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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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Nigerian League

NNL solicits for funds from cooperate organisation

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NNL solicits for funds from cooperate organisation

The Nigeria National League, NNL, has appealed to cooperate organisations for funds to assist in the effective running of the second tier league.

NNL chairman, George Aluo noted that the unavailability of funds has hindered the progress of his administration.

“I must continue to express my appreciation to Alhaji Gusau for finding me worthy to serve as NNL chairman and a board member of the NFF,” he stated.

“My appeal is that corporate organizations should come to our aid and do what GTI is doing for the NPFL.

“We’re not saying they should give us money to put in our pockets. Let them take care of referees indemnity and once this is done, the referees will not be intimidated but rather be at their best and it will now be possible for teams to be winning more on the road as is presently being witnessed in the NPFL.”

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Nigerian League

NPFL reschedules matchday 30 fixtures

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NPFL reschedules matchday 30 fixtures

The Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL, has rearranged the matchday 30 fixtures, DAILY POST reports.

Three games were initially scheduled to take place on Saturday April 13th, 2024.

The games have now been moved to Sunday April 14th.

The matches affected are the ties involving Doma United and Remo Stars, Bendel Insurance versus Kano Pillars and the Oriental derby between Rangers and Abia Warriors.

The remaining matchday fixtures will be played on Tuesday, April 16th across all venues.

The NPFL Chief Operating Officer Davidson Owumi disclosed this in a memo sent to the affected
clubs.

Rangers currently occupy the top position in the NPFL table with 51 points from 29 games.

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Nigerian League

Asuquo wins Enyimba Player of the Month award for March

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Asuquo wins Enyimba Player of the Month award for March

Uwana Asuquo has won Enyimba’s Player of the Month award for March.

Asuquo beat midfielder Elijah Akanni to the award.

The defender won 51.7 votes, with Akanni getting 48.3 votes.

The right back helped the People’s Elephant secure two victories at home against Niger Tornadoes and Doma United, respectively.

Asuquo has featured in 22 games for Enyimba in the Nigeria Premier Football League this season.

He has two assists to his name.

Asuquo will be hoping to continue with his standout performance as Enyimba continue their title fight.

Enyimba will face Heartland in a matchday 30 fixture in Aba on Sunday.

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