick succession for fouls on Semenyo and Zabarnyi, respectively, before Solanke’s inviting centre across the face of the goalmouth was eventually cleared.

Semenyo went close to levelling in the 57th minute, his first-time effort from the edge of the box flashing past the post before Philip’s shot struck Perro.

A double change on the hour saw Anthony and Hamed Traorè come on for Christie and Kluivert before Spurs made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute.

Kulusevski arrived at the near post to sweep Udogie’s cutback past Neto following a flowing move down the left by the visitors.

As the Cherries looked to halve the deficit, Anthony worked an opening but fired low into Vicario’s hands before Maddison dragging his shot wide after racing through.

Spurs substitute Ivan Perišić escaped with a yellow card after appearing to lash out at Aarons, a VAR check agreeing with referee Robinson’s decision.

Ben Davies went close to adding a third for Spurs in added time when he fired narrowly over the crossbar before Perišić’s low drive flashed past the upright.

AFC Bournemouth: Neto, Aarons, Zabarnyi, Kelly, Kerkez, Rothwell (Cook, h/t), Philip (Moore, 86), Christie (Traorè, 60) , Kluivert (Anthony, 60), Semenyo (Brooks, 73), Solanke.

Unused subs: Senesi, Mepham, Hill, Radu (g/k).

Booked: Kelly.

Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario, Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie (Davies, 82), Sarr (Perišić, 59), Bissouma (Lo Celso, 73), Kulusevski, Maddison (Skipp, 73), Son Heung-min, Richarlison (Højbjerg, 59).

Unused subs: D Sánchez, Emerson Royal, Solomon, Forster (g/k).

Booked: Bissouma, Richarlison, Perišić.

Referee: Tim Robinson.

Attendance: 10,567.

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Nigeria Premier League

Ebi Egbe Lauds Elegbeleye, Aluo On Improved Fortunes Of Nigerian Football

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Renowned sports facility construction expert, Ebi Egbe, has expressed his satisfaction with the improved standards of the Nigerian football

Renowned sports facility construction expert, Ebi Egbe, has expressed his satisfaction with the improved standards of the Nigerian football league, particularly, the NPFL and the NNL, ably led by Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye and George Aluo respectively.

According to Egbe, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Monimitchelle Sports Facilities Company, Elegbeleye, has turned the NPFL to an attractive brand and with huge crowds coming back to watch the matches.

“I’m very impressed with what Hon. Elegbeleye is doing with the NPFL. Standards of matches have improved tremendously and importantly, the crowds are coming back to the stadium to watch their favourite teams.”

Egbe was equally effusive in praises for the Chairman of the NNL, George Aluo, who he commended for bringing vitality and improved organisation to the NNL.

“And without a doubt, George Aluo, has improved the organisation and standard of the league. The ongoing NNL Super 8 is a testament to the fact that the league can only get better,” Egbe said.

He went ahead to admonish well placed individuals and corporate organisations to give more supports to the Nigerian local football bodies.

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Nigeria Premier League

10th Nigeria Pitch Awards: Sanwo-Olu, Elegbeleye, Soname, Finidi in the spotlight as ceremony holds on Saturday

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There will be real pomp and pageantry in the city of Uyo on Saturday as the tenth edition of Nigeria Pitch Awards comes to town. The Ibom Hotel and Golf Resorts is the venue.

There will be real pomp and pageantry in the city of Uyo on Saturday as the tenth edition of Nigeria Pitch Awards comes to town. The Ibom Hotel and Golf Resorts is the venue.

Shina Phillips, chief organizer of the awards, said on Thursday that all is set for a ceremony that will be full of panache, glitz and glamour.

“As I said a couple of weeks ago, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a memorable tenth edition of the awards. All is set, and we are in Uyo not only to put up a super-show, but to mobilize resources within our capacity to support the Super Eagles to victory in tomorrow’s match. As an organization, we will continue to genuinely appreciate the NFF, the Super Eagles, all our friends, enablers, affiliates and commercial partners, for their support over the past 10 years, and to promise that the values of transparency, integrity and credibility will never depart from the Nigeria Pitch Awards.”

