Captain John Obi Mikel retired from international career

Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel on Thursday called time on his international football career after helping the Super Eagles to third place at the Africa Cup of Nations.

“At the age of 32 it’s time for me to retire from the national team and let the youth take over, who’ve done an amazing job securing a bronze medal at Afcon 2019,” the former Chelsea midfielder announced on social media.

“Egypt is a country where I’ve started and have finished my national career. In 2006 I played my first official championship for my country.

“The 2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for national team with Super Eagles.” Place Bet on Live Events 24/7

Mikel won 89 caps and scored six goals between 2005 and 2019 for the Super Eagles during which he won a winners’ medal at the 2013 Africa Cup in South Africa.

Continue reading “Captain John Obi Mikel retired from international career”

AFCON Match Preview: Senegal vs Algeria

Algeria have outscored every team in the tournament so far and beat Senegal 1-0 in the group stage.

Senegal have won four straight games since their loss to the Desert Foxes. The Teranga Lions have kept five clean sheets from six games, but will be without star defender Kalidou Koulibaly this weekend.

Algeria are heavy favourites but Senegal cannot be ruled out with Liverpool forward Sadio Mane in their ranks.

Team News

Senegal- Kalidou Koulibaly is suspended for the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and his absence is a huge blow for Senegal. Salif Sané will make his first appearance since Senegal’s opening game of the tournament as a result. Various Betting Options are Available on site for today’s games

Ismaila Sarr could start after an impressive substitute appearance in Sunday’s semi-final victory over Tunisia. Continue reading “AFCON Match Preview: Senegal vs Algeria”

Super Eagles road to the Afcon third-place playoff

Three-time champions Nigeria wished to add a new star on their green jersey, but their campaign was cut short at the semifinal stage.

Now they will play for the bronze against Tunisia on Wednesday at Cairo’s Al Salam Stadium.

Nigeria started their campaign in the Alexandria-based Group B defeating Burundi 1-0. Odion Ighalo scored after 77 minutes to hand the Super Eagles their first three points.

They then defeated Guinea with the same result, with Kenneth Omeruo scoring the game’s lone goal after 73 minutes.

But they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Madagascar in the final group game to finish in second place with six points, one shy of leaders Madagascar. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet

Late Mahrez winner sink Super Eagles to fight for to third place

Riyad Mahrez rifled in a stoppage-time free-kick to earn Algeria a dramatic 2-1 victory over three-time champions Nigeria on Sunday and set up a rematch with Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Algeria led through a first-half own goal by William Troost-Ekong before Nigeria equalised with an Odion Ighalo penalty awarded after a VAR review.

However,as extra  time looked necessary, Mahrez blasted in from 20 yards with the last kick of the match to send the Desert Foxes through to their first final since lifting the trophy for the only time in 1990.

Algeria will take on Sadio Mane’s Senegal for the title on July 19, in a repeat of a group stage clash they won 1-0. Various Odds are available on site for today’s Games

An injury to Youcef Atal, who fractured his collarbone during the quarterfinal win over Ivory Coast on penalties, forced Djamel Belmadi to start Mehdi Zeffane at right-back, while Nigeria fielded the same team that overcame South Africa here.

Continue reading “Late Mahrez winner sink Super Eagles to fight for to third place”

AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs South Africa

Nigeria and South Africa qualified for the last eight following hard-fought wins over holders Cameroon and hosts Egypt, respectively.

The Super Eagles, though, are the team that are favourites to win this one due to their formidable frontline. They have scored five goals in four games while Bafana Bafana have found the back of the net twice.

Nigeria, also have a 6-1 advantage with four draws from 11 previous matches against South Africa. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Team News

Nigeria- Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr is expected to start the same XI that beat Cameroon 3-2 in the thrilling last-16 contest in Alexandria on Saturday.

Right-back Chidozie Awaziem is a booking away from suspension. Continue reading “AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs South Africa”

Egypt must learn from AFCON failure – Salah

Egypt star Mohamed Salah said the team would try to learn from their mistakes after the Africa Cup of Nations hosts suffered an embarrassing last-16 exit.

