Ake’s goal earns Manchester City FA Cup win over Arsenal

Ake’s goal earns Manchester City FA Cup win over Arsenal

Manchester City players celebrating Ake's goal


Manchester City defender Nathan Ake struck in the second half to earn his side a hard-fought 1-0 victory over visitors Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round.

The current top two teams in the 2022/2023 English Premier League (EPL) cancelled each other out in the first half on Friday.

Erling Haaland twice went close for Manchester City, while pacesetters Arsenal forced home goalkeeper Stefan Ortega into two fine saves to keep them at bay.

Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola brought Julian Alvarez off the bench early in the second half, with the Argentina striker playing a big part in the winner.

He fired against the post before Ake slotted home from the follow-up in the 64th minute.

Arsenal’s coach Mikel Arteta rang the changes in search of a leveller but they could not break Manchester City’s resistance.

The hosts progressed to remain in the hunt to win the domestic trophy Guardiola has claimed just once during his time in England.

Arsenal started the brightest at the Etihad in spite of making six changes to the side that beat Manchester United last weekend.

January signing Leandro Trossard from Brighton & Hove Albion looked lively, setting up an early opening for Takehiro Tomiyasu, who was denied by Ortega.

Haaland, eyeing his 32nd goal in all competitions in a remarkable debut season in England, was feeding off scraps.

All he needed was a half-chance and the striker used his pace to capitalise on two Arsenal errors but was unable to find the net.

Kevin De Bruyne curled a shot wide, but it was Trossard who went closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening period, bringing out a fine one-handed stop from Ortega.

Manchester City upped the ante after the break, finally wearing Arsenal down as Dutch defender Ake showed the finishing skills of a striker.

He calmly found the bottom corner after Alvarez’s effort had thundered against the upright.

With their main attention clearly elsewhere, Arsenal did not offer enough to find an equaliser.

With the Premier League the priority, fewer games in a congested season could benefit the London side’s quest for the big prize.

Defending champion Nadal bows out of Australian Open

Nadal waving goodbye to fans at the Australian Open


Defending champion Rafa Nadal bowed out of the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday after suffering an injury during his 6-4 6-4 7-5 defeat by American Mackenzie McDonald.

Nadal’s elimination shakes up the men’s draw and puts a twist in the Grand Slam titles race, with nine-times champion Novak Djokovic able to draw level with the Spaniard’s 22 major championships should he take a 10th crown at Melbourne Park.

Nadal appeared to suffer a strain in his left hip area while running for a backhand deep in the second set at Rod Laver Arena and after receiving attention from a trainer he took an off-court medical time-out when trailing 6-4 5-3.

He returned grim faced to play out the match but his movement was clearly affected, particularly on his backhand side, paving the way for McDonald to end the Spaniard’s bid for a third title at Melbourne Park.

Before the injury McDonald had played superbly to take the first set, going toe-to-toe with the 36-year-old Spaniard and winning most of the ferocious baseline exchanges.

“He’s an incredible champion, he’s never going to give up regardless of the situation so even closing it out against a top guy like that is always tough.

“I was trying to stay so focused on what I was doing and he kind of got me out of that with what he was doing. But I kind of just kept focusing on myself and got through.

“Last time I played him was at Chatrier, he kicked my butt,” said McDonald, who took only four games off Nadal in the second round of the French Open in 2020.

“It’s tough to hit through on clay but I liked my chances on hard, I really wanted to take it to him on hard court. I’m really glad I got my chance and got away with it,” said McDonald.

After Nadal’s time-out, he returned to court to a big ovation and earned another round of applause when he held serve.

His gloomy expression told the story, though, and he declined to retrieve a drop-shot in the next game, shaking his head at his worried entourage.

McKenzie took the second set when Nadal whacked a forehand into the net, and the Spaniard thudded his racket into his chair at the change of ends.

Leaning heavily on serve and relying on touch, Nadal dragged McDonald deep into the third set but was finally broken to 6-5 when the American bolted forward to flick a passing shot past him.

