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AFCON’19: Ten-man Ghana held by Benin in Ismailia



Goals from the Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan saw 10-man Ghana play to a 2-2 draw with Benin in their Group F match in Ismailia on Tuesday evening. Jordan and Andre scored just after Mickael Pote had given Benin the lead.

Ghana was reduced to ten men in the 54th minute after John Boye was given his marching orders following a second yellow card for time wasting. Shortly after Benin were handed the numerical advantage, they raced back from 2-1 down to tie the game with Pote completing his brace.

Jordan finished off the first half in a smashing way, planting the ball into the roof of the net after taking a delightful turn to evade a challenge from Olivier Verdon. Ghana had come from a goal down after a fast-paced opening ten minutes yielded two, one each for the West African rivals.

Benin opened the scoring after just one minute and 44 seconds, Pote beating Richard Ofori from close range after racing into the box from 45 yards out and evading a challenge from Lumor Agbenyenu.

Ghana responded just seven minutes later with a goal made from the Abedi Pele household. Jordan took on a run on the right with his cross deflected into his brother’s path. Andre controlled before taking a low shot on the turn planting the ball into the bottom left corner. This was Andre’s ninth overall AFCON goal. Also, the Ayew brothers have scored seven of Ghana’s last nine goals at the competition.

Ghana’s players celebrate their second goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Ghana and Benin at the Ismailia Stadium on June 25 , 2019. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

The Black Stars were forced into a change 35 minutes into the game when Thomas Agyepong went out injured and was replaced by Samuel Owusu. Owosu almost made an impact three minutes after coming on, his run from midfield ending up in a left footed shot that went wide.
This was just minutes before Jordan showed up with some moment of insane beauty.

In the second half, Ghana’s resolve was slowed down by Boye’s second yellow, just nine minutes after the restart. Pote then completed his brace in the 63rd minute with a nifty backheel from the edge of the six yard box off a corner.

Thomas Partey almost restored the lead for Ghana but his well taken freekick attracted an equally good save from Benin keeper Fabien Farnolle.

The result leaves Cameroon at the summit of Group F on three points, Ghana and Benin trail on one point each with Guinea Bissau at the foot of the standings with no point.

Ghana next play Cameroon on Saturday whilst Benin lock horns with Guinea Bissau also at the same venue.

Total Man of the Match: Jordan Ayew (Ghana)

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Day Dies At Night From Injuries Sustained In A Bout.



Boxer Patrick Day has died after he sustained head injuries in a fight on Saturday night against fellow American Charles Conwell.

The 27-year-old was knocked out in the 10th round of his super-welterweight bout in Chicago and fell into a coma, with his promoter confirming Day’s death on Wednesday “surrounded by his family, close friends and members of his boxing team”.

“He was a son, brother, and good friend to many,” said a statement from Lou DiBella.

“Pat’s kindness, positivity, and generosity of spirit made a lasting impression with everyone he met. Patrick Day didn’t need to box. He came from a good family, he was smart, educated, had good values and had other avenues available to him to earn a living.

“He chose to box, knowing the inherent risks that every fighter faces when he or she walks into a boxing ring. Boxing is what Pat loved to do. It’s how he inspired people and it was something that made him feel alive.”

Day was taken from the ring on a stretcher and underwent emergency brain surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after being knocked out in the final round of his fight on the undercard of Saturday night’s Oleksandr Usyk-Chazz Witherspoon show. The tragedy prompted Conwell to write an open letter to his fallen opponent which he posted Tuesday on Instagram.

“This is my last time speaking on the situation because of this being a sensitive topic not only for his family and friends but for myself and the sport of boxing,” Conwell said, before addressing Day directly.

“Dear Patrick Day,” Conwell wrote. “I never meant for this to happen to you. All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would. No one deserves for this to happen to them. I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you. I can’t stop thinking about it myself. I prayed for you so many times and shedded so many tears because I couldn’t even imagine how my family and friends would feel.

“I see you everywhere I go and all I hear is wonderful things about you. I thought about quitting boxing but I know that’s not what you would want. I know that you were a fighter at heart so I decided not to but to fight and win a world title because that’s what you wanted and that’s what I want so I’ll use you as motivation every day and make sure I always leave it all in the ring every time. #ChampPatrickDay. With Compassion, Charles Conwell.”

DiBella, who promotes both Conwell and Day, told ESPN on Tuesday night that he was moved to tears by the fighter’s expression.

“No one prompted him to write it – not his management and not his promoter,” DiBella said. “I know Charles is profoundly sad right now by what happened. I’m trying to make him realize it’s no fault of his. I read what he wrote and it put a tear in my eye. It was an incredibly human and honest and genuine response from a kid who is just 21. He’s a really good kid, a really good person. I think it was very obvious to both of them that they were both good guys. Charles’ letter was really touching. It screams of honesty and authenticity.”

Boxing has been gripped by tragedy this year after the deaths of three fighters as a result from injuries sustained in competition.

The Argentinian junior welterweight Hugo Alfredo Santillan died in July, becoming the second fatality in four days after Russia’s Maxim Dadashev succumbed to injuries suffered in Maryland. Bulgarian featherweight Boris Stanchov died in September after injuries suffered during his pro debut in Albania, after which it was discovered he was fighting illegally under his cousin Isus Velichkov’s boxing license.

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Barcelona Superstar, Leo Messi Received Sixth European Golden Shoe.



