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Golden Eaglets Book 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup Ticket

first_imgGolden Eaglets Five-time world champions Nigeria became the first African team to book a 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup ticket after 1-0 defeat of Angola in Dar es Salaam Wedneday.The win means that the Eaglets return to the FIFA U-17 World Cup after missing out of the last edition staged in India two years ago.Olakunle Olusegun earned the ticket to the tournament semi finals and to Brazil 2019 when he hooked a 21st minute penalty to the roof of the net with Angola’s goalkeeper Geovani stranded. But the Golden Eaglets were guilty of profligacy and the technical crew certainly has much to do still. As happened against host nation Tanzania on Sunday, the Eaglets proved to be masters of use of space and close control, but they mostly lacked the right ideas and punch in the final third, just as some passes went astray at critical moments.Two-goal hero against Tanzania, Wisdom Ubani could have been on the scorer-sheet in the 11th minute but his fierce effort from a 22-yard free kick went narrowly off target.Angola were not to be brow-beaten, as Zito latched onto the ball a few metres from the centre and unleashed a rocket that goalkeeper Sunday Stephen, in for the jittery Suleman Shaibu, did well to punch away.Three minutes later, Stephen had to be alert to push away another fierce Angolan shot, but two minutes later, at the other end, Ubani’s swift turn and shot came quite close with Geovani beaten.An Angolan defender handled the ball in the box under pressure in the 21st minute, and Olusegun made no mistake from the spot to put Nigeria in front.They could have had many more, but Shedrack Tanko bundled against the upright in the 42nd minute when it appeared easier to score, and Olusegun’s effort to chip Goevani from a swift counter was well –read by the goalkeeper.In the second period, the Eaglets’ profligacy continued, even after the Angolans were reduced to 10 men in the 51st minute as Jose Cabincano earned a second yellow card. In the 53rd minute, Ubani’s stinging shot from 25 yards went narrowly over, and on the hour, when it appeared easier to score, Ubani passed the ball to onrushing Olusegun who missed from close range.Substitutes Ibraheem Jabaar, Divine Nwachukwu and Peter Agba could not effect any improvement in the Eaglets’ game, and Nwachukwu even missed a glorious opportunity with six minutes to the end.Nigeria will certainly finish at the head of Group A if they avoid defeat against Uganda at the same venue on Saturday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Baseball takes two of three against Utah

first_imgUSC baseball welcomed Utah to Dedeaux Field this weekend in the Trojans’ third Pac-12 series of the season. On the heels of a midweek, extra-inning victory over Pepperdine, USC looked to push themselves to and over the .500 mark in their three-game set against the Utes. After taking the first two games, the Trojans went into Sunday’s contest trying for the sweep.Senior pitcher Kyle Davis drew the start in the series finale, but the veteran righty struggled through 2 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on six hits — two of them home runs.The bullpen had been lights out for two days, before imploded spectacularly on Sunday, coughing up nine runs in relief of Davis and putting USC in a 13-run hole by the bottom of the fifth. Junior Andrew Wright, senior Brent Wheatley and sophomore Mason Perryman combined to give up the nine runs over 3 1/3 innings following Davis’ exit.The Trojans did their best to rally offensively. Senior David Oppenheim drove in three runs on Sunday, plating redshirt sophomore Frankie Rios twice, as well as redshirt junior Reggie Southall. Senior AJ Ramirez crushed a 2-run shot, and juniors Corey Dempster and Jeremy Martinez both chipped in with an RBI apiece. Four Trojans recorded multi-hit days, but they never sniffed the lead, falling 14-8 after scoring 7 unanswered runs.The series got off to a great start for the Trojans, as redshirt junior pitcher Joe Navilhon enjoyed another career night on the mound. The right-hander fanned nine over seven innings — both career highs — en route to his third win of the year.“Navilhon has been huge for the first two games of the last two [series],” head coach Dan Hubbs said. “If we get that kind of pitching on a Friday … we’re right where we want to be.”As Navilhon dealt, the offense spread the love on Friday. Senior outfielder Timmy Robinson, senior infielder AJ Ramirez and redshirt junior shortstop Reggie Southall all chipped in with an RBI apiece, and junior catcher Jeremy Martinez led the team with two runs batted in. Senior Brooks Kriske notched a four-out save to cap the night, earning all his outs via strikeout, and USC opened the series with a 5-2 victory.Sophomore pitcher Mitch Hart continued his comeback from injury the following day, starting his second game of the season on Saturday. He gave up four hits and a run in his three innings of work and notched his first strikeout of the year before making way for junior Bernardo Flores. The left-hander pitched a scoreless frame before the Trojan bats got on the board.In the bottom of the fourth, Robinson lined a two-out single up the middle before stealing second base. He broke for the plate when sophomore infielder Angelo Armenta followed up with an infield single, and Robinson slid home safely on an errant throw to tie things at one. Ramirez singled to drive in Armenta and give USC a 2-1 lead.Armenta raced home again in the sixth to double the Trojans’ advantage on a Southall RBI single. Junior outfielder Corey Dempster then crushed a 3-run shot to extend the USC lead to 5 runs. Meanwhile, Flores continued to cruise through the Utes’ lineup. He put a bow on his impressive six scoreless innings of relief in the ninth, earning his first win of the season by sealing the Trojans’ 6-1 victory.“I was relaxed, executing all my pitches,” Flores said. “[My teammates] were behind me the whole way, and I just let them do the work for me.”Being relaxed seemed to be a theme among the USC players this weekend, and their confident approach paid dividends both on the mound and at the plate.“Everyone’s starting to feel a little more comfortable,” Dempster said. “You relax and just do your job, and if you don’t do your job, the next guy’s going to do your job and pick you up.”Next up for the Trojans is a visit to Pepperdine on Tuesday. After the rematch against the Waves, they will prepare for a tough weekend road trip to Eugene, as USC returns to Pac-12 play against Oregon.last_img read more