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World Cup qualifying: Argentina beat Bolivia without Messi as Brazil win late on against Peru

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Argentina have won six successive matches since their penalty shootout win over France in the World Cup final in December

Argentina rested Lionel Messi but still beat Bolivia 3-0 to make it two wins from two in World Cup qualifying.

Chelsea’s Enzo Fernandez opened the scoring, with further strikes from Nicolas Tagliafico and Nicolas Gonzalez sealing victory in La Paz.

Brazil also secured their second win after beating Peru 1-0 thanks to a 90th-minute goal from Marquinhos.

Marcelo Bielsa suffered his first defeat in charge of Uruguay after Ecuador came from behind to win 2-1.

Bielsa’s side, who beat Chile on Saturday, took the lead through Agustin Canobbio, but a goal in each half from Felix Torres secured the win for Ecuador, who also missed a penalty through Enner Valencia.

Messi watched Argentina’s victory from the bench but was not listed among the substitutes having complained of tiredness after scoring the only goal in Wednesday’s win against Ecuador.

“Leo was not ready to play,” said boss Lionel Scaloni after the game. “He tried to recover, but he did not feel comfortable.”

Former Manchester United midfielder Angel di Maria captained the side in Messi’s absence and provided the cross for Fernandez to stroke home a first-half opener.

Bolivia forward Roberto Fernandez was then sent off for a high challenge on Cristian Romero, before Tagliafico headed home Di Maria’s free-kick before the break.

Julian Alvarez hit the post in the second half as the world champions continued to dominate, before Gonzalez wrapped up the win with a left-footed drive late on.

Brazil are the only other side in South American qualifying to make a perfect start but were frustrated for large periods by a defiant Peru side in Lima.

The game looked to be heading for a draw before Neymar’s in-swinging corner was glanced home at the near post by by Marquinhos.

Elsewhere, Chile and Colombia played out a goalless draw in Santiago, while a stoppage-time penalty from Salomon Rondon secured a 1-0 victory for Venezuela against Paraguay.

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Nigerian League

Odigie returns to Bendel Insurance after spending time in classroom

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Odigie returns to Bendel Insurance after spending time in classroom

Bendel Insurance head coach Monday Odigie has rejoined the team ahead of their Nigeria Premier Football League matchday 30 encounter against Kano Pillars.

Odigie has been away in the classroom to upgrade his knowledge.

His assistant, Greg Ikhenoba took charge of the team during his absence.

Bendel Insurance will host Kano Pillars at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Tuesday.

The Benin Arsenals suffered their first home defeat in 17 years against Niger Tornadoes last weekend.

Insurance currently occupy the 10th position on the NPFL table.

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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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