The Pharaohs were billed as chief title contenders on home soil, having won three of four previous editions as hosts, but crashed out on Saturday following a shock 1-0 loss to South Africa.

The painful defeat came a year on from Egypt’s miserable World Cup campaign – their first appearance at the competition since 1990 – in which they failed to get out of the group stage after losing all of their matches.

“Very sad for our early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations. We were hoping to continue together till the end and offer the tournament for our loyal fans to whom I have to address a big thank you for the support we are used to from them,” Salah tweeted late on Sunday.

Continue reading “Egypt must learn from AFCON failure – Salah”

Derby excused Lampard from pre-season to conclude Chelsea return

Derby County have excused manager Frank Lampard from the start to the Championship club’s pre-season training programme with the former midfielder expected to complete a return to Chelsea this week.

Lampard was last week given permission to speak to the Blues, with whom he won 13 trophies in 13 years as a player at Stamford Bridge.

“Derby County Football Club has excused Frank Lampard from reporting back for pre-season training on Monday and Tuesday to allow his discussions regarding a potential move to Chelsea to be concluded as soon as possible,” Derby said in a statement on Monday. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet 

“On the assumption that Frank will reach an agreement with Chelsea to become their new manager, the club shall step up its efforts to find a replacement manager.”

Continue reading “Derby excused Lampard from pre-season to conclude Chelsea return”

AFCON Match Preview: Madagascar vs Nigeria

Nigeria have qualified but will look to finish top of the group to avoid a stronger opponent in the last 16. They need a point here to secure the top spot in group B.

Madagascar have four points and will qualify for the round of 16 if they avoid defeat against Super Eagles.

Team News

Madagascar- Madagascar earned their first ever win at the Africa Cup of Nations against Burundi after switching from 4-1-4-1 to 4-3-3.

But manager Olivier Niyungeko could revert to the 4-1-4-1 formation to frustrate Nigeria’s attack, as they did in the first game against Guinea. Various Betting Options is available on NaijaBet

Nigeria- Manager Gernot Rohr will likely rotate his starting line-up against Madagascar to give rest to some of his key players, having already sealed qualification for the knockout phase.

Continue reading “AFCON Match Preview: Madagascar vs Nigeria”

AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs Guinea

Nigeria got their campaign off to a winning start against Burundi, but they struggled. That was their easiest match on paper, which means they must improve.

Guinea, on the other hand, drew 2-2 with Madagascar in their group opener and that was supposed to be their least daunting fixture. Now they have to defend against the likes of Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi.

Team News

Nigeria- Gernot Rohr is likely to make changes despite his side winning their opening match against Burundi.

Odion Ighalo, who came off the bench to score the match-winner on Saturday, is expected to start while captain Mikel Obi’s place in the line up is in doubt following a below-par performance on Saturday.  Bet Now on NaijaBet

Full-backs Shehu Abdullahi and Jamilu Collins have been ruled out of the game due to injuries.

Continue reading “AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs Guinea”

Nigeria’s Kalu ‘100% ready’ after collapse for Guinea

Nigeria forward Samuel Kalu, who collapsed during training last week due to severe dehydration, is fully fit to play in Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations game against Guinea, coach Gernot Rohr said on Tuesday.

“The very good news is that Kalu did again yesterday in Cairo an MRI and it is now 100% sure that he is fit and he will be available for the game,” he said.

“He already started training with the team so we are happy about that because everybody was a little bit scared when this happened.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on Naijabet

The Bordeaux player was rushed to hospital Friday suffering from severe dehydration due to severe heat. Temperatures expected to hover between 35 and 38 Celsius (95-100.4 Fahrenheit) over the next month in Egypt.

Continue reading “Nigeria’s Kalu ‘100% ready’ after collapse for Guinea”

Senegal lose Sane for rest of AFCON2019 group stage Fixtures

Giant Senegalese defender Salif Sane will miss at least his team’s next two Africa Cup of Nations matches after hurting his ankle in the 2-0 victory over Tanzania.

The 1.96m centre-back injured his left ankle during Sunday’s Group C opener in Cairo and will miss “between 10 and 15 days” with a sprained ligament, the Senegalese FA said Monday.

