Reds comeback to claim 3 points

Liverpool overcame an early hiccup to beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park on Tuesday, going level on points with first-place Man City before the leaders play Wednesday.

A controversial opener saw Douglas Luiz put Villa in front after just three minutes, but the lead lasted less than that as Joel Matip bundled the Reds level in the sixth.

It was a cagey affair that looked like Liverpool could drop points for a second-straight match, but Sadio Mane scored in the 65th minute to get the Reds to 86 points.

Villa stays 11th with 43 points, one back of the top half of the table.

Liverpool’s goal differential is three behind Man City. Any hope of a Reds title would require City to either draw twice or lose at least once.

Aston Villa vs Liverpool final score, stats

Aston Villa 1, Liverpool 2

Scorers: Luiz (3′), Matip (6′), Mane (65′)

Shot attempts: Aston Villa 9, Liverpool 17

Shots on goal: Aston Villa 4, Liverpool 6

Possession: Aston Villa 379 Liverpool 61

Three things we learned from Aston Villa vs Liverpool

1. To the wire we go: The Premier League title race will certainly head into Week 38 thanks to the three points claimed by the Reds on Tuesday. Man City plays Wolves on Wednesday and will not be able to clinch the Premier League title even with a win there and a Week 37 win coupled with a Liverpool loss. Man City can, however, go up six points on Liverpool before the Reds meet Southampton for their 37th game, which won’t come until Tuesday, May 17.

2. Not a banner day for Jon Moss and crew: An early offside against Aston Villa went unspotted and a few moves later the ball was in Liverpool’s goal, unable to be reviewed because the initial chance/phase has gone. Then, on a much lesser note, Philippe Coutinho was clobbered by Fabinho on a Villa counterattack and referee Jon Moss was looking in the wrong direction while the assistant referee did not raise his flag …

Real Madrid mounts stunning comeback to beat Manchester City and reach Champions League final

Real Madrid battled back from the brink of elimination to overcome Manchester City and book its place in the Champions League final.

For the third knockout tie in a row, Real looked down and out. Though this is a team that has become accustomed to improbable heroics, even by its own absurd standards Wednesday’s late, late show to secure a 3-1 victory over City was cutting it fine.
With City leading 4-3 from the first leg, Riyad Mahrez’s second-half goal had seemingly booked his team passage through to the final in Paris.
However, two goals either side of the 90-minute mark from substitute Rodrygo turned the game on its head and sent the match to extra time.
In truth, it then felt as though there was going to be only one winner.
Just three minutes into extra time, Karim Benzema — who had been rather anonymous all game by his own high standards — was fouled by Ruben Dias inside the box and made no mistake dispatching the penalty. That goal secured Real’s 6-5 aggregate victory.
No matter how deep of a hole Real seems to find itself in, the magic inside the Bernabeu always seems to pull the team out.
For three successive rounds, Carlo Ancelotti’s side has been on the verge of elimination. Now, somehow, it finds itself with a chance to win a record-extending 14th title when it takes on Liverpool in Paris’ Stade de France on May 28.
It will be the fifth time Ancelotti has reached the Champions League final as a manager, the only man to have ever achieved that feat.
“A por la 14,” read the writing on the back of Real’s celebratory shirts. “Let’s go for number 14.”

Real down, but now out

It took less than eight minutes for tempers to flare for the first time, as Luka Modric and Aymeric Laporte both received yellow cards for their part in a scuffle that was sparked by Casemiro’s poor tackle on Kevin De Bruyne.
Casemiro, as he so often inexplicably manages to

Reds reach 10th European Cup final

Liverpool played as poorly as they’ve played in months for 45 minutes and it still didn’t matter as the Reds scored three second-half goals to advance to their 10th European Cup Final with a 3-2 second-leg win over Villarreal on Tuesday that gave Jurgen Klopp’s men a 5-2 aggregate victory.

First-half goals from Boulaye Dia and ex-Arsenal man Francis Coquelin had it level at the break, but Liverpool scored for the 28th time in 31 games and then scored again… and again.

Fabinho, Luis Diaz, and Sadio Mane led the three-goal final 45 minutes and Villarreal rarely showed a threat after the Reds got the score line back to 3-2 on aggregate.

Liverpool will meet either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final on May 28 in France. Man City leads Real Madrid by a goal heading into Wednesday’s second leg.

