Senegal, Japan draw in exciting game at Yekaterinburg

1 day 2 hours ago

Senegal were held to a 2-2 draw by Japan in their second 2018 FIFA World Cup Group H match at the Yekaterinburg Stadium in Russia on Sunday.

The result means, the Teranga Lions stay top in Group H, while the Blue Samurai remain second of the table.

The Teranga lions were the better side in the early exchanges and deservedly took the lead 11 minutes into the game.

Sadio Mane scored from close range to make it 1-0 to Senegal after Youssouf Sabaly’s shot was parried into his path by Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

FIFA World Cup: Senegal, Japan play out thrilling 2-2 draw https://t.co/kvQM9ipY5B pic.twitter.com/usWgNDvCwP— Daily News Telecast (@news_telecast) June 24, 2018

Match 31 #FootballWorldCup2018#JPNSEN#JPN 2 #SEN 2#Japan drew the match in 78th minute courtesy #KHonda goal. #Senegal currently stand at 2 in their group H behind #JPN.#WorldCup#FifaWorldCup2018 #WorldCupRussia2018— Jieyaa ??????????????? (@swayinthewoods) June 24, 2018

The Samurai Blue tried to respond with a goal, but Makoto Hasebe’s goal-bound long-range shot was blocked inside the Senegal box in the 16th minute.

The Senegal defence which was led by Salif Sane looked solid and organized with Idrissa Gueye working tirelessly just in front of the backline.

Sane, who is set to join German side Schalke 04 next month, made two good clearances from Gaku Shibasaki’s free-kick and Yuto Nagamoto’s cross.

However, the Senegal defence was exposed in the 34th minute following some good work Nagamoto down the left-hand side.

Nagamoto controlled the ball well, before setting up Takashi Inui, who curled the ball into the bottom corner to make it 1-1 for Japan.

The Teranga Lions then tried to restore their lead with the half-time break fast approaching.

M’Baye Niang, who netted for Senegal against Poland on Tuesday, had a chance to score after being sent through on goal by Pape N’Diaye.

Group H #WorldCup
1st Place – Japan ?? & Senegal ?? (Same points, Same aggregate)

2nd Place – Poland ?? & Colombia ??
(Same points, Same aggregate)

Next match: #POL versus #COL
- loser gets eliminated
- every team in this group could end up with 4 points each. CRAZY!— ❂ Yübbîę Umoh ❂ (@Yubbie007) June 24, 2018

FIFA World Cup, Japan 2 : 2 Senegal— Aragon484848 (@Aragon4848) June 24, 2018

However, the lanky forward was brilliantly denied by on-rushing Kawashima to ensure that the first-half ended with Japan and Senegal locked at 1-1.

The Blue Samurai looked lively after the restart and they nearly scored through their main striker Yuya Osako three minutes into the second-half.

The marksman rose highest inside the Senegal box and he forced keeper N’Diaye into a good diving save.

N’Diaye was beaten in the 65th minute by Inui, but the crossbar came to the Teranga Lions rescue and the Africans survived a scare.

Senegal however took the lead again against the run of play after some good work by Sabaly down the left-hand side.

Sabaly’s cross found an unmarked Moussa Wague, who fired past Kawashima to make it to make it 2-1 to Senegal in the 71st minute.

It was end-to-end stuff as Keisuke Honda proved to be a super-sub after replacing Shinji Kagawa.

The CF Pachuca midfielder fired home with a powerful shot to make it 2-2 for Japan in the 78th minute after the Senegal defence was exposed.

The two teams launched late attacks in search of a winning goal, but it did not come and ultimately, Japan, and Senegal settled for a 2-2 stalemate.

Japan 2-2 Senegal: Sadio Mane scores but Blue Samurai fight back to earn draw https://t.co/rBnXsstBjc— MA Consultancy Digital Marketing Agency Wales (@MAConsultancy1) June 24, 2018

Japan and Senegal are evenly good teams. Impressed by them both so far in the tournament.— Special One (@SirAlexesque) June 24, 2018

Japan and Senegal draw in https://t.co/5C3lcyHpSa https://t.co/5C3lcyHpSa— Soccer24 (@Soccer24Zim) June 24, 2018

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Mo Salah considering quitting Egyptian national team

1 day 3 hours ago

Liverpool star Mo Salah is considering ending his international career when the World Cup reaches its conclusion.

