Musa Fires CSKA Moscow To UCL Spot; Igboun On Target, Idowu Faces Relegation Play-Offs

By James Agberebi: Super Eagles forward Ahmed Musa scored in CSKA Moscow’s 2-1 home win against Anzhi on the final

By James Agberebi:

Super Eagles forward Ahmed Musa scored in CSKA Moscow’s 2-1 home win against Anzhi on the final day of the Russian Premier League season on Sunday.

The win means CSKA finished second on 58 points in the league table and secure automatic qualification to next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Lokomotiv Moscow were crowned league champions despite losing 2-0 away to Arsenal Tula also on Sunday.

Musa, who only rejoined CSKA Moscow on loan in January from Leicester City, opened scoring for his side on nine minutes.

Anzhi were back on level terms thanks to Arsen Khubulov in the 33rd minute.

In the 61st minute, Vitinho scored what proved to be the winner for CSKA Moscow as they nicked automatic qualification ahead of Spartak Moscow who lost 1-0 at home to Dinamo Moscow.

Spartak secured a Champions League qualifying round spot for finishing third on 56 points.

Musa’s goal against Anzhi was his seventh in 10 league appearances for CSKA.

Also on Sunday, Nigerian forward Sylvester Igboun ended his seven-game goal drought as he scored in FC Ufa’s 5-0 home win against Tosno.

Igboun scored on 50 minutes to make it 3-0 in favour of Ufa who finished sixth this season and picked a Europa League qualification slot.

The Nigerian ended the season with seven goals in 26 league appearances.

And in the relegation battle, Super Eagles defender Bryan Idowu featured for Amkar Perm who settled to a 0-0 home draw against 10-man FK Akhmat.

Also in action for Amkar was 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner Fegor Ogude who was brought on in the 74th minute.

Following the draw, Amkar will now take on one of the two teams from the  National Football League (second-tier) in the Russian promotion/relegation play-off tie.

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Spotlight On Nigeria’s 2018 World Cup Group Foes: Iceland Goal Machine SIGTHORSSON

By Kayode Ogundare: With A Goal Every Two Games, How Can Nigeria Stop Iceland’s Recovering Kolbeinn Sigthórsson? Kolbeinn Sigthórsson, out injured for the better

By Kayode Ogundare:

With A Goal Every Two Games, How Can Nigeria Stop Iceland’s Recovering Kolbeinn Sigthórsson?

Kolbeinn Sigthórsson, out injured for the better part of the last two seasons, has chosen the perfect time to overcome his injury woes and staged a return to the Iceland team preparing for their debut at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Though the Nantes striker missed Iceland’s last two friendly games against Mexico and Peru, it would be unfair to keep Sigthórsson out of the World Cup-bound team given his intimidating international scoring record of 22 goals in 44 games, averaging 0.5 each match.

He was one of the stars of Iceland’s fairytale run at the 2016 European Championships in France, scoring the winner in the Round of 16 game against England and his team’s solitary goal in the 5-2 loss to host country France in the quarter-finals.

He ended up as joint-highest goal scorer for his country at their first-ever international championship.

The 28-year-old first came into prominence when he scored five goals in AZ Alkmaar’s 6-1 defeat of VVV Venlo in the Dutch Eredivisie in 2011.

For Sigthórsson, however, scoring in bulk is nothing new: “I once scored ten goals in a match for the youth team,” he said. “Of course these five goals are fantastic for me. It gives you a lot of confidence. As a striker you need to score – I am always looking to score goals – so I am very happy with this tally.”

BEST POSITION: Sigthórsson plays mainly as arrowhead of the attack but, when occasion demands, can also play in a withdrawn no 10 position although he prefers the no. 9 spot.

STRENGTHS: Quick with the ball,Sigthórsson is deadly in aerial duels and also able to contribute a shift in defensive duties when the need arises. Has an eye for long surprise shots and can quickly transit from his own half into the opposition area within the twinkle of an eye.