Nadal attacked the net in a desperate last stand but there was to be no repeat of the “Miracle of Melbourne”, when he came back from two sets down in last year’s classic final to beat Daniil Medvedev.

Youth and Sports Ministry, BOI Launch 60-Day App Development Challenge

*Youth and Sports Ministry, BOI Launch 60-Day App Development Challenge

* _Initiative Aims To Improve Innovation and Creativity Of Nigerian Youth_

By Lateef Taiwo

The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in partnership with the Bank of Industry ( BOI) have concluded arrangements to launch the second edition of the 60-day app development challenge for young tech enthusiasts across the country.

The initiative which is open to applicants between age 18-35 according to the National Youth Policy is aimed at improving innovation and creativity among the Nigerian Youth by encouraging them to develop their own app ideas and turn them into a reality by using them to solve problems within one of the shortlisted sectors: Agric-tech, Edu-tech, Fintech, Health, Sports, or Telecommunications.

The Agric-tech sector covers technologies related to agriculture, such as precision farming, crop monitoring, and irrigation systems. An app idea that solves a problem in this sector could be one that helps farmers optimize their crop yields, identify pests and diseases early, or streamline their irrigation systems.

The Edu-tech sector covers technologies related to education, such as online learning platforms, virtual classrooms, and educational games. An app idea that solves a problem in this sector could be one that helps students learn more effectively, provides access to high-quality education for underserved communities, or gamifies the learning process.

The Fintech sector covers technologies related to finance, such as mobile banking, online payment systems, and personal finance management tools. An app idea that solves a problem in this sector could be one that helps people manage their finances more easily, provides access to financial services for underserved communities, or streamlines the payment process for businesses.

The Health sector covers technologies related to healthcare, such as telemedicine, fitness tracking and disease management. An app idea that solves a problem in this sector could be one that helps people manage their health more effectively, provides access to healthcare for underserved communities, or tracks and motivates healthy behaviors.

The Sports sector covers technologies related to sports, such as fitness tracking, performance analysis, and sports media. An app idea that solves a problem in this sector could be one that helps athletes optimize their performance, provides access to sports content for underserved communities, or streamlines the process of managing a sports team.

The Telecommunications sector covers technologies related to telecommunications, such as mobile networks, internet service providers, and communication tools. An app idea that solves a problem in this sector could be one that helps people stay connected more easily, provides access to communication tools for underserved communities, or streamlines the process of managing a telecom network.

Overall, the 2nd National 60 Days App Challenge is an exciting opportunity for young people to develop their own app ideas and turn them into a reality by focusing on solving problems within the shortlisted sectors. Participants can make a meaningful impact and potentially turn their app into a successful business.

Asides the potential digital jobs that will be created from the solutions and the number of people that will find the app useful in their day-to-day affairs and personal development, incentives to app developers is to further attract a N1m grand prize for 10 top apps ; Business Development Training as well as 50 Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development participation certificates, amongst others.

Prospective applicants are expected to send in their entries through the portal, www.appchallenge.ng beginning from 9th January 2023.

Baker calls for more technical basketball academies in Nigeria

Ganon Baker, an international high-performer basketball trainer has called for more technical basketball academies in Nigeria to raise the standard of the game.

Baker made the call on Monday in Abuja at a week-long training clinic for Nigerian coaches and players organised by Sports Renaissance Africa Partners (SRAP).

The renowned U.S certified coach with over three decades of experience in the game, stressed the need for technical and systematic coaching to nurture the abundant basketball talents in the country.

He said his visit to Nigeria was to teach kids, players and coaches the rudiments of the game and how to win basketball championships.

” I see a lot of talents in Nigeria but they are unpolished, they are inexperienced, they are not secure, unbelievable talents, but it comes down to coaches, to nurture them that is why we are here.

“If you have good coaches, you are going to have good players, if you don’t have good players may be coaches don’t give them enough information.

