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CAF Confederation Cup: Kwara United beat Niger Republic’s AS Douanes 3-0

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Kwara United Football Club of Ilorin on Sunday began their 2022/2023 CAF Confederation Cup campaign with a 3-0 win over visiting AS Douanes of Niger Republic.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match, a first leg match in the preliminary round of the competition, was played at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos.

Kwara United drew the first blood in the fifth minute when Samson Paul followed up Wasiu Jimoh’s rebound effort to tap home at close range.

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The hosts controlled most of the proceedings and were dictating the pace of the game with Issa Gata leading with his mesmerising display in the middle of the pack.

The centre referee awarded a penalty kick in the 17th minute when a player of AS Douanes was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the goal area.

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Jimoh scored the penalty kick, even though the visitors’ goalkeeper Omar Halidou got the direction.

But the ball was too fast for him to stop the match’s second goal from being recorded in the 18th minute.

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Kwara United maintained their dominance of the match and kept the pressure on for most part of the first 45 minutes.

With four minutes left on the clock before the break, Kwara United added the third goal of the match.

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Gata won possession in the dangerous area before gaining advantage to score with a powerful shot.

Even though rain affected the flow of the game in the first half, the second half was more competitive as the visitors troubled the hosts in the midfield.

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The visitors’ attempts to reduce the tally was always thwarted by the resilient efforts of the duo of Ayodeji Bamidele and Abiodun Adebayo in the Kwara United defence.

NAN reports that the return leg match will hold at the Général Seyni Kountché Stadion or Stade Municipal in Niamey, Niger Republic next Sunday.

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The winners over the two legs will face Moroccan side Berkane, who are the current holders of the Confederation Cup title.

This is Kwara United FC’s third appearance in CAF competitions, having played in the CAF Cup in the 1999/2000 and 2006/2007 seasons.

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Kwara United FC finished fourth in the 2021/2022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season, and joined Remo Stars to represent Nigeria in the 2022/2023 Confederation Cup.

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Croatia, Netherlands Qualifies For Nations League Semi-finals

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Croatia and the Netherlands booked their places in the last four of the Nations League as champions France needed a favour to avoid relegation from the top tier on Sunday 25 September, 2022.

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Les Bleus were beaten 2-0 in Denmark to finish with just one win from their six group games, but Croatia’s 3-1 win at Austria saved the world champions from the drop.

Didier Deschamps will be hoping to have a number of key men back from injury by the time France’s defence of the World Cup begins against Australia on November 22 2022.

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They will also come up against the Danes in the group stage in Qatar and the Euro 2020 semi-finalists showed they are more than capable of causing France more trouble in two months’ time.

Both goals came before half-time as Kasper Dolberg stretched to turn home Mikkel Damsgaard’s cross before Andreas Skov Olsen volleyed in from the edge of the area.

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France were without Hugo Lloris, Jules Kounde, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Karim Benzema through injury.

But the star trio of Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe failed to find a way back into the game.

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Denmark’s win meant Croatia needed to get all three points in Austria to top the group.

Luka Modric got the 2018 World Cup finalists off to a flying start, but they were quickly pegged back by Christoph Baumgartner’s header.

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Two goals in three second half minutes proved decisive as Marko Livaja and Dejan Lovren headed in at the far post.

Defeat relegated Austria to League B.
The Netherlands made sure of top spot in Group A4 with a 1-0 win over Belgium thanks to Virgil van Dijk’s header 17 minutes from time.

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The Dutch just needed to avoid defeat by a three-goal margin after winning 4-1 in Brussels earlier in the group.

A Belgian revival never looked likely and Van Dijk settled the game when he was left completely unmarked to head in a corner inside the six-yard box.

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In the same group, Wales were relegated after losing 1-0 at home to Poland.

Karol Swiderski scored the only goal in Cardiff from Robert Lewandowski’s cushioned through ball.

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Why I Hired A Witch Doctor – Paul Pogba

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Juventus midfielder, Paul Pogba has confessed to hiring a witch doctor.

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The French International, however, said it was not to harm anyone but to help him with his injuries.

He explained to investigators working for France’s Central Office for the Fight against Organised Crime (OCLCO) that he was “looking to be protected against injury” and “also to help poor kids in Africa” he was in connection with through an aid organisation.

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Two judicial sources in Paris confirmed the revelations and the transcript from interviews completed last month.

Pogba’s confession comes after his brother, Mathias, claimed ‘The Marabout’ who calls himself ‘Ibrahim the Great’ was paid to cast evil spells on Mbappé.

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Five suspects including Mathias, have been charged with trying to blackmail Pogba out of more than £ 11 million.

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Fury to Joshua: Sign contract by Monday or fight is off

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Tyson Fury has set Anthony Joshua a deadline of Monday to sign a contract for their hugely anticipated all-British showdown or forget about facing him for the world heavyweight title.

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There have been protracted talks between the two camps of World Boxing Council champion Fury and Joshua, a former holder of the sport’s other major heavyweight titles.

Only last week the deal, based upon a 60-40 split in Fury’s favour, was said to have been accepted by Joshua’s management team.

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Veteran promoter Frank Warren said a contract had been sent to Joshua’s camp.

Eddie Hearn, the promoter of Joshua, added minor issues remained to be resolved ahead of a fight expected to take place before the end of this year.

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Fury, however, is now convinced Joshua is trying to back out, prompting an expletive-filled social media post about his rival on Friday.

He remained highly critical, if more measured when talking about Joshua on Saturday.

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“I was optimistic about three weeks ago but it shouldn’t be taking this long to sign a contract,” Fury said in a video posted on the Twitter feed of Queensberry Promotions.

“We’ll know by Monday anyway because if it’s not done by Monday then I’m moving on.”

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“I’m not waiting around for some guy who’s lost three of his last five fights. He’s lucky that I’m giving him a world title shot.”

The 34-year-old added: “He is an invited guest at my party – my rules. So, if you want to play the game, come to the banquet and take your seat.”

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Warren, however, remained optimistic the fight would go ahead, telling BT Sport: “There is a meeting taking place on Monday and I am hoping that is going to resolve what I feel is just a few outstanding issues, not for us, but it seems for them.

“Let’s hope they are good as their word and they don’t duck out of it.”

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Fury made the offer for a ‘Battle of Britain’ bout with Joshua after it emerged Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO, IBF and WBA champion, had ruled out fighting again until early next year.

Joshua, 32, suffered his second straight loss to the Ukrainian in Saudi Arabia last month.

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Fury announced he was retiring on his 34th birthday last month, having previously performed a number of U-turns over his future in the sport.

But in a video posted on social media earlier this month, he challenged Joshua to a showdown.

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