Villarreal vs Liverpool

Villarreal 2, Liverpool 3 (Liverpool wins 5-2 on aggregate)

Scorers: Dia (3′), Coquelin (41′), Fabinho (62′), Diaz (62′), Mane (74′)

Shot attempts: Villarreal 5, Liverpool 15

Shots on goal: Villarreal 2, Liverpool 5

Possession: Villarreal 44, Liverpool 56

Three things we learned from Villarreal vs Liverpool

1. Can’t stop scoring: This has a double meaning, in that Villarreal’s two goals at the break meant they’d still need at least one more to complete the upset and, well, Liverpool simply cannot stop scoring. The only times the Reds have been kept off a scoreboard in 2022 were in games that did not cost them anything but further effort: The 1-0 second-leg against Inter Milan in the Round of 16, which obviously wasn’t detrimental to the club’s goal of reaching the European Cup Final, a 0-0 draw with Arsenal in League Cup semifinal first leg, and the 0-0 with Chelsea in the League Cup Final that saw the Reds triumph in penalties. All told: Since a 1-0 loss to Leicester City on Dec. 28, Liverpool has scored in 28 of 31 matches.

2. What Villarreal did right: Unai Emery’s men didn’t exactly like the first half on …

Red Devils steal a point at Old Trafford

The Red Devils and Blues traded goals, only not in that order, as the hosts stole a point they didn’t deserve in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Marcos Alonso fired Chelsea ahead right on the hour mark, but Cristiano Ronaldo hit back in Manchester United’s only truly dangerous moment two minutes later.

The draw sees Chelsea (66 points) move to six points clear of 4th-place Arsenal (60 points) as everyone in the top-five, including Tottenham (58 points), has now played the same number of games (33) once again.

Manchester United vs Chelsea final score, stats, results

Final score: Man United 1, Chelsea 1

Goal scorers: Man United (Alonso 60′), Chelsea (Ronaldo 62′)

Shots: Man United 6, Chelsea 21

Shots on target: Man United 3, Chelsea 6

Possession: Man United 35%, Chelsea 65%

3 things we learned – Manchester United vs Chelsea

1. Fight drained from Man United players: To call Manchester United’s squad and tactics disjointed would be an incredible understatement. The players are not playing for interim manager Ralf Rangnick, so much as they appear to be playing in spite of him. They are not playing for one another either, and some don’t even appear to be motivated to perform for their own self-interests. There is only apathy and disdain. One player would press the ball while three others stood and watched, failing to rotate and fill in any space and/or passing lanes by which the opposing player might try to escape. There’s not a player in the Premier League who can’t successfully play his way out of a one-man “press,” and the Blues sliced through the Red Devils like warm butter. Scott McTominay — bless his heart — tried to want it enough for seven or eight of his teammates currently on auto-pilot, all of whom are paid exponentially more than him, but he was no match for N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Alonso and Kai Havertz. And, still…

2. Chelsea can’t get out of their own way: In the first half, it was

Liverpool vs Villarreal final score: Klopp’s men have total control

Liverpool bossed Villarreal in every area and will bring a 2-0 lead to Spain after controlling a UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg at Anfield on Wednesday.

Pervis Estupinan’s deflection of a Jordan Henderson cross went down as an own goal and Mohamed Salah set up a Sadio Mane goal as the Reds beat the Yellow Submarine by holding a 19-2 shots advantage and 74 percent of the ball.

The second leg is Tuesday in Spain, which will come after both teams play league matches early Saturday morning.

Liverpool vs Villarreal final score, stats

Liverpool 2, Villarreal 0

Scorers: Estupinan (o.g. 53′), Mane (55′)

Shot attempts: Liverpool 19, Villarreal 1

Shots on goal: Liverpool 5, Villarreal 0

Possession: Liverpool 74, Villarreal 26

Three things we learned from Liverpool vs Villarreal

1. Almost complete victory: The only thing that would’ve made this match better for Liverpool — and we’re being picky — is a third goal. The Reds have left the door closed but not locked heading to Spain next week, though Villarreal could be suitably dispirited by its defensive display yielding almost nothing on the counter. Liverpool was so good all the way across the back aside from one bad pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold that led to Villarreal’s most dangerous counter. There’s no reason not to anticipate a berth in the final.