“My experience with African players is that they’re very humble and hungry to win,” he said.

Baker said with proper coaching and exposure, a lot more Nigerian players can make it to the U.S National Basketball Association (NBA).

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of SRAP, Relindis Mbu said the clinic is aimed at leveraging on the wealth of tactical experience of Baker to help develop young talents and Coaches in Nigeria.

“The real goal of our project is to give tactical training to coaches so they can transfer it and build eco system of basketball in the world, Africa and Nigeria.

“The end goal is technical expertise that will bring our athletes to international standard so that they can excel locally and internationally in any where they are.” she said.

Baker is one of the most respected premier basketball skill coaches in the World, he is renowned with working with the NBA, WNBA, CBA, Euro League, NCAA, NJCAA, U Sports among others.

Cricket: Nigeria ready to host ICC U-19 World Cup qualifiers

The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) says it is ready to host the International Cricket Council (ICC) U-19 Africa Division 2 World Cup qualifiers in September.

Musa Ehizoje, the NCF’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, that preparations were in place to host the eight-nation tournament in Abuja.

“Nigeria is very ready to host the tournament. The most important aspect of hosting a tournament is already in place, which are the grounds.

“We have twin pitches at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja and they are ready,” Ehizoje said.

Considering the prevalent security challenges in parts of the country, the NCF official said that the ICC is satisfied with the country’s security details.

“There are no challenges with regards to security.

“Before any country will be given the right to host any tournament, ICC must be comfortable with your security plan and they are comfortable with our security details.

“Nigeria can boast of the best security architecture in hosting tournaments as there never been a case where there are security threats in our competitions both local and international,” he said.

Ehizoje said the decision to grant Nigeria the hosting rights was due to her grassroots development efforts in promoting the game.

“This is not the first time Nigeria is hosting an ICC qualifier. We hosted the T20 Qualifier A in 2018 in Lagos.

“This will be the second time and it is because the world cricket governing body has seen what Nigeria is doing with regards to grassroots cricket development.

“Abuja also provides a natural solution to host the competition because of the twin pitches at the stadium and both are turf wickets.

“This is a 50 overs competition and you will require a minimum of two pitches at close proximity and that’s why Abuja has been chosen,” Ehizoje added.

The tournament is scheduled for Sept. 28 to Oct. 9.

All now set for the Prosperity Cup Final

……..Governor Diri To Declare Tournament Closed on Tuesday.

The crème de la crème of Nigeria football will converge on Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital for the grand finale of Nigeria’s biggest grassroots tournament the Bayelsa State Governor’s Cup tagged “Prosperity Cup” after months of football activities across 20 centres in the eight local government areas of the State.

High flying Eternal Grace Ministry EGM FC of Yenagoa will face a resilient and dogged Odioma FC of Brass on Tuesday 19th July by 4pm at the Samson Siasia Stadium Yenagoa.

In a statement by Director General of the Prosperity Cup Mr Ono Akpe, Governor Douye Diri would take the ceremonial kick-off supported by the Deputy Governor Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Speaker of the the State House of Assembly Rt Hon. Abraham Igonbere, the Commissioner of Sports, Hon Daniel Igali amongst other dignitaries.

Also expected to grace the occasion are members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and state executive council, party leaders, political appointees,
football legends in the country and other dignitaries who would be part of the closing ceremony of the historic tournament that featured 206 community based teams.

Mr Akpe explained that the losers final between Anyama FC of Ogbia and Agbere FC of Sagbama will open the floodgate of excitement by 1pm at the Samson Siasia Stadium with other side attractions before the final.

According to him, preparations are in top gear towards having an exciting final and urged youths of the state to continue to channel their energies to sports and other positive things that will lift the ratings of the state.

Mr Akpe equally thanked Governor Douye Diri for supporting the Tournament including hosting of 2 sets of foreign scouts which according to him has raised the hopes of young Bayelsans who are positive on playing football internationally and being featured in the various state and national teams soon.

