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Nigeria qualify for 2024 FIFA U20 World Cup

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Nigeria’s U20 girls, Falconets, have earned a place at this year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals after a goal by Opeyemi Ajakaye eventually brought down hard-fighting Burundi in a final round, second leg encounter at the MKO Abiola National Stadium on Saturday evening.

This tallied to a 2-0 aggregate victory for Nigeria in the final round of the qualifying race in Africa.

The Falconets had won the first leg 1-0 in Dar es Salaam six days ago.

As was the case in the first leg in Dar es Salaam, the Nigerian girls created opportunity after opportunity, but failed to put them away to make their vast superiority count. As early as the 2nd minute, Opeyemi Ajakaye, who was top scorer for the FIFA U17 World Cup bronze-winning Flamingos two years ago, volleyed wide when it appeared easier to score.

In the quarter-hour, Chiamaka Okwuchukwu swung the ball into the visitors’ box from the wing, but the team’s leading scorer Janet Akekoromowei failed to convert the opportunity. It was Okwuchukwu’s turn to miss in the 34th minute, when she could not convert a pull-out by Ajakaye.

Eight minutes after the restart, Ajakaye went on a solo run into the visitors’ eighteen-yard box, only to end with a weak shot that was easily collected by goalkeeper Amissa Inarukundo.

The deadlock was broken in the 78th minute by Ajakaye, who made hay with an assist by Akekoromowei. Ajakaye scored again in the 90th minute but the goal did not stand. The result put the Falconets through to the final tournament in Colombia later this year.

READ ALSO  Athletic president: We don't need to sell Williams

Nigeria has been an ever-present at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, since it was launched as an U19 tournament in Canada 22 years ago, finishing as runners-up in 2010 and 2014, and reaching the semi-finals in Japan in 2012.

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Euro 2024: UEFA told to ‘blacklist’ referee Zwayer after England’s win over Netherlands

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UEFA told to ‘blacklist’ referee Zwayer after England’s win over Netherlands

Former Netherlands striker, Pierre van Hooijdonk has called on UEFA to ‘blacklist’ referee, Felix Zwayer following England’s recent Euro 2024 semi-final win over Netherlands.

England will face Spain in the Euro 2024 final on Sunday in Berlin after Ollie Watkins’ 90th minute winner sealed a 2-1 victory for Gareth Southgate’s side.

The Three Lions were gifted a penalty in the first half of the match when Denzel Dumfries attempted to block Harry Kane’s shot, judged to have clipped the England captain in the process.

A VAR review resulted in referee Zwayer overturning his original decision and awarded England a penalty which Kane converted.

However, Van Hooijdonk wants Zwayer to be banned from major matches in the future.

“They [England] can thank Felix Zwayer. He really needs to be blacklisted. Terrible,” van Hooijdonk told NOS.

“Also in the second half. A duel with Cody Gakpo where he simply blew his whistle again, ten meters from the linesman. Those are moments that were crucial in this match.”

He added, “We can talk about it at length, but if you’re going to award a penalty for this. Then you could end up with eight of them on the spot in the final. Really terrible.”

 

READ ALSO  Man Utd agree deal for Zirkzee
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Van de Beek joins Girona from Man Utd

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Van de Beek joins Girona from Man Utd

Donny van de Beek has completed a permanent move to LaLiga side Girona from Manchester United.

The Dutchman struggled in his four years at Old Trafford after he moved to the club from Ajax in a £39m deal in September 2020.

Man Utd are understood to have received a fixed fee of £500k from Girona for the 27-year-old, while bonuses could increase this to an eventual £7.6m (€9.1m), as well as a sizeable share of any sell-on.

Van de Beek made 62 appearances for Man Utd in all competitions and scored just twice.

Source: Sky Sport

READ ALSO  Athletic president: We don't need to sell Williams
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Athletic president: We don’t need to sell Williams

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Athletic president: We don't need to sell Williams

Athletic Bilbao’s president has hit out at the “bombardment” of transfer questions made to Nico Williams, adding the Spanish club can safely keep players such as the Spanish winger.

