The qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup are on and the African qualifiers have thrown up some surprise results: Swaziland held Nigeria just as Comorros Island held Ghana while Chad beat Egypt.
In Europe the Mighty Magyars of Hungary returned to the big stage and Lewis Hamilton still can’t win in Brazil.
Swaziland hold Nigeria in Lobamba
Swaziland, ranked 152nd by FIFA, held their nerves for long periods of their game against the Super Eagles last Thursday to earn a deserved 0-0 result. The match, which was played on an artificial surface, saw the home team defend very deep even though the Eagles did not create enough goal-scoring chances. The second leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifier comes up on Tuesday in Port Harcourt where Nigeria is supposed to confirm passage to the last round of qualifiers.
Sharapova cannot save Russia in the Fed Cup
Maria Sharapova did all she could but the Czech Republic got the upper hand as they retained the Fed Cup. Sharapova had put Russia 2-1 up in the best of five final match, after beating top ranked Czech player, Petra Kvitova in three sets.
But Karolina Pliskova then defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 6-4, to take the final into a deciding fifth game. Pliskova and Barbora Strycova then handed the Czechs their fourth title in five years by coming from a set down to defeat the pair of Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Hungary returns to the big stage
After an absence of 30 years from any major football tournament, Hungary are back. The two-time World Cup finalists booked their return with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Norway for Euro 2016.
The Daily Mail reports that “only five of Hungary’s current squad were born when they played at the 1986 Mexico World Cup and, of those, only veteran goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly was in the starting line-up on this occasion.”
Lewis still can’t win in Brazil
Formula 1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton, was denied victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday by team mate Nico Rosberg. Hamilton had said he would love to cap off a triumphant year with a victory at the birth-place of his racing hero, Ayrton Senna. But it was not to be as Rosberg won the race for a second year in a row. Hamilton has now failed in nine attempts to win the Brazil race.
‘Raul Madrid’ ends career on a high
Real Madrid and Spain legend, Raul Gonzalez Blanco, has hung his boots after 21 years as a professional footballer. The former Real Madrid striker played his last football match for NASL side, New York Cosmos, on Sunday as they beat Ottawa Fury 3-2.
The victory culminated in a 22nd trophy in a career that boasts three UEFA Champions League titles and six La Liga titles. “I’m happy but, to be honest, I’m also a little bit sad,” Raul said after his last match. “Now a new path begins,” he added.
IOC may suspend the IAAF
There are signs that the troubles currently faced by the Sebastian Coe-led IAAF could exacerbate in the coming days with a provisional suspension by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which leaves the Olympic games in 2016 in a precarious situation.
This suspension could come into effect with the release of the second part of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA). Russia has been provisionally suspended from all competition following a WADA report that uncovered evidence of state-controlled doping in the country.
Beckham replaces Beckham
At a UNICEF ‘Match for Children’ between The Great Britain and the Rest of the World team, David Beckham went off to be replaced by his first son, Brooklyn. They both sported the No.7 jersey, which in itself was a first of its kind. David then had to come back on the pitch to play the last 15 minutes – at which point we had two No.7s on the pitch. It could have become a controversy if the referee had to book one of them.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...