To reach the final EGM FC trounced hard fighting Agbere FC 3-0 while the seasiders, Odioma FC of Brass ended their eastern opponent Anyama Fc fairy tale run 3-1 in the tournament.

Stakeholders Score Prosperity Cup High As Round Sixteen Gets Underway

By Hanannel Jackson

Key stakeholders in the sports sector have given thumps up to the organizers of this year’s Bayelsa State Governor’s Cup tagged Prosperity Cup.

The tournament which has become Nigeria’s biggest grassroots competition is currently at the round of sixteen with two teams in each Local government.

In separate interviews with Radio Nigeria in Yenagoa, the stakeholders described the 2022 edition as the best since the inception of the showpiece.

Secretary of the Bayelsa State Football Association Mr. Diseye Nwankwe said the current edition has new innovations compared to previous editions with the introduction of foreign scouts, pointing out that the organization of teams has also witnessed tremendous improvement.

He explained that this this year’s Governor’s Cup has moved from mere scouting of general talents, to selection of younger talents within a particular age bracket, stating that the increase of the participating teams was as a result of smooth organization.

Veteran sports journalist, Mr. Loveday Herbert noted that he was impressed with the level of commitment and skills displayed by the various teams, saying that with what he has seen so far he is optimistic that the teams would produce players that would feature in the cadet national team.

Mr. Herbert who likened the Prosperity Cup as Youths Sports Federation of Nigeria, and advised the organizers to expand the scope of the competition by inviting teams from outside the state, describing the tournament as a festival.

Also, Assistant Technical Director of the Prosperity Cup, Sunny Nehru asserted that there is a huge progress in the current edition of the showpiece, stressing that due to number teams taking part, they had to apply some administrative technicalities to accommodate all the teams by creating more centers across the state.

He explained that this year’s edition has twenty centers, whereas four centers will be used in the round of sixteen, two venues for the quarter final, while Samson Siasia Stadium will host the Semifinal as well as final.

The teams that have qualified for the round of sixteen are Peretorugbene FC, Agbayama Fc in Ekeremor Local Government Area, Agbere FC, Agoro FC both from Sagbama Local Government, Anyama FC, Opume FC in Ogbia LGA, Nembe has Okoroma Tereke FC, while Kolokuma Opukuma has Opoukun FC.

Others include UAC FC, Odioma FC in Brass LGA Amassoma FC, Osokama FC qualified in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.

Yenagoa local government has the highest number of teams participating in the round of sixteen and they are Amarata FC, Akaba FC, Eternal Grace Ministry EGM Fc and Opolo FC.

Stallion Group partners Bayelsa Govt. on youth empowerment, sports development.

Stallion Group, a business conglomerate which deals in automobiles, agricultural products, have indicated interest in partnering Bayelsa Government on youth empowerment, sports and agricultural development.
The Regional Head of the Group in Nigeria, Mr Jayesh Shinde, gave the indication during a courtesy call on Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, at his office in Government House, Yenagoa on We
Our correspodent reports that Mr Shinde expressed the company’s readiness to provide technical skills training for at least 200 youths from the state, on assembling and repair of tricycles popularly known as “Keke”.
He maintained that Stallion Group would also work with the state government, in the area of developing critical sporting facilities and sponsorship, pointing out that the company had, on some occasions, sponsored the Super Eagles in the past.
The Regional Head, said the company would encourage potential female Keke riders from Bayelsa, by offering them special discounts and flexible terms of payment to acquire their own tricycles.
Responding, Mr Ewhrudjakpo, expressed excitement over the offers made by the Stallion Group, saying the Senator Douye Diri-led administration would do everything within its reach to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership.
The deputy governor said just few days earlier, he had told the officials and players of Bayelsa Queens FC that government would shop for sponsorship deals from corporate bodies, to sponsor the two state-owned football teams.
He said both Bayelsa United FC and Bayelsa Queens were open to sponsorship in kitting, transport and other logistics, especially now that Bayelsa Queens were going continental.
Ewhrudjakpo, stressed that the state government was ready to provide land and do everything necessary to enable the Stallion Group to site one of its regional assembly plants and workshops in Bayelsa.
He said government would work out all the necessary modalities with the conglomerate for its special three-day technical skills training for youths on “Keke” repair and maintenance.