Nominees have been picked in all 18 award categories, with the winners to be unveiled on Saturday. The award categories include Goalkeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year, Midfielder of the Year, Striker of the Year, Queen of the Pitch, King of the Pitch, Sam Okwaraji Award, Football Pitch, Football-Friendly Governor, Corporate Sponsor, alongside several honours for media representatives.

Goalkeeper of the Year: Kayode Bankole (Remo Stars); Amas Obasogie (Bendel Insurance); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC)

Defender of the Year: Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC); Ola Aina (Nottingham Forest); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce SK)

Midfielder of the Year: Alhassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC)

Striker of the Year: Robert Mizo (Bayelsa United); Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Queen of the Pitch: Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico de Madrid Femenino); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC); Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC)

King of the Pitch: Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Emeka Obioma (Enyimba FC); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Team of the Year: Super Falcons; Enyimba FC; Remo Stars

Coach of the Year: Daniel Ogunmodede (Remo Stars); Finidi George (Enyimba FC); Randy Waldrum (Super Falcons)

Sam Okwaraji Award: Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Ahmed Musa; Kunle Soname (Proprietor, Remo Stars)

State With The Best Grassroots Football Development Programme: Edo State; Delta State; Lagos State

Football Pitch of the Year: Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos; Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne; Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo

Football-Friendly Governor of the Year: His Excellency Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom State); His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos State); His Excellency Godwin Obaseki (Edo State)

Corporate Sponsor of Football: Bet9ja (Sport Betting); GTI (Financial Services); MTN (Telecom)

Sportsmanship Award: Hon. Kunle Soname (Proprietor, Remo Stars); Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye (Chairman, NPFL Board)

Football Journalist of the Year (Print): Christian Okpara (The Guardian); Charles Diya (New Telegraph); Johnny Edward (Punch Newspapers)

Football Journalist of the Year (TV): Miyen Akiri (TVC); Mozez Praiz (SuperSport); Cecilia Omorogbe (Channels TV)

Football Journalist of the Year (Radio): Olawale Adigun (Mainland FM); Yinka Oyedele (Brila 88.9 FM); Anthony Bekederemo (Brila 88.9 FM)

Football Journalist of the Year (Online): Samuel Ahmadu (Savid News); Tobi Adepoju (Oganla Media); Kunle Solaja (sportsvillagesquare.com)

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Nigeria Premier League

Eyimba FC International on expansionist mission- Ekwueme

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Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the

Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the implementation of an expansionist idea that would spread the club franchise, further past its current torrents, the club Sporting Director, ex intetnational , Ifeanyi Ekwueme has disclosed.

Ekwueme speaking in Kano last Tuesday,.further revealed that the club management under the pilot of Atlanta 96, Olympics football gold medalist, Kanu Nwankwo has embarked on the implementation of a newly designed development template that would stampede the influence of the club franchise on Nigerian, African and international football climes.

He said, Eyimba fc is a trademark that has excelled over time, Kanu Nwankwo regime currently at the helms of affairs at the club is building on the heroic achievements of the club by resorting to building bridges across Nigeria and beyond.

Ekwueme said ” we have signed partnership that involves exchange programmes, we are committed to coaches development mini and major projects

He further said ” we now have the requisite development structures, with our now in place youth football and semi professional talent development programmes , this is vital and critical.

” Eyimba is not a stagnant or zero football brand, we are a broad football brand, that is why, we are committed to partnerships that are results oriented and have them spread across Nigeria and extend same to the continent and beyond.

He averred that though there are challenges, the current leadership of the club is focused and committed towards surmounting the hurdles and posed to take the club to the zenith of club side football, where Eyimba fc is rightly believed to belong to.

Ekwueme appealed to the fans and their partners to keep faith with the Eyimba fc brand , stating that the club has witnessed enviable improvements in the area of football coorporate administration that he said is now yielding dividends and would continue to help the Aba football warlords to improve in the delivery of mandated club football services and business divdends expected by all stakeholders.

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