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Nigeria Plays Tunisia Today In Friendly Match

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Three days after falling 0-1 to current African champions, Desert Foxes of Algeria, in a friendly match, the Super Eagles will again face another tricky tie, this time, against Tunisia in Austria.

Today’s big game at the Jacques Lemans Arena in the Austrian city of St. Veit an der Glan, is coming about 14 months after the Gernot Rohr-led Eagles defeated the Carthage Eagles in their bronze medal match at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo. The event was the Egypt 2019 African Cup of Nations.

NFF officials confirmed yesterday that a fresh round of COVID-19 tests was conducted on Eagles players and coaches yesterday. On Friday, the entire Nigerian contingent of players and officials returned COVID-19 negative results after tests conducted on Thursday, ahead of the clash with African champions, Algeria.

Friday’s match against Algeria saw Ramy Bensebaini reacting fastest to the ball in the box from a corner kick to poke the ball behind goalkeeper Maduka Okoye.
Many Nigerian fans went to bed in disappointment, as the Super Eagles failed to level up the early minute goal scored in the sixth minute of the match.

But Coach Rohr and the players say they have put behind them the disappointment of losing a second match in a row to Algeria. He has challenged the squad to up the ante and show vibrancy, especially in attack against the 2004 African champions in today’s match.

“We definitely must put up greater effort against the Tunisians. It is an opportunity for some of the players to rise up to the occasion, stake a claim. They are ready to go and I believe we will see a much better game on Tuesday (today).”

Nigeria capped four new players against Algeria, with midfield dependable Wilfred Ndidi, Joseph Ayodele-Aribo and Oghenekaro Etebo, as well as forward Victor Osimhen unavailable.

In their absence, Rohr had to start first-cap Frank Onyeka alongside Alex Iwobi and defender Oluwasemilogo Ajayi in midfield, with Paul Onuachu as the lone striker.

In a match that also saw wing back Zaidu Sanusi, centre-back Kevin Akpoguna and midfielder Samson Tijani also earning their first senior caps, the Eagles huffed and puffed and strove hard to find cohesion and some sort of solidity, but failed to match the mentality and organisation of the Fennecs.

Today, the three-time African champions must be at their best against a motivated Carthage Eagles, who thumped Sudan 3-0 in Tunis on Friday.

All 24 players in camp were involved in yesterday evening’s training session, and are available for selection. Goalkeepers Dele Alampasu and Matthew Yakubu, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Chidozie Awaziem, Olaoluwa Aina and Jamilu Collins and forwards Cyril Dessers and Chidera Ejuke were not part of the run-out with Algeria and could be considered for action this night.

Tunisia have not beaten Nigeria in a competitive game since the 2004 AFCON that they hosted, when they edged the Super Eagles in a penalty shoot-out after both teams tied 1-1 in regulation and extra time at the Stade Olympique in Rades, outside Tunis.

Matches between Nigeria and Tunisia have always been supercharged, the 2004 encounter no less so. After Jay Jay Okocha gave Nigeria the lead from the spot, Tunisia restored parity with only eight minutes left, Khaled Badra also poking in from the spot. Osaze Odemwingie missed during the shoot-out and the Eagles had to be content with the bronze medal after beating Mali. Tunisia went on to defeat Morocco in the final for their only continental title so far.

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Former Senegalese Footballer, Papa Diop Dies At 42

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By Agency Report

Former Senegalese International, Papa Bouba Diop has died at the age of 42, according to reports. Canal+. The former Fulham and Portsmouth midfielder passed away following a long illness.

Diop also represented West Ham and Birmingham in England, as well as winning 63 caps for his country Senegal.

Diop retired from professional football in 2013 after leaving Birmingham.

He started his career at Senegalese club ASC Diaraf in 1996 and had spells in Switzerland with Vevey, Neuchatel Xamax and Grasshoppers.

Diop moved to France to play for Lens in 2002 before he joined Fulham in 2004.

He spent three years at Craven Cottage, scoring nine goals in 84 appearances, before his switch to Portsmouth in 2007.

He was part of the Pompey side that won the 2008 FA Cup, coming on as a 78th minute substitute in the 1-0 win over Cardiff.

Diop played 72 times for Portsmouth before leaving to join AEK Athens.

He only had a brief spell at AEK between 2010 and 2011 before moving back to England with West Ham in 2011.

Diop’s international career began in 2001 and he played for his country at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

He will be remembered for scoring the goal to beat defending champions France 1-0 in the first game of the tournament.

Tributes have flooded in for the former midfielder.

Lens posted a message on their Twitter account shortly after the news of Diop’s death.

The tweet read: “It is with great sadness that Racing Club de Lens has just learned of the disappearance of its former player Papa Bouba Diop, at the age of 42.

“We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones.”

Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: “How terribly sad. Taken so young. RIP Papa Bouba Diop.”

(SOURCE: Express UK)

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Maradona No Longer Wanted To Live, Says Manager

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Agency Reporter

Diego Armando Maradona’s manager and friend, Stefano Ceci, said the legend ‘was tired and let himself die’ while the family around him was ‘tearing each other’s hair out.’
The Napoli and Argentina icon died on Wednesday at the age of 60 after numerous health problems and addictions that ravaged his life and career.
“There’s an investigation into Diego’s death and people now point the finger at what could’ve been done, but that’s a concept that should be extended to his entire life,” manager Stefano Ceci told Radio Kiss Kiss.
“Diego was always alone: people only ever thought about Maradona. Diego stopped being Diego when he turned 17. He was very difficult to deal with as a person, because he was fragile, full of insecurities, humble and good-natured. I have 20 years of wonderful memories.
“Recently he was letting himself go, physically and mentally. I think he was tired and let himself die, he no longer really wanted to live.
“The family chaos that surrounded Diego meant he never had real peace. Even now that he’s dead, they are still tearing each other’s hair out.
“At least now he can be with those he loved the most, his mother and father. Now Diego is in peace.”
Maradona was buried next to his parents in Buenos Aires.

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Football Legend, Maradona Is Dead 

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Football legend Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60 as a result of cardiac arrest.
He recently underwent an operation to remove a blood clot on his brain on October 30.
Mirror reports that the Gimnasia boss fell unwell after his side beat Patronato 3-0 and was taken to hospital in La Plata, near the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.
Scans discovered a subdural hemetoma, requiring Maradona to undergo immediate surgery to remove the problem before being sent home to continue his recovery.
Reports in Argentina say Maradona was showing signs of recovery, but the 60-year-old then suffered a cardiac arrest and has passed away.
A tweet by the Argentine Football Association through its President Claudio Tapia, expressed its deepest pain at Maradona’s death saying he will always be in their hearts.
Gary Lineker referred to Maradona as “arguably the greatest of all time”.
Lineker tweeted: “By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God.”

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