Nigerian reps receive tough CAF Champions League draws
The draws for the 2017 CAF CL were done yesterday and it produced mixed fortunes for Nigerian sides but overall the feeling is that there are some tough times ahead for the NPFL sides.
Champions Rangers FC face an uphill task, first off they take on Algerian side JS Saoura in the preliminary rounds and if the two-legged tie ends in their favor they will then have another two-legged bout against last year’s finalists Zamalek of Egypt.
Similarly Rivers United received seasoned competitors AS Real de Bamako. If they hurdle the Malian side a 1st round tie against Sudanese giants El Merreikh or Sony Ela Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.
Wikki Tourists perhaps got the most favorable draw, they’ll take on Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces FC for a chance at the 1st round where they would then face Tunisian side Club Africain.
FC Ifeanyi has been handed a banana peel in the form of Egyptian heavyweights Al-Masry and should they come away from that challenge they still have to overcome Malian side FC Djoliba.
Leipzig suffer a rude awakening in Munich
The Leipzig bubble was punctured in thirty first-half minutes at the Allianz Arena in Munich. Goals from Thiago Alcantara and Xabi Alonso gave the Bavarian side a healthy lead but a red card for a rash tackle of Philip Lahm made it practically unassailable for the newly promoted side.
However, a loss to Bayern cannot be the stick with which the season is measured for Leipzig, being three points off the pace at the top in your first season is remarkable work and they could yet pull off the unexpected and win it but if they do not a Champions League place is surely more than they expected going into the season.
Liverpool’s Joel Matip and 6 other Cameroonian players opt out of AFCON
Cameroon’s outing at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations took a massive hit yesterday as seven of their players declined to represent the country at the showpiece in Gabon which kicks off in January.
The players had been named in a 35-man preliminary squad with a final 23-man list expected next week but they preempted the trimming by excusing themselves.
The players include Allan Nyom (West Brom), Joel Matip (Liverpool), Andre Onana (Ajax Amsterdam), Guy N’dy Assembe (Nancy).
Others are, Maxime Poundje (Girondins Bordeaux), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Olympique Marseille) and Ibrahim Amadou (Lille). Cameroon is drawn in Group A with the hosts Gabon, Burkina Faso, and Guinea-Bissau.
Nigerian topscorer Godwin Obaje seals a move to Etoile du Sahel
Nigerian Professional Football League top scorer Godwin Obaje of Wikki Tourists has sealed a move to Tunisian top flight side Etoile du Sahel. The 19-year old striker whose proposed move to Russian side Spartak Moscow fell through last month expressed his delight at finalizing the deal and will be looking to make an immediate impact with the side who currently sit second in the Tunisian Ligue 1.
Etoile du Sahel appear to be trying for another NPFL player; the Player of the year for last season Chisom Egbuchulam but his team Rangers FC say they are not interested in relinquishing the midfielder’s services.
Inter lay down marker in their pursuit of UCL return
Inter Milan and Mauro Icardi laid down a marker with a three nil mauling of Lazio at the San Siro last night. The Argentinean wrapped up the win with two well-taken second-half goals after his compatriot Ever Banega had opened the scoring.
The Nerrazuri came into the match seven points behind the night’s opponent and were in dire need of a win to stay in touch as they fight to secure a return to the Champions league next season. After a couple of scares from Ciro Immobile and Felipe Anderson, they struck in ruthless fashion in the second half scoring two goals in the space of two minutes to puncture the Lazio resistance.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 22, 2016