2. Alexander-Arnold shines: One of several players to collect more than 100 touches on the day, Trent Alexander-Arnold managed the figure in less than 90 minutes as Jurgen Klopp rested some players for the weekend’s trip to Newcastle. Alexander-Arnold had four key passes and would’ve had an assist had Andy Robertson managed to stay onside for what could’ve been 3-0 to the hosts. Alexander-Arnold was also credited with four tackles on the day.

3. Emery back to the drawing board: Well, Unai Emery simply cannot play it this conservative in the second leg if he wants any hopes of shocking the Reds. Unfortunately, that could lead to Liverpool just pounding away at the hosts in Spain, but Emery

Man City vs Real Madrid final score: PL leaders win 7-goal thriller

Kevin De Bruyne had a goal and an assist and Manchester City thrice led by multiple goals in a 4-3 defeat of Real Madrid in a UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

City opened up a 2-0 lead and Real Madrid never made it level over 90 minutes as Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden, and Bernardo Silva all joined De Bruyne on the score sheet.

Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior scored on either side of halftime to bring the score to 2-1 and 3-2, but Carlo Ancelotti’s Real can be thankful to be down only two goals as City ran all over Madrid in the first half.

The second leg comes Tuesday at the Bernabeu, as City looks to return to the European Cup final for a second-successive year and Real looks to keep alive its hopes of a record 14th title.

Man City vs Real Madrid final score, stats

Man City 4, Real Madrid 3

Scorers: De Bruyne (2′), Jesus (11′), Benzema (33′), Foden (53′), Vinicius (55′), Bernardo Silva (74′), Benzema (pen. 82′)

Shot attempts: Man City 16, Real Madrid 11

Shots on goal: Man City 6, Real Madrid 5

Possession: Man City 60, Real Madrid 40

Manchester United appoint Erik ten Hag as new Manager

Manchester United have announced the appointment of Erik ten Hag as Men’s First Team Manager, subject to work visa requirements.

The appointment takes effect from the end of this season until June 2025, with the option to extend for a further year.

John Murtough, Football Director, said: “During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team’s attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth.

“In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that. “We wish Erik the best of luck as he focuses on achieving a successful end to the season at Ajax and look forward to welcoming him to Manchester United this summer.”

Erik ten Hag said: “It is a great honor to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead. I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.

“It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United.”…

Real Madrid lead Chelsea

Well… let’s just say few would’ve predicted that Wednesday afternoon of UEFA Champions League.

Karim Benzema can definitely do it on a rainy night in London, as the French center forward recorded a hat trick as Real Madrid feasted on Chelsea errors and benefited from poor Blues finishing in a 3-1 win.

Benzema bosses Blues backs, Chelsea wasteful in attack

This is not how Thomas Tuchel drew it up.

Karim Benzema scored a pair of first-half goals and completed his hat trick in the second half as Real Madrid rode a 2-1 first-half lead and will take a 3-1 advantage back to Madrid.

This wasn’t the case of supreme domination from La Liga’s leaders, as Chelsea out-attempted Real by more than double but learned what Europe’s seen on a weekly basis: Benzema’s as dominant as any forward In the world right now and that includes names like Mbappe and Kane.

Huge errors from Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, and Edouard Mendy will live in Chelsea fans’ minds deep into the night, but Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech missed huge chances off the bench on a day the European champions will want to forget as quickly as possible.

The Blues will be grateful that away goals don’t matter this season, but toppling Real by two goals at the Bernabeu will be a major ask next week.

Chelsea vs Real Madrid final score, stats

Chelsea 1, Real Madrid 3

Scorers: Benzema (21′, 24′, 46′), Havertz (40′)

Shot attempts: Chelsea 20, Real Madrid 8

Shots on goal: Chelsea 5, Real Madrid 5

Possession: Chelsea 57, Real Madrid 43…

Nigeria vs Ghana: Confusion as CAF doctor collapses, dies after fans invaded MKO Abiola Stadium

Confusion has surrounded the death of Confederation of Africa Football’s doping doctor, Dr. Joseph Kabungo.

Kabungo, a Zambian medical practitioner, was said to have died shortly after Ghana stopped Nigeria from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup on Tuesday.

There are reports that Kabungo died as a result of the stampede that occurred at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja before the commencement of the match.