Sane, who was expected to partner Napoli standout Kalidou Koulibaly in a strong Senegalese defence, will miss Thursday’s heavyweight clash with Algeria as well as the July 1 meeting with Kenya.

Senegal will however be boosted by the return of star forward Sadio Mane, who was suspended for the opener after picking up a one-match ban during qualifying. Various AFCON betting options are available on site.

Koulibaly, reportedly coveted by a number of Europe’s top sides, said Sunday he wasn’t prepared to talk about his Napoli future with Senegal attempting to win the tournament for the first time.

Continue reading “Senegal lose Sane for rest of AFCON2019 group stage Fixtures”

AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs Burundi

The Super Eagles are heavily tipped to top Group B upon their return to the Nations Cup, after failing to qualify for last two editions. To achieve that, they will need a positive start against Burundi.

Burundi are making their debut at this year’s championship. They finished second in their qualifying group behind Mali having remained unbeaten, winning two of six.

Team News

Nigeria- Head coach Gernot Rohr has no injury worries going into Saturday’s must-win encounter.

Striker Odion Ighalo is expected to lead the line after scoring seven goals in six matches during qualifying. Various betting options are available on site

John Obi Mikel is also in line to start after returning to the squad despite missing the entire qualification process. Continue reading “AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs Burundi”

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Namibia coach confident his team ahead of Nations Cup

Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti says his side is a well-oiled machine heading into their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations opener against Morocco on Sunday.

The Brave Warriors have enjoyed a smooth build-up to the tournament in Dubai, which included a 1-0 victory over Ghana, and although they are considered the minnows in a pool that also includes Ivory Coast and South Africa.

“Everyone understands their role in the team, in how we can play and where we want to be,” Mannetti said. “The selection of the final 23 players says it all in terms of tactical harmony.

“We have not beaten Morocco in about six games now and we have a lot of hope because of our preparations. It’s a once off match and it’s will be tricky, and different and a draw or victory against Morocco will be key.” Bet Now on NaijaBet.com

Mannetti added that his side are primed to handle the weather conditions, with the temperatures set to hit close to 40 degrees Celsius.

Continue reading “Namibia coach confident his team ahead of Nations Cup”

Egypt set to kick off for AFCON despite security issue

The Africa Cup of Nations(Afcon) is set to kick off in Egypt on Friday against a backdrop of terror attacks and only days after the death of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

With opening and closing games held at Cairo Stadium, it will be the fifth time that Egypt has hosted the regional tournament, which has expanded this year to include 24 teams.

Cairo last welcomed African teams in 2006, before the country’s political landscape was rocked by the Arab Spring of 2011.

This time, Egypt plays host after Morsi, its first democratically elected president, was buried on Tuesday following the ousted and jailed leader’s collapse in court and death the previous day.

Authorities are confident the infrastructure is in place to host the continent’s largest football contest, but they are on high alert after attacks on tourists near the pyramids and an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

A roadside bomb near the pyramids last month left 17 people wounded, just months after a similar attack in December killed three Vietnamese holidaymakers and an Egyptian tour guide. Various Betting options are available on site

The interior ministry in June announced extra security forces would be deployed to maintain “public order” for the competition.

Egyptians were expected to be a major driver of the tournament’s reach, but local fans have been up in arms over the cost of watching a game – either in stadiums or on television.

Set to run well into the scorching month of July, it will mark the first time Egypt has hosted a major sports tournament since longtime autocrat Hosni

Continue reading “Egypt set to kick off for AFCON despite security issue”

Nigeria dropped Iheanacho, Ajayi from AFCON squad

Nigeria’s most expensive wing-back, Ola Aina, has sent a message to Leicester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Rotherham United defender, Semi Ajayi, after the pair were dropped by coach Gernot Rohr from Super Eagles’ final 23-man 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, squad.

Both players did not feature on Saturday as Nigeria were held to a 0-0 draw by Zimbabwe in an international friendly played in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

Aina, who is set to join Torino from Chelsea, urged Iheanacho and Ajayi to keep their heads up, have a very nice break, recharge and be ready for the next season, adding that the duo were just unlucky. Various AFCON odds are available on NaijaBet

“It’s very unfortunate. Unfortunate because they [Kelechi Iheanacho and Semi Ajayi] probably deserve to be here as much as anyone of us, you know. It’s just unfortunate,” Aina was quoted by Completesports as saying. Continue reading “Nigeria dropped Iheanacho, Ajayi from AFCON squad”

I am ready to lead the Super Eagles at AFCON – John Obi Mikel

John Obi Mikel has confirmed he is available to return to Nigeria’s Super Eagles for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, according to a team official.

