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Messi leads Barcelona to quarter final as club trashes Napoli

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Barcelona enters Champions League quarter-finals as Lionel Messi led the club to a 3-1 win at home to Napoli on Saturday for a 4-2 aggregate victory.

It is Barcelona’s 13th consecutive time of reaching the last eight and they will face Bayern Munich in a mouth-watering clash in the Final Eight tournament in Lisbon next Friday. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The Catalans had a shaky start but took the lead in the 10th minute with a powerful header from a corner by Clement Lenglet before Messi scored a superb second in the 23rd, seeing off four defenders to curl the ball into the far bottom corner.

Messi had the ball in the net again soon after following a superb team move but the goal was harshly ruled out for handball by the Argentine following a VAR review.

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Messi later won a penalty which Luis Suarez converted for Barca’s third.

Napoli got one back when Lorenzo Insigne converted a spot kick at the end of the first half and were the better side after the interval.

Messi had sounded the alarm after Barca’s rusty performance in the 1-1 draw in the first leg back in February, saying they stood no chance of winning Europe’s top prize, which has eluded them since 2015, unless they improved.

He would have been worried by Barca’s stuttering start which saw Napoli swarm all over the home side’s area and Dries Mertens clip the crossbar in the second minute with a scuffed shot.

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But Napoli’s slack defending allowed Lenglet to score with a free header which settled Barca’s nerves.

Messi effectively killed the tie off with his goal and by winning the penalty by chasing down Kalidou Koulibaly in the area and earning a foul.

However, the fact Napoli ended the game so well, with Hirving Lozano hitting the post and Arkadiusz Milik’s header ruled out for offside, added to the sense that Barca will struggle to beat Bayern.

The German champions thrashed Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate.

Source: Reuters/NAN

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media, Information and Computer Technology Consultant. A quintessential Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist is based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.
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Legend FC Lifts Maiden Adedayo Benjamins-Laniyi FCT Unity Cup

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FCT Unity Football Championship ended in Abuja on Saturday 29th July 2023 with Legend FC of AMAC defeated Maracana FC of Kwali 2-1 to lift the maiden Adedayo Benjamins-Laniyi FCT.
 
The grand finale played at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja signalled the end of a month-long competition among teams from the six area councils of FCT. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});
 
Kelechi Francis of Legend FC opened scoring in the 38th minute before Sheriff Idris of Maracana FC restored parity for the Kwali boys on resumption of the second half in the 47th minute.
 
Francis, however, sealed victory for the Legend boys with a clean finish in the 52nd minute, to ensure a 2-1 victory for Legend FC.
 
Earlier in the third place match, Kickers FC defeated N-Youth FC 5-4 on penalties, after regulation time ended 2-2.
 
Mrs Adedayo Benjamins-Laniyi, organiser of the championship, told NAN after the match that the competition was organised to foster unity and discover grassroots talent scattered across the FCT.
 
The media entrepreneur and former All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial aspirant for FCT, said sports could serve as a veritable tool for empowering Nigerian youth and promoting unity in the country.
 
“This inaugural competition is meant to engage our youth and promote unity in the country, starting with  FCT.
 
“If there is no unity, there cannot be a nation. So, we are trying to use sports to bring about positive change, get our youths off the streets, and build a great nation,” she said.
 
Benjamins-Laniyi said ex-internationals such as Kanu Nwankwo and Femi Ajilore were selected as ambassadors of the competition to give inspiration and mentorship to young talents discovered at the competition.
 
NAN reports that 80 teams comprising 1,200 players took part in the tourney from the preliminary round to the finals.
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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media, Information and Computer Technology Consultant. A quintessential Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist is based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.
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Women’s World Cup Kicks-off, Amidst Auckland Shooting

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The largest women’s World Cup on kicked off on Thursday 20th July, 2023  in Auckland after a fatal shooting earlier in the day.

Co-hosts New Zealand and former champions, Norway kicked off the women’s World Cup on Thursday in Auckland, after a short opening ceremony. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});

A minute silence was observed for the victims of a shooting earlier in the day in the city.

The short ceremony at Eden Park had the indigenous people of host nations Australia and New Zealand at its centre, while singers Benee and Mallrat did the official tournament song “Do It Again.”

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The World Cup trophy was presented before the two teams kicked off the biggest women’s World Cup. The contestants were increased to 32 teams from 24 at the last edition 2019 in France.

Australia were set to play Ireland in the opening day’s other game.

Two-time reigning and record four-time overall champions U.S. are the top favourites, with other contenders including two-times winners, Germany and European champions Germany.

The World Cup which runs until 20th August 2023 started under a cloud of the shooting earlier in the day in which three people died – including the suspected gunman, with five others injured.

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Football’s governing body FIFA said later that the opening game would “proceed as planned”, and the added minute silence was impeccably observed at Eden Park. (dpa/NAN)

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media, Information and Computer Technology Consultant. A quintessential Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist is based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.
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Banja Luka Exit: Djokovic said hopeful of hitting top form on clay

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The world number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic has said he was still hopeful of finding his groove on clay before next month’s French Open.

The Serb revealed this as he was far from his best in his quarter-final defeat to Dusan Lajovic at the Srpska Open. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Djokovic had dropped just four games across his previous two meetings with compatriot Lajovic.

He had missed several chances to get past his opponent on Friday, converting just one of 16 breakpoints as he fell to a 6-4 7-6(6) defeat.

The loss is Djokovic’s second early exit from a tournament in as many weeks, following his third-round defeat to Lorenzo Musetti at the Monte Carlo Masters last week.

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“Lajovic played well. On the other hand, I played much worse than I wanted to,” Djokovic told reporters after the defeat in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“I cannot win matches against opponents who are this solid on this surface by playing like this.

“I didn’t feel well on the court, my legs were slow and my footwork was torpid, many missed shots, totally without direction. I played well at times but I played noticeably under my level.”

With Rafa Nadal having skipped a string of clay tournaments due to injury, Djokovic will be looking to build momentum ahead of the French Open where the Serbian will target a 23rd Grand Slam to go ahead of the Spaniard.

The French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season, begins on May 28.

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“I hope to get into tip top shape for Roland Garros. I want to play my best tennis there,” said Djokovic, who has also been struggling with an elbow injury.

“The conditions are totally different there in comparison with Monte Carlo and Banja Luka. There are still several weeks to practice and play.

“In the previous seasons, I’ve always had an unsatisfying and slow start on clay and then played much better tennis in the final stages.

“I hope to repeat the same pattern this year.” (Reuters/NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media, Information and Computer Technology Consultant. A quintessential Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist is based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.
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