However, another account blamed fans’ invasion of the pitch after the match for the doctor’s death. It was also reported that the doctor suffered a cardiac arrest.

Neither officials of the Nigeria Football Federation nor CAF have confirmed the doctor’s death.

This is as efforts to reach the officials proved abortive as of the time of filing this report.

British-Nigerian journalist, Osasu Obayiuwana, tweeted that the doctor’s death was confirmed after he was rushed to the hospital.

It was learnt that Kabungo’s family, the Zambia FA and the Government of Zambia had been informed.

Osasu tweeted, “Sad news: I understand that an official for the @NGSuperEagles vs @GhanaBlackstars
match (not a referee or assistant referee) died in #Abuja today.

“His name is Dr Joseph Kabungo from Zambia. He was on duty as Doping officer. He collapsed suddenly and died. Cause of death not confirmed yet. His family, the Zambia FA and the government of Zambia have been duly informed.

“If the death of #Zambian doctor Dr Joseph Kabungo at the #Abuja stadium was caused by being attacked by the #Nigerian fans who invaded the pitch, after the @NGSuperEagles lost the @FIFAWorldCup ticket to @GhanaBlackstars, @thenff would be in terrible trouble with @FIFAcom.”

A Ghanaian sports journalist, Collins Poku, who was also at the venue of the match, alleged that the doctor was beaten to death.

While replying Osasu’s tweet, he posted, “They beat him, he fell and they throded on him. He lost consciousness was rushed to an ambulance closer to the Ghana dressing for CPR. The entire Ghanaian contingent watched on as resuscitation attempts were made with oxygen mask. He was taken …

DeMar DeRozan stays hot, leads Bulls over Spurs

DeMar DeRozan poured in 40 points and continued his historic scoring run as the Chicago Bulls outlasted the visiting San Antonio Spurs 120-109 on Monday to win their fourth straight game.

The Bulls trailed by six points entering the fourth quarter but then DeRozan took charge, scoring 11 of Chicago’s next 13 points to give the Bulls the lead. The Bulls never trailed again, as DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic dominated the stretch.

San Antonio had two huge turnovers on successive possessions down by four points in the final 1:53 to hamper its comeback attempt.

 

DeRozan has scored 30 or more points in seven consecutive games (improving on a career-high) and established a franchise record with his sixth straight game of at least 35 points, supplanting the mark set by Michael Jordan in the 1996-97 campaign.

 

Vucevic added 25 points and 16 rebounds in the win, with Coby White scoring 24 points and Ayo Dosunmu hitting for 12. Chicago got just 12 points from its bench but shot 52.3 percent from the floor and earned a 58-41 edge on the boards.

 

Lonnie Walker IV led San Antonio with 21 points off the bench. Doug McDermott and Dejounte Murray added 19 points each – Murray also had 11 assists — and Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl scored 13 apiece for the Spurs.

 

The Bulls led 29-27 after a back-and-forth first period as Vucevic (12 points) and White (11) combined for all but six of Chicago’s points.

 

San Antonio swept to the front at 34-29 by scoring the first five points of the second period, after which there were nine lead changes and five tied scores before DeRozan’s two free throws with 48.1 seconds left in the quarter gave the Bulls a 59-57 advantage at the break.

 

White led all scorers with 16 points in the half with DeRozan and Vucevic adding 15 each for Chicago over the first 24 minutes of play. McDermott paced the Spurs with 14 points while Walker IV had 11 and Murray …

Senegal win Africa Cup of Nations for first time in history

The first Africa Cup of Nations to be played in Cameroon since 1972 sees plenty of stars colliding, and the final is going to be epic.

Liverpool stars Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will do battle as they try to lead their respective nations to glory.

A tournament ripe with Premier League players and prospects holds sway over an entire continent for nearly a month with the final coming set to be sensational.

Burkina Faso have been the surprise story of the tournament but Sadio Mane’s Senegal but them in the first semifinal. Hosts Cameroon then lost to Mohamed Salah’s Egypt in the other semi.

There has not been a repeat winner or finalist at AFCON since Egypt won at home in 2006 before claiming the 2008 tournament title in Ghana and the 2010 edition in Angola.

Algeria beat Senegal 1-0 in 2019 to triumph in Egypt and become the seventh nation to win multiple AFCONs, following Democratic Republic of Congo (1968, 1974), Ivory Coast (1992, 2015), Nigeria (1980, 1994, 2013), Ghana (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982), Cameroon (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, 2017), and Egypt (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010).