Salah, who scored 44 goals for the Reds last season, is set for an early exit from the finals in Russia after the Pharoahs lost their opening tow matches.

The forward scored a penalty in the second game against the hosts, but Hector Cuper’s men were beaten both by Russia and Uruguay.

They take on Saudi Arabia on Monday, amid suggestions that the 25-year-old could be about to pull out of the national side.

Can someone confirm the MoSalah story plz?? RamyCol is Mo quitting #Egypt team? pic.twitter.com/F9eBIGHoxl— shaimaa khalil BBC (@Shaimaakhalil) June 24, 2018

Mohamed Salah is considering quitting the Egypt national team after being drawn into a political row in Chechnya.

ESPN FC sources: https://t.co/vsAwSycjMl pic.twitter.com/kZjrhZNADd— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 24, 2018

Salah so angry at Egyptian FA's use of him he is considering quittinghttps://t.co/BGgyO3UTbC— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) June 24, 2018

Salah had expressed shock last week that he was thinking about leaving before the final group match.

But now Salah and his representatives are increasingly unhappy at what they perceive as the Liverpool star being used as a political pawn by the Egyptian FA.

Salah is claimed to be assessing his future, following what has turned into something of a debacle at Egypt’s training base in Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic.

Huge news. Mo Salah considering quitting the Egypt national team. Big news via JohnSinnott. https://t.co/QQDZ7dl673

— James Masters (Masters_JamesD) June 24, 2018

Mo Salah considers quitting Egypt duty after the #WorldCup https://t.co/uxxhInBzvy pic.twitter.com/OzWFS9kAW8— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) June 24, 2018

Sources have confirmed to IndyFootball that Mo Salah is considering his Egypt future. Relationship with their FA is a major factor https://t.co/VnSM9cdfgC

— Ed Malyon (eaamalyon) June 24, 2018

As Salah looked to regain fitness and shrug off the shoulder injury suffered against Real Madrid in the Champions League final ahead of the tournament, he was pictured walking beside Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya since 2004, has been accused of numerous human rights violations, including discriminating against women and persecuting sexual minorities.

On Friday he made Salah an honorary citizen of the Chechen Republic, during a banquet held to say goodbye to the Egypt sqyad. Kadyrov posed with Salah and Hany Abo Ride, chairman of Egypt’s football federation for pictures.

“Mohamed Salah is an honorary citizen of the Chechen Republic! That’s right!” the Chechen leader wrote in a social media post. “I gave Mohamed Salah a copy of the order and a pin at a celebratory dinner that I gave in honour of the Egyptian team.”

Mohamed Salah could quit Egypt over political controversy with Chechnya leader: https://t.co/17BfrCoDK1 pic.twitter.com/kL3ksZB8Q2— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) June 24, 2018

Fresh report that Mohamed Salah is considering quitting the Egypt teamhttps://t.co/LayFxXs7uh pic.twitter.com/GHFLrnI6yf— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) June 24, 2018

A video of the encounter released by the Russian state-funded news agency RT showed Salah smiling as Kadyrov gave a short speech and pinned a badge bearing the Chechen flag to the Liverpool forward’s shirt. Salah was also given a silver plate and a signed jersey from FC Akhmat Grozny, the football club Kadyrov has renamed in honour of his father.

It has been claimed that Kadyrov is looking to use sport as a means to bolster his image, and that he is using Salah to enhance his reach towards potential allies in North Africa and the Middle East. Kadyrov is looking to further diplomatic relations between the semi-autonomous state over which he rules and foreign governments, while also increasing foreign investment in the republic.

Kadyrov has hit back at such suggestions, telling the BBC: “Everyone has played here, even Maradona at our stadium, but we don’t use this kind of thing for politics. Our enemies are paid to write things like that. I didn’t invite Mo Salah or the Egyptian team. They chose us themselves.”

