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Rohr: Eagles Will Play To Beat Under-Pressure Bafana, It’s Long-Awaited Match

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Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr hopes his side will put an end to Bafana Bafana clean-sheet streak in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series and will also seek to avenge their only defeat to African opposition in his reign.

Rohr is relishing coming up against Bafana and has noted the motivating factors ahead of the much-anticipated clash at the FNB Stadium.


Musa Targets Three Points Against Bafana Bafana

Super Eagles arrived in Johannesburg in the early hours of Friday morning, much to the discontent of the German tactician as he redirected questions on the reasons for late arrival to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

“This question you have to ask to NFF. It was not my desire to come so late and to spend all night on the plane, with a stopover in Luanda,” bemoaned Rohr during his interaction with the media.

“So, yes, we wanted to come here earlier, but you know sometimes it’s not the coach who can decide. We have to accept the decision of the federation.”

However, Rohr insists that the Eagles are fired up for the encounter as they seek to revenge for their 2-0 opening round defeat in Uyo in June last year.

“We’ve been waiting for this match for one and a half years, and it’s a long time but it is still on our minds. We would like to get a better result now,” he said.

“South Africa are under pressure because if they don’t win, they are not guaranteed qualification. Their last game is depending, of course, on Libya – who has a good team too.”

Another particular point the former Burkina Faso, Niger and Gabon mentor is looking to exploit is Bafana’s record of having yet to concede in four games in the campaign thus far.

“I’ve noted South Africa haven’t conceded any goals, so we would like to be the first team to score a goal against them,” he added.


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“We’re coming here not to play for a draw, which could be enough already for us to qualify, but to try and win. We have wonderful conditions to play in, so the players will enjoy it.”

Rohr also downplays the absence of several Eagles’ key players, including top goal scorer Odion Ighalo, and is confident those called up to replace them will get the job done.

“We have the youngest team in Africa at the moment – even younger now because some experienced players are not here,” said the 65-year-old.

“We are missing four important players – the goalkeeper; our best goal scorer, one of our best midfielders [Wilfred] Ndidi and Shehu [Abdullahi] the right-back is not here.

“But I think the other players will do well and we have a good chance to make a good match.”



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SPORTS

Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

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Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

Former Super Eagles player and Nigerian Football Ambassador, Daniel Amokachi, has been appointed as Special Assistant on Sports to President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I am pleased to inform you that Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has approved your appointment as Special Assistant on Sports,” the appointment letter dated August 17, 2020, and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha, reads in part.

As special assistant on sports, Amokachi is expected to advise the President on all sports matters.

The former Everton of England forward, who was earlier in the year named Nigeria’s Football Ambassador, is expected to mentor youngsters and promote the game at the grassroots.

Nicknamed “The Bull”, Amokachi began his career in Kaduna with Ranchers Bees Football Club of Kaduna, played for Club Brugge of Belgium, Besiktas of Turkey, Everton of England and Colorado Rapids.

He played in two World Cup finals, USA 1994 and France 1998. He was a member of Nigeria’s 1994 African Cup of Nations winning team and won the 2013 edition in South Africa as assistant to the late Coach Stephen Keshi.

Amockachi also won Gold with team Nigeria in the Football event of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

Novak Djokovic confirmed on Thursday he will play at the US Open, ending speculation about his presence at the first Grand Slam tournament since the season restarted following the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

“I’m happy to confirm that I’ll participate at #CincyTennis and #USOpen this year,” the 33-year-old world number one tweeted.

“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited,” added the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

The US Open gets underway behind closed doors in New York on Monday August 31, with Djokovic arriving in the United States on Saturday to tune up in the Western and Southern Open, which is normally played in Cincinnati but has been moved to New York this year.

His decision to take part is a major boost for the US Open after a host of headline names pulled out.

Djokovic makes his competitive return after being heavily criticized for hosting a charity tennis event in the Balkans in June at which he and a raft of players tested positive for COVID-19.

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) is pondering a move to retire the Super Eagles No.6 jersey previously worn by the late Sam Okwaraji, The PUNCH reports.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick made this known during an interview on a radio programme Sports Salsa, which was aired on Kennis 104.1 FM on Wednesday.

Okwaraji died of congestive heart failure minutes after he slumped during a 1990 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola on August 12, 1989, inside the main-bowl of the National Stadium, Lagos.

The game ended 1-0 in favour of the Eagles.

“Someone made a proposal about retiring the jersey (No.6) at the start of the year and I think it is not too much for us to do that,” Pinnick said.

“I will forward the proposal to the executive committee for implementation because it has been said already. So, we will see how we can retire that shirt in honour of a great patriot (Samuel) Okwaraji.

“His (Okwaraji) death was very tragic because he was a player who showed dexterity, professionalism and maturity each time he played for the Eagles.”

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