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Minos Nania beat giants Kotoko in Ghana FA Cup final

Minos Nania beat giants Kotoko in Ghana FA Cup final

Abedi Pele and players celebrating FA Cup triumph

Nania FC made history by becoming the first team outside the top-flight to win the MTN Ghana FA Cup when beating holders Asante Kotoko 1-0 after extra-time on Sunday.

The Accra-based side, owned and coached by legend Abedi Pele, won the final thanks to a goal scored by substitute Evan Omani.
Omani was teed up inside Kotoko’s box and the forward back-heeled to beat hapless goalkeeper Soulama Abdoulaye who was stuck on his line in the 105th minute.

Nania recovered from a poor first half extra-time to sting the eight-time winners of the FA Cup to bring more glory to their club owner who led the side on the pitch.

The club will receive 20,000 Ghana cedis (US$ 13,333) prize money and a ticket to play in next year’s Caf Confederation Cup.

The first half ended with Nania FC dominating proceedings with a replica of a Barcelona-style of football but lacked the finishing power.

Kotoko were quiet but had they had moreopportunities and they could have opened the scoring with experienced duo of Ahmed Toure and Alex Asamoah upfront with several chances.

In stoppage time of the first 45 minutes, Nania midfielder Prince Baffooe’s shot slipped through the hands of goalkeeper Soulama but the resultant corner-kick was wasted.

Earlier in the 21st minute, Kotoko striker Toure accelerated on the break controlled in the area and laid a pass to the on-rushing Boateng but the latter shot wide disappointingly.

The script was the same in the second half with Nania winning the plaudits but failing to finish off a lacklustre Kotoko side. The highlights only came in time added on.

First, a lovely header on goal by Nania FC’s Babamu Yussif was saved by goalie Soulama who stretched to keep the scoreline still barren.

On 94 minutes, Nania goalkeeper Michael Osai was forced to make a double save inside the box. He failed to clutch Frank Boateng’s powerful shot from 20-yards to his chest fell to Nathaniel Asamoah whose shot was saved again.

Then came the substitute Omani who scored with a beautiful goal to seal the historic victory to keep Abedi Pele firmly in ther historic books of Ghana football.

The FA Cup was revived this season after a ten-year break and was sponsored by telecommunication giants MTN.

Kotoko won the last edition in 2001 beating city-rivals King Faisal 1-0 at the same venue.

Asante Kotoko: Soulama Abdoulaye, Mohammed Sabato, Anokye Prince, Kuffour John, Mohammed Awal, Akuffo Michael, Boateng Frank, Adjei Daniel Nii, Mohammed Fatau, Toure Ahmed, Asamoah Alex/Nathaniel Asamoah.

Subs: Ohene Brenya Henry, Asamoah Nathaniel, Oduro Stephen, David Offei, Gershon Akuffo, Haruna Ganiyu, Isaac Amoako.

Coach: Bogdan Korack

Nania FC: Sai Michael, Kwao Ebenezer/Richmond Nketiah, Tetteh Joseph, Abankwa Abraziz, Lartey Lawrence, Owusu Akwasi, Osei Ebenezer/Evans Omah, Baffoe Prince, Salifu Nuhu/Yakubu Musah, Amewu David, Babamu Yusif.

Subs: Mensah Baba, Nketia Richmond, Alorzuke Israel, Salifu Mohammed.

Coach: Abedi Pele Ayew

Source: MTNFootball.com

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Arsenal seal capture of Ivorian Gervinho

Arsenal seal capture of Ivorian Gervinho

Ivorian striker Gervinho

Arsenal have finally confirmed the signing of Ivory Coast forward Gervinho.

The 24-year-old scored 15 goals to help Lille win the French league and Cup double last season.

The Gunners are currently on a pre-season tour of the far East and manager Arsene Wenger said: “Gervinho has joined. He had a medical on Thursday.

“We sent him home for a couple of days because he has a family and children. He did not come [on tour] because he has not had a [training] session yet.”

Gervinho, who captained Ivory Coast at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, recently told France Football magazine: “I chose Arsenal because it’s a young group within which I will be able to integrate easily.

“I had no hesitation. None. But in a transfer there’s always a period of analysis and negotiations.

“All sides had to be satisfied so that things could develop smoothly. I’m going there to play, not to be on the bench. Arsenal love the game and I love teams that love the game.

“The Premier League is a notch above. It’s maybe the best league in the world. I want to live that sensation.”

Paris St Germain have also enquired about Gervinho but Lille general manager Frederic Paquet did not want to “strengthen a competitor” by selling to a domestic rival.

Paquet went on to describe 20-year-old Belgian winger Eden Hazard, who is also thought to be an Arsenal target, as “untransferable”.

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Eto’o pledges future to Inter Milan

Eto'o pledges future to Inter Milan

Samuel Eto'o

Striker Samuel Eto’o has committed his future to Inter Milan, killing speculations of a possible move to Manchester City in the process.

The Cameroon international hinted last month that he would like to test himself in the English Premier League but the now insists he intends to stay in Italy.

“The newspapers say I’m leaving Inter? I spoke with president Moratti right after the Copa Italia we won against Palermo and when the president speaks, I can only say yes,” the former Barcelona star told Inter Channel.

Eto’o, 30, was linked with a move away from Inter after a disappointing season in which the club replaced manager Rafa Benitez with Leonardo and failed to defend their Serie A and Champions League titles.

However, the Inter star joined his team-mates for pre-season training this weekend and spoke of his excitement for the coming campaign under new coach Gian Piero Gasperini after a good work out.

“It went pretty well. It was quite hot, but never as bad as in Milan right now. I am in good shape and we have the right atmosphere to start a difficult season,” Eto’o said.

