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La Liga history maker Uzoho ecstatic with Nigeria call-up – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 09:00


New Nigerian senior international Francis Uzoho has paid tribute to his Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna.

This is after the teenage goalkeeper earned his maiden call-up to the Super Eagles squad.

The 19-year-old has been named in the 24-man squad to take on Algeria in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier and then a friendly against Argentina this month.

“It probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been promoted to the first team at Deportivo,” Uzoho told BBC Sport.

“They’ve really helped me and hopefully I can repay the faith,” the Nwangele-born shot-stopper added.

Uzoho’s national call-up comes off the back of a strong start to his Deportivo career in the Spanish La Liga.

The former Nigerian Under-17 international became the youngest foreign goalkeeper to ever play in La Liga last month.

“I feel I owe the former manager [Pepe Mel] a lot as well and I am grateful to the players and management of the second team and senior side and I thank God for his favours,” he added.

Uzoho made his first team – and La Liga – debut on 15 October 2017, starting in a 0–0 away draw against SD Eibar.

According to Wikipedia, at the age of 18 years and 352 days, Uzoho became the youngest ever foreign goalkeeper to debut in La Liga.

He is also the second-youngest player to appear in the league during the campaign, only behind Real Madrid‘s Achraf Hakimi.



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Ayiah ecstatic after firing Ghana into knockout stages – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


Eric Ayiah of Ghana challenged by Samuel Conte of Guinea during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Guinea and Ghana at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 20 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 13, 2017. 18:00


Ghana Under-17 captain Eric Ayiah is pleased to have inspired his side to victory over India on Thursday.

The Black Starlets thumped the host nation India 4-0 in the 2017 FIFA World Cup Group A match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.

The promising forward netted in each half as Ghana finished at the top of the group and they qualified for the knockout stages.

“The first and the second matches were tough,” Ayiah told the media after the match.

“I know we’ll meet such challenges in the world cup but I know I needed to prove my clout,” he continued.

“I had chances to score in those two game but I didn’t utilize them, so my coach taught me how to be composed in front of goal.

“I heeded to his advise and it helped me perform greatly today.”

The attacker is now two goals behind the tournament’s top goal scorer Amine Gouiri, who has scored four goals for France.



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Ecstatic Masuluke up against Giroud for FIFA Award – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Oscarine Masuluke of Baroka FC celebrates during the NFD Promotion Playoffs match between Baroka FC and BStellenbosch at the Peter Mokaba stadium in Pretoria on 10 June 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Oct 10, 2017. 13:00


South African goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke says it’s a dream come true after making the final three-man shortlist for the FIFA Puskas Award.

The Baroka FC shot-stopper scored a last-gasp equaliser with a bicycle kick against Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership match last season.

As a result, Masuluke has been shortlisted for the accolade along with Venezuela Women’s youth national team player Deyna Castellanos and French forward Olivier Giroud.

FIFA are expected to hand out the award in London, England on October 23 and Masuluke stated that it has been his dream to visit the English capital.

“I don’t know how to describe the feeling. Growing up my dream was always visiting London,” Masuluke said on KickOff.com.

“I just don’t know how to explain the feeling. Being nominated amongst the best in the world is a great achievement in itself.

Masuluke, who in a bread winner in his family, disclosed that he grew up in a RDP house in Nwamankena outside Giyani, Limpopo, South Africa with his grandmother and four siblings.

“Yes, it’s true I grew up in a RDP house. I don’t want to go back and sleep in the same house I grew up sleeping in when I was still a kid,” he added.

“And that’s why I am trying to build my family a big house to accommodate everyone.”

After the first round of voting concluded earlier on Monday, a new second phase has started. The total from each round of voting will be added together to decide the winner.

Voting will remain open until the day of the awards ceremony itself, with the winner of the fan vote receiving their award on stage at the historic London Palladium.



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New Saint-Etienne signing Diousse ecstatic – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Aug 03, 2017. 18:00


French Ligue 1 giants Saint-Etienne have reinforced their squad with the signing of Senegal youth international Assane Diousse.

The 19-year-old, who is a central defensive midfielder by trade, has been on the books of Italian Serie A club Empoli.

Ten-time Ligue 1 champions Saint-Etienne announced on their official website that they had signed Diousse.

A club statement read:”After Loïs Diony and Saidy Janko, AS Saint-Etienne signed on Tuesday their third rookie since the start of the transfer window. Assane Diousse signed a five-year contract with the Greens. An agreement was reached with the Italian club of Empoli for the transfer of the player.”

The Senegal Under-20 player, who made 33 Serie A appearances for Empoli last season, is pleased to have joined the Greens.

“I am very excited and excited to be able to play at Geoffroy-Guichard in front of a magnificent audience,” Diousse told the site.

“Before signing here, I watched some videos of the atmosphere of the stadium on the Internet and I was moved by this fervor. AS Saint-Etienne is a large French club, recognized abroad.

“I played Empoli in a family club. And today, in Saint-Etienne, I find these same values. Since my arrival, I feel this family spirit and passion. Everyone welcomed me very well,” he added.

“My favorite position is defensive midfielder, but I can also move a little higher up on the pitch. I’m at the coach’s disposal.”



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