WEAKNESSES: Slightly built but his all-action style of play makes him injury-prone, like the long lay-off which set him back since 2016 but when fully fit, he’s almost unplayable.

STYLE: Skilful, creative and classy,Sigþórsson makes as many goals as he scores. He likes to do flick-ons and turns on the style with little pieces of magic unusual for an out and out attacker like him.

NATIONAL TEAM STATS: Since his debut for the national team in 2010,Sigthórsson has just 44 caps with 22 goals, placing him second on the all-time record goals scorers list behind former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen.

DISCUSSION: Which Super Eagles defender do you think is capable of shutting out Sigthórsson?

DO YOU KNOW?

  1. Iceland is the smallest country to ever qualify for the World Cup.Iceland is the first country in World Cup history to have less than a million people and successfully qualify to compete on soccer’s biggest stage. Iceland’s population is a mere 334,252, with approximately one-third of the island’s people living in the capital of Reykjavik.
  2. Their Coach is a Dentist. Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson is a part-time dentist…and a World Cup coach. When the Icelandic team isn’t practicing or playing, Hallgrimsson tends to be found at his dental practice, which he says he runs mainly so he can keep up with his patients and the people he misses.

To connect with fans, he started a tradition where he’d meet with supporters at a pub in Reykjavik before home matches and discuss the team’s lineup and tactics. That tradition continues to this day — and Iceland hasn’t lost a competitive match at home in four years, going 10-3-0 since its last home defeat in a qualifier.

  1. The lack of stars outside of Gylfi Sigurdsson of Everton, the team’s leading goal scorer, fits perfectly with Iceland’s reputation for getting the job done with their work rather than with their talent. More than that, it’s how they’ve made history.
  2. Iceland’s goalie, Hannes Halldórsson, began his professional career relatively late as he had long been battling a shoulder injury. Hannes is also a film director and directed the television series Atvinnumennirnir okkar, which follows some of Iceland’s professional sportsmen.
  3. Gylfi Sigurðsson, Iceland’s star player, is currently the highest paid Icelandic footballer, receiving around 40 million ISK in salary per month. Gylfi plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Swansea City.
  4. Iceland’s supporters are called “Tólfan” (The Twelve), as they are the “twelfth man on the field”. The club was founded in 2007 by a small group of supporters who felt the Icelandic national team needed to be cheered on by spectators. The club has since grown and, as has become evident during Iceland’s games, is extremely supportive of its team.

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Ogu Delighted With Hapoel Beer-Sheva’s Third Straight Israeli Title

Super Eagles midfielder John Ogu has celebrated Israeli club Hapoel Beer-Sheva’s Israeli Premier League third title in a row, Completesportsnigeria.com

Super Eagles midfielder John Ogu has celebrated Israeli club Hapoel Beer-Sheva’s Israeli Premier League third title in a row, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Hapoel Beer-Sheva claimed the title on Sunday despite going down to a 1-0 defeat at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv as their closest challenger Beitar Jerusalem could only manage a 3-3 draw at Bnei Yehuda.

“3 in a row!!   ,” Ogu wrote on his Twitter handle with a picture of himself and his international teammate Anthony Nwakaeme with the league shield.

Beer-Sheva have now garnered 74 points from 34 matches, seven points clear of title rivals, Beitar Jerusalem.

Ogu has featured in 27 league games for the club with three goals to his name.

NNwakaeme on the other hand has scored 10 goals in 27 appearances for the club this season.

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Abdullahi Targets Win In Bursaspor’s Last Home Game Of Season

By Adeboye Amosu:                              Super Eagles defender

By Adeboye Amosu:                              Super Eagles defender Shehu Abdullahi hopes to see his Turkish Super League club, Bursaspor win their final home game of the season against Trabzonspor, Completesportsnigeria. com reports.

Bursaspor will host Trabzonspor  today (Sunday) at the Buyuksehir Belediye Stadium.