Below you’ll find the tables, schedules, how to watch Africa Cup of Nations live info, and outright odds for the winner.

January 2022 transfer window done deals ( EPL )

See all the done deals from the Premier League

 

Ins

Dele Alli – Tottenham to Everton, £40m

 

Christian Eriksen – Unattached to Brentford, free

Wout Weghorst – Wolfsburg to Burnley, £12m

Julian Alvarez – River Plate to Manchester City – £14m

Rodrigo Bentancur – Juventus to Tottenham, £21.5m

Dejan Kulusevski – Juventus to Tottenham, loan

Matt Targett – Aston Villa to Newcastle, loan

Deniz Undav – Royale Union Saint-Gilloise to Brighton – £6m

Donny van de Beek – Manchester United to Everton, loan

Auston Trusty – Colorado Rapids to Arsenal, undisclosed (starts on July 17)

Benicio Baker-Boaitey – Porto to Brighton, loan

Jean-Philippe Mateta – Mainz 05 to Crystal Palace, undisclosed

Amani Richards – Arsenal to Leicester, undisclosed

Dan Burn – Brighton to Newcastle, £13m

Luke Plange – Derby to Crystal Palace, £1m

Billy Crellin – Fleetwood Town to Everton

 

 …

Salah inspires Pharaohs to AFCON 2022 semi-finals with goal and assist

MO SALAH’s Egypt side are through to the AFCON 2022 semi-finals thanks to a 2-1 win over Morocco in the last eight.

Salah scored and assisted a late goal in extra-time to put his team one win away from this year’s finale in Yaounde.

The Pharaoh’s bid to reclaim AFCON silverware continues as they scrape past Morocco in a tight last-8 affair.

Egyptian supporters feared the worst when Moroccan forward Sofiane Boufal converted a penalty within the first minutes courtesy of Aymen Ashraf’s reckless challenge in the box.

But Egyptian captain Mo Salah put the nation on his shoulders, scored the equalizer with 53 minutes gone on the clock and provided an assist for super sub Trezeguet five minutes into extra time.

What could be fascinating is that Egypt could meet Senegal in the final which would mean Liverpool teammates Mo Salah and Sadio Mane going at it for a trophy.

It wasn’t even up for a debate due to how influential this man was during large periods of the match.

Mighty Mo Salah single handedly picked his team up when they were in the gutter, put them back on level terms and set up Trezeguet to grab the winner.

This is why Egyptian head coach Carlos Queiroz named him captain of the squad and if Jordan Henderson at Liverpool isn’t careful, the Egyptian wizard could take that armband off him too.

Phenomenal performance from Salah this evening and he is now two games away from finally clinching AFCON silverware.

Other than Nigeria with 14, no nation has made it to the semi-final stage more times than Egypt (13) since data was recorded.

And on 7 of those occasions, the Pharaohs have gone on to win the entire tournament.

If they can overcome Cameroon in the last four, Carlos Queiroz’ men will certainly fancy their chances to make it number 8.

So with the Egyptians getting the better of Morocco, they will face hosts and 5x AFCON winners, Cameroon in the semi-final.

Providing there are no last minute altercations, the …

Nigeria’s deficiencies exposed by Tunisia in stunning AFCON upset

Outfoxed, out-thought, outcoached.

It is hard not to use those words after watching a depleted Tunisia produce a stunning 1-0 upset to knock Nigeria out of the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday night in Garoua.

The defeat means Nigeria — who have made more AFCON semifinal appearances than any other country — have failed to make the final four for the first time since 2008, when they were eliminated in the quarterfinal of a 16-team tournament by hosts Ghana.

Shorn of a third of their team, and without their coach, the Carthage Eagles still contrived to put up a fighting performance to peg back the rampaging Nigerians, going toe to toe with the Super Eagles until Youssef Msakni struck in the second half, beating Maduka Okoye from range for the only goal of the game.

Stunned, the Nigerians tried to respond, and coach Augustine Eguavoen threw on the first of four subs, among them Everton’s Alex Iwobi. But the midfielder lasted just five minutes before he was sent off for a dangerous tackle, compromising Nigeria’s chances of advancement and handing Tunisia the win.

