The General Manager of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan,  Mr. Rasheed Balogun has commended the coaches and players of the team for their good performance so far but warned them against being complacent .

Balogun in a brief chat with the players and their officials after Tuesday's training, said he was happy the team has made great progress in the Nigeria Nigeria National League (NNL) Group B where the team leads the pack.

"I am happy that you have been able to overcome the initial setback, occasioned by the match day one 1-1 home draw against Abia Comets.

" Now that we are leading the rest in the race to top our group, I want to warn you seriously that the race has not ended. Although we are leading, yet, we are not there.

" We still have about three matches to play and then the play off, I want you to play those games as if the season is just starting because other teams would do everything possible to catch up with us, hence, the need for more efforts.


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"Look at a team like Giant Brillars, a team that we beat on their home ground in week two, as of then, they had no point, now they are second with nine points, it tells you how competitive the league is, so we should double our efforts for the remaining natches", said the ex Dolphins of Port Harcourt chieftain.

While praising the Edith Agoye led technical crew for their efforts so far, Ekulekuke, as the former Julius Berger top official is fondly called, charged the team to improve its goal scoring ability.

Shooting Stars are billed to take on Bayelsa United in Match Day Seven in Yenagoa next Wednesday after the Aiteo Cup round of 64 tie against Osun United, slated for this weekend, forced a shift of the encounter to the midweek.


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Nigeria’s U20 boys, Flying Eagles, have been fully schooled on best practices and moves and gestures to avoid on-field at the FIFA U20 World Cup finals opening in Poland on Thursday.

Immediately after the FIFA arrival meeting, traditionally held to welcome participating teams to the FIFA World Cup, FIFA referee instructor Jerome Damon took the players and officials on the new laws of the game, which would hold sway at the finals.

Damon, a South African, is a former FIFA referee.

Following theie arrival in Poland on Sunday and the first training on Monday, concentration is now fully on Friday’s opening match of Group D against Qatar at the 15,300 –capacity Tychy Stadium in the Slask region of Poland.

Described as one of the most beautiful sports facilities in the Slask region and home to first division club, GKS Tychy, the Tychy Stadium was one of the six venues that hosted the UEFA European U21 Championship in 2017. It was opened in July 2015.

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The Qatar U20 team shocked the football world when it reached the final of the FIFA U20 World Cup (then known as FIFA World Youth Championship) in Australia in 1981. The country lost 0-4 to Germany in the final.

Nigeria first appeared at the FIFA U20 World Cup in 1983 in Mexico, defeating then Soviet Union 1-0, losing 0-3 to Brazil and drawing 0-0 with the Netherlands to crash out at group stage.

The Flying Eagles took the bronze medals in 1985 at the expense of hosts, Soviet Union (after penalty shootout) and reached the final in 1989, losing 0-2 to Portugal. Nigeria again reached the final in 2005, but were undone by two penalties taken by Lionel Messi in a 2-1 defeat

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Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, on Sunday, completed a double over hard fighting Osun United FC of Osogbo.

The Nigeria National League (NNL) Group B1 Match Day Six encounter, decided at the Lekan Salami Stadium, was watched by a large crowd made up largely of the home fans and few travelling supporters of the visitors.

It was a keenly contested match as the Omoluabi Giants made good their promise to give Shooting Stars a tough time as they put up a gallant effort against the in form Stars.

Coach Samson Unuanel paraded a squad that had Anderson Okakem in goal, ably covered by the defence line consisting of Odudu Francis, David Mark, Suraj Sadiq, Habila David while Chinedu Emmanuel, Adio Yusuf , Alaji Rasaq and Emmanuel Peters held sway in the midfield. 
Upfront were the duo of Gafar Olafimihan and Victor Okeji.