The former Chelsea star last played for Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and was not involved in the qualifying for this year’s Nations Cup.

“Mikel has met with coach (Gernot) Rohr in England and he has confirmed he will feature at the Nations Cup in Egypt,” said a top team official.

The 32-year-old Obi, now with English Championship side Middlesborough, has won 85 caps and scored six goals since his full international debut in 2005 against Libya. Continue reading “I am ready to lead the Super Eagles at AFCON – John Obi Mikel”

Super Eagles ‘confident’ for Afcon after Egypt win

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr hailed his side’s friendly victory over Africa Cup of Nations hosts and favorites Egypt, but admitted they still need to improve before the tournament starts in June.

A stunning goal by Paul Onuachu inside a minute proved to be the winner for Nigeria inside a packed Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.

“This was not a good match, it was a great match for us against one of the top favourites for the Africa Cup of Nations,” Rohr told reporters after Tuesday’s game.

“We still have to improve, but we’re about 69-percent ready for the Africa Cup.” Various games for weekend matches are available on Site

Three-time African champions Nigeria will play two more friendlies to prepare for the event, which they last qualified for in 2013, when they lifted the title. Continue reading “Super Eagles ‘confident’ for Afcon after Egypt win”

Egypt select six venues for African Nations Cup

Egypt has chosen six venues across five cities to host this year’s African Nations Cup finals, local media reported, including the Port Said Stadium where 72 supporters died in the country’s worst violence at a soccer venue in 2012.

After a board meeting, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) confirmed that Cairo Stadium, Borg el Arab Stadium in Alexandria and Ismailia stadium are among the venues chosen for the tournament.

Other venues are the army-owned June 30 Stadium, on the outskirts of Cairo, and the Suez stadium.

The 74 000-seater Cairo Stadium hosted the finals of previous Nations Cup tournaments in 1986 and 2006.

The June 30 stadium replaces Al Salam, another venue on Cairo’s outskirts which hosts the domestic and African Champions League matches of the country’s most popular club, Al Ahly. Naija and Bet

The Port Said Stadium was closed for five years after the 2012 disaster that followed a league match between Al Masry and Al Ahly. Continue reading “Egypt select six venues for African Nations Cup”

Nigeria vs South Africa, Rohr wants quick AFCON qualification

The Bafana Bafana squad is shaping up well ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Nigeria on Saturday.

Coach Stuart Baxter was more than happy following Wednesday’s practice game at Steyn City School in which he tried what might be his preferred starting 11.

Without giving much away with three days to go before the crunch game against the Super Eagles of Nigeria, the Bafana Bafana coach said he had an idea of his starting lineup although one or two changes might still come to mind.

“I have an idea of what I need to do although there might be one or two changes and I also need to fine-tune a few areas ahead of Saturday’s game. But I must say that I was very happy with the training today,” he told journalists on Wednesday.

He said Thulani Serero who carries a lot of the home crowd’s expectation on his shoulders had been very comfortable on the ball although he was tentative in the beginning. Place bet on today matches on NaijaBet

“As I said earlier, we have not yet picked the final team for Saturday’s game but Thulani is doing well and as the match progressed during the practice game, he became very comfortable on the ball.”

With Dean Furman and Kamohelo Mokotjo, the regular pairing in the field of play, all out injured, the team will pick a new pairing and are confident that whoever is picked will rise to the occasion. Continue reading “Nigeria vs South Africa, Rohr wants quick AFCON qualification”

Mikel Obi out of Afcon qualifier clash against South Africa

Nigeria has again left out captain Mikel John Obi from next month’s crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in South Africa after they named a 23-man squad.

China-based Mikel Obi, who made his Nigeria debut in 2005, has not played for the country since he captained the team to the World Cup in Russia in June.