The Bayelsa number two man, who pointed out that the state was endowed with immense agricultural potential, called on the Group to also venture into agricultural business, to create jobs and wealth.

Enugu FA Cup: Adoration FC beat Star Plus 1-0

Adoration Football Club of Enugu on Wednesday defeated Star Plus FC of Ngwo 1-0 in the semi-finals of the ongoing FA Cup in the state.

Alexander Bright scored the only goal of the match in the 67th minute of the match played at the Rangers International FC training pitch.

Our correspondent reports that Adoration FC will now face Rangers International FC in the competition’s final match.

The date of that match is yet to be determined by the state Football Association (FA).

Adoration FC’s coach, Ency Enie, in a post-match interview, congratulated his opponents for their resilience and good football play.

He said the match against Star Plus was the toughest his team had played so far this season, either in the national league or in the state FA Cup.

“I never took the match easy because, I know that Stars Plus are a good team, but I was annoyed with my players when the match stood at 0-0 after the first 45 minutes.

“We are supposed to have scored, even if it was one goal before the interval, considering the status between us and them,” Enie said.

The coach however said he was happy that the goal finally came at the right time, when their opponents could not get back into the game.

He then promised that his team would not only qualify to play in the Aiteo Cup, the national competition for the state FA Cup, but would also represent the state well.

Gov Diri Presents Jerseys To Prosperity Cup Teams

…….. Defending Champions Sqaures Up Against Medical University At Kick Off…..

……….Rewards Para Games Athletes.

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has praised youths for their massive involvement in sporting activities, and also winning laurels for the state, noting that sports remain a variable tool for engaging and shaping youths into having blissful careers.

The Governor stated this while flagging off the distribution of football jerseys to the 206 participating teams at the Bayelsa Governor’s Football Tournament, and also announcing cash reward for the state’s contingent at the just concluded first ever National Para Games, where the state came tops with 93 medals.

Senator Diri who was amazed with the number of registered teams for the tournament, otherwise known as “The Prosperity Cup”, urged the players to be focused on tourney, and not be caught in any form of misconduct or violence throughout the competition.

Also presented were sets of hosts and balls to all participating teams.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Daniel Igali, said the state currently has the largest grassroots football tournament in Nigeria, which was due to the revolution going on in the state.

He expressed the optimism that the current feat would be built upon to achieve better results.

“We currently have the largest grassroots football tournament in Nigeria. That attests to the revolution going on in Bayelsa State.

“Bayelsa is currently the home of sports in Nigeria. We have upstaged the bigger names. Hopefully, at the end of the year, we will show our true colours again,” Igali stated.

On his part, Director General, The Prosperity Cup, Mr. Ono Akpe, noted that the tournament has proven to be the country’s largest football competition, since it’s inception in 2015, and it’s gains are overwhelming.

He added that twenty centres across the eight council areas have been carefully selected to host this year’s edition at the preliminary stage, urging the host communities to ensure a hitch free exercise, so as to enjoy the best of grassroot football.

The DG also described the registration of Ohaneze FC, Oduduwa FC Northern FC and Niger Delta FC in the Tournament as an interesting development that it would help foster unity and peaceful coexistence in the state.

“This development would go a long way to strengthen inter-community relations not only amongst the indigenes but also amongst the other tribes living in Bayelsa” he added.

The curtain Raiser of the tournament would see defending champions, Okolobiri community of Yenagoa, begin their quest of retaining the trophy when they face first timers, Bayelsa Medical University, at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, on Monday, May 2nd.