Mo Salah could quit Egyptian national team, “feels exposed” by the events and doesn't want to be used for Chechnya’s political gain, per CNN https://t.co/reBt9IeSKw pic.twitter.com/UeSG22RtlG

— Bleacher Report (BleacherReport) June 24, 2018

Mo Salah could reportedly quit the Egypt national team after controversy surrounding his involvement with Chechnya during the World Cuphttps://t.co/dncDWcxVdd pic.twitter.com/QcRet1v1mr— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 24, 2018

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Ighalo labels Nigeria,Agentina decider 'war'

1 day 3 hours ago

Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo says Tuesday’s decisive World Cup Group D clash against Argentina in St Petersburg will be “a war”.

Argentina must win to reach the second round while the Super Eagles can qualify with either victory or a draw.

“It’s going to be war (and) a final of finals because they need to win,” Ighalo told BBC Sport.

“They are going to come all out and (use) every tactic that they know to win a game.”

Fifth world cup meeting

The clash between Argentina and Nigeria will be the fifth World Cup meeting between the sides – with the Super Eagles yet to avoid defeat.

With maximum points in Russia following wins over Nigeria and Argentina, group leaders Croatia have already claimed one of the group’s berths in the Round of 16.

That has left Nigeria, Iceland and Argentina – runners-up at the 2014 World Cup – scrapping for just one place.

The Super Eagles’ 2-0 defeat of Iceland on Friday moved them second with three points, while both Iceland and Argentina have mustered just a solitary point apiece following their 1-1 draw on 16 June.

Should Croatia beat Iceland on Tuesday in Rostov-on-Don, the African side could go through with a point.

Argentina, by contrast, will qualify with a win if Iceland fail to win on Tuesday or, should the island nation emerge victorious, by outscoring them and so improving their inferior goal difference.

Tough game on Tuesday

“I am expecting it to be a very tough game but I think we are capable of qualifying,” said Ighalo.

Nigeria’s defeat of Iceland came courtesy of a double from Ahmed Musa, who partnered Kelechi Iheanacho in attack, with Ighalo appearing as a second-half substitute.

Despite being dropped, 29-year-old Ighalo was delighted by the change of tactics from Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr who switched to a back three and started with two strikers.

“It makes it easier because I was isolated (against Croatia) – alone with four different guys – which was very difficult but we played with two strikers (against Iceland), which is much easier for the strikers to move, to come, and you can see that we got goals,” he explained.

Determination in camp

The China-based star said there had been a real determination in the camp to atone for the lacklustre display in the 2-0 loss to Croatia, which had upset both the squad and its supporters.

“After the last game, Nigerians were disappointed. They were not happy and saying a lot of things about the team but now they are having the confidence back,” he said.

“We (also) were not happy. We were a little bit angry because we knew we had to step our game and to do better. The mood is so high now in the dressing room because when you win games, everybody is happy. So we want to keep that until our next game.”

Musa:Nigeria’s top world cup scorer

Ahmed Musa’s strikes, which came on top of a brace against Argentina at the 2014 finals, made him Nigeria’s top scorer in World Cup history with four goals.

Only Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan, with six, and Cameroon’s 1990 World Cup star Roger Milla, with five, have ever scored more at the finals for Africa.

With three of the continent’s sides – Egypt and Morocco and Tunisia having exited after just two games, Ighalo says Nigeria are very conscious of the need to salvage African pride in Russia.

“That is why we have to do better and step up our game, because two Africans are already out and a loss (against Iceland) would have pushed us out of the tournament,” said the China-based forward.

“We know Africans are back there supporting us and Senegal.”

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Ghana's president bans appointees from foreign travels

1 day 4 hours ago

Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo has banned all ministers, deputy ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and heads of government agencies from foreign travels.

It is unclear what may have prompted the new directive but a memo from the presidency said the ban was temporary.

The memo, which was signed by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare said the minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey is exempted from the directive.

I’m reading Appointees Banned From Travelling (1) on Scribd #ReadMore https://t.co/Wk4vwsRgrD— Great Tutankhamun (OtengJesse) June 24, 2018

President Bans Foreign Travels for All Ministers and State Officials In Ghana https://t.co/tCZUXV8lyF pic.twitter.com/UWwpYKa0qr— maame broni (@IamMaameBroni) June 24, 2018

“The President of the Republic has directed that, all foreign travels by Hon. Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs and Heads of Government Agencies be temporarily suspended with immediate effect. Guidelines in respect of future foreign travels aimed at minimizing disruption to Government’s domestic work will be communicated to you shortly.