Officials have said the former Chelsea star was previously left out of the squad to allow him time to recover from niggling injuries.

But he has since fully recovered and is now playing regularly for his Chinese club, Tianjin Teda.

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has recalled Sporting Charleroi striker Victor Osimhen and midfielder Mikel Agu, who is based in Portugal.

Villarreal young forward Samuel Chukwueze has been handed his first call-up. Continue reading “Mikel Obi out of Afcon qualifier clash against South Africa”

Libya coach resign ahead of qualifier against Super Eagle

Libya coach Adel Amrouche has resigned just days before his side are to due face Nigeria in an African Nations Cup qualifier.

His departure has been confirmed by the Libyan Football Federation and on Wednesday by Belgian Amrouche, said that he was frustrated by working conditions with the team.

The 50-year-old, who was born in Algeria, was only appointed in May and his first match in charge last month saw Libya force a 0-0 draw in South Africa. Various AFCON qualifier Betting options are available on site

Forced to play all their home qualifiers at a neutral venue because of the tenuous security situation in the North African country, Libya travel to face Nigeria on Friday and then play them again in the return in Sfax, Tunisia on Monday.

Libya has four points from their first two games in their bid to qualify for the 2019 finals in Cameroon, ahead of South Africa on goal difference with Nigeria one point behind.

Seychelles are last in the group without any points.

The top two teams qualify for the finals next June

Cameroon insists it will be ready to host Afcon in 2019

A top Cameroon football official said on Sunday that his nation “will be ready” to host next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, even though the final decision has been delayed.

Cameroon’s hosting of African football’s showpiece event has been in jeopardy for months since the decision to increase the tournament from 16 to 24 teams.

The Confederation of African Football had been expected to confirm Cameroon as host on Friday at their meeting in Sharm el Sheikh, but instead postponed a vote until the end of November,

It said there had been a “big delay in the building of infrastructure” in Cameroon. Latest Odds are available for today’s games on NaijaBet

But Dieudonne Happi, the interim head of the west African country’s crisis-hit football federation, said: “In the current state of things, I can tell you bluntly and without any risk of being wrong that Cameroon will be ready.

“The delay will be made up,” said Happi, the chairman of the Cameroonian federation’s normalisation committee, adding that the country will be ready “no later than December 31”, the deadline set by CAF in March. Continue reading “Cameroon insists it will be ready to host Afcon in 2019”

God told Egypt keeper El Hadary to retires aged 45

Veteran Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary has retired from international duty aged 45, after breaking the record for oldest player to appear at a World Cup in Russia.

“After reflecting at length and asking God, I have decided to retire from international football,” El Hadary wrote on Facebook late Monday.

El Hadary, nicknamed “High Dam”, won 159 caps for his country during a 22-year international career that saw him win the Africa Cup of Nations four times. Place bet on Live matches 24/7 

At the age of 45 years and 161 days, El Hadary smashed Colombian stopper Faryd Mondragon’s record for oldest player at a World Cup when he took to the field against Saudi Arabia in Volgograd this summer.

He wrote that he was “very proud” to have finally “realised the most important, biggest, dearest dream of playing at the World Cup”. Continue reading “God told Egypt keeper El Hadary to retires aged 45”

CAF Champions League: Sundowns ready for revenge against Togo Port

Mamelodi Sundowns will square off with AS Togo Port in the 2018 CAF Champions League Group C match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa on Friday.

The Brazilians are a wounded side having lost 1-0 to Togo Port in an encounter which was played at the Stade Municipal in Lome, Togo almost two weeks ago.

The defeat left Sundowns placed fourth on the Group C standings with two points from three matches. They are three points behind the leaders, Wydad Casablanca with three games left.

The South African champions are desperate for their first win in this year’s group stage and they will be hoping that their key attacker Sibusiso Vilakazi rediscovers his scoring form.

The 28-year-old forward, who has scored once in this year’s Champions League group stage, has the ability to inspire the Brazilians to victory in Pretoria. Place bet on Live Matches & Virtual Games on NaijaBet

Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane has stressed the importance of defeating Togo Port at home. Continue reading “CAF Champions League: Sundowns ready for revenge against Togo Port”