On the other end, Coach Edith Agoye started the game with his regulars, Lucky Jimoh in goal, skipper Waheed Omololu, Taiwo Muritala, Nurudeen Amodu, Abbey Benson and Olawale Muriu at the rear, Gbadamosi Fatai,  Ayobami Junior and Francis Anene, in the middle and Opeoluwa Olufemi and Ifegwu Ojukwu in the front 

The Oluyole Warriors made a positive start to the game as they found the back of the net as early as the 12th minute of the encounter.

Opeoluwa Olufemi jumped above Osun United defenders to nod past goalkeeper Okakem, off a well directed free kick taken by Ayobami Junior.

The goal became the tonic the Oluyole Warriors needed, as they  caged the visitors to their own half in search of the second goal.

3SC had about two glaring chances to increase the tally, few minutes after the opener but poor marksmanship was their major undoing.

The close misses gave Osun United the strength to fight back, threatening the host on number of occasions but could not find the cutting edge, thus ending the first half 1-0 in Shooting Stars' favour.

On resumption of the second stanza, 3SC, backed by their vociferous fans, took over control of the game, pulling pressure on their opponent.

This paid off in the 55th minute when an Osun United's  defender's deflected ball, found Francis Anene who was lurking in the vital area and the midfielder made no mistake in placing the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Okakem for 3SC' second goal.


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Efforts by Shooting Stars to add to the margin failed to materialise just as Osun United failed to make some of the few dangerous moments they created in their host's goal area count.

The win moves 3SC closer to topping the group. They lead the pack with 13 points from five matches, four points more than that of second placed Giant Brillars , who have garbered nine points from the same number of games.

The outcome of the match, leaves Osun United at the bottom with just one point from five games and with three round of matches left to be played, the Omoluabi Giants appear to be heading for the drop.

Shooting Stars are expected to travel to Yenagoa this weekend for their match day seven fixture against Bayelsa United who have been on break for the past two weeks.

Osun United will play host to the real giant killers of the group, Giant Brillers in the same weekend, while Abia Comets, who seem to have lost steam after a good start will not be in action.
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President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick has charged the Nigeria U20 boys, Flying Eagles, to do the nation proud on and off the field at the FIFA U20 World Cup starting in Poland on Thursday.

Pinnick, in company with NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, arrived at the Flying Eagles’ The Monarch Hotel camp in Bad Goegging, Germany on Friday morning, ahead of the team’s departure to the World Cup on Sunday. The duo later joined the team at training.

“I have spoken to the head coach and he has assured me that you guys have made tremendous progress since arriving at the training camp here in Germany. Let me state clearly that as an U20 squad from Nigeria, so much is expected of you at the world stage. Nigeria has been in the final of the FIFA U20 World Cup on two occasions and won the bronze medals once before.

“The NFF and Nigerians generally, as well as the football world, expect so much from you in Poland.


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You must perform very well on the field while showing good attitude and sense of fairplay, and also make discipline, diligence and decency your watchwords off the field, in order to fly Nigeria’s flag high.”

On Friday, the Flying Eagles engaged Red Bull Leipzig of Germany in their final pre-World Cup friendly, three days after drawing 1-1 with Red Bull Salzburg in another friendly in Austria.

The Flying Eagles delegation will fly from Germany to Tychy on Sunday. They will take on Qatar in their first match of the FIFA U20 World Cup on Friday, 24th May, before other Group D games against USA (27th May) and Ukraine (30th May).


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Two - Time Nigeria Federation Cup Champions Akwa United are the second team to qualify for the Super-Six play-off of the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League season after Rangers International despite losing 2-1 to Delta Force in Asaba on Thursday.

A goal in each half by Christian Ekong and Iwuala Anayo helped Delta Force to a 2-1 win at the Stephen Keshi Stadium but the Promise Keepers book their place in the Super-Six play-off with two games to spare, after accumulating 37 points from 20 games.

League top scorer Mfon Udoh came off the bench to net Akwa United’s only goal of the game and his tenth of the season, when he calmly converted a spot kick after Aniefiok Godspower was brought down in the box by Sochima Victor.

Both sides began the game in a cautious note but it was the hosts that went in front inside the opening fifteen minutes when Christian Ekong beat the offside trap to fire home from close range.