A special day at the Antiga Fàbrica Estrella Damm. Leo Messi received the 2018/19 Golden Shoe this Wednesday, the sixth of his career and the third consecutively. Nobody has won more than him. The 36 goals (in 34 games) that he scored last season in the league have served to ensure a new European Golden Shoe, and a continuation of his records.

Barça's captain was accompanied by his family and, in addition, his children were entrusted with delivering the trophy. The ceremony was attended by team-mates and friends including Luis Suárez and Jordi Alba, while the Barça board members present were President Josep Maria Bartomeu, executives Javier Bordas, Xavier Vilajoana and Silvio Elías and CEO Òscar Grau, among others. The event featured videos with the goals that allowed Messi to win his sixth Golden Shoe.

Leo took the opportunity to speak after receiving the prize, emphasising: "Without my team-mates I wouldn't have scored any goals, this is for everyone, it's a recognition for the whole team." He also commented on the aspirations of the team for this season: "The Champions League is special and every year we want to win it, but the league is the most important. The cup too, Barça always compete for everything."

Keep making history

The Argentinian was already the only player in history to get five Golden Shoes. It should be remembered that he won the first in the 2009/10 season (34 goals), then two in 2011/12 (50 goals) and 2012/13 season (46 goals), and now he has accumulated three more consecutively: 2016/17 (37 goals), 2017/18 (34 goals) and 2018/19 (36 goals).

Leo Messi again overcame the 50-goal barrier in all competitions, for the sixth time in his career. He scored 51 goals in 50 games: the 36 goals already mentioned in the league, 3 in the Copa del Rey and 12 in the Champions League, becoming the highest scorer in the tournament. An absolutely unique player.

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Mourinho Eyeing Tottenham Job.



Portuguese professional football coach and former player who currently works at Sky Sports as a pundit, José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, GOIH is reportedly eyeing the Tottenham manager's job as speculation continues over the future of Mauricio Pochettino.

The former Manchester United and Chelsea boss is waiting for the right opportunity to return to club management after being sacked as Red Devils boss in December last year.

He continues to be linked with another of his former clubs, Real Madrid , amid pressure on manager Zinedine Zidane early into his second spell as Bernabeu boss.

Mourinho has retained close links with president Florentino Perez and it is thought he could receive the call if Zidane's reign ends early. Another manager who keeps being linked with Madrid is Pochettino, whose future at Tottenham looks increasingly uncertain.

Never one to sell himself short, Mourinho has said he is waiting for a club "the same level" that he is as a manager.

He said: "I have to be patient and wait for the right opportunity and the right opportunity is one that is at the same size and the same level that I am as a manager. I have to wait for the exact right one."

And that club could be Tottenham, according to the Mail .

The publication claims Mourinho is open to the idea of managing the north London club should Pochettino leave.

He has turned down job offers from Benfica and Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande as he waits for the right club.

Tottenham, of course, were Champions League finalists last season, and started the season among the favourites to yet again secure a top-four spot - although recent results in both the premier league and in Europe's elite competition have somewhat undermined their challenge for honours.

Saturday's shock 3-0 defeat away to Brighton followed last Tuesday's 7-2 thrashing at home to Bayern Munich, increasing the pressure on Pochettino.

Question marks were raised over Pochettino's future in the lead-up to last season's Champions League final defeat to Liverpool . The Argentine said he could quit Tottenham if they won Europe's biggest prize as it would have been the ultimate achievement for his five years at the club.

The summer of transfer speculation which followed has been viewed as having unsettled Spurs' squad, with Christian Eriksen having made it clear he wants to leave the club.

It is believed that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will not sack Mourinho - with the manager set to receive £32m compensation if he gets the boot.

But if Pochettino does leave, then a door could open for Mourinho to once again test his managerial mettle in the Premier League.


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TENNIS: Murray Irked By Fognini ‘Hindrance’ In Fiery Shanghai Clash.



An irritated Andy Murray accused Fabio Fognini of "hindrance" in their fiery second-round clash at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.

Three-time Shanghai champion Murray was annoyed by a loud noise, which he claims was made by Fognini, when he had a volley at the net for a 15-30 lead at 5-5 in the third set.

Related image
Fabio Fognini

The Briton went on to break Fognini for a second chance to serve out the match, but at the changeover the pair were involved in a heated discussion.

When Murray complained about the noise to chair umpire Fergus Murphy and Fognini attempted to interject, the three-time major champion told his opponent to "shut up".

Murray was unable to close out the victory and Fognini, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair, had the last laugh by sealing a 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 7-6 (7-2) triumph.

Asked about the incident, Murray said: "I had a volley on top of the net. Someone made a noise, I didn't know who made the noise.

"I looked in the direction of where the noise came from. He [Fognini] then told me, 'Stop looking at me, what are you looking at me for?' and I was like, 'I was just about to hit a shot and someone made a noise.'

"He was then telling me to stop looking at him. Normally when someone shouts during the middle of a point, which is pretty rare something like that happens, he told me to stop complaining, to have a sense of humour, that when you have a volley on top of the net you're not going to miss it.

"Well I know I'm not going to miss it but I wanted to know where the sound came from. It came from him, which you're not allowed to do, it's against the rules, it's hindrance, you shouldn't do it.

"He said I should have a sense of humour about it, but I would say in the moment neither of us were in a joking, laughing kind of mood. That was the issue."

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