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OPERATION BEAT ALGERIA: Work Begins on Akpabio Stadium Pitch

first_imgWork has commenced apace on the pitch of the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo ahead of next month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Nigeria and Algeria.In line with the NFF’s promise to get the Akwa Ibom State Government to work on the turf, following some complaints by Super Eagles’ players after last month’s 2017 Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania, the NFF wrote to Governor Udom Emmanuel on the issue and followed up with a first inspection of the pitch last Saturday.The NFF’s inspection team, led by the Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, and including Assistant Director (Technical) Siji Lagunju and Chief Sports Officer, Sunday Okayi, was received and taken on the tour of the venue by the immediate past Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Monday Uko,  and his Special Duties counterpart, Etido Inyang. The Consultant to Julius Berger, the world-renowned construction company handling the work, was with the team.A second inspection has been fixed for Tuesday, October 25, 2016 while the final inspection will come up on Wednesday,  November 2, 2016.“It is a task that we are approaching with all seriousness, and we want to appreciate the Akwa Ibom State Government for the seriousness that it is also attaching to this important task,” Ikpeme told thenff.com.Earlier on Thursday, October 13, NFF 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi and Chairman of the Technical and Development Committee, Chris Green, as well as Ikpeme, held a meeting with Hon. Uko to discuss logistics in order to ensure seamless organisation of the big match.Also on Thursday, the NFF Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Ikpeme led Mr. Abdelwahab Djahid Zefizef, 1stVice President of the Algeria Football Federation on a guided tour of the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, following a written request to that effect by the FAF.African Qualifying Series Group B leaders Nigeria host Algeria’s Fennecs at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on November 12, 2016 in one of the Match-day 2 encounters.Nigeria defeated Algeria to lift her first-ever Africa Cup of Nations when hosting in 1980, but Algeria returned the compliment when hosting 10 years later. Algeria defeated Nigeria home and away in 1981 in the qualifying race for the 1982 FIFA World Cup, but Nigeria returned the compliment in 2005, in the race for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.In the qualifying race for 1994 FIFA World Cup, Nigeria defeated Algeria in Lagos and drew with the Fennecs in Algiers to qualify for her first ever World Cup.Algeria came from behind to beat Nigeria at the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations in Libya. Both countries played a 0-0 draw at the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, but Nigeria ousted Algeria on penalties in the semi finals of the 1988 Cup finals in Morocco.Nigeria defeated Algeria 1-0 at the 2002 Africa Cup in Mali, and by the same scoreline at the 2010 Africa Cup finals in Angola to win bronze.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more


Early Bojan penalty punishes sloppy Swansea

first_img1 An early Bojan penalty was enough for Stoke to earn a thoroughly-deserved victory over an insipid Swansea side which ended the Swans’ unbeaten home record.The Spaniard was felled by a horribly off colour Ashley Williams inside three minutes and sent Lukasz Fabianski the wrong way from 12 yards.Jonjo Shelvey was denied by the woodwork as the hosts improved slightly after the break but they couldn’t muster an equaliser against their resilient visitors.It took Stoke just three minutes to find a breakthrough and it was the first indication that Williams was in for a torrid night.Bojan burst forward and lured the Swans’ captain into a clumsy challenge before dusting himself off to bury the resultant penalty in the top corner.Williams then horribly misjudged a cross from Marko Arnautovic which nearly let the impressive Joselu in for a Stoke second.While the Potters were in control, they nearly relinquished their stranglehold when Jack Butland miscontrolled the ball before recovering well to snuff out the danger with Andre Ayew poised to capitalise.Joselu then acrobatically volleyed wide before Glen Johnson skewed horribly off target after a smooth interchange with Xherdan Shaqiri.The Swans likely got an earful from manager Garry Monk at the break and Shelvey’s effort, which rattled off the base of the far post after he appeared to dawdle too long, suggested there would be more impetus in the second half.Arnautovic was the liveliest attacking outlet on the pitch but was unable to lift over the onrushing Fabianski when well picked out by Shaqiri just after the hour mark.The Swans’ wastefulness would continue into the dying embers, with only an ambitious effort from Gylfi Sigurdsson which whistled just wide threatening to level proceedings. Bojan last_img read more