The league leaders had a great chance to level up the scores few minutes later. Alberico Da Silva delivered a delightful diagonal pass to Ndifreke Effiong, the striker then lashed on to it and volley from outside the box but his effort went wide.

The Promise Keepers had two more chances which Alberico Da Silva and Ndifreke Effiong couldn’t bury for their side.


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Shortly after the restart, Iwuala Anayo and Denis Nya battle for possession in the box and the striker tumbled to the ground and the referee awarded a penalty to the home team. Ojo Olorunleke dived low to punch Christian Ekong’s spot kick but Anayo reacted quicker to tuck in the rebound as the hosts doubled their advantage.

Coach Rafael Everton threw league top scorer Mfon Udoh and pacy winger Wisdom Fernando into the fray and the duo turned on the heat on the home side.

An Akwa United goal always seemed likely and, when it arrived, it was their 29th goal of the season. Ndifreke Effiong cut through Delta Force midfield and freed Aniefiok Godspower but the midfielder was fouled in the box by goalkeeper Sochima Victor.

The referee awarded a penalty to Akwa United. Striker Mfon Udoh took the responsibility and dispatched it splendidly to pull a goal back for his side with his tenth goal of the season.

The Promise Keeper battled hard and, in a feisty encounter for an equaliser but three of their players Aniefiok Godspower and Alberico Da Silva received yellow cards while Markson Ojobo was sent off from the bench for urging one of the ball boys to give a ball to his team-mates.

There was still time for Delta Forces’ Egbo Otukhe to be red carded after the midfielder launched a dangerous challenge on Denis Nya which left the defender with a bloody nose.

Akwa United will host Abia Warriors on Sunday while Delta Force will travel to Kano for a date with Kano Pillars.

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Despite assuming a commanding lead in the Nigeria National League (NNL)  Group B1 table, chief coach of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) Edith Agoye said his team will keep fighting till the race is finally over

The Oluyole Warriors lead the pack in Group B1 with ten points from four matches, four points more than their closest ruvals, Bayelsa United and Giant Brillers who both l have six points each.

Going into the second round with that comfortable lead, Agoye insists his team will not relax but put in more efforts to win the group in style.

"Today's victory over Osun United and the loss of Abia Comets to Giant Brillers have helped to extend our lead over other teams in the group, it is a good development

"However, that is not a licence for us to relax, we will remain focussed and strive to get the much needed results in our remaining matches because it is not over, until it is over", the former Gateway FC sweat merchant asserted.

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On the victory over Osun United in Osogbo, Esin as the gaffer is fondly referred to, described the win as massive, stressing that the South West derby triumph, which did not come on a platter of gold, has boosted the confidence of the team

"When we drew our first game at home against Abia Comets, it was as if heaven will fall but we have been able to tally back with victories in our subsequent matches which has really helped us.

" We came to Osogbo, thinking about nothing but victory. We envisaged a tough game against Osun United and they gave it to us but we were prepared for them, hence the hard-fought victory", stated Agoye.

He also saluted the courage of his players whom he said knew that only a good result would do and they went for it.

"The players themselves believe that 3SC should not be playing in the NNL and that informed of their determination and commitment and I know they are very ready to fight till the end", said the former Shooting Stars goal poacher.

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Coach Gernot Rohr on Tuesday listed midfield enforcer Mikel John Obi, pacy winger Ahmed Musa and defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Abdullahi Shehu in a 25-man squad to prepare for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt this summer. Six other players are on standby.

Mikel Obi, who captained the team at the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia last year summer, has not been with the group since Nigeria’s elimination from the finals after a 1-2 defeat by Argentina in Saint Petersburg. However, a recent meeting with Coach Rohr in the United Kingdom sealed his return to the three –time African champions, with the possibility of adding to his 85 international caps.

Rohr has largely kept faith with the Trojans who earned a ticket to the AFCON finals with a match to spare, with goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Leon Balogun and William Ekong, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon also on the roll-call.