Williams has shone for Spain at Euro 2024 but has faced lots of speculation over his future at Athletic.

“Nico is a footballer very committed to Athletic Club, who has been subjected to an excessive and uncontrolled bombardment of questions while at the Euro Cup. The Spanish Federation has not known how to protect him,” said Athletic president Jon Uriarte.

“Athletic aims for the maximum, without limits,” he added. “We are showing that we have a winning project for footballers and coaches.

“We have renewed the contracts of players who are playing in the Euro Cup, such as Unai Simón or Dani Vivian, and coveted players such as Benat Prados, Oihan Sancet, Julen Aggirezabala or Aitor Paredes have also signed for several seasons, to give some examples.

“Athletic Club is economically, socially and sportingly capable of keeping footballers of the calibre of those named in its structure, including Nico Williams.”

Source: Sky Sport

READ ALSO  Van de Beek joins Girona from Man Utd
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Man Utd agree deal for Zirkzee

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Man Utd agree deal for Zirkzee

Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Bologna forward Joshua Zirkzee.

The fee is understood to be just over £35m (€42.5m) – above the £33.6m (€40m) release clause.

However, it is in exchange for more favorable payment terms.

It means United will not pay a lump sum up-front but pay over a three-year period.

Personal terms are agreed.

Zirkzee is expected to have a medical this week before signing a five-year contract with the option of a further year.

Source: Sky Sport

READ ALSO  Euro 2024: UEFA told to ‘blacklist’ referee Zwayer after England’s win over Netherlands
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Chelsea not interested in signing Olmo

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Chelsea not interested in signing Olmo

Chelsea have no interest in triggering Dani Olmo’s release clause at RB Leipzig.

The club are happy with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Christopher Nkunku and Cole Palmer as attacking-midfield options, Sky Sports News understands.

Olmo’s £50m release clause at the German club reportedly expires next week.

He has been sensational for Spain during their march to the Euro 2024 final, scoring in the semi-final victory over France last night.

Source: Sky Sport

READ ALSO  Euro 2024: UEFA told to ‘blacklist’ referee Zwayer after England’s win over Netherlands
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Darwin Núñez, Uruguay players jump in stands after Copa loss

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Darwin Núñez, Uruguay players jump in stands after Copa loss

Darwin Núñez and about a dozen Uruguay teammates went into the stands as fans brawled at Bank of America Stadium following Uruguay’s 1-0 loss to Colombia in a Copa América semifinal on Wednesday night before security personnel stepped in to restore order.

After Colombia sealed a 1-0 victory in Charlotte, North Carolina, videos on social media showed Uruguay players climbing into the stands and exchanging blows with opposition fans.

South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL, which organizes the Copa, said it is investigating the incident and issued the following statement after the game: “CONMEBOL strongly condemns any act of violence that affects football.

“Our work is based on the conviction that soccer connects and unites us through its positive values.”

Uruguay’s Nunez and Ronald Araujo were among the players at the forefront of the melee. Captain Jose Maria Gimenez said the players were trying to defend their families.

“Let me say something before they cut you off because they won’t let us speak into the microphone, they don’t want me to say anything about what’s going on but this is a disaster,” Gimenez said on the official broadcast. “Please be careful, our families are in the stands, there are little newborn babies. It was a disaster; there was no police and we had to defend our families.

“This is the fault of two or three people who had a few too many drinks and don’t know how to drink.”

Players and staff from both Colombia and Uruguay were also involved in a confrontation on the field after the final whistle.

READ ALSO  Man Utd agree deal for Zirkzee

“I thought that the incident ended with some argument on the midfield and when I saw that happening I went to the locker room,” Uruguay coach Marcelo Bielsa said in a press conference.

“I thought that they were thanking the fans for their support. But then I learned that there were some problems over there unfortunately.”

Jefferson Lerma’s first-half header gave Colombia a place in Sunday’s final against Argentina. Uruguay will play Canada in the third-place playoff.

Source: ESPN

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