“Let’s finish the season strong! Last Home Game.. We are @BursasporSk !!!    ,” he wrote on his Twitter handle.

Their last  game of the season is at  Gençlerbirliği next weekend.

Bursaspor sit in 11th position in the table with 39 points from 32 games.

Abdullahi only joined Bursaspor from Cypriot club, Anorthosis Famagusta in January.

He has made 13 league appearances for the club since the switch.

Two other Nigerians, William Troost-Ekong and Mikel Agu are also at the club.

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Cruyff’s Son Jordi Hails Ogu, Nwakaeme’s Beer Sheva Worthy Israeli Champions

By James Agberebi: Son of late Dutch football great Johan Cruyff, Jordi, has described Hapoel Beer Sheva that parades Nigerian

By James Agberebi:

Son of late Dutch football great Johan Cruyff, Jordi, has described Hapoel Beer Sheva that parades Nigerian duo John Ogu and Anthony Nwakaeme as worthy champions of the Israeli top flight league.

Hapoel Beer Sheva were confirmed league champions for the third straight season on Saturday despite their 1-0 home loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv handled by Cruyff, in the six-team Championship play-offs.

Hapoel Beer Sheva claimed the title following a 3-3 draw between Bnei Yehuda and Beitar Jerusalem also on Saturday.

Reacting to his side’s win against Hapoel Beer Sheva, Cruyff who was a former Barcelona and Manchester United player, expressed confidence that Maccabi Tel Aviv will qualify for Europe next season.

“Another win against the worthy champions is always a good way to make our fans happy. Maccabi will be back in Europe again next season,” Cruyff wrote on his verified Twitter handle.

Despite already securing the title, Hapoel Beer Sheva still have two games to play in the play-offs against Hapoel Haifa and Maccabi Netanya.

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Kayode Set To Clinch Ukrainian Domestic Double With Shakhtar Donetsk

By Adeboye Amosu: Nigeria forward, Kayode Olanrewaju,  is in line to win the domestic double with his Ukrainian club, Shakhtar

By Adeboye Amosu:

Nigeria forward, Kayode Olanrewaju,  is in line to win the domestic double with his Ukrainian club, Shakhtar Donetsk who are up against Verez  in a league game  today (Sunday)  at the  Oblansky Sport Complex Metalist, Kharkiv, reports Completesportsnigeria. com.

Shakhtar  sit at the top of the league table with  51 points, six  more than their closest challenger,  Dynamo Kiev who have  garnered  45 points with two games remaining before the end of the le season.

A win against Verez today will see them clinch the title ahead of the final game of the current league season next weekend.

The Miners won their 12th Ukrainian Cup title on Wednesday following a 20  win against Dynamo Kiev Kiev at the Dnipro Arena.

The Paul Fonseca’s men also won the double last season.

Kayode is on loan at the Miners from English Premier League champions, Manchester City.

The 25-year-old has scored two goals in four league appearances for Shakhtar since linking up with the club.

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Onazi: Super Eagles Not Afraid Of Croatia’s Modric, Rakitic, Kovacic

By Johnny Edward: Trabzonspor midfielder Ogenyi Onazi has stated that the Super Eagles will not be fazed when they take

By Johnny Edward:

Trabzonspor midfielder Ogenyi Onazi has stated that the Super Eagles will not be fazed when they take on the star-studded Croatian team in their opening game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

The Croatian team have in their ranks the duo of Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic who have been in impressive form for their respective teams.

“The fact that we will face top players like those you mentioned will give us more zeal to go for a win,” Onazi told CSN.

“We have a great team that can stop them so we won’t fret over the names of their influential players. Their biggest strength lies in their midfield and I believe that as a team we will stop them.”

The former Lazio of Italy midfielder added that he is looking forward to the Super Eagles pre-World Cup friendlies.

“We have three friendlies to play before our first game and I’m confident we will be in top shape for the opening game which is a must win for us,” Onazi said.