It all came down to preparation and tactics.

Despite their excellent form in the group stages where they won three of three, the Super Eagles always looked vulnerable in the middle, where Joseph Aribo’s license to roam meant that Wilfred Ndidi was usually the lone body shielding the back four.

The set up meant that Eguavoen’s men were vulnerable in transitions, despite their speed and trickery out in the wide areas where Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze provided danger. It was a loophole that Tunisia exploited to the max.

Nigeria’s wide players were blunted by a double team, especially on Simon, and Ellyes Skhiri dropping into the defense, nullified Nigeria’s press as the Tunisians tried to overload the middle.

It was clear the north Africans had done their homework.

“We know Nigeria are very strong and very fast in the wings,” assistant coach Jalel Kadri said at the post-match press conference. “Today we came up with …

Diogo Jota brace fires Liverpool past Arsenal and into Carabao Cup final to face Chelsea

A match that finally took place, but there was no actual contest. Arsenal, it could be argued, still didn’t really play.

Liverpool reached a fifth cup final of Jurgen Klopp’s time, and the first in this competition in six years, by comfortably beating Mikel Arteta’s side 2-0 in the League Cup semi-final second leg. This one wasn’t about false positives but false advertising. It just wasn’t the game that was billed, and certainly didn’t live up the enjoyable chaos that the competition’s semi-finals often offer.

Arteta’s side clearly have so much promise but also some way to go, as they lost another big game. Liverpool, and especially Diogo Jota, were just too good for them. There was almost an inevitability about that given all the ructions of the last week and how the north London derby was postponed. Arsenal could point to a stretched squad and how Thomas Partey came on just hours after arriving back from the African Cup of Nations, only to be sent off in the aimless final minutes.

That ended up being indicative in another way, as it summed up how Arsenal were always stretching to try and bridge the gap to Liverpool, but Klopp’s side were too good.

A side without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane just showed Arsenal how it’s done, giving a semi-final occasionally clouded by an acrimonious atmosphere a muted finish.

Perhaps the only question from the entire game was whether Jota intended the finish that effectively settled the contest, or mishit it. It is someway irrelevant to the game, given the end result was a goal either way, but it was a rare moment when Aaron Ramsdale looked culpable.

It’s possible he was unsighted, as Jota weaved his way towards the Arsenal box until he had a mass of bodies diving in from all angles.

Jota went for the finish, hitting a shot low to the right that almost trickled in. Ramsdale had been completely wrong-footed.

Such a slow shot similarly took some of the pace out of the game. Arsenal’s …

Nigeria Top Group after win against Guinea Bissau

After making eight changes to the side that beat Sudan to seal their last-16 place, Nigeria took time to warm up.

Umar Sadiq opened the scoring shortly after the break following a cross from striker partner Kelechi Iheanacho.

Captain William Troost-Ekong sealed the win after tapping into an empty net after fine work by Moses Simon.

Three-time champions Nigeria had already topped Group D and knew their round of 16 clash on Sunday would be in Garoua, where they have played all their games so far.

They will have to wait until Thursday night to find out which of the best third-placed sides they face from either Group B, E or F.

Guinea-Bissau, meanwhile, have now gone over seven Nations Cup games without a goal, last scoring in their second match of the 2017 finals when they made their tournament bow.

Super Eagles soar in Garoua

Nigeria coach Augustine Eguavoen – who has made light of replacing Germany’s Gernot Rohr a month before the tournament – had the luxury of being able to rest players after his side’s fine start to the tournament, retaining only Iheanacho, Troost-Ekong and Wilfred Ndidi.

Defender Semi Ajayi was among those coming into the side and he almost opened the scoring when heading a free-kick over from close range, with Eguavoen holding his head in his hands at the wasted chance.

After Guinea-Bissau’s Maurice Gomis almost spilled an off-target Iheanacho shot into his own net, the Super Eagles finally took the lead when the Leicester City forward laid it on a plate for Almeria forward Sadiq to tap in at the far post.

Guinea-Bissau rallied shortly after when an on-target free-kick from Fali Cande was deflected behind by Troost-Ekong’s arm, with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) overlooking the incident.

But the VAR referee was heavily involved just moments later when Troost-Ekong side-footed into an empty net after Simon’s blistering strike, after a jinking run past three players, crashed back off the underside of the bar to the Watford man.

