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African Cup of Nations: Madagascar beats Nigeria 2-0

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Madagascar marked its first appearance at the African Cup of Nations with an extraordinary upset of Nigeria to qualify for the last 16 on Sunday.

Madagascar stunned the three-time champion 2-0 to win Group B ahead of the Nigerians. Nigeria had already qualified for the knockout stages but that won’t prevent the match from ranking as one of the biggest surprises in African Cup history.

Lalaina Nomenjanahary took advantage of an error by defender Leon Balogun to intercept a pass and put Madagascar ahead in the 13th minute in Alexandria. Carolus Andrea scored the second with a deflected free kick early in the second half, sending the Madagascans into ecstasy.

Reserve players leaped over the advertising boards and coach Nicolas Dupuis sprinted from the dugout to join the celebrations on the field.

At the final whistle, players dumped bottles of water over Dupuis as if they’d won the whole tournament.

Just qualifying was a major feat for a squad made up mainly of players from the lower leagues in France. The Madagascans ensured their debut was memorable by beating one of Africa’s strongest teams and going unbeaten through the group stage.

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Ondo-born wrestler qualifies Nigeria for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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Odunayo Adekuoroye

Nigerian wrestler Odunayo Adekuoroye has qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Adekuoroye defeated Sun Jong of North Korea 12-2 via technical superiority in the 57kg category to reach the semi finals of the 2019 Senior World Wrestling Championship in Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old was, however, displaced by Japan’s Rusako Kawai, 6-1 in the women’s 57kg semi finals later in the day and will now battle for the bronze medal on Thursday.

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Kanu Nwankwo visits Anambra governor, Wille Obiano

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Governor Wille Obaino, Kanu Nwankwo, Governor's wife

Nigerian international footballer, Kanu Nwankwo has praised the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano for taking good care of the pioneer set of footballers of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu, most of who are old and ailing.

Speaking during a courtesy visit on the governor in Aguleri, Kanu said he was overjoyed to hear that governor Obiano had shown great compassion to the pioneer set of Rangers players who had played with so much determination to restore the pride of Ndigbo after the Civil War.

“No other governor in Nigeria has shown so much appreciation to aging footballers who had brought joy to our people with their gifts when they were young. There are old and ailing footballers across the country but no one cares about them. But governor Obiano has done well by showing that deserve care and love” declared the former African Footballer of the year and Olympic Gold Medalist.

Kanu who expressed profound gratitude to governor Obiano for showing kindness to the aged footballers further said, “I urge other governors to emulate governor Obiano. He has shown a worthy example of what our leaders should do to encourage our sportsmen and women to give their best in service of the people.”

Kanu also praised governor Obiano’s impressive achievements in Anambra State and declared “I am proud of him.”

Governor Wille Obiano, Kanu Nwankwo, Governor’s wife

The former International revealed that he had been friends with the governor from his days in the banking profession and expressed satisfaction that government had not let his friends and admirers down and had gone ahead to surpass their expectations with an impressive performance.

It is a fact known to many that since he assumed office as governor of Anambra State, Governor Obiano has placed all the pioneer players of Rangers International FC on a monthly welfare package and has been picking up their medical bills.

The ex-international presented a Super Eagles Jersey as a token of his appreciation to the governor saying “he deserves the No 1 jersey for his excellent performance as a governor.”

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Minnesota Vikings adds 5 Nigerian players to team

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Minnesota Vikings team

Over the past two years, the Minnesota Vikings have added five players to their roster with a Nigerian background.

Some were born in the United States; one left his parents behind in search of a better life, hoping that athletics would either lead to better education or perhaps a professional career in sports.

They are all young, athletic and proud of their heritage, believing that an upbringing stressing the value of a strong work ethic led them to their successes to date.

“I think it’s just upbringing. You come from a bunch of, like you’re just son of immigrants and just have a chip on the shoulder,” said second-year defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo.

“And this is just a sample: My parents, they grew up Nigerian born or raised and they came from a very, very strict household and kind of what they’ve seen – when they get to here, just being black is hard, just from a standpoint of the challenges you have to deal with.”

“Then, adding the whole culture side of things and not knowing that, so our parents just always told us, ‘Hey, man, when in doubt, when things are getting harder, there’s nothing wrong with working hard.’ So they kind of instilled that in our school work – just work hard, work hard, work hard. They were never really big supporters of sports.”

In addition to drafting Ifeadi in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Vikings selected another defensive end Ade Aruna, in the sixth round that year, then added tackle Olisaemeka Udoh in the sixth round this year and receiver Olabisi Johnson in the seventh round, and finally signed Ifeadi’s brother, Tito Odenigbo, as an undrafted rookie.

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