He has put on standby six players, among them defenders Ikouwem Utin and Valentine Ozornwafor who have also been named in Nigeria’s final 21 for the FIFA U20 World Cup starting in Poland next week. The Franco-German tactician explained to thenff.com that he has included the two players knowing the FIFA U20 World Cup will end on 15th June, six days before the first match will be played at the AFCON.

2018 FIFA World Cup defender Bryan Idowu is also on standby, alongside Portugal –based Mikel Agu and Egypt –based Junior Ajayi, and home –based goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai.

All invited players and officials are to report at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Asaba on Sunday, 2nd June, ahead of the friendly with the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Saturday, 8th June.



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The team will depart for Egypt on Sunday, 9th June aboard a chartered aircraft, set up a final training camp in the city of Ismailia and tackle Africa’s number one –ranked team, Senegal in their final pre-AFCON friendly on Sunday, 16th June.

Nigeria confront Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar in that order in Group B of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations taking place in four Egyptian cities 21st June – 19th July. 

 25 EAGLES FOR AFCON 2019 CAMP

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)

Six On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC)

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The Nigeria Basketball Federation has promised Technical Support to all individuals and corporate bodies investing in basketball camps and development at the grassroots level.
While commending the Players’ representative on the NBBF board Ejike Ugboaja who recently concluded a well-attended training camp in Lagos held between the 7th and 11th May at the National stadium Surulere, Lagos, the NBBF President Engr Musa Kida said investment in grassroots development is the only long term solution to a sustainable growth of basketball in Nigeria.
Engr. Kida lauded Ejike for his resilience and consistency in organizing the 2019 edition which incidentally was the 14th edition.
“From the reports made available to me, the camp was well attended with young and aspiring basketball players coming from all over the country for the 5-day event.”


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He described it as a commendable gesture as he urged others to take a cue from Ejike and Adams Joel who also recently organized the Mini Master Africa u-12 basketball championship.
“The federation is always ready to provide technical support to everybody whose aim is to develop the game. The NBBF is also trying to put up mechanisms in place to ensure that there is a database from these camps for its age grade teams.”
Kida said the Secretariat of the federation is open at every time for persons or organisations who require assistance from the Nigeria Basketball Federation in moving the game forward.

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The teeming lovers of rugby football in Nigeria are in for a double thrilling event aimed at taking the game to higher levels would see the launch of a new club named Lagos Island Rugby Football Club, as well as, a Governor's Cup to be be competed for by rugby teams in Lagos state.

The club nicknamed the 'Islanders', which would be based in Lagos Island local government of the state, is the initiative of renowned politician and rugby enthusiast, Larinde Williams.

The launch of "The Islanders" is expected to hold Saturday, 6th, July 2019, at the Hilario Campus mini stadium Lagos Island.

It would also see teams competing in a commemorative tournament tagged the "Governor's Rugby Cup" which will form part of the new Rugby Club's contribution to the  inauguration of the new Executive Governor of Lagos State Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.

According to Williams, the initiative is one of his several contributions towards the development of the community and his immediate constituency. As well as, providing the youths with alternative sporting activity that would help them develop a career.

The auspicious event which is slated to hold between 12- 4 pm, will witness a specially organised rugby match featuring the Governor's Rugby Select XV Team who will lock horns against the new club, Lagos Island RFC.

In line with his vision to also develop the sport in schools, two schools that are already playing rugby will feature in a curtain raiser, Seven - A - Side exhibition match to usher in the Governor's Rugby Cup.

Honourable Larinde Williams said; "I am so passionate about rugby and I have decided to give back to my constituency and the society through this rugby initiative of establishing the Lagos Island Rugby Club and the Catch Them Young program in schools."

"We have also enlisted the assistance of a renowned rugby development expert in Nigeria, Ntiense Williams, to help lay a good foundation for this futuristic rugby and community development program for the restless young people in my constituency," he added.