The memo however exempted the minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration from the temporary foreign travels ban.

Precious time and resources are frequently wasted on trips while core government activities to drive development are left unattended to. This is a good move, President Akufo-Addo of Ghana. https://t.co/hAUZZ0HI0f https://t.co/MeQRnxEFM1— Stephen Yeboah (@stephen_yeboah) June 24, 2018

Ghana Bans Ministers, Other Appointees from Unproductive Foreign Travels https://t.co/Ty8qgQ6SG0 pic.twitter.com/KETzKFq0Gw— African Eye Report (@A_EyeReport) June 24, 2018

The last time a similar travel restriction fro government officials was imposed was in December 2015 under the John Mahama government where he banned public officials from first-class air travel as part of efforts to cut wasteful spending.

Some officials in government have had the cause to complain about incessant travels of some appointees who in most cases are unable to justify why they travelled outside the country.

A former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourist Development Company, Akua Djanie recently resigned from her position alleging among other things that her boss, was fond of travelling outside the country, neglecting the core duties at the company.

“I wanted to work, not travel and chop per diem…I don’t see what GTDC is doing. The CEO travels every month for two weeks straight. In April, he was gone for three weeks,” she stated in an interview with a local radio station Citi FM.

Most of such travels are on the account of the Ghanaian taxpayer and the presidency believes, they also lead to a serious disruption in local government business.

Akufo-Addo bans ministers, other appointees from foreign travels https://t.co/KEGsP5GMn0 pic.twitter.com/r4X1l3WqDp— MiMGhana.com (@MiMGhana) June 24, 2018

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At least 32 civilians killed in central Mali

1 day 4 hours ago

At least 32 civilians were killed and ten are missing following an attack in central Mali, believed to have been carried out by traditional hunters, local officials said on Sunday.

Armed Dozo hunters, linked to the Dogon ethnic group, were suspected of ambushing the isolated village of Koumaga in the Mopti region on Saturday, killing dozens of Fulani herders, including children.

“They surrounded the village, separated the Fulani people from the others and killed at least 32 civilians in cold blood,” said Abel Aziz Diallo, president of the local Tabila Pullaku association.

Another 10 people were missing, he added.

“The men were dressed in Dozo clothing but we wonder if they were all Dozo hunters,” said an elected official from the region, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Malian authorities were not immediately available for comment.

Increasing violence

Violence has increased over the past three years in central Mali between nomadic Fulani herders and Bambara and Dogon farmers, sparked by accusations of Fulanis grazing cattle on Dogon land and disputes over access to land and water.

Central Mali is a vast area where the state is near-absent and jihadists, blamed for exacerbating the dispute, roam with little constraint.

The Bambara and Dogon ethnic groups accuse the pastoralists of colluding with jihadists.

The armed forces are facing increasing accusations of arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings in their fight against the insurgents.

“What is happening is very serious, we must avoid confusion. Just because we are Fulani does not mean we are terrorists,” said Diallo.

Serious concern

On May 19 a Malian soldier and at least 12 other people were killed in violence that occurred during an army patrol through a market.

The army said the 12 were “terrorists” who had been “neutralised”, but local residents said they were civilians.

The Malian army is often accused of making arbitrary arrests and carrying out extra-judicial executions in the fight against jihadists.

On Thursday, The United States asked for a “credible and transparent” investigation following the discovery of the bodies of 25 Fulani in three mass graves in the Mopti region. Washington called on Bamako to recognise the involvement of “certain personnel” of the army.

Canada, which will deploy some 250 peacekeepers in Mali in the coming weeks, said it was “deeply concerned” by the alleged military involvement and called for the “perpetrators of these heinous crimes to be brought to justice”.

Mali’s president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Friday insisted on “the respect of human rights by all the military, which has an obligation to protect the population”.

Mali’s unrest stems from a 2012 Tuareg separatist uprising against the state which was exploited by jihadists in order to take over key cities in the north.

The extremists were largely driven out in a French-led military operation launched in January 2013.

But large stretches of the country remain out of the control of Malian, French and UN forces, which are frequent targets of attacks.

AFP

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