Onazi will be making his second appearance at the World Cup finals if he is included in Nigeria’s final 23-man squad to Russia.

Nigeria are drawn alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in Russia.

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Ugbade Backs Super Eagles To Shock The World In Russia

By Richard Jideaka, Abuja: Former Nigeria international defender Nduka Ugbade has said that the Super Eagles can go all the

By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:

Former Nigeria international defender Nduka Ugbade has said that the Super Eagles can go all the way to the final of the World Cup in Russia if the team show a high level of unity and commitment, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

“The present Super Eagles may not have world class players but they have youthfulness, energy, pace and commitment to make up and take the World Cup by storm going all the way. These boys are hungry for success and I believe that hunger will see them go far,” Ugbade, who captained the Golden Eaglets to the first FIFA U-17 World Cup title in 1985, told CSN.

“Honestly, I see this set of Eagles surpassing expectations in Russia if there is unity in the team and the players give it their all. The youthfulness, energy and speed of the Eagles will be their biggest assets in Russia.”

Ugbade, who also assisted Manu Garba as a coach to win the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2013, said coach Gernot Rohr faces selection dilemma in picking the right players who will do Nigeria proud in Russia, adding that Rohr must get his selection right to excel at the World Cup.

Ugbade also feels that the Super Eagles must play their hearts out to win their opening game against Croatia to make their qualification easy but a loss will make things very difficult to progress.

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Family Enclosure Tickets Sold Out For England Vs Nigeria Friendly

Family enclosure tickets for the June 2 pre-World Cup friendly game between the Three Lions of England and the Super Eagles of Nigeria are sold

nigeria-
Family enclosure tickets for the 
June 2 pre-World Cup friendly game between the Three Lions of England and the Super Eagles of Nigeria are sold out and this is official.

The family enclosure is an area of the stadium that is set aside specifically for families. It allows parents to bring their children there to sit with other families rather than with the general crowd as long as the children are 15 years old or younger.

Tickets for this area, according to the official website of Wembley Stadium, venue of the high-profile game, are no longer available.

The ticket prices for the family enclosure area are £20 for adults and £10 for children under-16, while regualr ticket prices for the game range from £35 to £70 and there are limited tickets available, according to the website. The England versus Nigeria match should provide an electric atmosphere within the stadium, with lots of support for both nations and a highly anticipated 
5.15pm kick-off on 
Saturday, June 2.

England have met Nigeria on two previous occasions at senior level, a 1-0 friendly victory at Wembley in 1994 when David Platt scored the winner, before sharing a

goalless draw at the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan.

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FA Cup Finalist Moses Could Be Exempted From Super Eagles Uyo Camp

By Richard Jideaka, Abuja: Chelsea star Victor Moses may get exemption from the opening week of the Super Eagles World

By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:

Chelsea star Victor Moses may get exemption from the opening week of the Super Eagles World Cup camp to recover after his team’s FA Cup final game with Manchester United on 
May 19 at Wembley Stadium in London, Completesportsnigeria.com reports..

Although, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is insisting that all invited players must report in Uyo by 
May 22 to open the camp, there are indications that Moses will be excused after having a hectic season which will culminate in Chelsea playing up till 
May 19.

“Every player invited safe for two or three players, most likely to include Victor Moses, must report to camp on 
May 22,” a Super Eagles source told CSN.

 “Rohr is serious about beginning the World Cup preparation on a good note and he has personally spoken with all the players on the importance of arriving early.”

The Super Eagles are scheduled to camp in Uyo for a few days before heading to Port Harcourt to face DR Congo in a friendly on 
May 28.

The team will then proceed to London where they will face England in another friendly on 
June 2 at Wembley.

The Super Eagles’ final friendly will be on 
June 6 against Czech Republic in Austria, where they will camp for 10 days before leaving for Russia on 
June 12.

Nigeria will play Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in Group D at the World Cup.

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