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" As a politician, I strongly believe that we can use our political strength to benefit our youths through sports and in this case, rugby, in particular.

" It would help rid our society of social vices which are endemic in our communities. Government may not be able to do it alone, but their interest and endorsement of this project will greatly endear the populace to this incoming administration, " he noted.

He went ahead to admonish well placed individuals and corporate body to partner with the program in its efforts to make the society better.

Amongst other dignitaries expected to grace the occasion will be the newly installed Executive Governor of Lagos State, notable politicians from the State and Lagos Island constituency.
Also expected at the event are members of Lagos State Sports Commission led by its Chairman, board members of Lagos State Rugby Association, the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation big wigs led by the President, as well as rugby enthusiasts.


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Ifeju Ojukwu's 76th minutes goal was all that made the difference in Saturday's South West derby between Osun United of Osogbo and Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan.

The Nigeria National League (NNL) Group B1 match day five encounter lived up to the billings as the two sides battled for the all important maximum points.

The Osogbo Township Stadium witnessed a large turn out of soccer lovers as the United fans trooped out to support their team but met a stiff competition from the travelling 3SC supporters and fans led by the Chairman, Shooting Stars Supporters Club, Femi Oyeniyi.

Coach Edith Agoye made few changes to the starting eleven he paraded against Bayelsa United as the trio of Ayobami Junior, Aderemi Yusuf and recuperating Francis Anene were not listed while Ojukwu made his first start for the Oluyole Warriors.

As expected, the Omoluabi Giants, needing the maximum points to stay safe on the log, tried to stamp their authority in the opening exchanges in the game which had referee Joy Ogunboye from Ondo state directing proceedings

Spearheaded by ex 3SC defender, Suraj Sadiq, the coach Samson Unuanel tutored sides attempted to seize the initiatives with Abdulrahman Rahman, Adio Yusuf, Suleiman Ajibade and Mehmud Akorede holding forth in the midfield.

However, the defence line of 3SC made up of skipper Waheed Omololu, Taiwo Muritala, Nurudeen Amodu Isiaka Mutiu and Abbey Benson were able to stop United's dangerous striker, Gafar Olafimihan and his partner, Andrew Kasgat from getting the ball past equally alert goalkeeper Lucky Jimoh in goal for 3SC.

For the large part of the first half, 3SC were unable to play their usual free flow pattern, no thanks to the Sandy pitch but Mohammed Akilu, Gbadamosi Fatai and Opeoluwa Olufemi did all they could to control the game .

Ifeju Ojukwu was however, the host tormentor in chief as he kept Sadiq, David Mark, Afolabi Olatubosun and Daniel Edeh busy.

The first half, which ended goalless, did not go without a negative side as United goalkeeper, Nurudeen Lateef was forced to exit the game after landing awkwardly in an attempt to punch the ball. He was replaced with Anderson Okakem.




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Both sides had all to play for in the second half but it was the Oluyole Warriors that displayed more hunger for goal as they mount more pressure on the homers in search of the opener.

The introduction of Ahmed Rasheed in Shooting Stars' forward, added bite to the attack and this paid off in the 76th minute when Ojukwu finally broke the deadlock.

Fatai Gbadamosi benefited from a faulty clearance by the Osun United backline and he wastes no time locating Ojukwu who found his way through to the vital area before calmly placing the ball at the far right of goalkeeper Okakem for the only goal of the game.

Efforts by the Omoluabi Giants to, at least salvage a point, proved abortive as 3SC players held their nerves to defend the goal till the final whistle.

The victory, the third in a row for the Oluyole Warriors keep them on top of the log with ten (10) points from four matches while Bayelsa United are placed second with six points same as Giant Brillars who shocked Abia Commets  1-0 on the road also on Saturday.

Comets, with the home loss to Brillars, dropped to fourth position with five points from four matches while Osun United are rooted to the bottom with just a point from four games.

Second round of matches begin this weekend, baring any change, with 3SC hosting Osun United while Comets will visit Enugu as guests of Giant Brillars.


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