Kenyan referee Peter Waweru pointed for

Ghana can’t overcome red card, sent out of AFCON by Comoros

One moment of madness ended an African power’s chances at the 2021 AFCON.

Andre Ayew’s sliding boot to the face of Comoros keeper Salim Ben Boina went from a yellow card offense to a straight red after Video Assistant Referee review, giving Ghana a huge mountain to climb after just 25 minutes of their group stage finale.

The Black Stars were already down 1-0 when Ayew went charging after Ben Boina’s fumbled rebound only to see Ben Boina collect the ball and his wild kick connect with the keeper’s face.

Comoros, the 132nd ranked team in FIFA’s men’s rankings, still had a fight on its hands against the 10-man Black Stars (No. 52).

Ghana needed a point to reach the knockout rounds and Comoros had lost to Gabon and Morocco. The match reached halftime 1-0 before Comoros’ El Fardou Ben added an assist to his early goal.

That wasn’t it for valiant Ghana, as Richmond Boakye and Alexander Djiku scored, the latter assisted by Arsenal’s Thomas Partey, to level it at 2-2 for the 10-men Black Stars. But Ahmed Mogni, the author of Comoros’ second goal, struck in the 85th minute to send Ghana crashing out of the competition and several teams into the knockout rounds with four points as Comoros’ three is currently the fourth-best third-place point total.…

Egypt vs. Nigeria result: Super Eagles win 1-0 Against Egypt

The second true heavyweight match of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations saw Nigeria take firm control of Group D with a 1-0 victory over Mohamed Salah and Egypt.

After Monday’s game between Morocco and Ghana saw the Atlas Lions come away with a 1-0 victory, we were treated to another matchup of expected title contenders, and the result showed one side is far more prepared to push for the crown than the other.

Liverpool superstar Salah was entirely locked down, with little to show for his 90-minute effort as Nigeria smothered the Egyptian playmaker. Kelechi Iheanacho’s early goal proved the difference as Nigeria fended off a late Pharoahs push to claim all three points. Both teams are expected to progress from Group D despite today’s result, but Nigeria’s victory sets the Super Eagles up nicely for a better Round of 16 matchup and a deep run deep in the tournament, while Egypt will feel added pressure in its other group stage matches against Guinea-Bissau and Sudan.

See Highlights of the Game Below ;

Sofiane Boufal scores late winner as Ghana lose opening clash in AFCON

Morocco’s Sofiane Boufal seized on a loose ball to score seven minutes from time and secure a 1-0 win over Ghana in their opening Group C match at the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday.

Boufal hammered home from close range after a mazy run into the penalty area from Zakaria Aboukhlal that saw him tease the Ghana defence, only to be checked by Thomas Partey, with the ball then running perfectly for Boufal to score.

The goal came from a rare chance in a game where both sides showed defensive prowess but did little to impress in attack.  Both countries are looking to end a long wait for success in the continental championship but showed little early sign of making an impact at the tournament in Cameroon, admittedly after disrupted preparations.

Boufal’s goal did open up a cagey affair and Morocco had two more decent chances as captain Romain Saiss headed wide after an 87th minute free kick and then in stoppage time Ghana’s keeper Joe Wollacott stopped a blistering shot.

Until then, there had only been two opportunities for Ghana.

Joseph Paintsil hit a goal-bound shot towards the top corner in the 70th minute only for Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou to turn the effort around the post.

Ghana also had a good set-piece opportunity in the 31st minute but Partey fired his free kick over the bar.

The victory extended to 10 matches Morocco’s winning streak, including all six World Cup qualifiers played between September and November.…

McTominay goal ousts Villans

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be grinning sardonically after Manchester United’s Fred and Scott McTominay teamed up for the only goal of a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in an FA Cup tie at Old Trafford on Monday.

The much-maligned defensive midfield pair connected for a precision goal early in the match when Fred cut onto his left foot and pinged an arrow into the heart of the box.

Steven Gerrard’s Villans equalized twice but saw both goals taken off the board by VAR.

McTominay doesn’t mind going to the gritty areas to find the ball and earned another big goal in his young career.

The Red Devils put 9 of their 13 shots on target but only found the McTominay goal, and Villa had 57 percent possession in registering 10 shots of their own.

United completes the fourth-round field and will host Middlesbrough between Feb. 4-7.