“We are all really eager to repay the enthusiasm of the fans by winning on the pitch.”

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Ghana pips Nigeria to All African Games ticket

Ghana pips Nigeria to All African Games ticket

Ghana players celebrate second goal by Richard Mpong

Ghana beat Nigeria 2-0 on Sunday to qualify for the All Africa Games on the away goals rule.

Goals from midfielders Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Richard Mpong ensured the victory for the Black Meteors against their arch-rivals at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.

Ghana coach Akwesi Appiah named a totally unrecognizable squad for the game after losing several players to their European sides who are on pre-season.

But his squad, dominated by home-based players, managed to produce the desired result that dispatch the Dream Team.

Ghana FA officials pleaded with Udinese to release midfielder Agyemang-Badu and their effort brought the desired result as the ‘Bone Crusher’ produced a man-of-the-match performance.

The enforcer, who was released just two days before the game by Udinese, put the home side in the lead after firing in the free-kick.

Ghana could have been 3-0 before the half-time but striker Dominic Adiyiah failed to convert two glorious chances with one-on-one situations with the Nigerian keeper Theophilus Afelokhai.

Some resolute defending by Emmanuel Anyanwu and Amoda Usman also prevented Mpong and Sadick Adams from scoring in the half totally dominated by the Ghanaians.

There were some few anxious moments Nigeria playmaker Nnamdi Oduamadi caused the Ghanaian defence but Masawudu Alhassan and Edward Kpodo proved equal to the task.

Kpodo also ensured that the few passes dangerous striker Emmanuel Igiebor had, were not utilized, which highlighted Nigeria’s frailties.

Nigeria put some urgency into their game after the break but when Adiyiah burst on the left and set up Mpong, the diminutive striker did not miss from eight yards out as he shot to give the Ghanaians the 2-0 cushion.

The Dream Team’s misery was compounded by injury to Oduamadi which gave the Ghanaian defenders the chance to move forward to create chances.

But Nigeria failed to punish them on the break which ensured that the Black Meteors’ qualification to the competition in Maputo.

Squad:

Ghana line-up: Daniel Agyei, Samuel Inkoom, Masawudu Alhassan, Edward Kpodo, Adams Ahmed, Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu, Isaac Cofie, Latif Salifu, Richard Mpong, Saddick Adams, Dominic Adiyiah.

Nigeria line-up: Theophilus Afelokhai-Anyanwu Emmanuel, Lawal Raheem, Amoda Usman, Igiebor Emmanuel-Ekigho Ehiosou, Eneji Otekpa, Suswam Peter Terna, Otubanjo Ussif- Udoh Kingsley, Nnamdi Oduamadu.

Ghana line-up: Daniel Agyei, Samuel Inkoom, Masawudu Alhassan, Edward Kpodo, Adams Ahmed, Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu, Isaac Cofie, Latif Salifu, Richard Mpong, Saddick Adams, Dominic Adiyiah.

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Striker Gyan wins Ghana sports personality of the year

Striker Gyan wins Ghana sports personality of the year award

Gyan grabs Ghana sports personality gong

Striker Asamoah Gyan was named the sports personality of the year in the 36th edition of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana Awards held in Accra on Saturday.

The Sunderland ace fend off competition from international teammate Richard Kingson and IBF bantamweight boxer Joseph Agbeko to emerge winner of the grand prize in a colourful ceremony held at the Banquet Hall of the State House.

Gyan also picked up the award of Footballer of the Year beating competition from Richard Kingson and Andre Ayew.

The 25-year-old gained international recognition in the year under review(2010) when his three goals helped the Black Stars to an unprecedented 2010 Fifa World Cup quarter finals berth – equaling the African record in the tournament in the the process.

His exploits at the mundial earned him a £13m move to English side Sunderland where he became an instant hit with the fans at Wearside.

Gyan, affectionately called Baby Jet, led Ghana’s attack and sent them to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola in February but lost out on the trophy to Egypt.

The ex Liberty Professionals player came second to Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o in the 2010 Caf Footballer of the year award.

His popularity became profound when his was featured by hiplife artiste Castro to produce the famous African Girls hit track.

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Nigeria loses opening game at womens world cup

Nigeria looses opening game at womens world cup

French striker Delie cooly slotting home winner

Nigeria lost their opening game of the Fifa Womens World Cup in Germany to France on Sunday by a lone goal.

Striker Maurie-Lhaure Delie punished the Nigerian defence’s inability to effectively clear their lines as she controlled and coolly slotted home in the 18-yard box on 56 minutes.

The Super Falcons tried as they may, failed to pull even despite creating some descent opportunities but the French generally held control of the game.

The result inevitably makes qualification into the next round for the Africans even more difficult as they are yet to beat any of their Group A opponents.

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Kenya midfielder Mohammed joins Romanian club Targu Mures

Kenya midfielder Mohammed joins Romanian club Targu Mures

Enterprising Kenyan midfielder Mohammed in action

Midfielder Jamal Mohammed as joined Romanian club Targu Mures on a three-year contract.

The Kenyan who had been rendered clubless after his release from Kuwaiti club Kazma will now join the Romanian side for preseason ahead of the new campaign.

Jamal has previously played for Liberty Professionals in Ghana, Mathare United in Kenya, Enkopings SK of Sweden and Kazma Sporting Club in Qatar where he had signed a two-year deal in December 2009.

He travelled to Romania earlier this week to finalise the contract details with the club.

The midfielder has played a vital role in Kenya’s Afcon 2012 qualifying campaign.

In the last two matches, he has come in as a substitute and when Kenya hosted Angola in March, he scored the opener that led to Harambee Stars winning 2-1.

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